Lenovo Chrome OS tablet could take another stab at a dying niche market

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It was over before it started or there was a chance to do something to that extent. For a brief moment, it seemed that Chrome OS was meant to embrace a new form factor beyond the typical laptop or convertible Chromebook. Standalone or at least separable Chrome OS slates certainly seemed within Google’s sights until it was no longer. Now it seems that the Chrome OS tablets are all extinct or forgotten, but nothing is stopping Lenovo from trying their hand in the market, which Google has just abandoned.

Chromebooks began as cheap notebooks, practically large descendants of the short-lived netbook category. As laptops slowly began to move in terms of form factor, the Chromebook introduced 360-degree laptop / tablet hybrids, like Yoga. Oddly enough, very few people adopted the actual tablet design.

To date, there are probably only three such devices, two of which fall under the “detachable” 2-in-1 category. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is probably the only true standalone Chrome OS tablet on the market, while the Google Pixel slate above is pictured both and the HP Chromebook x2 tries to offer the best of both worlds. Sadly, Google itself has moved away from the slates and indirectly signed the death sentence of that form factor.

A post by Reddit may have briefly revived hope among fans of Chrome OS tablets. A Lenovo engineer, or at least one who claims to be one, was looking for testers on a Chrome OS tablet. Reddit verified the post but was later removed. According to the site, the test program was completed well before it started.

To say that Lenovo is not a Chrome OS tablet, unless Reddit moderators are tricked, is simply that public testing is not taking place. It is still unknown what form the device will take or if it will be just a typical Lenovo Yoga convertible. However, the big question is whether there is still a market for such a device and whether the UI of Chrome OS has matured enough to be used as a tablet.

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