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Google to Launch Android Laptops Later This Year?

Are Google be gearing up to release a line of Android-powered laptops? According to one research firm the answer is a yes.

The AC100 - The Original Android Laptop

The AC100 – The Original Android Laptop

Chinese-based industry blog Digitimes, citing their own research, have predicted that Google will begin releasing their own range of Android laptops later this year.

Yes, Android laptops. Not Chromebooks.

Now, like most of you reading this, I’d normally take such self-effacing claims with a pinch of a proverbial condiment. But this being Digitimes, who are, more often than not, ahead of the curve on product announcements thanks to their tight connections to the computer and electronics industries in Taiwan and China, I’m not dismissing it out of hand.

Indeed, Android-powered laptops wouldn’t be anything new. Toshiba’s AC100 was arguably the first high-profile ‘Droidbook’ device, and a quick search of eBay turns up many an Android-powered netbook.

But whether or not it happens the biggest questions is whether there’s even a market for them. Surely, as no-doubt many of you are screaming at the screen, an Android tablet with keyboard dock fulfils the same aim, but with more versatility?

An Android laptop would be sort of like stitching the back-end of a cow to the back-end of a camel – you don’t end up with something that can move in the right direction.

For now I’ll chalk this rumour up to wishful, scatter-gun speculation rather than informed hint.

If Droidbooks were real, would you be interested in buying one? Share your thoughts below… 

  • Nope.. I have a Chromebook that do the stuff a mobile OS browser won’t. Agree that a tablet with keyboard would be a better option.

  • If they make it usable, such as building in scrollbars and other things necessary for a desktop. My Nan got one of those Android netbooks and it’s just horrible, it’s an interface clearly designed for a touch screen as everywhere that needs scrolling has to be clicked and then dragged, along with other small things such as the lock screen. It could work though.

  • That’d be great. Bring back ultraportable netbooks so I can put linux on it.

  • joedoe47

    I think I would rather have a chrome tablet. in any case an android laptop would disrupt chromebooks. Moreover android would have to support full usb, which it currently does not.

    • If by full USB you mean fullsize USB, it does support it: you can plug an external hard-drive into a ASUS Transformer Prime (with the keyboard dock), or get a USB On-The-Go accessory and use that.

      • jose Mendoza

        that is what I meant, but thanks for clarifying. you can sometimes stick in external usb devices but it’s not like I can just plug in an android into another android and sync it, Plus that sounds redundant. Plus it is kind of already done via wireless on the play store. You also can’t write to (ntfs/ext)drives from android w/o rooting your nexus device (from what I understand)… I think it would make more sense to sync certain things like files, bookmarks, heck even certain offline capable html5 apps between chrome and android. it just make sense, to me at least. More over there are going to be issues with hardware, something chrome os has yet to have. I would hate to have to buy a laptop, let a lone a phone, every year or two just to keep up to date on the latest android device.

  • Casey Blamires

    I’ve run various Android builds in VirtualBox. If it’s anything like that, then no I will not be making a purchase

    • jose Mendoza

      oh boy those android 4.2 builds of android x86…. talk about bleeding edge. I can barely sign in to the dang thing, let alone run ‘normal’ apps on it.

      • Maxime Poulin

        My Android VM runs smooth as hell and runs everything perfectly fine.

        Still, Android as a PC OS? Meh, useless. Chromebooks are better for that, Android apps are way too much tablet-oriented, they are not suitable at all for a laptop…

        • Roger Siegenthaler

          cough, android 5.0 ;)

          I don’t know what changes there are but it might have something to do with this^^

  • Bruce Beardall

    If they got the interface sorted out, yeah, I think it would be an interesting development. An ultra-thin, ultra-light ARM based droidbook at the price of the C7 or Series 3? Or less? It might be wishful thinking but I’d give it a go.

  • Robbie Campbell

    Yes, I want a Droidbook! It is so much “prettier” than Chrome alone. Also, the various problems with peripherals and drivers should be reasonably simple for the google dev team,

  • Roger Vasquez

    Humm Android phones tablets and now laptops… does this remind u of something?? W8

  • Kasoki

    Maybe Android 5 (Key Lime Pie) includes “Desktop” support ;).

  • David Loring

    Anyone who’s used a transformer tablet knows that android is capable of being a non-touch platform about 75% of the time. Track pad gestures, used well, make it a very pleasant experience. But I don’t think that Google or anyone else really wants to push for android laptops. It doesn’t fit in with the 2 OS strategy as has been lately outlined by Google. The one thing that might spur them into action is if windows 8 touchscreen ultrabooks and convertible tablets were becoming a threat to android tablet market share. ChromeOS is the logical OS for laptops, but it’s not touch-ready yet. The Pixel represents a kind of expensive dogfooding of this issue, but it’ll be a while before there’s a good answer to the win8 mutant machines. In the meantime, the transformer line proves that android is solid and works even with conventional control schemes, so this might not be as crazy as you think.

  • pizadsura

    Droidbook will more powerful than Chomebook, because it can do more things by android application. I’m interesting to hear it. Will buy it one.

  • No. Google has explicitly said again and again that Android will not be a desktop OS

  • Before I bought my chromebook, I would have been very interested in such a device. I have a pretty good bluetooth keyboard for my Nexus 7 but long writing projects are annoying. Staring at a 7” screen isn’t a lot of fun.

    Can they really put together an Android laptop with a solid tablet battery and tablet pricing though? I’m very skeptical about that. The Nexus 7 is a very powerful device for only $250 and I’d much rather compliment it with a chromebook or some other low-end laptop running a lightweight Linux distro than to buy an expensive “androidbook”

  • orangeknow

    Stop trying to make “convergence” happen. It’s not gonna happen.

  • meijin3

    Kinda like Windows RT I suppose.

  • Charlie Du

    They will probably come with touchscreens which will end up making them just tablets with a fixed screen and keyboard.

  • James

    That will be a hell of a slow laptop.

  • I am very skeptical Google would do this. Maybe it’d make sense, but Google in the past has expressed on more than one occasion that they wanted Android on phones and tablets, and Chrome OS on laptops. If it happens it’ll likely be from a third-party vendor, not a Nexus device.

  • gnuts

    Might be good if they create a desktop-friendly GUI for the Android OS. If not some devs might make a desktop-style launcher app for Droidbooks.

    • gnuts

      Also, I wonder if any OEM`s will actually pick it up, Hard to believe.