1. New Chromebooks (13.3”, 14”)
2. Recently introduced Chromebooks (11.6”)
3. Gartner Says Chromebook Sales Will Reach 5.2 Million Units in 2014
Note that a highly competitive ASUS EeePC revival with the $199/€199 EeeBook X205 at IFA 2014: the Chromebooks alternative based on Windows 8.1 with Bing [this same blog, Sept 6, 2014] is coming in November for the U.S. and European markets. That offering is also just the first of a number of similar kinds expected from global laptop brands using the latest Intel Bay Trail-T Type 3 SoCs (i.e. Z3735G and Z3735F, details are in the above post) specifically designed for significantly lower SoC and PCB costs with specific design for “China Technical Ecosystem”. As of today there are no Chromebooks with Bay Trail-T Type 3 SoCs but those could come as well in November timeframe for even greater Windows laptop competition. The current low-end Chromebooks are mostly using the Intel Bay Trail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) platform, namely the N2830 SoC (for comparison see the N2830, Z3735F, Z3735G table from Intel).
At the same time it is still unclear what the competition between Chromebooks and the cost reduced Windows laptops will be on the emerging markets. For reasons see the ‘Naked PCs’ lay bare Microsoft’s emerging markets problem article from Reuters (Aug 12, 2014) which has been widely republished (like in Business Insider). In addition Xinhua reported on Aug 24 that a Chinese OS expected to debut in October with the aim to relieve China’s way high dependence on both Windows and Android. With that Chrome OS chances in China could be minimal. We should therefore think of the competition between Chromebooks and the upcoming cost reduced Windows laptops just as a mature market phenomenon. More importantly the latest Gartner analysis considers the Chromebook market a niche market for the next 5 years (see at the end).
Microsoft facing increased competition from MacBooks and Chromebooks, say Taiwan makers [DIGITIMES, July 23, 2014]
Microsoft is facing increased competition from MacBooks and Chromebooks, with the global notebook OS market share for Windows 8 already dropping to below 90%, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
Thanks to iPhones and iPads, demand for Apple’s Mac series products has also been rising in the past few years.
Meanwhile, Google is seeing increased Chromebook demand from the US and the UK’s education procurement and enterprise markets. By the end of 2014, vendors including Acer, Asustek Computer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo, LG Electronics and Toshiba are together expected to launch about 20 Intel-based Chromebooks priced at around US$349, the sources said.
To counter, Microsoft has recently extended its free Windows 8 licensing coverage and is cooperating with HP and Acer to release US$199 notebooks at the end of 2014, the sources noted.
In addition to extending free licensing for Windows 8, Microsoft may also need to revise the shortcomings of Windows 8 and accelerate its pace on the development of Windows 9 in order to stay competitive, the sources added.
Google previews new Chromebook features [CNET YouTube channel, June 25, 2014]
The 3 years of Google’s Chromebook journey as it was represented by Sundar Pichai
(As far as Chromebook’s 1st year is concerned see also my Chromebook / box with Citrix Receiver going against Microsoft [May 12 – July 29, 2011] post of mine.]
|I’ve already recognized that “the whole Android-centric story is getting even more interesting when Chrome, Google Drive, Chrome OS and the apps related to that are added” in my Nexus 7: Google wanted it in 4 months for $199/$245, ASUS delivered + Nexus Q (of Google’s own design and manufacturing) added for social streaming from Google Play to speakers and screen in home under Android device control [June 28, 2012] post.|
From Native Android apps are coming to Chrome OS [The Verge, June 25, 2014]
Google is working to bring Chrome OS and Android closer together, and that’ll eventually mean having Android apps running right on a Chromebook. “We’re in early days,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s Chrome and Android chief, said on stage today at Google’s I/O developer conference. Pichai didn’t say when the feature would arrive, but he demonstrated it already working using Android apps for Evernote, Flipboard, and Vine. The apps can appear in a tall, phone-sized window, or they can be expanded to run as they would on tablets.
Earlier this month, a project for Google’s Chromium called Athena pointed toward big changes to the touch aspects of Chrome OS. That included a virtual software keyboard, a card-based interface a la Google Now, and a new app launcher interface.
