With Acer Chromebase, Enterprises Get All-in-One Conferencing System

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-04-05
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - With Acer Chromebase, Enterprises Get All-in-One Conferencing System
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    With Acer Chromebase, Enterprises Get All-in-One Conferencing System

    Acer's Chrome OS-based Chromebase all-in-one PC is a virtual-meeting machine. Here's why it is an appealing option for the enterprise.
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    2 - What Exactly Is Chromebase?
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    What Exactly Is Chromebase?

    Acer's Chromebase is a dedicated video conferencing device. So, what does that mean? The Chromebase is essentially an all-in-one PC capable of connecting to the Internet, but it focuses solely on allowing users in tight spots to hold video conferences. Acer believes the device could be used on desks or other office gathering places where employees hold video calls. Simply put, this is not a traditional Chrome OS-based PC workstation.
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    3 - It's All Based on Chrome OS
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    It's All Based on Chrome OS

    As noted, the Chromebase is based on Chrome OS. That's an important distinction. In January, research firm IDC noted that Chrome OS is becoming increasingly popular in the enterprise and likely will continue its rise in the coming years as Google's applications gain more traction. In fact, it's Chrome OS' versatility and the ability for Google to modify it based on company needs that make it appealing to corporate customers. And that's exactly what Google is illustrating by providing a Chrome OS-based video conferencing device with Chromebase.
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    4 - It's Based on an All-in-One PC
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    It's Based on an All-in-One PC

    Acer's Chromebase is the first hardware-based video conferencing system to come in the all-in-one PC design. Google has partnered with vendors to create other video conferencing devices, but none has been designed for small spaces and come as an all-in-one PC. That could help Google extend its video conferencing appeal in the office.
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    5 - Hold a Hangout With Up to 25 Participants
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    Hold a Hangout With Up to 25 Participants

    Since this is a Chrome OS-based device, it's perhaps no surprise that Google's other services play a major role in the Chromebase's sales pitch. Google Hangouts is fully supported with Chromebase, allowing up to 25 people to hold a conference call (or video conference). The nice thing about Hangouts is that it works across smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs. It should be noted, however, that Chromebase also works with third-party services, including UberConference and Vidyo.
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    6 - Google Promises Regular Security Updates
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    Google Promises Regular Security Updates

    Realizing that security matters greatly to the average IT professional, Acer emphasized that Google has promised to regularly patch Chromebase's operating system. In fact, users should expect to receive automatic Chrome OS updates every six weeks "to ensure it is always secure and up to date."
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    7 - There Are Additional Google Security Features
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    There Are Additional Google Security Features

    In addition to security updates, both Google and Acer touted the Chromebase's security features. The companies noted that all of the data stored on Chromebase or in Google's cloud is protected by the device's Trusted Platform Module 1.2 chip, which creates and stores encrypted keys. In addition, each time a user boots up Chromebase, it'll automatically analyze system files to ensure a malicious attacker hasn't tampered with them.
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    8 - It Supports Centralized Device Management
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    It Supports Centralized Device Management

    IT professionals should have no trouble integrating Chromebase into their networks. The device comes with support for Chrome Device Management, a tool that allows companies with large quantities of Chrome OS products to manage them in a central location. While that might not help Chrome newbies, it's a nice add-on for longtime Chrome OS users.
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    9 - You Don't Need to Be a Google User
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    You Don't Need to Be a Google User

    Although Chromebase is designed to work best with Google for Work, non-Google users can still employ the device for meetings. In fact, companies need only to verify their domain names with Google and can then start holding video conferences with Chromebase without ever signing up for its service. Non-users can also integrate scheduled calls with Outlook and screen share.
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    10 - Here's What You Will Find Under the Hood
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    Here's What You Will Find Under the Hood

    The Chromebase comes with a 24-inch full-HD display, making it the biggest Chrome OS device on the market. The computer runs on a dual-core Intel Celeron processor, provides 4GB of memory, and has support for both WiFi and Gigabit LAN Ethernet. Chromebase comes with HDMI ports, three USB 3.0 slots and one USB 2.0 port. Perhaps most importantly, this video conferencing machine has a four-microphone array and two stereo speakers for enhanced audio quality.
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    11 - A Word About Pricing and Management Fees
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    A Word About Pricing and Management Fees

    The Acer Chromebase is available now for $799 in several countries, including the U.S. and UK. However, in addition to the hardware cost, customers should know that the price includes the $250 management and support fee charged through Google for its video conferencing solution. Looking ahead, therefore, Chromebase will come with an annual charge of $250 to continue to deliver its features to companies.
 

Google has made unconventional decisions with Chrome OS. Rather than solely position the lightweight operating system as an alternative to Windows, the company has utilized affordability and innovative features to attract education and enterprise customers. Recently, Google and Acer announced a product, called Chromebase, that attempts to appeal to customers on the second factor—innovation. The Chrome OS-based device is a virtual-meeting machine designed for the enterprise. The product integrates with existing teleconference systems, is compatible with Google for Work and, perhaps most importantly for enterprises, can be fully controlled by the IT department. Chromebase isn't designed to be a hot selling consumer product. Nor is it designed as a PC workstation that can be deployed to thousands of employees. Instead, the device is being marketed to a corporate world that appears increasingly ready to accept Google and its cloud services. That factor alone could make it an appealing option for companies that don't want to rely so much on Microsoft. Read on to learn more about the Acer Chromebase.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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