Lenovo has made its Chromebook aspirations for 2014 clear at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The intention of expanding their Chromebook line was divulged at CES by Jay Parker, President of Lenovo's North America operations. He said that the company intends to release "multiple Chromebook models" by summer. He clarified that these models would cover multiple configurations and price points.
The Chinese manufacturer boasts of the largest share of global PC markets (Lenovo owns a 17% chunk according to IDC data) and had forayed into Chromebooks in January last year with the launch of the Lenovo ThinkPad X131e – a $429 Chromebook device running the newly released Chrome OS from Google. Lenovo had initially targeted the education market only, however Lenovo now feels that the market has the potential to grow bigger and appeal to a larger audience. This is evidenced by what Jay Parker said in a meeting during CES – "I think Chromebooks can be very impactful in the market really quickly. We believe the market will accelerate greatly in the next 12 months."
Chromebooks are highly polarizing devices in that they're neither full-fledged laptops nor do they provide the portability offered by tablet devices. A Chromebook is a personal computer, running Google's Chrome OS. The device is designed to have a minimalistic footprint while staying constantly connected to the internet. While connected to the Internet, the user accesses web-applications on the cloud rather than installing the apps on the local device.
Google's Chrome OS, is built upon the Linux kernel, Google's Chrome browser and an integrated media player. Chromebooks are primarily designed to function online (or connected to the internet) and as a result offer limited offline capabilities. This results in lightning fast boot times – Google claims that a Chromebook would boot in 8 seconds flat (though a lot of that depends on the hardware). Unlike Microsoft Windows powered laptops, a Chromebook does not offer offline installation of traditional application; instead the user adds web applications from the Chrome Web Store. Google also claims that the Chrome OS is designed with a multi-layer security architecture, which eliminates the need for an antivirus program.
It is evident that the Chromebook segment would gain a definite momentum with the kind of backing it has been receiving from big-name computer manufacturers including Toshiba, HP, Samsung and now Lenovo. Are you excited to see what Lenovo brings to the segment? Do let us know what you think in the comments below.