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Google plans touchscreen Chromebook for 2013 - report

Chocolate Factory has ordered 20 million own-brand devices

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Undeterred by the luke-warm response its partners have had launching their browser-only Chromebook laptops, Google is set to hit the market with a touchscreen version at the end of 2012, according to reports from Taiwan.

The 12.85in notebook will be the Chocolate Factory’s first own-branded effort, with Taiwanese OEM giant Compal set to build the devices and Wintek to provide the all-important touch panel display, said China Commercial Times, citing supply chain sources.

Ever the optimist, Google has apparently ordered 20 million units to be going on with components shipping this month and the device itself expected at the earliest by the end of the year.

Google will certainly be hoping the touchscreen effort gets more attention than the Chrome OS lappies from Acer and Samsung have managed of late.

They certainly didn’t set the world on fire in 2011, and Google will have to compete with old foe Microsoft, whose Windows 8-based Surface has been making quite a splash across the planet, although not to everyone’s taste.

As to how Google’s partners will react to news it will be own-branding a device remains to be seen.

Acer certainly didn’t take very kindly to Redmond’s Surface plans recently, with Acer chairman JT Wang urging Microsoft to "think it over". ®

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