1Dell Crafts Chromebook 13 for Business Computing
2Is 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.
3Chrome 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.
4Cloud 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.
5Intel 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.
6Dell 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.
7Looking 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.
8It’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.
9Dell 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.
10A 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.
11All 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.