Score yet another design for Google's ChromeOS. LG late last year unveiled the Chromebase, an all-in-one PC that lists for $699 including a monitor, keyboard and mouse.
The CRN Test Center looked at the Chromebase 22CV241, which delivers a 22-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel that doubles as an auxiliary monitor, dual-core 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2955U 64-bit processor, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of solid-state storage.
Throw in Wi-Fi, wired Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, USB 2 and 3, a pair of 5-watt speakers, webcam and 100 GB of Google Drive space and you've got a decent set of capabilities that can make someone productive for a few hundred dollars.
The Chromebase is quite a handsome unit in either glossy white or flat black. Mounted on a tilt-only pedestal stand, its 21.5-inch display is bright and crisp, and provides more than enough screen real estate for most uses. A selection of beautiful high-definition landscapes is set to alternately adorn the desktop's wallpaper by default; these can be changed to dozens of other natural and man-made wonders.
The unit's single USB 3.0 port is easily accessible at the lower right-hand edge of the screen, just above the headset jack. Three remaining USB port, all of the 10-times slower 2.0 variety, face rearward. That's also where we find its Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI and power inputs. The system runs on 12 volts and an AC adapter and consumes about 45 watts, about half that of a low-end desktop.
On the lower right side of the bezel from left to right are touch-sensitive controls for the OSD, volume up/down (or other levels from within the OSD), screen temperature mode, input select (presumably marked "Chrome" because it automatically logs the current user off) and power. These controls were not well marked and are often unresponsive, and are the system's weakest attribute.
Also sub-optimal is its OSD, which divides monitor functions into four separate menus, each with just a few functions. A better, more easily navigated design would present a single menu with all functions.
For workers running Web-based apps all day, the ChromeOS provides adequate versatility and browsing performance. For the enterprise, there's central management through the Chromebook Management Console, a mature Cloud Print system that's now supported by most printers, a growing selection of apps in the Chrome Web Store, and soon the ability to run Android apps too.
For companies seeking a low-cost solution for running browser-based apps, the CRN US Test Center recommends the LG Chromebase 22CV241.