LG Electronics has become the first company to announce an all-in-one PC based on Google's Chrome OS cloud-powered operating system, a platform more normally associated with ultra-portable laptops.
Disconnections may be frequent for road warriors, but less so for those who do the majority of their computing at home. It's in this typically permanently-connected environment that LG hopes to push Chrome OS as a real alternative to the like of Microsoft Windows. Step one: the world's first Chrome OS all-in-one desktop PC, the Chromebase.
Looking for all the world like a slightly bulky monitor, and owing an undeniable debt of gratitude to Apple's curved iMac design, the Chromebase packs a Haswell-based Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of local storage - the bulk storage of files being offloaded to the Google Drive cloud platform - and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing webcam with support for 720p video capture. The front, meanwhile, is dominated by the Chromebase's 21.5" 1,920x1080 in-plane switching (IPS) liquid-crystal display panel. The sides and rear include a single USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports, analogue audio connectivity to supplement the on-board speakers, an Ethernet connection and - interestingly - an HDMI input, allowing the device to double as a monitor for an external system.
'Simple to operate for all types of users, the award-winning LG Chromebase computer represents the successful combination of simplicity, power and great design,' claimed Hyoung-sei Park, head of the IT Business Division at LG Electronics. 'LG Chromebase is the wave of the future for desktops, [and is] expected to be widely adopted not only at home, but especially in schools, hotels, call centres and other business settings.'
Pricing for the LG Chromebase has yet to be confirmed, with the company expected to make a more detailed announcement at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month.