Altogether, it sounds as though touch input is bound to become a far more integral part of Chrome OS. Google didn’t comment on what future Chromebooks will look like from its partners, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see more and more shipping with touchscreens.
Google also said today that Chrome OS will eventually be able to display notifications from a paired Android phone, and that a paired phone will be able to unlock a Chromebook just by coming near it.
1. New Chromebooks (13.3”, 14”)
HP Chromebook 14 inch Tegra K1 Hands On [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Sep 4, 2014]
From: HP Unveils Five New Innovative and Stylish Consumer Products for Holiday [press release, Sept 4, 2014]
The 14-inch HP Chromebook combines beautiful design, super-fast performance and a wide 14-inch FHD [1920 x 1080] diagonal screen(5) for a superior Chrome experience. Powered by the latest-generation NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor with world-class graphics performance, the HP Chromebook provides smooth multitasking while browsing the web, running productivity apps or streaming music. Tegra K1’s breakthrough power efficiency gives the 14-inch HP Chromebook improved battery life. It also features a silent, slim, fanless design and is optimized for Google Hangouts, supporting Hangouts in HD.(5,7)Available in Twinkle Black or Snow White with a choice of complementary accent color options, including Smoke Silver, Sorbet Orange, Ocean Turquoise or Neon Green, the 14-inch HP Chromebook stands out in a crowd.(6)
- The 14-inch HP Chromebook is expected to be available in the United States beginning on Oct. 22 for a starting price of $299.99.
(5) High definition (HD) content is required to view high-definition images.
(6) Color availability may vary by region.
(7) Internet service required and not included.
Toshiba Chromebook 2 [CB30-B 13.3”] with Full HD [1920 x 1080] Screen Hands-On [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Sep 3, 2014] with Intel’s BayTrail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) platform
Note: In France the Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB30-B is available for €329 as of Sept 7.
Acer Chromebook 13 Hands-On (CB5, Tegra [K1], 2014) [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Sep 5, 2014] Note: available for pre-order in U.S. since Aug 12 (see below), but as of Sept 7 it still has not been released
A new type of Chromebook with extra-long battery life [Google Chrome Blog, Aug 11, 2014]
Chromebooks were designed for your mobile lifestyle. They’re thin and light, resume instantly, and are easy to use.
Starting today, we’re welcoming a new type of Chromebook into the family, beginning with the Acer Chromebook 13. This new device uses the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, so you get the speed you’re used to from Chromebooks with a battery life up to 13 hours. What could you do in thirteen hours?
- Fly from New York to Beijing
- Watch the entire set of Harry Potter movies
- Complete an Iron Man triathlon (average finish time is 12hr 13min)
- Finish a 1-credit college course
- Watch 390 adorable cat videos (2 min per video)
- Use your Chromebook 13 to watch, play and get a lot done
The Acer Chromebook 13 is available now (with optional touchscreen and 1080p resolution) at Amazon and other online retailers from $279.
Hands-on: The Tegra K1-powered Acer Chromebook 13 [NVIDIA YouTube channel, Aug 12, 2014]
See more at: Tegra K1 Transforming Chromebooks From The Inside Out [NVIDIA Blog, Aug 11, 2014]
Acer Chromebook 13 laptop – The Chromebook with 13 hours of battery life (features & highlights) [Acer YouTube channel, Aug 11, 2014]
Acer Launches Industry’s First Chromebook Powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1 and its First 13.3-inch Model [press release, Aug 12, 2014]
Acer America today announced the Acer Chromebook 13, the industry’s first Chromebook powered by an NVIDIA Tegra K1 mobile processor mobile processor and the company’s first with a 13.3-inch display. The Chromebook 13 enhances Acer’s already dominant position in this category with an impressive 46.7 percent market share in Chromebooks.(1)
Acer’s early lead in the Chromebook space you could understand from my earlier Leading PC vendors of the past: Go enterprise or die! [Nov 7, 2013] post.
