Last December, Google unveiled its vision for the future of computers and operating systems with Chrome OS, an entirely Web-based operating system that takes place almost completely in the browser. While we've gotten a pretty good look at Chrome OS over the past several months, it's only been implemented on prototype review units. There has been no commercially available hardware running the new OS.
According to a report from German blog Heise Online, Acer has announced a "surf station" that will run on Chrome OS and is little more than a touchscreen monitor with an integrated processor.
According to Heise, the Acer DX241H is a 24-inch display with integrated sound and a system on a chip ARM integrated processor. In essence, the device would be an upgrade to Acer's previous Internet "surf station", the D241H, which Engadget described as "somewhere between a standard 24-inch monitor and an all-in-one PC."
The Register points out that this so-called Acer announcement (for which there is no press release or word from Acer) comes from a "somewhat sketchy report out of Germany citing Acer itself," but it's an interesting thought. Does Chrome OS make sense for a touch screen device like this?
While Chrome OS certainly is not designed to run on a touchscreen interface, there is a video of it doing just that. Acer was already slated to work with Google to produce a hardware device using Chrome OS and this actually seems like a good implementation. It may not have out-of-the-box touchscreen functionality, but Chrome OS is a lot more lightweight (as evidenced by the specs of the prototype CR-48 devices). If Acer already had a Web-enabled monitor in the works, why not move to a more fully-functioned device by using Chrome OS?
The Register asked both Acer and Google for comment and received nothing back from Acer and the standard "we don't comment on rumors or speculation" response from Google. According to Heise, the device will retail for around $400, but mentions no release date. For now, we'll just have to wait and see if Acer actually announces anything the rest of us can find.