Last June, 2011, Google introduced its new operating system, Chrome OS. What separates this OS from other systems is that it’s completely based in the cloud and only requires an Internet connection to operate. Users don’t install programs, instead they access Web based versions. This system is a glimpse into the future of computing and Samsung has obliged us and released a new laptop and desktop computer, complete with the Google OS.
Samsung’s two new Chrome OS products are a notebook – Series 5 Chromebook – and a compact desktop – Series 3 Chromebox.
About the Chromebook
The new Chromebook, code named Edison, is a sleek, light and fast machine. It reportedly boots up in eight seconds, and won’t slow down over time as other computers do. As it focuses on the cloud, there is minimal physical storage space, only 16GB in all. The expectation is that the user will utilize cloud storage. Users can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, or if you’re in the United States, 3G data networks. In truth this computer is closer to an enhanced tablet than its laptop cousins.
About the Chromebox
Taking a page from Apple’s Mac Mini, Samsung has done away with ugly, clunky desktops, opting for a machine that’s 7.5” wide by 7.5” long. The system itself rivals most entry to midrange desktops in terms of hardware, and should be enough to meet most users’ needs.
As this is an Internet dependent device, Samsung has put two wireless antennae in the machine which should allow you to put it anywhere in your office, and not have to worry about connection strength. There are also six USB slots that you can use to connect a keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals, and support for up to two 30” HDMI monitors.
Should I be looking into this system?
If your company integrates Google’s apps, or is based in the cloud, then the Chromebox and Chrome book could be a great, cost effective solution. At this time though, the Chrome OS and its devices, while extremely promising, lack three important features to make it appealing to the majority of small businesses.
- Internet only. If you’re like most business owners, you may spend your entire day connected to the Internet, but you still operate offline. The problem with these machines is that they rely on an Internet connection to operate, and any sort of bad connection, or loss of connection, will paralyze your business.
- Can’t install programs. Your business probably uses Microsoft Office. With these machines, you can’t install Microsoft Office or any alternative program and will have to use Google’s equivalents. If you’re not already using Google, you could face some challenging migration issues, in relation to programs, if you do chose to switch over.
- Low hard drive space. 16GB is all these systems have for storage, with most smartphones boasting more storage. Don’t forget that this number doesn’t include the operating system and essential files. This means total storage space is considerably less. This either forces you to store everything on the cloud, or utilize external hard drives.
Chrome OS and the devices made by Samsung have great promise, and businesses who are heavy users of Google’s apps could benefit from integrating them. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use the Chromebook or Chromebox in your business, please contact us.