Dell is expanding its line of Chrome OS laptops with what the company says is the first enterprise class Chromebook. The Dell Chromebook 13 has a full HD display, support for up to 8GB of RAM and up to an Intel Core i5 Broadwell processor, and a premium materials including a carbon fiber cover, mangesium alloy palm rest, and aluminum base.
The Dell Chromebook 13 has a backlit keyboard, an optional touchscreen display, and support for KACE and Google’s Chrome management console solutions.
So how much does a business-class Chromebook cost? It depends on how you configure the system, but prices range from $399 for an entry-level model to $899 for a top-of-the-line system.
Dell knows that Chromebooks aren’t for everyone. But Dell already offers a computers with a range of operating systems including Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Now Dell’s business division says a growing number of the company’s business customers have been looking for a Chrome OS solution that’s more powerful and durable than the low-cost Chromebooks that currently dominate the market, while costing less than the uber-expensive Google Chromebook Pixel.
The Chromebook 13 is designed to meet the needs of those customers — although it will be available for purchase by anyone who wants a high class Chromebook.
The notebook has a MIL-SPEC tested case, an optional extended warranty for up to 4 years, and premium support options including battery replacement and accidental damage services.
Speaking of the battery, as with most thin and light laptops, the Dell Chromebook 13 has a battery that’s not designed to be easily swapped out. But since this is a business-class device, Dell will sell replacement batteries to customers that want them, and you won’t necessarily void your warranty if you decide to service the battery yourself.
Of course some enterprise customers interested in Chromebooks might still have a few Windows-only apps that they need to run. There are some remote desktop utilities that let you remote control a Windows machine or virtual machine to run legacy apps from Chrome OS. Dell also plans to offer its own solutions, including server hardware that companies can set up as an appliance, allowing up to 350 users to connect to the server to run legacy Windows programs.
So how much Chromebook do you get for the starting price of $399? Here’s what that price covers:
- 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel anti-glare display
- Intel Celeron 3205U Broadwell processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB of M.2 solid state storage
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 port
- HDMI 1.4
- MicroSD card slot
- Headset jack
- 720p webcam and dual-array microphones
- Stereo speakers
- Backlit chicklet keyboard and precision glass touchpad
- 6 cell, 67 Whr battery for up to 12 hours of run time
The Dell Chromebook 13 measures 12.9″ x 9″ x 0.7″ and weighs 3.2 pounds. If you opt for a model with a touchscreen display, it features Corning Gorilla Glass and adds a little more weight, making the laptop about 3.6 pounds.
Here are some of the configurations that will be available at launch:
- Celeron 3205U / 2GB RAM / 16GB SSD for $399
- Celeron 3205U / 4GB RAM /16GB SSD for $429
- Core i3-5005U /4GB of RAM / 16GB SSD for $529
- Core i3-5005U / 8GB RAM / 32GB SSD for $629
- Core i3-5005U / 4GB RAM / 32GB SSD + touchscreen for $649
- Core i5-5300U / 8GB RAM / 32GB SSD for $799
- Core i5-5300U / 8GB RAM / 32GB SSD + touchscreen for $899
Note that the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, so if you want more than 2GB of RAM in your Chromebook, you’ll have to buy one of the more expensive models.
The Dell Chromebook 13 will be available in the US and Canada starting September 17th.
“Business Class Chrome book”, how delightfully oxymoronic. Thank you for the warning.
Because of the Intel CPU, can we assume ‘easy’ Linux boot/run capability?
Really pretty design, why can’t they offer this but with like… Debian or no-OS/OS branding?
Because they’re specifically trying to create a new market with this product. Releasing it with no branding or with some kind of Linux just makes it yet another Linux machine that only enthusiasts would be interested in — i.e. not enough to make money out of.
I wonder how many companies and corporations are ready to go all-in with cloud-based IT. No doubt many want to, but getting past that final step of eliminating the last legacy client app (MS Office springs to mind) is probably quite tough, especially since they’re likely to find their users are quite resistant to the change.
Still, it’s interesting how we may soon have gone full circle. When I started work in the mid 80s, all our IT was mainframe based. The only thing on my desktop was an IBM 3278 terminal, or if you were lucky, a 3279 capable of displaying color graphics (designed at the IBM lab where I worked!).
Now, after 30 years of PC and (very briefly) LAN based IT, we’re heading back to centralized applications running on server farms. So, Chromebooks are the 3279 terminals of our time 🙂
If that really is M.2 storage then it is hysterical they are charging $100 to go from 16GB to 32GB. You can get a 128GB M.2 drive for $100.
That said I find 16GB on my Chromebook more than adequate.
Props though for only up-charging $29 going from 2GB to 4GB of RAM. Still making a profit for them but a lot more reasonable than the usual $50 or $100 companies bend you over for.
Actually there’s a typo. That model also has 8gb of RAM.
Well, that’s not quite as bad then.
engadget says the screen has up to 400 nits and is IPS.
Premium build quality and a presumably high RGB gamut IPS panel make this a way more attractive buy than the i3/1080p Acer Chromebook 15. Leave it to Acer to cheap out on an IPS panel with only 59% RGB gamut.
I wonder if Dell’s touted VPN features mean it will finally work properly with commercial VPN services like Private Internet Access. If Google wants ChromeOS to be competitive in the business arena, it really needs to enable broad P2TP, L2TP, and OpenVPN support. From what I’ve seen last time I checked on the Private Internet Access forums, ChromeOS users have only been able to use P2TP or L2TP and even then at a drastically reduced speed.
come on Dell, actually release this one in the UK…please
Ugh they shouldn’t really even offer the 2GB version. Not for something like this.
I find 2gb plenty for basic usage on my chromebook. Though for $29 more I’d go for the 4gb model here.
this isn’t supposed to be a “basic” chromebook. my 2gb acer c720 does fine with 2gb as well, but it’s not business class.
I suspect with the price dropping below $400 (even by a dollar) they will get a lot more takers than they otherwise would.
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