If you can’t understand why someone would need LG’s Chromebase, then you’re probably not its target market.
The device, which is a cross between a Chromebook and iMac, takes Google’s Chrome OS and brings it an all-in-one, 21.5-inch screen. Unlike Chromebooks, which were prized for their portability, the Chromebase is made to stay in one place.
The device is, in short, unusual. But that doesn’t mean LG is tossing this out blindly. The Chromebase is “expected to be widely adopted not only at home, but especially in schools, hotels, call centers and other business settings,” LG says in the press release accompanying the news.
In other words, regular consumers are far from the core demographic with this device. It’s closer to a library kiosk than an at-home desktop.
What LG hasn’t announced — or even hinted at — yet is the Chromebase’s price, which might be a bad sign. One of the best things about Chromebooks is that they’re cheap (with the exception of Google’s $1,000+ Chromebook Pixel). Devices from HP and Acer run for $250 each, which makes sense considering that Chrome OS, at its heart, is just a web browser. It’s not clear which direction the Chromebase will go, though we can only hope it doesn’t follow the Pixel’s lead.
Overall, the Chromebase represents an interesting shift for Chrome OS into new form factors, which can only be a good thing for Google as it tries to expand the operating system beyond its (very) small slice of the PC market.