The Rise of Chrome OS
All new technologies have their doubters. Sometimes those doubters are right, sometimes they're wrong. We were lucky enough to get our hands on several of Google's prototype Cr-48's and knew immediately Chrome OS was incredibly valuable.
Traditional PCs running Windows are powerful. They're also expensive, difficult to maintain, and difficult to administer. Windows PCs were built and designed for a time before the modern web was even a pipe dream.
Chromebooks are the most efficient and cost effective way to bring the incredible power of technology to people. More importantly Chromebooks are the most efficient and cost effective way for us to leverage this technology - to learn, to create, to share, to collaborate - to leverage modern technology to its full potential.
Guess we're going to need more than 1!
We've worked with school districts, multinational companies, government agencies, small business and even individuals to procure Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, Chromebox for Meetings systems, and Chrome OS Management software. It can be a very straight forward process.
Understand where your organization is in relation to cloud adoption. This may sound a little silly to some, but it's not uncommon for organizations and institutions to inquire about Chromebooks yet not be leveraging Google Apps for Education, Google Apps for Work or Google Apps for Government. A Chromebook is a vehicle, Google Apps is the engine and the cockpit. Chromebooks work best when your organization has Google Apps. Thankfully we know some people that can help with that ;) However, the Chrome OS Management Console can be used as a standalone service.
Define your user population. How many users do you have? Are the needs/environment of all the users the same? Should a teacher's Chromebook vary from a student's? Do you need devices that are built to take abuse or devices that are thin and light with a brilliant display? Are the Users mobile? Do desktop devices make more sense in some locations ... can you take advantage of current peripherals like screens, keyboards, mice, etc.
Prioritize attributes. The operating system of every Chromebook is identical. So we can look at our hardware and decide what's important.
- Processor: the line between 'PC' and 'mobile' processors has officially been erased. Apple's newest MacBook runs what used to be considered a 'mobile' processor. So what are you looking for? Dates. If a dog year is 7 years, a processor year is 30 years. The technology improves exponentially (literally) - find devices with younger processors and maximize the useful life of the hardware. Chrome OS is wonderful at keeping this hardware fresh (our prototype Cr-48s still run great - in fact, they've continually improved) but newer processors are more powerful and less power hungry.
- RAM: random-access memory is a primary driver of cost. Younger students will be great with 2GB, older students and teachers might be more comfortable with 4GB. Grab a test unit of each configuration to see what works best.
- Display: our relationship with computers is all about touch and sight ... how they look drives much of our perceived value. The display is a very important part of the experience. Sometimes more mobility is important. Sometimes a larger workspace makes more sense.
- Storage: who cares? Really, storage doesn't matter. The power of the Chromebook comes from the Cloud - it always will. Don't spend money on extra storage. Or at least keep this attribute in mind when looking to cut costs. More and more devices are moving to the 16GB format.
Find an Chrome OS Authorized Google Partner! Our course we'd love for that to be Umzuzu but any competent Authorized Partner will do. Why? First, to help with the above. We've been working with Chromebook hardware since day 1 (literally!).
Working with a Partner is going to save you real money! "We bought them on Amazon" is a pretty common comment. Amazon's great, but buying in bulk often means serious discounts on the hardware when you have direct access to the source. What's the best deal on quality Chromebooks right now? We can actually find out. Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba aren't good buddies - they're competing fiercely against one another for a massive and rapidly expanding market. There's always a good deal on great hardware if you know where to look and which buttons to push. We push buttons. Other good partners will too. There are even more great deals on hardware that is out of date, underpowered, and generally pretty blah. A good Partner can take the guesswork out without adding any additional cost.
Tell us what you're looking for. You could have dozens, hundreds, or even tens of thousands of Chromebooks delivered to you a lot faster and easier than you may imagine.