The combination of additional real estate on the vibrant 13.3-inch display, industry-leading battery life of up to 13 hours,(2) and a thin and light fanless design makes the Acer Chromebook 13 the ideal choice for customers who want additional screen real estate along with a portable and productivity-boosting design. The Acer Chromebook 13 is available in two options – one with a full HD display with 1920×1080 resolution and another model with a 1366×768 display.(2)
The Acer Chromebook 13 delivers the ultimate in mobility with the Tegra K1 with a 192-core GPU, enabling customers to get more done throughout their work day and after hours, no matter where they take their Chromebook. Customers will experience a first-rate multi-tasking experience when keeping multiple tabs open, playing a video and doing more all at once.
“The Acer Chromebook 13 is an ideal device for families who need a new or additional computer to share for school projects, research, entertainment and fun online,” said Sumit Agnihotry, Acer’s vice president of product marketing. “The display is large and vibrant, so everything from homework to video is incredibly crisp and detailed. Plus, up to 13 hours of battery life means families can use the device all day for work or school and not have to recharge it for nighttime activities like homework and watching movies.”
The Acer Chromebook 13 uses the NVIDIA Tegra K1 4-Plus-1™ quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU plus a third-generation battery-saver core to provide up to 13 hours of battery life(2). Tegra K1 uses an NVIDIA Kepler architecture-based GPUwith 192 programmable GPGPU cores to process rich and detailed graphics.
“The Acer Chromebook 13’s long battery life, speedy multitasking and advanced graphics highlight the tremendous experiences that Tegra K1 delivers,” said Kaustubh Sanghani, general manager of the mobile PC business unit at NVIDIA. “Acer’s innovations and Tegra K1 will make the Chromebook 13 a popular device with consumers.”
Two Options Provide Choice of Full HD Display, Extra-Long Battery Life
The Acer Chromebook 13’s large 13.3-inch display comes in two models to give customer the options that fit their needs. The version with a full HD 1920×1080 display shows video in lifelike 1080p resolution and provides up to 11 hours of battery life.(2) In addition, models will be available with a bright and crisp 1366×768 resolution display that provides even longer battery life of up to 13 hours.(2) Both displays will have Acer ComfyView™ anti-glare panels that minimize light reflection that can cause eye fatigue. In addition, the Acer Chromebook 13’s display provides rich colors and excellent contrast, while the large size helps accommodate the spacious keyboard that is both comfortable and maximizes productivity.
Designed with mobility in mind, the Acer Chromebook 13 has an incredibly thin and light design that measures only 0.71 inches thin and weighs only 3.31 pounds. In addition, the Acer Chromebook 13 is fanless, so the system is nearly silent while operating. The Acer Chromebook 13 keeps customers in touch and connected with 802.11ac WiFi, which provides speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n. Plus, the 2×2 MIMO antenna helps ensure reliable throughput.
Starts Quickly; Connects to Popular Devices
The new Acer Chromebook 13 boots up in less than 9 seconds and resumes nearly instantly from sleep mode. This enables customers to more quickly enjoy the more than 30,000 free and paid apps, themes and extensions in the Chrome web store.
Customers will enjoy faster data transfers of photos and video with the Acer Chromebook 13’s two USB 3.0 ports. Plus, streamed video and movies can be shared on a larger display or home TV using the Acer Chromebook 13’s HDMI port. Video chats and Google Talk are all enhanced by the Chromebook’s HD webcam that provides 720p HD audio/video recording as well as the two built-in stereo speakers and microphone.
Fun to Share, Easy to Protect
Chromebooks are simple to use and ideal for sharing by multiple users, such as families, schools or at different shifts at a business. Users can log into their own account to access Gmail, Docs, website bookmarks and other information. Storage on Google Drive(3) protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. Plus, Acer Chromebook 13 users can view, edit, create and collaborate on-line and off-line with a growing number of programs, such as Microsoft Office documents and Gmail.
Security is a key benefit of the Chrome operating system, as it’s automatically updated to guard against ever-changing online threats. This is especially useful for families and schools who want to protect children.
Pricing and Availability
Several models are available now for pre-sale:
- The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 has the 1920×1080 full HD [1920 x 1080] display, 2GB of memory and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive(4). It is priced at only $299.99 and is available now for pre-sale at BestBuy.com.
