Chromebook Desktop: An Overview | Parallels Blog

As the product-oriented business approach turns more service-driven, IT experts also envisaged a revolutionary change in the software segment. Interestingly, IT hardware is changing too, and an example of this is the popularity of Chromeboxes and Chromebooks. Chromebook desktops are known as Chromeboxes. Like other Chrome OS devices, including Chromebook laptops, they primarily support web applications, relying heavily on an Internet connection for both software functionality and data storage.

Chromebook vs Chromebox

chromebook desktopThe main difference between a Chromebook and a Chromebox is that the Chromebook is a laptop version running the operating system (Chrome OS). The Chromebox is a desktop version, which you would use at a desk with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Chromebooks are popular as they are portable and designed to serve users’ browsing needs. It delivers easier and faster computing. The Android OS used in the Chromebook is simple to use, efficient and has low maintenance requirements. All these factors, plus the inclusion of Android apps into its ecosystem, have made Chromebooks popular with teachers, students and other users working within the confines of the Chrome browser.

A sharp increase in the buying of Chromebooks can be attributed to the impacts that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the workplace and education. In the case of education, more and more students are turning to Chromebooks as alternative hardware for e-learning as the pandemic continues to unravel.

As the popularity of Chromebooks continues to rise, so do the vendors that manufacture and ship them. Today’s Chromebook marketplace is littered with many vendors such as Google, Acer, HP, Samsung, Dell, ASUS, among others. In terms of specification, today’s Chromebooks are markedly different from the ones that first appeared in 2011 when it comes to design, CPU performance, RAM, storage, and price.

Design

Chromebooks are primarily manufactured as either laptops or two-in-ones. With a two-in-one (sometimes called convertible laptop) Chromebook, you can easily switch between the tablet mode— where you use the Chromebook as any Android mobile device—and laptop.

CPU performance

Since the Android OS used in Chrome is fast, a low-end atomic CPU such as 900MHz Pentium or Celeron works just fine for limited applications. However, for more multi-tasking applications, modern Chromebooks are incorporating Intel Core CPUs such as Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 with clock speeds as high as 2.8GHz.

Random-Access Memory (RAM)

Most Chromebooks are shipped with between 4GB to 8GB of RAM, which is sufficient for fewer tabs of Chrome browsing. However, if you want to increase the number of tabs, you can consider a 16GB, which is available on some Chromebooks such as ASUS Flip C436.

Storage

Storage isn’t much of an issue in Chromebooks—all apps and data are hosted in the Google Cloud. However, every Chromebook requires some onboard storage with modern ones providing between 32GB to 64GB of storage capacity.

Price

Users prefer Chromebooks over laptops because they are cheap. The price of most Chromebooks ranges anywhere between US$159 to US$599.

Pros and Cons of the Chromebook

The pros of using Chromebooks are:

On the downside, Chromebook has the following cons:

Chromebook Desktop and the Cloud Revolution

The cloud revolution has made it inevitable for businesses to move everything to the cloud. With data and apps residing in the cloud, Chromebooks can be the right fit for businesses. With its quick and easy computing, lightweight and extremely cheap price tag, businesses with shrinking IT budgets can’t ask for more. Because of the tremendous opportunities provided by the Chromebook desktop, businesses have found a way to resolve its limitations.

Today, a seamless Internet connection is available in most parts of the world, which means Internet dependency is not a concern. The only challenge is the limited functionality—Chromebook users cannot run MS Office and other native programs. With Microsoft still leading the software race, this is a huge limitation. However, desktop virtualization provides an easy solution to this problem. By using application delivery software such as Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS), VMware Horizon View, or Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp), you can transform a Chromebook into a powerful computing device, or Chromebook desktop. You can easily publish Windows desktops on Chromebook desktops and use any application including MS Office, or Photoshop. Desktop and application virtualization not only resolves the Chromebook limitations but also makes it a powerful and cost-effective thin client for businesses.

Chromebook Trends

Google has been a household name for over a decade, and every product from Google creates a buzz.

