Google said to debut Android/Chrome OS hybrid on tablet, convertible notebook

Google is planning hybrid devices that run both Android and Chrome OS, including one convertible laptop, and one Huawei Nexus-branded tablet, according to a new report from 9to5Google. The report backs up another from Android Police today that says a convertible notebook is on the way.

The Andromeda project bakes Chrome OS features into Android, giving you the best of both worlds in one place, according to early reports. This would make a lot of sense for a thin, convertible laptop device like the so-called “Pixel 3” that Android Police reported this morning, which is set to be launched in Q3 2017, and which will potentially boast a 12.3-inch touchscreen display.

The report claims this won’t be a lightweight Chromebook-style machine on the specs side — it will have either an i3 or i5 Intel core processor, 128GB of onboard storage and either 8GB or 16GB of RAM. They also suggest it’ll get two USB-C ports, and stylus support for a separate Wacom-enabled pen accessory, which would suggest capable, advanced pressure-sensitive abilities for drawing and graphics.

Such a hybrid would be very interesting from Google, and something that could potentially prove a model for power down-market devices aimed at education and even enterprise use, if they can demonstrate desktop power via the Chrome OS features alongside Android’s mobile convenience. This first device will likely be priced higher and aimed at a higher echelon of consumers, however.

9to5Google’s report of the dedicated tablet suggests that the company is thinking about how to make the Andromeda experience work on mobile-first hardware. I’d personally like to see this come to Android smartphones, too, as it could be a better answer to the one-device-to-rule-them-all problem that Microsoft made a faint attempt at solving with Windows 10 and its ability to plug into external displays for a more traditional desktop experience.

It’s not clear whether we’ll see evidence of these at the October 4 event Google is planning, and, given the launch timelines, it wouldn’t necessarily make sense. But there should be plenty else to see next Tuesday, including new rumored Pixel-branded Android phones.