Is this Google’s answer to the iPad?

Designs for a tablet PC running on Google Chrome have been revealed, less than a week after the launch of Apple’s iPad.

The concept designs come from the developers behind Chromium OS – the open-source project that underpins Google Chrome and not Google itself – but they give a decent indication of how a Google Tablet might measure up against the iPad. (Click Gallery button, left, to see the full selection of images.)

Split keyboard

The designs show a variety of onscreen keyboard configurations, including the half-screen keyboard found on the iPad, a smaller keyboard docked to the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and a split keyboard with keys assigned to left and right hands, as on ergonomic models.

The concept designs also show different methods of opening applications, including scrolling thumbnails of available apps or selecting from a list of tabs that appears on the left-hand side of the screen. The mock-ups suggest that, unlike the iPad, Chrome will allow users to run multiple applications simultaneously – albeit web apps.

App selection

The brief notes that accompany the illustrations reveal that contextual menus will appear when the user’s finger dwells on the screen, allowing them to open a tab in a new window, for example.

(Images courtesy of the The Chromium Project)

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