According to Gartner, Chromebook shipments grew by 90% in the third quarter, as compared to 2019. The Covid pandemic seems to have been responsible for this growth. Chromebooks represent about 11% of the combined PC/Chromebook market.

Besides the growth, Chromebook features are increasing by the day. Here are a few trends shaping the Chromebook marketplace:

Rugged Chromebooks

Demand for durable Chromebooks that can be used in classrooms is increasing. For Chromebook to evolve and provide such functions, vendors have to consider manufacturing rugged Chromebooks that addresses the needs of such users.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging gained prominence with smartphones. However, in recent times, we are witnessing the same phenomenon in Chromebooks because of how they are used.

Fingerprint sensors

Biometric security is increasingly becoming the mainstay of any mobile technology. Chromebooks are increasingly catching up with these trends, as manifested by some brands such as Google Pixel Slate.

Mobile connectivity

For Chromebooks to offer the same use cases as their smartphone counterparts, mobile connectivity is necessary. On this basis, some manufacturers are integrating LTE connectivity in their Chromebooks.

Opportunities for Resellers of Chromebook

For resellers, Chromebook desktops, as thin clients, provide an exciting opportunity to offer cost-effective delivery of hosted workspace services. As a managed service provider, you can offer unique and cost-effective virtualization solutions to take your business to the next level.

By partnering with a reliable application delivery software vendor, you can distinguish your services to deliver a reliable and rich end-user experience across a range of devices such as PCs, laptops, mobiles, Chromebooks, Linux, and Mac devices. By providing world-class solutions at an unbeatable price, resellers can beat the competition.

With the Chromebook desktop booting within eight seconds and delivering high-speed connectivity, you can improve SLAs and build a long-lasting business relationship with your customers. Simplified IT management enables you to monitor and manage the entire infrastructure easily. Ignoring this hot market only leaves it to your competitors.

Deliver Windows Apps on Chromebooks with Parallels RAS

For resellers and managed service providers(MSPs) who want to deliver unique cloud solutions to their customers, Parallels® has two viable solutions: Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS and Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS). Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS enables high-range Chrome devices to run Windows 10 as guest OS, including full-featured apps.

As such, you can now run Microsoft’s productivity software such as office suite and other legacy apps that you couldn’t achieve with Chrome OS. Parallels RAS, on the other hand, delivers the best cross-platform virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution in the world, with three major benefits for MSPs.

Firstly, Parallels RAS allows you to create a stable and reliable virtual infrastructure to deliver desktops and applications from a centralized location to any device and any operating platform. It supports a range of devices, including all types of Windows, Android, iOS, and Chromebook devices. In addition, the HTML5 client allows customers to work with HTML5-compatible browsers.

Secondly, Parallels RAS delivers a simplified IT management system. The tool is easy to deploy and manage. Unlike Citrix and VMware, you don’t need certified professionals to deploy and configure the infrastructure. All of the necessary features come auto-configured by default. You can spend less on technical aspects and concentrate more on growing your business.

Thirdly, Parallels RAS comes at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. When coupled with Chromebook thin clients, it is unbeatable. At the same time, you don’t have to compromise on performance or features. Parallels RAS is a comprehensive virtualization tool that offers a range of features in a standard edition.

Because it is easy to monitor and manage, deployment and maintenance can be done in-house, which cuts down on outsourcing and labor costs. With a stable virtualization infrastructure and Parallels RAS at the helm, you can deliver cost-effective application and desktop delivery services that are second to none.

With Parallels RAS and its Chromebook Remote Desktop Client, explore untapped markets and expand your service portfolio to reap the best ROI and stay ahead of the competition.

Download a 30-day Parallels RAS trial now and run Windows applications on Chromebook!


References

What’s A Chromebook, Anyway?

The Pros and Cons of Using a Chromebook as Your Primary Work Computer

Buying Guide and Advice

Pros and cons of Google’s low-price laptop

EMEA thin client market hits five-year low

2015 is the year of the Chromebook