Rivers of Hope

Faced with sluggish Chromebook sales and challenged by surprisingly innovative Windows machines, Google will reportedly release a touchscreenlaptop later this year. A Wall Street Journal scoop says that the search giant will double down on its commitment to manufacturing hardware with a touchscreen laptop powered by the Chrome operating system. And based on the rest of Google’s hardware lineup — both the Chromebook and the Nexus 7 tablet start at $199 — it’ll probably be frighteningly affordable. It will also be one thing that Google has that Apple does not.

Touchscreen laptops are not a new invention. They’ve been on the market for a while now, after Lenovounveiled the world’s first “flip-and-fold design” laptop at CES 2012. The idea is somewhat controversial, but in the words of Sean Hollister at The Verge, “Surprisingly, touchscreen laptops don’t suck.” That “surprisingly” is in there pretty specifically…

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