- The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T1UU has a 1920×1080 full HD [1920 x 1080] display, 4GB of memory and a fast 32GB Solid State Drive(4). It is priced at only $379.99 and is available now for pre-sale at Amazon.com and the Acer Store.
- The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T7NN has a 1366×768 display, 2GB of memory and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive(4). It is priced at only $279.99 and is available now for pre-sale at Amazon.com and the Acer Store.
Acer is also offering a configuration via resellers that will be sold to commercial and education customers. That model comes with a 1366×768 display, 4GB of memory, a fast 16GB Solid State Drive(4) and will be priced at $329.99.
Acer systems are backed by professional, high-quality technical support. The company’s online community at community.acer.com provides customers discussion forums, answers to frequently asked questions and the opportunity to share ideas for new and enhanced services and products.
Prices listed are manufacturer suggested retail prices and may vary by location. Applicable sales tax extra.
Q1 2014 NPD data, U.S. market.
The Acer Chromebook 13 model with the full HD 1920×1080 display provides up to 11.5 hours of battery life. The Acer Chromebook 13 model with the 1366×768 display provides up to 13 hours of battery life. Battery life as measured with Google power_LoadTest (http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/testing/power-testing). Actual battery life varies by model, configuration (including storage capacity, RAM capacity, processor in use, display type and resolution, etc.), applications, power management settings, operating conditions, and utilized features.
More information on Google Drive on Chrome devices:https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/2703646?p=driveoffer&rd=1
Accessible capacity varies: (MB = 1 million bytes; GB = 1 billion bytes)
2. Recently introduced Chromebooks (11.6”)
Acer Chromebook 11 laptop – The right choice for a smart buyer (features & highlights) [Acer YouTube channel, Aug 21, 2014] with Intel’s BayTrail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) N2830 platform (availability?)
From Acer’s Chrome Devices Now Expand to Include New Chromebox CXI and Chromebook 11 [press release, Aug 21, 2014]
Acer Chromebook 11
The Acer Chromebook 11 enhances life on-the-go with an even faster wireless connectivity and long-lasting battery life that extends productivity from day to night on a single charge. There are two models: the CB3-111 consumer model in an immaculate Moonstone White color, and the C730 commercial/education model in Granite Gray.
The Acer Chromebook 11 meets the needs of students, families, anyone on a budget, as an affordable secondary device, and for the growing number of customers who enjoy the Google ecosystem for school, work and entertainment.
Faster Connection and Long-lasting Battery
Up to 3x faster(1) connection is achieved via the latest 802.11ac wireless communication, which vastly improves coverage in distance and range. The Chromebook 11 features Bluetooth 4.0 technology and one USB 3.0 port that lets users share and send data faster. Up to 8.5 hours(2) of battery life means users can fit in plenty of work and entertainment throughout the day.
Fast Boot and Connectivity
The Intel® Celeron® N2830 processor(4), based on the Intel Bay Trail M architecture, and eMMC 16/32 GB solid-state drive helps this system boot fast(5), perform well without slowing over time. The Chromebook 11 comes with an 11.6-inch HD 1366 x 768 display, 16:9 wide aspect ratio, and Acer ComfyView™ LED backlit TFT LCD. Input/output ports include USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports for quick and easy data sharing and external storage, SD™ Card reader, combo headphone/speaker jack, and HDMI® port.
The Chromebook 11 (CB3-111) for consumers is slimmer than its predecessor measuring 299 x 202 x 18.65 mm with a reduced height, and weighs 1.1kg (2.43 lbs.) so it can be taken anywhere for exploring online, staying in touch, running Chrome apps and more.
The Chromebook 11 (C730) for the commercial/education with improved structural design can withstand a 60% higher drop test than the consumer model, and features a water spill proof keyboard/touchpad with drainage channel designed to tackle the higher possibilities of spills and drops in businesses and schools. This model measures 302.6 x 206.6 x 21.75 mm and weighs 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs.)
Speed, Security and Synchronicity of Acer Chrome-based Devices
The New Acer Chromebox CXI and Chromebook 11 pack all the speed, security and auto-synchronization convenience of Chrome OS.
