No, it’s not the ’90s and no, Larry Ellison is not hawking network computers. Instead, it’s 2012, and Google is. Sorta.
Today, Google opened up the opportunity for individuals and companies to lease laptops or desktops via CIT Group, a financial and insurance services provider. Google is pitching the machines as temporary hardware for seasonal workers, or computers for companies looking to keep more of their cash in the bank.
For $30/month, decreasing to $25 and $20 in the second and third years of the lease term, you too can be the proud owner of a new Chromebook, or a Chromebox for slightly less cost.
The lease includes a three-year warranty, and for corporations, a web-based Chrome management interface to manage users, apps, and provide support. The terms are month-to-month, so you will not be locked into long-term commitments.
The device looks to be Samsung’s Chromebook, the series 5 550, which which pairs a full-size keyboard with 6-hour battery life and a 12″ screen — and the infamous Intel Celeron processor.
List price is $599, which means that if you bought one outright, you’d be financially ahead within two years. But many companies prefer to expense items monthly and pay as they go, moving costs from capital expenditure to operating expense budgets.
The Chromebox is an Apple Mini-style desktop computer that you attach to your own external screen or screens. It supports up to two 30″ displays.