Dell's Chromebook 11 breaks reliance on Google's cloud

Dell's first Chromebook is targeted at the education market, with consumer models coming later

Dell Chromebook 11 (1)

Dell Chromebook 11 (1)

Most Chromebooks on the market rely on Google for online services, but Dell's new Chromebook 11 adds another cloud option to extend file sharing across desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

The laptop, announced on Wednesday, will integrate Wyse PocketCloud, which allows files to be accessed, edited and shared across PCs, Macs and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

Chromebooks are low-cost laptops for those who do most of their computing on the Web. The Chromebook 11, which will ship in January, has an 11.6-inch screen that can display images at a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. It will be priced under US$300, Dell said.

The laptop weighs 1.31 kilograms, offers 10 hours of battery life and has Intel's dual-core Celeron processor based on the Haswell microarchitecture. Other features include 16GB of storage, USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. The model, which runs Chrome OS, is targeted at the education market.

The PocketCloud application will also turn the Chromebook into a remote desktop. Users will be able to access Microsoft Outlook software on PCs or edit Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents. The application will be available for download in January.

"Most schools are likely to add Chromebooks to their existing Windows-based PCs, Macs and iPads, so having a tool like PocketCloud that can share files across multiple devices and multiple platforms is an advantage over those that can only use Google's services," said Bob O'Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research, in an email.

The addition of Wyse PocketCloud heightens the value of the Chromebook 11 over alternatives from Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Samsung that have "run-of-the-mill" Google services, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

This feature will be helpful for students who want to remotely access Chromebook data from their tablets or smartphones, King said.

Dell bought Wyse Technology in April last year for an undisclosed sum, and the cloud software and thin client assets are becoming more important as alternative computing models emerge, King said. Dell in the past has sold low-cost laptop computers with PocketCloud as thin clients, and Chromebooks could be another option, King said.

A new wave of Chromebooks running an updated version of Chrome OS hit the market in October. Chromebooks with 11.6-inch screens include Acer's $199 Chromebook C720, HP's $279 Chromebook 11 and the $249 Samsung Chromebook. HP also sells a $299 Chromebook 14 with a 14-inch screen, and Acer's $299 Chromebook C720P has an 11.6-inch touchscreen.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Dellchromebookhardware systemslaptops

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?