Powerwash – Easy Factory Reset
Powerwash enables IT to quickly and easily clear all local user data stored in the Chrome device by resetting it to its original factory state. Using this feature, all data stored on the device such as files, photos, owner permissions, and saved networks, will be deleted for all accounts. After clearing this data, the IT professional is guided through the initial setup again. Resetting the device doesn’t affect the accounts themselves, or any data synced to these accounts.
Always Up to Date, Easy to Use
IT professionals will find that it’s simple to control a fleet of Chrome devices via the web-based Google Management Console, which makes it possible to deploy an app from 1 to thousands of Chrome-based devices with a single click of a button. The OS and all downloaded applications are automatically updated every six weeks, saving IT staff’s time and assuring users the freshest software and security features.
Acer’s Chrome devices come with pre-installed web apps and over 30,000 additional apps, themes and extensions on the Chrome Web Store. Since all applications run within the browser, there is little to no computer management required.
Acer’s Chrome devices are easy to use. After the user signs into Chrome with a Google account, they’re immediately immersed in the Google ecosystem and signed into Google services. Their bookmarks, history and settings are synced across all of their devices and computers running Chrome. Once logged in, they can surf the Internet with the Chrome browser, read and send emails from Gmail, search the web with Google Search, create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more with Google Drive, as well as watch videos from YouTube, etc.
Fun to Share, Easy to Protect
Chrome devices are simple to use and ideal for sharing by multiple users, such as families, schools or at different shifts at a business. Users can log into their own account to access Gmail, Docs, website bookmarks and other information. Storage on Google Drive 4 protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chrome device is lost or stolen. Plus, users of Acer Chrome devices can view, edit, create and collaborate on-line and off-line with a growing number of programs, such as Office documents and Gmail.
Layers of Tight Security
Multiple layers of security features including data encryption and verified boot defend the device against online threats, malware and viruses. Every time the Chrome OS boots, it checks the integrity and validity of system files. If it detects any anomaly or unauthorized change, the system will restore from a prior backup. User and system files are stored on separate partitions that keep data secure and make restoration from a backup simple. Individual user’s data is encrypted automatically and protected by the TPM 1.2 chip, which generates and stores secure cryptographic keys, enabling IT professionals to read data from a stolen Chrome device.
Via individual accounts, data is kept safe when the device is used by multiple users. Storage on Google Drive safeguards files, documents, and photos in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version is always available. IT staff will also appreciate that the Acer Chromebox CXI has a Kensington lock to secure them to a desk or mobile cart.
(1) Based on a IEEE 802.11ac draft specification. Actual speed will vary based on range, connection rate, site conditions, size of network, and other factors.
(2) Battery life may vary depending on model and configuration. Based on Google power_LoadTest.
(3) 330 ml of liquid water spillage resistant keyboard and touchpad design on Acer Chromebook 11 – C730 only.
(4) Accessible capacity varies: (MB = 1 million bytes; GB = 1 billion bytes).
(5) Reg: Boots up under 10 seconds. Source: Chromium OS Fast Boot.
Lenovo N20/N20P [11.6”] Chromebook hands-on [SlashGear YouTube channel, May 5, 2014] !! The N20p comes with a 300-degree hinge that allows the screen to be turned around for using the notebook in all-touch mode!! with Intel’s “BayTrail-M” [Mobile] Celeron N2930 or N2830 platform, available beginning in July and August, respectively
Lenovo Breaks The Mold By Going Multimode On Its First Consumer Chromebook [press release, May 6, 2014]
Portfolio offers thin and light designs and breakthrough dual mode, touch experience
- N20 Chromebook in clamshell design offers familiar laptop feel with choice features
- N20p Chromebook features an HD 10-point multitouch display and easily converts from Laptop to Stand mode for added flexibility and new ways to use it
Lenovo(HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced Lenovo’s first consumer Chromebooks, the N20 Chromebook and N20p Chromebook. These devices offer consumers choices of two ways to enjoy the Chrome experience in a thin and light form factor with a set of comprehensive technologies – all at an unbelievably affordable price starting at $279. While the N20 provides the familiar comfort of a traditional laptop, the N20p Chromebook breaks the mold for Chromebooks with its innovative multimode design featuring Laptop and Stand modes.
