As if the financial cost of equipping staff with the tech they need wasn’t a big enough obstacle on its own, business owners also have to decide exactly what to invest in. Could the Chromebook be the perfect solution?
Since it was first launched in 2012, the Chromebook range has grown from an intriguing new gadget to a genuine alternative to the traditional computer. Aesthetically pleasing, inexpensive, and exquisitely simple, the model meets the needs of many a consumer perfectly. So, in an age where the consumerisation of technology is almost expected, what can these shiny new Google-powered devices offer the enterprise world?
Google is no longer just a search engine. Its design, intelligence and influence can now be seen across various tech markets. Android is perhaps the biggest example here, in that by the end of 2014, it had an 84.4 per cent share of the smartphone market – compared to iOS’s 11.7 per cent. We also have Chrome, which is the world’s most popular web browser. Simply put, the world is getting used to the way Google’s products work, and people’s use of them is down to personal preference and nothing else. Allowing this intuition to extend into the workplace can only be conducive to productivity – it’s just logical.
Inexpensive (if you want it to be)
A number of major manufacturers have their digital fingers in the Chromebook pie, including Samsung, HP and Acer. With various specs on offer, potential suitors can choose a device that meets their own needs and budget. While some Chromebooks (Pixel) cost upwards of £1,000, the range starts at a very business account-friendly £199 – considerably less than the standard laptop. Yes, there are compromises in the way of software limitations and power, but there are also major upsides in the form of more portability, and better integration with other technology (Chromecast, for example).
If you didn’t know already, Chrome OS – the operating system at the heart of every Chromebook – is web-based. Instead of traditional software, it offers users a range of cloud-powered applications designed to offer exactly the same capabilities as their more conventional counterparts. While this is a deal-breaker for some prospective buyers, it’s important to note the rate at which internet infrastructure is improving in the UK. Wireless connectivity should already be found in most business environments, with speeds and reliability constantly getting better.
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