Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
5/6/2014
04:06 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google, Intel Show Latest Chromebooks

Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, and Toshiba have updated their Chrome OS hardware.

Google's 10 Big Bets On The Future
Google's 10 Big Bets On The Future
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

At a media event in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, Navin Shenoy, VP and general manager of Intel's mobile client platforms group, introduced a revised lineup of Chrome OS devices from Google's hardware partners.

Shenoy showed off a new Chromebox from HP, coming in June, aimed at consumers and businesses, and LG's Chromebase, a Chrome OS desktop computer similar to Apple's iMac. Both rely on Intel Celeron chips based on the company's Haswell microarchitecture. The Chromebase will be available on May 26 with a suggested price of $349.

Shenoy also presented Celeron-based Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, and Toshiba devices that are the first to employ Intel's Bay Trail-M system-on-a-chip (SoC), silicon, which promises up to 11 hours of battery life. Bay Trail processors are designed for mobile devices and thus prioritize power conservation over computational might. Chrome OS devices using Bay Trail processors run quietly because they do not include a fan.

[Will a smaller version of Microsoft's Surface tablet sell better? Read Microsoft Surface Mini Likely Debuts May 20.]

Lenovo, which has shipped Chromebooks for the education market, launched its first consumer Chromebooks, the N20 ($279) and N20p ($329). Both are laptops but the N20p screen -- like that of its education market analog, the Thinkpad YOGA 11e Chromebook -- can flip back all the way so that it rests on the underside of the keyboard, as if it were imitating a tablet.

Shenoy said that this summer, Acer and Dell plan to introduce devices based on Intel's fourth-generation Core i3 processor, a processor tuned more for performance than battery life. A step up from the entry-level Celeron processor, the Core i3 provides a better experience when using multiple browser tabs or processor-intensive Web applications.

Dell expects to offer a Core i3 version of its Chromebook 11, presently offered to education customers, to business customers later this year. Acer should make its Core i3-based C720 Chromebook available about the same time.

All of Intel's Chrome devices are powered by "conflict-free" microprocessors, which is to say that the electronics do not rely on metals sourced from mines under the control of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo or neighboring countries.

Caesar Sengupta, VP of product management for Chrome OS, said Google was pleased with the momentum of Chrome OS. "The whole experience is resonating really well with our customers," he said.

Sengupta noted that six of the top 10 laptops on Amazon are Chromebooks and that all of the six best rated laptops on Amazon are Chromebooks. Since September, he said, the number of schools using Chromebooks has doubled and now stands at almost 10,000.

Sengupta said Chrome OS users can look forward to being able to watch movies offline, with the launch of the forthcoming Google Play movies app. Limited offline functionality has long been considered a problem for Chrome OS devices, but has become less so as Google has adapted more of its Web apps to run offline.

Sengupta resisted the suggestion that Chromebook vendors face a challenge differentiating commoditized Chrome OS hardware. Chromebooks, he said, are a combination of hardware, software, and the overall experience. Things such as keyboard quality, screen size, and hinge quality can make a big difference to users, he said.

Asked whether we'll see Chrome OS tablets, Sengupta remained non-committal.

What do Uber, Bank of America, and Walgreens have to do with your mobile app strategy? Find out in the new Maximizing Mobility issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2014 | 9:00:57 AM
Re: Google,intel show latest chromebooks
Hobbyists may not keep the Chrome OS in favor of Linux, but I don't see schools going that route. Chromebooks are cheaper to buy, support and maintain than even most mainstream tablets. Schools that are strapped for cash will continue to utilize and expand usage. That will benefit Google as a generation of middle and high school students comes through their primary and secondary school experience on the Chrome OS. That experience is very likely to bias future purchasing decisions as they move into college or out into the workforce.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2014 | 7:32:07 AM
Re: Google,intel show latest chromebooks
I had never given any thought to Chrome OS and its security models.  I assumed it was a *nix fork and not much else.  The Sandboxed processes and encrypted stores alone are a good reason to use Chrome OS while abroad.  I was surprised at the file system restrictions though, a read only root partition and no executables in a home directory are nice solutions to common attacks.  I still think the hobbyist crowd will never even boot into Chrome OS though.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/7/2014 | 6:30:00 PM
Re: Google,intel show latest chromebooks
The security model ought to convince people to run Chrome OS. I wouldn't run anything else when traveling aboard.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/7/2014 | 7:35:53 AM
Re: Google,intel show latest chromebooks
This is one of the weaknesses I see for ChromeOS.  The tinkerers/Linux users will scoop up the Chromebooks then install a Linux distro and ChromeOS won't get the attention it needs to improve.  ChromeOS has come a long way while having a tiny market share so every eye they can get on the OS to give feedback and to push development is a big deal.  Many people will continue to see the Chromebooks as cheap Linux boxes and never even look at the OS.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/6/2014 | 5:43:49 PM
Re: Google,intel show latest chromebooks
The nice thing about Chromebooks is you can install Ubuntu or other Linux distros if you choose.
anon6465393157
50%
50%
anon6465393157,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/6/2014 | 4:43:48 PM
Google,intel show latest chromebooks
Not a bad idea...I still like UBUNTU but as I noted once before..as long as it is not WINDOWS it will WORK and STAY WORKING..with minimal cost..
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.