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Video Conferencing Prompts the Return of the Desktop Computer

April 06, 2016

For those who’ve been in the technology business for a while, watching the evolution of computers has been “interesting” to say the least.

We started off with room-sized units that took hours to make a simple computation. They eventually gave way to machines that would fit comfortably on a user’s desk (hence, “desktop”), which were soon deemed nearly obsolete with the rise of laptops and smart phones. Now, guess what’s coming back?

Thanks to a rise in the popularity of video conferencing, the days of crowding around a speakerphone in a conference room for long-distance conferences might be winding down. According to a report on technology news site NewsFactor Network, Google and Acer have announced the Acer Chromebase, a new all-in-one Chrome OS computer that’s designed for video conferencing. The product follows up on Chromebox, the Chrome-based video conferencing product Google released two years ago.

The Acer all-in-one is meant for video conferencing in small areas with one or two people, Google says. The unit comes with 4 GB RAM, 16 GB onboard solid-state storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, three USB 3.0 ports and a 1.7 GHz, dual-core Intel Celeron 3215U dual-core processor, NewsFactor noted.

“The higher-power processor will be handy to support higher resolution video at faster speeds with less freezing and pixilation," Frost & Sullivan analyst Rob Arnold told NewsFactor. "This can make it easier and potentially more cost effective as a small group or personal video conferencing endpoint."

Acer’s Chromebase for meetings is available now for $799 via Promevo, a Google Apps and Chromebook reseller. The purchase price includes Google’s $250 annual charge for management and support of its video conferencing system, Chromebox for Meetings.

The idea of video conferencing is gaining new traction as companies look for a way to rein in costs and keep staffers local for a better ROI. Having a dedicated computer to facilitate such conferences might well be the new wave to boost the technology even higher.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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