LG has taken Google's vision for the Chromebook and applied it to a totally new device – the Chromebase.
On first blush the LG Chromebase looks like a fatter, squatter iMac, with a large display resting on an aluminum foot. But as PC sales falter, does the LG Chromebase stand a chance?
What's right with the LG Chromebase?
- Good spec: 21.5-inch 1080p IPS display, Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of flash storage offers a great hardware platform. Here's also a 1.3MP front-facing camera, an HDMI port, and four USB ports (one of them being USB 3.0).
- Awesome styling: Basing the Chromebase was a stroke of genius for LG. Not only do all-in-one designs look great, but also they take up less space than a standard desktop PC.
- Keyboard and mouse included: Nice.
- Good targeting: LG has set its sights on a broad users base, not only hoping to pick up home users, but also "schools, hotels, call centers and other business settings."
- Hassle-free OS: Google's ChromeOS really is a great platform for those who don't want to have to futz about with their OS. Everything from backing up data to updating the platform and apps is handled automatically for the user, removing all worry and allowing the user to get on with what they want to use the system for.
- LG has strong ties to Google: LG's smartphone business posted year-over-year growth of 72 percent, shipping 12 million smartphones, all of them running Android.
What's wrong with the LG Chromebase?
- No pricing: We've had the announcement, and a showing off of the hardware at CES, but there's still no pricing.
- Marketing: One of the toughest tasks facing any OEM trying to sell ChromeOS-based hardware is explaining what ChromeOS is. Most people are comfortable with what Windows is, and most know about OS X, but ChromeOS is up there with Linux and Bigfoot as unknowns.
- Tied to Google: ChromeOS ties users so deeply into the Google ecosystem that they might never make it out again.
The bottom line:
There's no doubt that PC OEMs are looking for new revenue streams in the wake of the collapse of PC sales, and with most of the big names in Windows PCs now offering ChromeOS-powered hardware, its clear that they think that Windows is part of the reason why people are hesitant to buy new PCs.
While there's evidence to suggest that ChromeOS is making small inroads into the PC market – enough for Microsoft to go on the offensive with its Scroogled campaign – the Chromebase is a new direction for the platform.
Without a price it's hard to make predictions about how the LG Chromebase will do, but if the hardware is priced right, then a stylish ChromeOS-powered all-in-one system could turn quite a few heads.