Non-Apple computers that look like Apple computers are nothing new. Back in 1999 when yours truly was working at the now online-only Circuit City, the very iMac-like eMachines eOne flew off the shelves.
It sold itself!
Why? Because everyone wanted a candy-colored, semi-translucent iMac but nobody wanted to spend $1,200+ on one. The eOne ran Windows and only cost $800. Apple sued eMachines, the two companies settled and the eOne was later redesigned. But not before I sold a lot of eOnes to a lot of college kids. Turns out, the thing was a pile that never really worked quite right, but that’s another story for another time.
Anyway, LG has just announced the Chromebase. It’s an all-in-one machine that could be mistaken for a poor man’s iMac, but runs Google’s browser-based Chrome operating system. No pricing has been announced yet, but given the system’s internals – Celeron processor, two gigabytes of RAM – there’s no way it’ll cost anywhere close to the iMac’s $1,300 starting price.
The 21.5-inch full-HD screen (1920×1080) is the system’s best feature. Provided LG can outflank Apple, legally, and the price isn’t outrageous, the Chromebase stands a chance of winning over people who want a simple, inexpensive all-in-one for basic web surfing and e-mail. This is a computer for the kitchen desk, through and through.
We’ll get a closer look at the machine during the Vegas gadget show in early January.