Google expands Chromebook for Work program with Dell Chromebook 13

The latest Chromebook for the office boasts a 12 hour battery life, full HD display and glass trackpad, not to mention simple support options and a reasonably low cost of $399.

Google is adding another laptop choice for enterprises and small business with the Dell Chromebook 13. The new addition becomes available on September 17 with a starting price of $399.

That price may sound a bit high when compared to most Chrome OS laptops, but on paper, the Dell Chromebook 13 sounds attractive.

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The laptop boasts 12 hours of battery life, making it a solid candidate for all day use in the office, for example.

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Dell stepped up the screen size from it's smaller 11.6-inch models as well: As the name implies, the Chromebook 13 has a 13-inch display with full HD, or 1920 x 1080, resolution. Dell also chose to add some nice touches over less-expensive models, such as a backlit keyboard, glass trackpad and a capable fifth-generation Intel Core processor under the hood. The base model uses a Celeron chip and comes with 2 GB of memory and 16 GB of storage.

Overall, that compares favorably with the least expensive Chromebook, the smaller, Rockchip-powered $249 Asus Chromebook Flip. And it's far less expensive than my everyday laptop, the $999 Chromebook Pixel 2.

As part of the Chromebook for Work program, Dell's new laptop is easily supported by I.T. staff through the web-based Chromebook management tools. Google notes a recent IDC study where Chromebooks were found to require 69 percent less labor to install and 92 percent less effort to support.

While the general consensus is that Chromebooks are just dedicated browsers, Google and its partners have advanced the device far beyond that. Single-sign on support for VMWare, Dell vWorkspace, and Citrix's improved Chrome receiver are all available for legacy apps, for example. USB printing recently arrived with an HP Print for Chrome app while various VPN solutions are also now available.

No, Chromebooks aren't for everyone. They are, however, low-cost and low-maintenance devices that can save time, effort and budget dollars in the right enterprise environment.

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