Taiwan’s AOPEN has followed up the recent release of its commercial-grade Chromebox with Chromebase Commercial all-in-one display, aka big-ass tablet.
The solid state 22-inch display is billed as a versatile, tamperproof and zero maintenance device for such uses as Point Of Sale, small kiosks or retail end-caps.
The unit is multi-touch panel with some degree of waterproofing on the front, is fanless and has shock and vibration resistance. The big attraction, at least in some corners, is that it runs Google’s Chrome OS and can therefore be used by digital signage software firms in the same way they are starting to use the the cloud-based, fast-booting and auto-updating system on Chromeboxes.
“Despite being an industrial grade device, the Chromebase Commercial has also been designed with the sleek elegance of an end-user device,” says Stephen Borg, Global Director of Strategy & Marketing at AOPEN. “It’s only 30mm thick despite its toughened glass front and fits easily into a presentation display or kiosk in a discreet and visually appealing way. At AOPEN we encourage integrators to create innovative mounting solutions and enclosures to optimise the display and the use of our devices.”
Says a news release today:
The Chromebase Commercial has been designed to lower total cost of ownership. It has automatic system updates to keep its system secure as well as Zero Touch Point Manageability via the Cloud using Chrome Device Management, both of which reduce the costs of IT support and maintenance. As with all AOPEN devices, there is long product life cycle support and systems are built with low power consumption to keep costs at a minimum.
For connecting other devices such as POS peripherals and authentication devices (i.e. Biometrics), the Chromebase Commercial has commercial ports, ruling out the need for multiple power cables.
All Commercial Chrome products come with a yearly or perpetual Chrome Device Management license option. Chrome device management allows administrators to manage their organization’s Chrome devices from a single place. Integrators can also use the signage app of their preference available via the Chrome web store to control what’s on the screen.
That device management piece is $50 annual or $150 perpetual.
The 22-inch Chromebase Commercial has an MSRP of $1099 USD, and can be pre-ordered. A 19-inch version is in the works.
I saw a pre-release version of the device at DSE and the thing was locking up – clearly not ready for the real world. Five months, the rough spots are smoothed out and the unit is evidently good to go.
There’s definitely a market out there for this – the use cases mentioned above, as well as other things like smaller wayfinding directories and even door signs in corporate and hospitality markets.
The closest correlation to this – apart from consumer-grade all-in-one touch PCs – is arguably a Samsung 22-inch SmartSignage display with a built in media player and built-in. It’s $600 instead of $1,100, but the smart signs are little constrained in what they can do and support, and the units are a lot less rugged and an inch thicker. The Chromebase also has an embedded camera, which could get useful for some interactive applications and live support use cases.
It’s a nice looking unit, and it will be interesting to see what traction it gets, as it doesn’t generate the instant curiosity that comes with a sub-$200 PC replacement (Chromeboxes).
No sign yet of the Chromebit HDMI sticks.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.