What's right (and wrong) with the LG Chromebase?

What's right (and wrong) with the LG Chromebase?

Summary: If the hardware is priced right, then a stylish ChromeOS-powered all-in-one system could turn quite a few heads.

TOPICS: Hardware

LG has taken Google's vision for the Chromebook and applied it to a totally new device – the Chromebase.

LG Chromebase
(Source: LG)

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.

Topic: Hardware

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  • What's wrong

    What's and wrong with the LG Chromebase? Almost everything if you ask me. First of all lack of Operating System, real one. Even Android will be better then browser. And this specs? 16GB of storage? Are you kidding me? And what you are mention above: Tied to Google.
    I don't see anything right here.
    • define "real OS"

      For me real OSes are, for example, Solaris and AIX, because they support dozens of processors and specialized high-performance hardware. To use them, one needs a special training to know how to configure and run them properly. Calling MS Windows a real OS just because you can run MS Office on it is an overstatement to say the least.
    • You don't get it

      Normal people don't care whether they have a "real Operating System". They simply want to surf the web, get and send email, use FaceBook, look at and share photos of friends and family, and when necessary do some light word processing and spreadsheet work. For that, ChromeOS is more than adequate in terms of features and superior to "real Operating Systems" in many ways.

      1. Lower cost of hardware and software

      2. Faster overall operations. Faster bootup time, wakeup time, app launching time, more responsive operations overall, when compared to another PC with similar specs and price

      3. Automatic background update of the OS and all apps, from a single source, with no user intervention necessary. Hassle free.

      4. All user data, the ENTIRE user experience, is automatically constantly "backed up" since it's in the cloud anyway. No user intervention necessary. If hardware is broken, lost, or stolen, user data is safe from thieves and is instantly retrieved on new hardware as if nothing had gone wrong.

      5. Extremely secure from malware and other intrusions, more so than any other consumer OS.

      6. Local storage size is irrelevant, and is in fact substantially larger and more generous than necessary.

      7. Of course you are steered to Google services which are default. But you can set your search engine to alternatives, and use Office 365, Windows SkyDrive for your storage, Outlook dot com for email, etc. Or use the Yahoo ecosystem. Or Apple iCloud and iWork. Your options are as varied and wide as the web itself.
      • Chrome OS

        I have Ubuntu, Microsoft and Chrome units. Guess which one I use the most. When Chromebase is available, one will become mine! I appreciate the power of my other systems, but for the most part my Chromebook serves my needs nicely. The OS snobs can look down their noses if they like, but Chrome works without drama and angst which makes me very happy.
    • Why are negative comments....

      always the first kind of posts that we see when something new comes out. It could be the cure for cancer and the first post would probably be a negative one.

      Android would be better than a browser, what, have you ever looked at how much time you spend in your browser, I would bet 1,000 dollars it's utilized 95% of the time, you can download a program called Visual TimeAnalyzer to show you if you don't believe me. The modern browser is more than just a way to view content but it's also a delivery system for very competent web apps. Designing an entire OS around a browser and eliminating the hundreds of processes required to run a traditional OS all the while pushing the hardware for that one purpose is absolute genius. Look at the following web apps and then try to tell me you couldn't survive in a browser.

      https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/ (if you don't already have a free MS OneDrive account it's worth signing up for one, once logged in click on, "Create", than Word or Excel)
      http://www.audiotool.com/app (This is one of those apps that you have to try, if nothing else on this list, please play with this one, friggen insane!
      https://www.spotify.com (Free for desktop use and it's awesome on a Chromebook)
      https://c9.io/ (Cloud9 IDE, impressive IDE with some of the best collaboration features I've seen.
      http://zattoo.com/ch/en/ (This app is just for Switzerland but it is absolutely fantastic, it's a TV app that shows every cable TV station in HD, you can also record like TeVo, I know longer subscribe to cable because of this site. I have a Samsung ChromeBox, i5, 166GB, 32GB SSD, with a Lacie 4TB drive that contains over 700 HD movies which I converted to MP4 (using a Chrome OS app) from BlueRay discs.

