Two new Chromebooks are coming to market that offer a convertible form factor and stylus capabilities. The Chromebooks, manufactured by Acer and Asus respectively, are targeted at the education market, but could make good business machines as well.
The new Chromebooks were detailed in a Google blog post by Naveen Viswanatha, a Google for Education product manager. The Acer and Asus Chromebooks were announced shortly after Samsung debuted its stylus-enabled Chromebooks. Viswanatha also noted that new Chromebooks would soon be on the way from HP, Dell, and Lenovo.
According to the post, Google worked with educators to design these Chromebooks specifically for students to use in a school setting. The included stylus looks like a pencil, complete with an "eraser" on the back to correct errors. The stylus doesn't need to be paired and it doesn't need to be charged either.
"These Chromebooks use an input prediction model built using Google's machine learning to ensure writing is extremely responsive," the post said. "And with Optical Character Recognition in apps like Google Keep you can easily search handwritten notes."
These two new Chromebooks also have USB-C charging, which all Chromebooks from now on will have. This could make is easier for business professionals who want to use the device to utilize next-generation accessories that require a USB-C connector.
The devices also have a camera in the keyboard, so when the keyboard is flipped around, users can take pictures of what is in front of them. Both Chromebooks also have additional protection against drop damage and water damage.
Early in 2017, Google announced that all Chromebooks released in the year 2017 will have access to Android apps. To go along with that, Adobe has released new apps that are created to work with Chromebooks, including Creative Cloud and more.
The stylus move is part of a greater shift Google is making with its Chromebooks. And, while some, such as the late Steve Jobs, mocked the use of styluses, they have grown in popularity in the enterprise. Some would argue that they are one of the key factors in the success of Samsung's smartphones among business users.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 and the Asus Chromebook C213 are slated to arrive in late spring of 2017.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Google recently debuted two new Chromebooks with styluses features and convertible form factors.
- Google also announced that all Chromebooks released in 2017 would have access to Android apps.
- The new Chromebooks are made to be more resistant to drop damage and water damage, making them a good fit for students and business travelers.
- Private school's Chromebook program explains why Google's laptops have captured nearly 20% of the educational market (TechRepublic)
- Why your next laptop should be a Chromebook (ZDNet)
- How to run Windows or Mac apps from your Chromebook (TechRepublic)
- Google announces two new Chromebooks, furthers push into classrooms (ZDNet)
- How to install Android apps on your supported Chromebook (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.