These new additions complement Lenovo’s Chromebook family, which includes the ThinkPad 11e Chromebook and the ThinkPad YOGA 11e Chromebook, built with the needs of education customers in mind.
Fusing Innovative Hardware
Designed for maximum portability, both Chromebooks are thin and light at less than 17.9mm and weighing less than 1.4 kg. With an 11.6-in 1366×768 HD screen, users can comfortably see their work and type by using the full-sized keyboard with its oversized trackpad and attractive cool-touch palmrest.
While the N20 Chromebook features a traditional laptop design, the multimode N20p Chromebook’s keyboard flexes 300° backward to convert from Laptop mode to Stand mode. Stand mode gives users a new way for watching videos up close and interacting with the 10-finger touchscreen for playing games and browsing.
With up to eight hours of battery life1 and powered by an Intel® Celeron processor with integrated graphics, users can quickly and seamlessly boot the Chromebook and immediately begin their task, whether it’s watching videos, video chatting using the high definition web cam, listening to music, surfing the web and more without bringing their power cord along. They can also stay constantly connected with its WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Chromebooks also come with up to 16 GB internal and up to 100 GB of free cloud storage from Google Drive for storing digital content.
The Chrome Experience
Combining the Chrome experience with Lenovo’s innovative multimode Chromebook design offers an unmatched value for consumers. With the Chrome operating system, the Chromebooks boot within seconds. Chrome offers fast, automatic updates and tens of thousands of apps available via the Chrome Web Store.
Users can work on their N20 Chromebook and N20p Chromebook offline writing email on Gmail and creating documents with Google Docs. To facilitate working with other people and devices, the Chromebooks allow for opening, editing and sharing Microsoft Word and Excel files. Users can even share their Chromebook with someone else through a guest’s personal Google account or by enabling Guest Mode, and they can enable monitoring of children’s web browsing with supervised user profiles. With the Chromebooks, users can print anywhere via Google Cloud Print, and they can employ remote desktop access to access software on their machine.
“Our first consumer Chromebooks perfectly complement people’s changing mobile digital lifestyles,” said Dilip Bhatia, vice president, worldwide marketing and design, PC Group, Lenovo. “Equipped with thousands of apps, the N20 and N20p Chromebooks are also fast, secure and incredibly simple for anyone to use and manage. With touch and two unique modes on the N20p Chromebook, users are getting a great technology experience at a handsome price.”
Pricing and Availability2
Pricing for models of the N20 Chromebook and N20p Chromebook start at $279 and $329, respectively. They will be available beginning in July and August, respectively, via Lenovo retailers and www.lenovo.com.
ASUS C200 [11.6”] Chromebook Review. Detailed. HQ. [Steve Paine YouTube channel, Aug 4, 2014] with Intel’s BayTrail-M (Intel Mobile Celeron) [N2830] platform, was first available in U.S. since May 6, 2014 (Amazon) and as of Sept 7. its MRP is $249 while you can buy it on Amazon for $230
See also: Introducing the New ASUS Chromebooks C200 and C300 [press release, May 6, 2014] where it was stated that:
… The ASUS Chromebook C200 and C300 will begin shipping in the US at the end of June 2014 with a starting price at $249.99. …
New Chromebooks: in more shapes, sizes and colors [Google Chrome Blog, May 6, 2014]
Spring has finally arrived in the U.S. And with the new growth the season brings, we’re happy to expand our Chromebook family. Together with Intel, today we’re announcing a new lineup of Chromebooks with Intel inside from leading manufacturers Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG and Toshiba—spanning an entire range of shapes, sizes, colors and configurations.
Lenovo’s N20p Chromebook and Thinkpad YOGA 11e Chromebook offer options for touchscreen and hinge designs that enable tablet or tented-angle usage, so they’re just as easy to use at your desk or coffee table, on your lap or at school.
ASUS is following the success of their Chromebox (now the most popular desktop on Amazon.com) by introducing two new laptops: The ASUS C200 Chromebook (11-inch) and ASUS C300 Chromebook (13-inch).
