Chromebooks in general have been receiving a lot of flak by OEM’s and most of them are dropping out of the race. Remember the all in one PC platform based on ChromeOS? Well, this is something Acer is still supporting but with a twist. The company seems to be shifting its approach towards an Enterprise edition rather than a home edition.
The system is currently being called Chromebase for Meetings (Not Chromebox) and Google claims that it has been designed and tweaked to handle video conferencing. As a result, the Chromebase allows up to 25 people to join a conference while using the Google Apps and no, Google account is not a prerequisite.
The PC comes with a 24-inch touchscreen FHD display, integrated adjustable HD webcam, combination of microphones to capture voice from different people in the room, Intel Celeron 3215U dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of SSD, connectivity features including 802.11ac Wi-Fi and 3 x USB 3.0 ports. The specification sheet further reveals that apart from the video conferencing option it runs similar to the usual Chromebook.
Priced at $799 the first thing that comes to our mind is steep, Chromebooks in general are known to be affordable PC. That being said, Google is bundling a year of management and support fees alongside the ability for the IT departments to remotely monitor the Chrome-devices. Chrome for meetings has been around for a while and previously it took the form of a bunch of accessories along with the Chromebox unit.
After having used a regular Chromebook for quite some time it dawned upon me that Chromebook needs to evolve, when it comes to supporting applications and services alike. In due course of time it starts becoming a pain depending on the Chrome extensions for all of your work. Chromebase seems to have bought in a slew of changes, it would be interesting to see if enterprises would cave in for the Chromebase experience. On the contrary it is also possible that OEM’s are trying to offload all their surplus/obsolete hardware by making Chrome machines out of them, something that might fall short of breath when it comes to enterprise machines.