Chrome OS all-in-ones make a business comeback with new productivity, video chat capabilities

Acer's new Chromebase systems for the business and education markets provide the full Chrome OS experience in an iMac-like form factor.

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While Chromebooks are the most common form factor for Chrome OS devices, Google's browser-centered operating system is also available in miniature desktops, computing sticks, tablets, and all-in-one systems called Chromebases that are reminiscent of the iMac.

On Monday, Acer unveiled their latest Chromebase systems: The productivity-focused Chromebase 24I2, and the video conferencing Chromebase for Meetings 24V2, both of which are targeted toward enterprise and education markets. Both systems include anti-glare 24" 1080p IPS displays, with a USB-C 3.1 port, four USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port for connecting external monitors, an SD card slot, and RJ45 ethernet. The systems are VESA-mountable using an optional mounting kit.

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As a more general-purpose Chrome OS device, the Chromebase 24I2 is configurable for up to 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB SSD storage, and optionally a touchscreen display. Acer touts the 24I2 as using an 8th generation Intel Core processor, with multiple variants likely. The 24I2 supports Google Play out of the box, making it possible to use Android apps on the system.

The Chromebase for Meetings 24V2 is positioned as a "dedicated all-in-one touchscreen video conferencing system designed for individuals and small to medium-sized spaces, such as phone booths, huddle spaces and desktops," according to the press release. Bundled with a 5 MP wide-angle webcam, the 24V2 is only available with an i7-8850U, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 32 GB SSD.

Acer's new video conference-focused Chromebase appears to tie in with Google's attempt to realign Hangouts with Hangouts Meet dedicated hardware, with Acer noting in the release that the 24V2 "supports up to 25 callers out of the box through Google Hangouts Meet, up to 50 callers with Google's G Suite Business, and up to 100 callers with G Suite Enterprise. Users without a Google account can also join the call as a guest by simply clicking the meeting invitation link."

Pricing and availability information is not yet available, though the systems are likely to be available stateside ahead of the start of the 2019-2020 school year to allow the education market sufficient turnaround time for deployment.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The Chromebase 24I2 and the Chromebase for Meetings 24V2 are the first new all-in-one Chrome OS devices in approximately two years.
  • The Chromebase for Meetings 24V2 is a dedicated video conferencing system.

Also see

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Image: Acer

By James Sanders

James Sanders is a staff writer for TechRepublic. He covers future technology, including quantum computing, AI, and 5G, as well as cloud, security, open source, mobility, and the impact of globalization on the industry, with a focus on Asia.