Google’s Chromebox bundle, unveiled early in 2014, offered companies a simple, all-in-one solution for their remote meetings. It came with a Chromebox, a microphone/speaker combination, a remote control and a HD camera. The new version has the same ASUS Chromebox and remote control, but there are now two speaker/microphone hubs, expanding the coverage of voice input and output, and a higher-quality camera from Logitech.
The idea with this new offering is to increase the number of people that can actively take part in the meetings. Google spokesperson Vidya Nagarjan, senior product manager at Chrome for Work, says the hardware should make it possible for up to 20 people to comfortably participate.
The new camera will make sure that everyone present is covered in high definition. Supporting up to 1080p resolution, the USB camera can also pan, tilt and zoom, so it’s able to focus in on who’s talking wherever they are in the room.
The new system isn’t all about new hardware though. Software wise, there’s a number of new controls in the admin panel. Using Chrome OS, users can set up and deploy the hardware in minutes and get started right away, or customise the experience through some of the deeper options. If they run into trouble, part of the purchase price of $2,000 covers the first year’s management and support, so Google should be able to help out.
For now the new Chromebox system is only available in the United States, but Google has plans to make it available to different regions later this year. While pricing may not be quite as competitive elsewhere, it’s expected to undercut many of the legacy solutions available from other manufacturers.
Do any of you use Chromebox remote meeting solutions? If so, would you consider upgrading to this new hardware and software offering?