HP and Lenovo both look set to produce Chromebooks, laptops running Google’s custom operating system. It follows signs that both Acer and Samsung are pleased with Chromebook sales to date.
Acer reports that around five to ten percent of its shipments to the US since November have been Chromebooks and that it expects to maintain that percentage in the long-term. Meanwhile the Samsung Chromebook is currently the best-selling laptop at Amazon, though that doesn’t tell use much about actual sales numbers or how consistent sales are.
HP hasn’t yet made an official announcement, but mistakenly put up a document on its website detailing what it will call a Pavillion Chromebook. The most notable point there is that the device will apparently sport a 14 inch screen, well above the biggest Chromebook models already available.
There’ll be a price to pay though: battery life looks to be considerably reduced, down to a little over four hours. That said, with it being so reliant on an internet connection, it may be a device most users will run near a power point anyway.
Lenovo has confirmed it will release both laptop and desktop machines running the Chrome OS this year. Perhaps surprisingly it looks to be targeting business users as much as consumer. Its thinking is that businesses will be prepared to pay a reasonable price for the device in the knowledge (and/or hope) that it will save in the long run by not having to spend as much licensing Microsoft products, paying for support, or dealing with the hassle of malware threats.
The big drawback is the cost of lost productivity while staff get used to the new systems and replacement applications. The extent of that problem will depend a lot on what type of work people do and whether they use more complicated features of tools such as Microsoft Office.