In addition to Lenovo's N21 2-in-1 Chromebook launched in February and Asustek Computer's Chromebook Flip 2-in-1 device announced in April, Google, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Acer are also planning to unveil Chromebook products in the second half. With the devices, the market will see at least six branded 2-in-1 Chromebooks in 2015, showing that Google's aggressive moves to integrate Chromebook with Android are succeeding in promoting the devices in non-education markets.
Google reportedly is planning to release two own-brand 2-in-1 Chromebooks: one for the high-end segment and another for the entry-level. Volume shipments will begin in the third quarter. The high-end model will feature a 12.85-inch display, using Nvidia's Tegra 6 processor, while the entry-level one will feature a 10.1-inch display, equipped with China-based Rockchip's solution. Both will adopt a detachable form factor design.
Digitimes Research believes the release of the 12.85-inch model is aiming to compete against Apple's upcoming 12-inch iPad, which is ready to be released at the end of the year.
HP plans to release one to two 2-in-1 Chromebooks in 2015; one of them will feature a convertible design similar to Asustek's Chromebook Flip. It will come with a 10.1-inch display and be released in the third quarter.
The largest Chromebook vendor Acer will launch a new 2-in-1 Chromebook in the fourth quarter because the device is set to adopt Intel's upcoming Skylake processor. The device has an 11.6-inch display and also a convertible design.
Observing the specifications and industrial design of these 2-in-1 Chromebooks, Digitimes Research has found these devices' processors come from various suppliers and are based on various architectures; therefore, it expects more processor suppliers to join the related supply chains.
In terms of size, most of the devices will still emphasize their lightness, and therefore sub-12-inch display will be the mainstream specification. Although a convertible design is the most adopted one in these 2-in-1 Chromebooks, Digitimes Research expects detachable models to increase in 2016 as the operating system's user interface will gradually improve, accelerating the adoption of Chromebooks outside of the education market.