      These are just a few of the awesome apps that I use, there are 100's more that are not only extremely useful but are able to easily replace any desktop app. Your archaic views of degrading the browser to just another application is naive. The browser is more than competent in becoming your work desktop, by the way this is the direction computing is heading. So please stop with your silly rhetoric, your post clearly shows you either have no imagination or lack the technical skills to comprehend why Chrome devices are now the fastest growing segment in the computer industry. Samsung has announced that they will no longer produce Windows 8 machines and focus their laptops and desktops to ChromeOS. Lenovo has announced that they will introduce an entire line dedicated to ChromeOS, Acer will ramp up productions and introduce new desktops and laptops, Asus, Toshiba, LG and DEll have also joined in. Toshiba just released a laptop model, Asus a ChromeBox with new laptops coming to the market in the following weeks, etc., etc., etc.

      Myself and I'm pretty sure everyone else here is so tired of people like yourself posting these ignorant, negative comments for things they know nothing about or have even used. Think before you post!
      Charles Alden
  • As I understand from the article - they just need a price and marketing

    Because iOS is tied to Apple, android is tied to Google, WP is tied to Microsoft and there is no problem to consumers... or at least with a huge amount of them.
    I also like the specs of the LG device, it's good to see a good resolution screen on it, but price is obviously paramount.
    In my opinion chromebooks just need time, because cloud based devices are starting to make a lot of sense and I don't see that trend ending anytime soon. Actually I believe others will follow.
    • A weak desktop indeed

      With Chrome OS its not a great desktop. I expect like with the small notebooks that many who buy a desktop like this (if its price is affordable). Will install Ubuntu or something else, at least a more fuller OS then Chrome OS. So far even the most optimistic Chrome OS supporters admit Chrome OS is not perfect and will leave many wanting more.
      • Perfection is not the standard

        Nothing's perfect. Nothing to "admit" there.

        But the vast majority of home and business users don't need the extra options that other operating systems provide, let alone the complexity, hassles, slowdowns, and vulnerabilities that come with those options.
      • Installing Linux

        I tend to disagree with you on this. While i am not opposed to Linux and have used it in the past, I don't think that the general public will be installing anything esle. They will enjoy the ease of use of the Chrombook/box/base without the difficulties inherent in trying to run and maintain Linux, or windows for that matter. We have a window pc, android tablet, and my Chromebook. I love my Chromebook and don't get on our pc unless my wife needs me to fix something. Everything that I or she wants to do on a pc we can do on the chromebook. I can let my 4 year old use my chromebook without worrying he is going to screw it up big time. If he does somehow manage to do something to it, I know I can reset it just the way it was without any issues. Linux and Windows and even Apple have their place, but I think that is shrinking quickly. If most people would try ChromeOS they would find that they don't have anything they can't do. The real issue is if you are a PC games player or have some specific program for work that you need. I have only found one issue in trying to use my chromebook at work and that was with some locked word document with form fields. I could replicate building the document on doc or zoho docs but I don't have that authority. Bottom line is most people don't buy a computer and install a different OS, that is for those of us who like to mess around. Most people buying computers just want them to work and not bother them. ChromeOS does that.
  • On the up side...

    At least OEMs have given up any pretence of not simply copying Apple.

