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Google Exec Talks Chromebooks, Education Market, Pixel Tablets

Google’s Rajen Sheth spoke at length during a conference call yesterday, shedding some light on the company’s ambitions towards further growth in the education market and the potential of a Pixel-branded tablet.

Sheth says “the Chromebook is going from being just a laptop to something that is a lot more versatile and dynamic … such that OEMs can produce many great devices.”

“We have put a lot of investment into the touch UI and making touch a great experience on the Chromebook. You’re going to continue to see that happen. And what that’s going to do is it’s going to open up the possibilities for OEMs to have an even wider variety of form factors.”

Last year saw Google’s Chromebooks officially overtake Macs in the American education market.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 and ASUS Chromebook Flip C213 were also announced this week, though Australian availability and pricing for both has yet to be confirmed.

According to him, “you may expect everything from detachables to tablets based on Chrome OS down the line.”

It’s been a quiet few years for Android-powered tablet devices. Demand for tablets has continued to fall and manufacturers have largely moved their focus to the (comparatively) burgeoning 2-in-1 category. However, Google’s decision to roll support for Android apps into their Chrome OS last year has the potential to reverse the trend and offer new growth in both categories.

The addition of a large and versatile software library makes Chromebooks a better sell and migrating the Chrome OS software to their tablets could provide a new coat of paint for a product that has simply struggled to compete with the experience offered by Apple’s iPad.

 

The Pixel sub-brand, launched last year, is likely to provide a good avenue for Google to reset the conversation.

Rumours say the company will be bringing a new Pixel-branded tablet, believed to be called the Pixel 7, to market later this year.

Its expected to be direct competition with Apple’s new range of iPads.

Google’s previous effort at Android-powered tablets, the Pixel C, was well received but ultimately failed to knock Apple’s offering off its perch.

Though originally tipped to arrive before the close of 2016, it’s now believed that the Pixel 7 will be unveiled in Q3 of 2017.

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