New versions of the Dell Chromebook 11 and the Acer C720 Chromebook will be powered by Intel’s Core i3 processor, which packs the additional performance to help you get things done faster. These new Chromebooks, along with a new 13-inch Toshiba model, a Chromebox from HP, and the LG Chromebase (the first all-in-one computer running Chrome OS), will be available in retail over the next few months.
3. Gartner Says Chromebook Sales Will Reach 5.2 Million Units in 2014 [press release, Aug 11, 2014]
Chromebook Sales Expected to Nearly Triple by 2017
In 2014, Sales to Consumers Will Account for Over Half of All Chromebook Sales
Sales of Chromebooks* will reach 5.2 million units in 2014, a 79 percent increase from 2013, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2017, sales of Chromebooks are set to nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units.
“Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with eight models in the market in 2014,” said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner. “Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities. They launched Chromebooks to revive interest in sub-$300 portable PCs once the netbook bubble had burst.”
Demand for Chromebooks is mainly driven by the education sector in the U.S. Gartner estimates that the education sector accounted for nearly 85 percent of Chromebook sales in 2013. In addition, of the 2.9 million Chromebooks sold during 2013, 82 percent were sold in North America, making it the major market for Chromebooks globally.
While Chromebooks are primarily used by the education sector, they will also have a place in businesses for specific workers, such as staff in banking, financial services, estate agents and hotel receptionists. “So far, businesses have looked at Chromebooks, but not bought many,” said Ms. Durand. “By adopting Chromebooks and cloud computing, businesses can benefit; they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important — their data.”
These devices also encourage more collaboration and sharing of content. As more users work collaboratively in the cloud, collaborative working practices are likely to become more common which may further increase the appeal of Chromebooks and similar devices.
In 2011, Samsung and Acer, very consumer-focused vendors, were the first vendors to invest in Chromebooks, and were the two dominant leaders in the market in 2013 (see Figure 1) “While there is less presence in the business market, and a limited product portfolio for midsize businesses, Chromebooks could open doors to the business market,” said Ms. Durand.
Acer’s early lead in the Chromebook space you could understand from my earlier Leading PC vendors of the past: Go enterprise or die! [Nov 7, 2013] post. Meanwhile Samsung earliest lead was documented in the very end of my Nexus 7: Google wanted it in 4 months for $199/$245, ASUS delivered + Nexus Q (of Google’s own design and manufacturing) added for social streaming from Google Play to speakers and screen in home under Android device control [June 28, 2012] post.
Figure 1. Chromebook Vendors’ Shares of Unit Sales to End Users, Worldwide, 2013
Source: Gartner (July 2014)
By selling 1.7 million units in 2013, Samsung led the Chromebook market globally. It was especially dominant in the education market, having the most popular devices in primary and secondary schools. Acer, which had a 21.4 percent market share in 2013, designs Chromebooks with a consistent focus on delivering the best value for money. It uses Intel, rather than ARM-based, CPUs because its target consumers are price-sensitive.
HP was the No. 3 vendor, with a 6.8 percent share of Chromebook shipments, and Lenovo (which did not enter the market until last year) accounted for 6.7 percent of shipments in 2013. HP was the only vendor to launch a Chromebook with a 14-inch screen. HP positions itself as a provider of solutions and services for businesses, and its large installed customer base in the business and education markets should provide it with a strong competitive advantage in the Chromebook market going forward. Lenovo’s Chromebooks are very rugged, compared with the competition, and therefore ideal for primary and secondary school pupils. However, Lenovo needs to manage its devices portfolio in such a way as to avoid selling so many Chromebooks that it undermines sales of its other ThinkPads — which provide better margins.
Chromebooks will remain a niche market during the next five years. To reach a wider audience, vendors need to offer better features that address cloud-based usage patterns: faster connectivity, faster memory access, faster and larger solid-state drives, and strong user support in the education, business and consumer segments. “Making a competitive Chromebook is not just a matter of hardware and price; what is most important is to show how the device’s cloud-based architecture provides genuine advantages to users,” said Ms. Durand.
More detailed analysis is available in the report “Competitive Landscape: Chromebooks, Worldwide.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2811820.