This is the final post in our series highlighting the benefits of various Google for Work offerings. Some of them you may be familiar with, like Google Apps and Google Sites. But don’t forget about Google’s flagship offering, the Chrome browser, and its logical offshoot, the Chrome operating system. Are these a good fit for your business? Let’s see.
First of all, let’s have a brief word about the standard Chrome browser. This is something we’ve spent some time covering already, so a quick summary is in order: It’s free, stable, secure, fast, and easy to use. The downside is that Google isn’t as privacy-conscious as some independent browser companies. (If this bothers you, you can download a third-party extension like Ghostery to get some control back.)
Work Computer, Meet Chrome for Work
The familiar version of Chrome isn’t the only option for businesses. You can download Chrome for Work — an organization-friendly version of the standard browser. Since much of our collective time is spent online, this makes sense for several reasons including:
Better control over updates, plugins, apps, and user controls.
Desktop and laptop management support.
Excellent security and stability.
The option to deploy a single customized web app across your entire company.
Now, let’s move on to the Chrome operating system, which you’ll likely find in the form of Chromebook laptops.
Should Your Next Laptop be a Chromebook?
If you already use Google Apps and Google Chrome in your office, you might want to consider using Chromebooks as well (or Chromebase and Chromebox, which are the desktop versions of Chromebooks. Note: Chromebox requires a monitor; Chromebase does not).
What are Chromebooks? They’re small, lightweight, and relatively inexpensive computers. The exception to this small and expensive lineup is the Chrome Pixel, which retails north of $1,200. Chromebooks are eminently portable, and they have screen sizes that range between 11 to 14 inches. If you’re used to Windows specs, Chromebooks seem underpowered, but they’re not designed to run Windows. They’re designed to run Chrome OS.
Think of Chrome OS as a cross between a Chrome browser and an Android operating system. It doesn’t need a lot to function: a couple gigs of RAM, 16 GB of disk space, and a modestly powerful processor will do it. The whole point of Chrome OS is to go online and get things done. So if you’re using Google Apps to work and Google Drive to store your documents, Chromebooks offer you the perfect gateway to do just that.
And did we mention that Chromebooks are inexpensive? You might even say they’re downright frugal: The cheapest model, the Lenovo 100s, costs around $175. Most run in the $200-$300 range.