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Android and Chrome OS go AiO!

Jan 7, 2014 — by Eric Brown 1,799 views

HP and Lenovo announced new Android all-in-one (AiO) PCs — the Slate21 Pro and N308 — while LG unveiled the Chromebase, the first AiO to run Chrome OS.

Several new Android all-in-one (AiO) computers are joining the handful of models currently available, appearing at different price points for both enterprise and consumers. On the high end is the Acer TA272 HUL we covered yesterday, featuring a 27-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) touchscreen, and the ability to double as a general purpose monitor.

Acer TA272 HUL
(click image to enlarge)

Now HP has announced a $399 HP Slate21 Pro aimed at enterprise users, while Lenovo showed a more consumer-oriented Lenovo N308 model selling for $450. For variety’s sake, LG unveiled the Chromebase, the first AiO to run the Linux-based Chrome OS.

Chromebooks have been increasingly popular in the laptop market, and would logically be expected to outperform Android on AiOs as well. Yet more vendors appear to be choosing Android for AiOs, which are more typically aimed at enterprise settings than homes. AiO reports from CRN and ZDNet both asked industry observers about the Android AiO trend and received some similar answers.


Luminate VP Jamie Shepard told CRN that pricing sensitivity, BYOD, and the growth in cloud software is opening up an opportunity for Android. He added that there are not only a lot more apps available for Android than Chrome OS, but that the apps are easier to write and customize. In addition, he said that as long as Google continues to insist on strict hardware guidelines for Chromebooks, vendors will be drawn to the greater freedom of using Android.

Limited app selection and lack of customization within Chrome OS were also cited by Pavana Polineni, a senior product marketing manager at HP, interviewed in the ZDNet story. Polineni added that Android 4.3 finally turned the corner on security, making Android devices more justifiable in the enterprise.

In addition, Android is a known commodity — and UI — while Chrome OS is still a novelty. Gartner released a Jan. 7 report estimating that some 1.84 million Chrome OS devices shipped in 2013 on the way to a projected 4.79 million units in 2014 and 8.0 million in 2015. On the other hand, Gartner estimates Android at 878 million computing devices of all kinds shipped in 2013, rising to 1.1 billion in 2014 and 1.25 billion in 2015.

Below, we take a closer look at the three new AiOs unveiled at CES. More details on Acer’s new 27-inch AiO are here.

HP Slate21 Pro

At $399, the HP Slate21 Pro is not the cheapest Android AiO out there, but it’s pretty good considering it’s offering Android 4.3 running on a 1.66GHz Nvidia Tegra 4, displayed on a 21.5-inch HD (1920 x 1080) IPS touchscreen. By comparison, the $300 Acer DA220HQL, which has a similar 21.5-inch HD IPS display, runs Android 4.0 on a much slower, 1GHz, dual-core, TI OMAP4430. In any case, the HP model’s $399 suggested retail price is currently bumped up to $429 on

HP Slate21 Pro
(click image to enlarge)

The HP Slate21 Pro is further equipped with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 16GB solid state drive (SSD), and an SD card reader. The computer provides WiFi, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, a Fast Ethernet port, HDMI input, and four USB 2.0 ports, one of them “upstream.” It also supplies a 720p webcam, speakers, audio I/O, and a USB keyboard and mouse.

HP Slate21 Pro showing off its 70-degree flexibility

The screen is touted for its 70-degrees of adjustable recline, as well as the ability to display content from an HDMI-connected Windows PC. Preloaded enterprise software includes Security Enhancements for Android, Kingsoft Office Suite, Citrix Receiver, Google Docs, and Google Drive, as well as 50GB of free Box2 cloud storage.

Lenovo N308

Like the HP Slate21 Pro, the Lenovo N308 features a Tegra 4 SoC, backed up by 2GB of RAM, but it’s still at Android 4.2.2. The system stands out with its integrated 500GB hard disk drive, and the ability to detach the screen and use it as a huge tablet, complete with a three-hour battery and accelerometers.

Lenovo N308
(click image to enlarge)

Lenovo has yet to post detailed specs, including the resolution on its 19.5-inch touchscreen, although it does say the screen is “HD+” and offers 250-nit brightness, 2-point infrared multitouch, and a 50-degree viewing adjustment. Additional features include a 6-in-1 card reader, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and an Ethernet port.

The Lenovo N308 is further equipped with dual USB 2.0 ports, and 2-Watt speakers, a headphone jack, and a microphone. There’s also a full-sized keyboard and mouse.

LG Chromebase

The LG Chromebase (Model 22CV241) breaks ground as the first Chrome OS all-in-one. The 21.5-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel IPS display is powered by a 4th Generation Intel Celeron processor related to the “Haswell” Core processors. This would likely beat the Tegra 4 systems on processing speed.

LG Chromebase
(click image to enlarge)

Like the other two AiOs, the Chromebase supplies 2GB of RAM, and it also provides a 16GB SSD. It’s the only model here that offers a USB 3.0 port, and it has three USB 2.0 ports as well. Additional features include a Fast Ethernet port, HDMI-in, and a 720p, 1.3-megapixel webcam. There’s also a keyboard, mouse, and microphone.

LG had no more details at this point, and there was no word on availability. However, Engadget has posted a hands-on video tour.

LG is known for making Android gear, but it seems to be sampling all the mobile Linux OSes these days. At CES, it unveiled a WebOS-based LG Smart TV touted for its multitasking capability. It also offered a full reveal of the now shipping (in Brazil) LG Fireweb smartphone running Firefox OS.

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