It seems inevitable that Google’s £160 Nexus 7 tablet will end up in the pockets of every gadget fan who can’t afford an iPad. And so it should: the Nexus tab rocks a fine build thanks to Asus, gestures and tricks from Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and an earlier release (in the UK) than its would-be rival, Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
But fickle as we are, our attentions have already turned to what Google is doing next. According to a patent unearthed by PatentBolt it hasn’t gone unnoticed in Mountain View’s big G towers that geeks are getting giddy about the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity’s detachable keyboard dock and the colourful Microsoft Surface in-case QWERTYs.
And Google has been working on a hybrid of its own: a tablet that comes bundled with a virtual keyboard and trackpad touchscreen that can be twisted and rotated to give tablet and laptop-style form factors.
The device would also be able to run more than one OS – Android Jelly Bean and Chrome OS anyone? – and the keyboard would activate or deactivate depending on how you use the tablet.
If Google does have a hybrid trick up its sleeve, we’d suggest cornering Samsung or Asus to make it before everyone gets too busy building Windows 8 machines ready for the autumn.
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