Everyone is clamoring about tablets these days—ourselves included—so it's not too surprising that Google and HTC are set to join the fray. They are reportedly working together on a Chrome OS Google Tablet.
Smarthouse, an Australian publication, reports that HTC and Google have been collaborating "for the past 18 months" and have produced "several working models of a touch tablet," including one outfitted with Google's Chrome OS. We wrote why a Google Tablet would be a good idea last month, and with the Apple Tablet discussion reaching a fever pitch, it's harder and harder to get excited about a Chrome OS netbook from Google.
Having collaborated on the Nexus One, a smart phone that impressed us with its design as well as its hardware, HTC and Google partnering on a tablet seems like a promising prospect. But will it "compete head on" with Apple's tablet as Smarthouse claims? Probably not.
From what we know, it seems like Apple is putting as much effort into their tablet's content as they are into the gadget itself. We've written extensively on how an Apple tablet could redefine newspapers, textbooks, and magazines. In the last case, we've already salivated, more than once, over concepts for how magazines might evolve in a multi-touch future. Add that to Apple's recent acquisition of Lala, a move that likely points to a cloud-based future for iTunes, and the reports that Apple is trying to secure TV show subscription packages for the iTunes store. Admittedly, not a whole lot is certain about Apple's tablet. But you start looking at all of those pieces and how they might fit together around one device, you can easily envision a gadget that is focused on streaming the stuff you read, the stuff you listen to, and the stuff you watch.
It's hard to foresee a future in which a Google Tablet tries to go head to head with Apple on the content level. That's not to say, however, that there aren't some compelling things that could be offered by a Google tablet. As the launch of Google's Chrome OS made clear, they're looking toward a future with a multitude of devices that can access the Internet quickly, cleanly, and cheaply. A Google Tablet could be just the thing to realize all of those goals. When we tried out the JooJoo tablet, we saw how a well-designed tablet for consuming web content could provide an engaging experience. A Chrome OS tablet by Google would likely work the same way, keeping typing to a minimum and offering a literal hands-on web surfing experience. [Smarthouse via Business Insider]