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Chrome for Work blog series #2 Chromebook as a thin client

In case you haven’t read our previous post, we are doing a series of blog posts to explain why Chrome devices will revolutionize the way big and small companies work. In this post we will explain how Chromebooks and Chromeboxes can serve as a thin client.

A little reminder, Chrome devices come in different form factors:

Chrome forms

Chromebooks / Chromebox as a thin client
Some companies, big and small, virtualize their data via Citrix, VMware or Awingu and use traditional thin clients for the following reasons:

  • Cut costs
    1. Purchasing cost of the hardware
    2. Support cost
    3. Licensing cost
    4. Administration cost
  • Simplified management of the devices
    1. Updates are done in the data center instead of on every single device
    2. Individual problems can be resolved from a single location, you don’t need the device in your hands
    3. Less downtime and therefore increased productivity
    4. Centralized backups
  • Enhanced security
    1. Protected against the use of unauthorized software
    2. Data can’t be copied to another disk
    3. Easier to monitor
  • Increase productivity
    1. Easier to setup
    2. Standard pc’s have longer repair times
    3. Access the same data from virtually anywhere

What’s the difference between traditional thin clients and Chromebooks?

Ok, now we have explained why companies take advantage of thin clients. Chromebooks can also serve as thin clients, but what’s the difference between a traditional thin client and a Chromebook?

  1. When you use a server for virtualisation, you have a single point of failure for all your thin clients. If the server experiences a lot of load, or even worse, crashes, all clients are rendered useless. With Chromebooks, while your VDI session might not be accessible anymore, you still have full access to your web-apps.
  2. Direct access to internet resources are not possible with thin clients. All data passes through your session, and thus via the server. This can be a bottleneck for media and videocalls (hangouts, skype, ..) With Chromebooks, you are directly connected to the internet, giving you a huge performance and experience increase.
  3. Chrome devices are even cheaper than thin clients.
    1. Chromeboxes come at €150 and thin clients start at €380. In both cases you will still need to buy a monitor to display the data
    2. Chromebooks start at €249, and they are good to go as is, no extra monitor needed.
  4. Chrome devices are even more secure than thin clients because they are proven to be unhackable (during the Pwnium 3 hacking competition)
    1. Every web app runs in a separate sandbox
    2. Device reboots and solves issues when virus would escape sandbox
  5. With the Chrome OS management console the management of the devices is even easier because they are managed in the cloud.
    Updates are released automatically, without having to configure the server. Of course you can configure when you want to release the updates.
  6. Capability to work offline with some applications

Whether you are opting for regular thin clients or Chrome devices, the choice is up to you. At least now you know that Chromebooks can serve as thin clients and they have even more capabilities.

Oh yes, and before we close off, you don’t have to be a Google Apps customer to use Chrome devices, you can even take advantage of Chromebooks even when you are a Microsoft customer. It really doesn’t matter.

Contacts us at if want more information.