Dell Crafts Chromebook 13 for Business Computing

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-08-18
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Dell Crafts Chromebook 13 for Business Computing
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    Dell Crafts Chromebook 13 for Business Computing

    Dell's Chromebook 13 is aimed squarely at enterprise users. Will the new notebook help Google advance the cause of Chrome OS adoption in the enterprise?
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    2 - Is Chrome OS Ready to Do Serious Business?
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    Is Chrome OS Ready to Do Serious Business?

    Is Chrome OS really an operating system designed for the enterprise? Google thinks so. The OS is Web-based but has offline support. It provides access to Google cloud applications built in as well as a wide range of apps available on the company's software store. More education- and enterprise-focused companies have been developing apps for Chrome; they realize there is some market interest there. But don't expect to find support for all enterprise apps on the platform.
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    3 - Chrome for Work Delivers IT Management
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    Chrome for Work Delivers IT Management

    According to Dell, the Chromebook 13 has full support for Chrome for Work, which provides management controls to the IT team. With that feature, IT staff can manage up to 100 policies, ensure compatibility with software and manage cloud-based platforms. Best of all, Chrome for Work can control both smartphones and PCs, which, according to Dell, enhances security management. It's a must-have if the Chromebook 13 is to appeal to enterprise users.
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    4 - Cloud Application Reliance Is Important
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    Cloud Application Reliance Is Important

    Central to the Chromebook 13 experience is the cloud. Since Chrome OS doesn't come with the best app support, being a useful cloud-application platform is extremely important. Any cloud application can obviously run on the Chromebook 13, and Dell was quick to point out that the device's built-in power, coupled with a focus on the cloud, makes it a useful one-two punch for cloud application users.
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    5 - Intel Is Inside With Some Solid Options
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    Intel Is Inside With Some Solid Options

    Intel has found its way into the Chromebook 13. According to Dell, customers can pick from the Intel Celeron, the Core i3 and the Core i5 processors, depending on their needs. While it would have been nice to have seen the highest-end i7 in there, the i5 should work just fine for most companies using the Chromebook 13 as a cloud-focused notebook.
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    6 - Dell Bundles Service Desk Support With KACE
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    Dell Bundles Service Desk Support With KACE

    Dell has bundled its KACE systems management platform into Chrome OS, making it a useful option for IT professionals who want to provide both inventory management and service desk support. KACE is there for those who need it, and Dell is hoping it'll get more users to sign on by bundling it with the Chromebook 13.
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    7 - Looking for Security? SonicWall Mobile Connect Is Built-In
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    Looking for Security? SonicWall Mobile Connect Is Built-In

    Since the Chromebook 13 is designed to be a computer for the mobile workforce, it would only make sense for companies to want the security of VPN connectivity. So Dell decided to bundle its SonicWall Mobile Connect VPN in the Chromebook 13, allowing users to securely connect to the office while away from work. It's a nice touch for a device designed for the enterprise.
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    8 - It's All About Dell's ProSupport, the Company Argues
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    It's All About Dell's ProSupport, the Company Argues

    Dell has made a fuss about bringing its ProSupport to the Chromebook 13. ProSupport is the company's customer support hotline, providing corporate users with access to tech support experts all day, every day. In addition, it provides repair for drops and spills and assigns an account manager for companies that deploy more than 1,000 devices. It's similar to Apple's Genius support, but for enterprise users.
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    9 - Dell Says the Enterprise Will Care About Its Battery Life
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    Dell Says the Enterprise Will Care About Its Battery Life

    The Chromebook 13 comes with 12 hours of battery life, which Dell argues, is ideal for enterprise users. Like countless other computer makers, Dell stubbornly clings to the idea that "all-day" battery life is a major selling point, and with 12 hours, it says, the Chromebook 13 will outlast comparably equipped Windows machines. Whether that will be enough to sell a company, however, remains to be seen.
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    10 - A Look at Key Hardware, Design Features
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    A Look at Key Hardware, Design Features

    Overall, the Chromebook 13 is not necessarily a standout when it comes to design. The device has a standard clamshell design with Dell's familiar logo stamped on the top layer. It comes with a full-HD 13.3-inch screen that can be upgraded to include Gorilla Glass NBT for touch support. The computer also comes with a USB 2.0 port, HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0 and a slot for a microSD card.
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    11 - All About Pricing and Availability
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    All About Pricing and Availability

    Dell's Chromebook 13 will go on sale in the United States and Canada on Sept. 17 for $399. However, be aware that while that starting price may seem cheap, that's for an Intel Celeron-based machine without many of the bells and whistles corporate customers may want. Expect to spend several hundred dollars more for a higher-end experience.
 

Dell is convinced that Chromebooks, notebook computers running Google's Chrome operating system, have a future as business PCs. To prove its point, Dell on Aug. 13 introduced the Chromebook 13, which includes several features that Dell says are aimed squarely at enterprise users. Dell not only makes the pitch by bundling these enterprise features in Google's operating system, but also relies on Google to make its own sales pitch that the Chrome OS is suitable for mobile users accessing cloud-based business apps. It's an interesting development that tests whether Chrome is becoming another viable alternative to Microsoft Windows as the business computing standard. To that end, Google is teaming up with major PC vendors to go after the corporate world. Will the Dell Chromebook 13 help Google advance the cause of Chrome OS adoption in the enterprise? This slide show takes a look at the Chromebook 13's features to help readers judge for themselves whether the notebook holds promise for business computing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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