When I was back in school we were still sitting in computer labs filled with huge Dell desktop computers. But that’s changing with the introduction of lower-cost more task-specific machines, such as the Google Chromebook. According to Business Insider, which had a chance to talk to Google’s vice president of Chromebook product management for Chromebooks, Caesar Sengupta, 22 percent of U.S. school districts now use the Google-specific laptops.
“We are heavily investing in Chromebooks,” he explained. “There’s two different segments we care a lot about, consumers and K-12 schools.” Obviously there’s stiff competition in that market, especially among school districts that are opting to deploy tablets, such as iPads, and among consumers who are used to buying full-fledged laptops such as Macs or PCs for back-to-school season. Additionally, Chromebooks are limited – you can’t run a lot of apps, so a school district needs to be able to identify what software is required first. That’s very likely where Sengupta’s work comes in..
Of course, the real appeal of Chromebooks is that they often come in priced much lower than their Mac and PC counterparts, around $300 or so on average, and there are becoming more and more options to choose from. The latest even support Intel’s new Haswell chips. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this share increase as they become more powerful, though we do wonder how often they’re being used as secondary machines instead of primary computers.