Cyclone pushes ChromeBooks - Google-powered laptops priced from $350. But do they cut it?
Christchruch-based Cyclone Computers says it has been appointed a Google Chrome OS for Enterprise Reseller. Cyclone will sell the physical Chromebook device, but also the Google Chromebook Management Console software for deploying and managing devices.
ChromeBooks are laptops that run on Google's Chrome OS software, and run Google's online Apps, which includes Microsoft Office-like software. Apps comes in free basic and education versions, plus a $US50 per person per year Business edition.
Cyclone is offering ChromeBooks made by Acer, HP and Samsung, price from $350, plus around $40 for the management software.
General Manager Graham Prentice tells NBR Cyclone will aim the ChromeBooks and management software at the education market, but is open to business customers if approached.
"At the recent Google developers' conference in San Francisco I was given (as were all 5000 attendees) a Google Pixel Chromebook," cloud computing commentator Ben Kepes tells NBR Online.
"This is an amazing piece of hardware that is a joy to look at," he says.
"In usability, however, Chrome isn't quite there.
"I use a GPS sports trainer every day which uses a USB key to upload workouts. This doesn't work on the chromebook. I also use Skype extensively, again ChromeOS doesn't support Skype.
"Add to that the fact that, even though Google Apps offline support is far better than it use to be, it's still not quite there and you have enough little reasons that ChromeOS doesn't quite cut it yet. I fully expect that within 12 months that will change, but for now I'm still using my traditional laptop."
In January, Cyclone was confirmed as the main Apple iPad supplier for agencies and schools buying through the All-of-Government (AoG) Desktop and Laptop contract. The Christchurch company has been an All-of-Government Apple supplier since 2011, but is also active on the PC side of the fence include a large AUT University contract.
A typical Chromebook, Samsung's XE303C12, features:
- Display Size: 11.6-inches
- Display: 1366x768 resolution; 200nit brightness
- Weight: 1.1.kg
- Less than 17.5 mm thick
- Battery Life: over 6.5 hours
- Processor: Samsung Exynos 5250
- Memory: 2GB
- Storage: 16GB SSD (Google is including 100GB free online storage)
- Ports: 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, combo headphone/mic jack, secure digital memory slot
- HDMI Port
- Bluetooth 3.0™ Compatible
- Speaker: 1.5W speaker X 2
- Keyboard: Full-size Chrome keyboard
- Wireless: 802.11 abg/n 2x2