LG Electronics has taken the Chromebook concept to the next level with the introduction of the Chromebase, an all-in-one desktop running Google's Chrome OS.
Resembling, at a glance, a stockier Apple iMac—a large display on an aluminum foot shaped like half a triangle—this less-expensive, faster-booting desktop is being positioned for LG enterprise customers in verticals such as education and hospitality, where the Chrome OS model is an easy fit. Because the OS runs off the cloud, a user could log in and have access to all of his or her content.
It's also ideal because it requires no maintenance—software is automatically updated—and because all content is in the cloud, there's no chance of a user unwittingly downloading a bug, to a busy machine, for others to inherit.
It will likely also be an easy sell as a kitchen-counter family PC—that is, if the price, which hasn't yet been shared, is low enough.
The Chromebase has a 21.5-inch, 1080p IPS display with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 and a viewing angle of 178 degrees. It runs an (unnamed) Intel Celeron processor, and has 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid-state storage drive. There's an HDMI input port, enabling users to connect another monitor, as well as three USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port.
There's a 1.3-megapixel HD Webcam for video calls, and the other hoped-for accessories—a keyboard, mouse and built-in speakers.
"Simple to operate for all types of users, the award-winning LG Chromebase computer represents the successful combination of simplicity, power and great design," Hyoung-sei Park, head of LG's IT Business Division, said in a Dec. 18 statement.
Park went on to call the Chromebase the "wave of the future for desktops," and said that LG will show off the computer at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Jan. 7-10.
Google, in a statement, welcomed LG to the Chrome family and called the Chromebase an "exciting new form factor."
LG and Google
While LG may be new to the Chrome family, it's certainly no stranger to Google.
During the third quarter of 2013, LG's smartphone business posted year-over-year growth of 72 percent, shipping 12 million smartphones, all of them running Android. According to IDC, the new Optimus G2 was well-received, and the Optimus G and G Pro continued to be.
While Huawei and Lenovo, both China-based brands, slipped ahead of LG during the quarter, IDC Research Manager Ramon Llamas said that their positions were still very much in flux.
"In addition to having close shipment volumes, they all have one key ingredient in common: Android," Llamas said in an Oct. 29 statement. "This has been a huge factor in their success, but it also speaks to the challenges of differentiation on the world's most popular platform."