Google's other mobile operating system, Chrome OS, is usually found running on the Chromebook platform but has also found a home in thin and light desktop computers and all-in-one devices. These devices are often known as a Chromebox in order to differentiate them from the Chromebook platform. Here, Chrome OS's advantage is that it is inexpensive and integrates beautifully with Google's cloud services. For the small business or education user already using Google Apps, a Chromebox makes perfect sense. It allows workers a very quick and easy way to sign back into their account from another site, or if provided with a Chromebook, from this device instead. And today, comes the news that Lenovo are launching a new Chromebox called the ThinkCentre, available as either the ThinkCentre Chromebox or the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One. The key difference between the two models is that the Tiny-in-One combines a 23-inch monitor with the Chromebox.
In common with other Chrome OS devices, the ThinkCentre models include the usual simple flexibility that allows teachers or IT managers a quick and easy way to implement changes to the machine. New applications and software updates are centrally deployed with the minimum of fuss. Safe browsing policies can be easily implemented through a management console, too. In terms of machine specification, the Chromebox can be equipped with a fifth generation Intel Core processor along with up to 4 GB of RAM and 16 GB of local solid-state storage: but Chrome OS machines are less about the specification (although having 4 GB of RAM makes the device speedier than just 2 GB) and more about the flexibility.
Lenovo, are clearly pitching the ThinkCentre towards the education and business end of the market and Ouyang Jun, Vice President and General Manager, Desktop and Visuals, said this on the matter: "Lenovo was the first to introduce a one litre commercial desktop and ThinkCentre Chromebox is a testament to our commitment to the continued evolution of the desktop and our promise to push the boundaries on innovation for our education and business customers. Combined with the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One, the new Chromebox illustrates our belief in more flexibility for teachers and IT managers to continue to offer desktop solutions in a modern day environment." The Chromebox will be available in June from $199 and the Tiny-in-One from $279.