The company is planning to take a bigger part of the emerging Chromebook market -- in the most literal sense -- with the launch of the first 15.6-inch display notebook that runs Google's stripped-back operating system.
But as well as a bigger display -- until now Chromebooks have come with either an 11-inch or 14-inch display -- the new device, which according to OMGChrome is expected to be unveiled at the 2015 CES in January, has a pretty serious Intel Broadwell processor running the show.
Much of the computational ‘heavy lifting' undertaken by a Chromebook is done in the cloud, but only when there's an app or program that can take care of the work that needs doing.
Adding a bigger processor would put an affordable Chromebook on a par with a mid-range Windows notebook and in doing so make it attractive to even more potential owners.
The PC market might be in decline, but the downward trend isn't affecting Chromebooks, where demand is growing. The back-to-basics notebooks are already proving a huge hit in the classroom with students of all ages who are starting to dump their iPads in favor of them; but research firms are noting that their popularity is moving beyond academia and more and more consumers are starting to see their benefits.
Gartner's research, published back in August notes that 50 percent of Chromebooks sales so far this year are to consumers rather than to educational establishments. Gartner sees the trend continuing -- it predicts that 5.2 million Chromebooks will have been snapped up over the course of 2014 and that by 2017 14.4 million will be shipping every year.
ABI Research is slightly less optimistic about sales figures -- its latest forecast, published in October, places 2014 Chromebook sales at 4.1 million, but that's still 1% of the world's total PC sales and double the number sold in 2013.