    Albeit very poorly.
    • Originality

      Re. Copying Apple Mac, perhaps we should remember that all-in-one systems did not originate there. They are far older.
      • Yep, but Apple's business

        Model has always been to take something that's already out there and make it so it doesn't suck. That includes all in ones.
  • Cheap sells Chromebook's

    I would guess that a lot of people who have bought Chromebook's did so because they are cheap. If quality was a bigger need you would see the Pixel being a best seller on Amazon. That is not the case and that's because Chromebook's are minimal in their usefulness and don't improve that much from a cheap model to the Pixel. In the end the Chrome OS is a very weak link. In fact just do a search and you will find many hits on how to install any other OS but Chrome OS. The hardware is attractive for the price but the reason you see Chromebook's selling but Chrome OS market share not expanding is that a lot of those buyers are not even using Chrome OS on their Chromebook. My question is when is Google going to pull the plug on Chromebook's? Because obviously many like the ideal of cheap hardware, but do not really like Chrome OS.
    • Chromebook users use ChromeOS

      I would be shocked if anything other than a tiny minority of purchasers of ChromeBooks did anything other than use the default, built-in setup. The crushing majority of computer users, especially low-sophistication, heavily price-conscious users, change nothing on their default install other than the desktop picture, if even that. That's why Microsoft was able to crush Netscape decades ago.
    • love my chromebook

      I'm a professional who works in video production. I have my Mac pro for video editing, but when im not using my machine for that all i need to do is check email, stream movies and other daily tasks on my chromebook, such as reply to this. My question is, why does it matter to you how i spend my money? why should i buy something thats more than i need and spend more than i need? i'm not technologically inept, i just want to know why theres so much chromebook hate?
    • What?

      Of course you won't find many install how to's becasue ChromeOS isn't an off the shelf OS that you can just install on any platform. There are community projects that provide ways to install it on none Chrome hardware but they are missing any of the compents such as media codecs that would make it worth while. ChromeOS is like an embedded system requiring a specialized firmaware from Google. ChromeOS devices are the fastest growing computers in market. The price is defiantly a modivator but people are also tired of traditional installed OS's that are exspensive, require maintence, prone to virus's, malware, complicated, etc. The majority of people buying new computers are just using the internet, with online Office and other productivity apps being almost as powerful as their stalled counterparts the need for these OS's is becoming smaller. This year you will see a rise in the amount of Chromebook options available, especially more capable machines. Samsung's new ARM version that is being released in the coming weeks will have a 8 core Exyno's 5420 CPU, above 1080P resolution, 4GB RAM and come in 11.6 or 14 inch variants. Samsung has also anounced that they will also stop producing Windows 8 machines and just focus on ChromeOS. Google's future isn't Android but ChromeOS, you asking when will Google pull the plug on ChromeOS shouldn't even be a question that crosses your mind at this time but when will all computer manufactures follow Samsungs. Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung and HP will all be introducing newer, faster machines in the next two months to capitilze on ChromeOS's growing market, I don't understand why you are missing this. just becasue you don't like it or understand it doesn't mean that it isn't happeining. ChromeOS is here to stay, you can be very productive on this platform and nay sayers like yourself will be singing a different tune when companies like Adobe aren't even offering installed versions of their software anymore but only providing them online.
      Charles Alden
  • ChromeBase vs HP Thin Clients

    I'm wondering if ChromeBases might make a better RDP thin client to a MS Remote Desktop server than the HP devices.
    • ChromeOS is the perfect Dumb Terminal

      ChromeOS is now supported by every major software vendor that makes Remote Desktop software. Connecting to a Windows 2013 server is extremely fast, much faster than a HP. Actually HP is releasing a ChromeBox in April just for this purpose. Chrome devices are fastly becoming a very viable enterprise solution. I live in Switzerland, CreditSuisse is now using Samsung Chromebox's throughout their entire operation, we will see a lot more companies moving over to Chrome devices in the near future. It's a smart and economical solution vs. a traditional desktop, not to mention that IT departments love them.
      Charles Alden
  • Foolish idea till date

    You buy this, you need Fraser Crane section
  • Chrome and Android PC...Yay!

    As one who lived through the 1990s as a computing professional, I really like to see these devices succeeding.

    Chrome based devices have been successful in the marketplace, despite the lack of initial hype from Google. These devices "emerged" quietly in the marketplace and have apparently been selling unexpectedly well.

    A Chrome based device will deliver trouble free Web Access for 90% of home users, schools, kiosks, etc, etc. These are excellent devices.