Gartner Research

Do Chromebooks Provide a Viable Replacement for PCs?

Published: 22 January 2015

ID: G00269527

Analyst(s): Nathan Hill , Federica Troni , Stephen Kleynhans

Summary

After witnessing their success in education, desktop managers are beginning to question whether Chromebooks could provide a viable replacement for business PCs. Chromebooks can be alternative thin clients, and may be a good option for organizations that have appropriate application mixes.

Table Of Contents
  • Impacts

Analysis

Impacts and Recommendations

  • Chromebooks have been successful in education, where cloud-based applications, low-cost devices and reductions in software maintenance/support costs enable migration from PCs and tablets
  • Chromebooks are inexpensive, compared with professional notebooks, but can introduce organizational, operational and implementation issues that drive up the cost of ownership
  • Chromebooks aren't viable alternatives to PCs if desktop managers need Windows applications (e.g., Microsoft Office), to be run locally
  • Chromebooks may replace thin devices when desktop managers deploy centralized delivery environments, but are waiting for improvements in compatibility, manageability and peripheral support

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