Google Unveils Chromebox for Meetings: Business Collaboration in a Box

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-02-07 Print this article Print

In January, Toshiba and LG Electronics unveiled new Chromebook devices at the Consumer Electronics Show, including LG's all-in-one desktop machine, called a Chromebase. The new offerings mean that eight manufacturers are now building Chromebooks around the world, according to a Jan. 7 post by Sengupta. The Chromebase has a 21.5-inch, 1080p In-Plane Switching (IPS) display with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 and a viewing angle of 178 degrees. It includes an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid-state drive (SSD). It also includes a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) input port, three USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. Also integrated in the device is a 1.3-megapixel HD Webcam and built-in speakers.

The new Toshiba Chromebook, which has a 13.3-inch HD screen, is that company's first entry into the Chromebook marketplace. The device includes an Intel Celeron CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD drive and claimed battery life of up to nine hours, according to the company.

In December 2013, Dell unveiled its first-ever Chromebook that is targeted to school students and educators, and company officials said it will release additional models in the future for consumers, small businesses and other markets. The new Dell Chromebook 11 devices will include fourth-generation Intel Celeron 2955U processors, 11.6-inch screens, up to 10 hours of battery life and a 16GB embedded SSD, according to Dell. The machines will be available in two models, one with 4GB of internal DDR3 RAM, and the other with 2GB of RAM. Boot-up time for each machine is about 8.4 seconds, according to the company.

The 11.6-inch displays have a maximum resolution of 1,366 by 768 and run on Intel HD graphics chips. Also included are a front-facing 720p Webcam, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, two USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and a HDMI port. The machines are less than 1 inch high, weigh about 2.9 pounds each and have a battery life of up to 10 hours.

Earlier in December 2013, Google unveiled the new Acer C720P Chromebook.

In October 2013, Google unveiled the new $279 HP Chromebook 11, which weighs just over 2 pounds. The HP machine includes a micro-USB charger that can also recharge a user's Android phone or tablet. The HP 11 is being sold through Best Buy, Amazon, Google Play and HP Shopping in the United States, and through Currys, PC World and many other retailers in the United Kingdom.

In June 2013, Google expanded its network of dealers for its Chromebooks by beginning to sell them through Walmart and Staples stores, raising the number of outlets for the devices to some 6,600 stores. The move added Walmart and Staples stores to the existing Chromebook retail outlets through Best Buy and Consumers are also able to purchase the machines via Staples online, while business users will be able to buy them through the Staples Advantage B2B program.

Chromebooks and their desktop brethren Chromeboxes run Google's Chrome operating system and feature a wide range of preinstalled, cloud-based Google services and products, including Google Docs and Google Calendar. Chromebooks allow users to do their work online with less need for on-machine storage for large applications and files.

In May 2013, Google began testing Chromebook-equipped store kiosks to make it easier for businesses to help their customers and employees check merchandise stock, place orders or get more information while shopping or working. The kiosks use something Google calls "Managed Public Sessions" to allow employee and customer use of the devices without the need for logging in.



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