Google Announces Chromebox for Meetings, Powered by Hangouts
Just yesterday, Google unveiled their latest computational solution: a new Chromebox that’s communication-focused and targeted at collaborative businesses. This new $999 mini-PC from Google and ASUS allows for far simpler video conferencing, and provides all of the hardware you need to do it, with the exception of a television or monitor.
They’re calling it Chromebox for Meetings.
The guts of this new Chromebox are made up of a snappy Intel i7 processor, a full-HD Logitech Webcam that adjusts its resolution dynamically based on bandwidth available, 4 USB ports, a microphone, a remote control, and a keyboard. The system runs on a Google Hangouts system, a pseudo branch of Google’s Chrome OS, and is deeply integrated with the company’s many online products, like Google Calendar.
As Google touts it, this box will allow for instant meetings at the click of a button, no dial-in codes to speak of. And with integration with Google Apps and support for 15 devices at once in one call, this device packs a solid amount of promise.
What it doesn’t have is a fully-fledged operating system, like Windows 8, OSX Mavericks, or debatably, Chrome OS. This means the machine is strictly a replacement for expensive video calling services that have plagued businesses for nearly a decade, not an everything machine from Google.
So, who is this Chromebox for? Well, when you think about it, it works great for less-savvy businessmen and businesswomen who need to be able to video conference quickly, easily, and for free. And given Google’s dedication to the Hangouts service since its debut, all signs point to success for this new Chromebox if it proves as useful as it seems.
The only notable obstacle is the steep $999 price tag. But when you’re a big business, this isn’t the biggest expense you’ll have this year. Additionally, Google and ASUS aren’t mass-producing these — you have to order one from Google directly.
In the meantime, the freaking Holodeck is being built over here with help from Microsoft.
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