Google touts the benefits of Chromebooks over iPads

Google Chromebooks

Google claims its Chromebooks are better suited for use in education and business environments than iPads, as the firm prepares to push into these sectors during 2013.

The web giant has been targeting the education market with the cut-price devices and has seen them deployed in 2,000 schools across the globe so far.

Google said its Chromebooks are suitable for the business environment due to their low purchase cost, ease of maintenance and their ability to use legacy apps through virtualisation.

"iPads are a great tool they make a lot of sense when you are consuming information. I would ask IT admins who are deploying tablets what they are like to manage. With the Chromebooks, the administration is easier it's not about the device," Jaime Casap, global education evangelist at Google told IT Pro.

"There is no need for an IT admin to struggle with the re-imaging of machines, worry about anti-virus or malware. It's easy to manage 500 or 50,000 Chromebooks."

Casap acknowledged that Chromebooks may not be not be suitable in situations where heavy duty computing power is needed, but said the devices are more versatile than the competition.

"It's about picking the right tool for the right job. For example, kids sit in the classroom and wait for five to 10 minutes for a PC to boot up so they can access the internet. With a Chromebook you can do that in five seconds. It also has a long battery life, a keyboard and camera," he added.

So far Apple's iPad has proved popular in both the business and education markets with firms offering up high-quality business applications and interactive textbooks.

However, Google is confident that its Chrome OS can offer users the content they want directly from the web.

"We're getting great feedback on what features we should add. The Chrome OS software is updated every 4-6 weeks so it's always fresh. I can walk into a classroom and they could have last year's model of the Chromebook and have the same operating system as the new devices," he continued.

"Computers are built for three years but the life-cycle is going to depend on usage. We think the three-year window makes sense."

With Acer and Samsung reporting steady Chromebook sales since their introduction a year ago, the future looks good for the form factor.

HP is also gearing up to launch its first Chrome OS device in the coming weeks as it looks to make up for falling Windows PC sales.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.