Chromebooks are very useful in a business environment and offer several advantages. With Chrome Device Management you can easily deploy and manage devices from the Apps Admin console allowing you to update software as needed, control user access, add or remove apps, kiosks and sign displays and keep track of hardware.
Now each week, our Google Apps Admins will do the research, round up the expert opinions and present to you a Chrome device a week. These will be devices that stand out among the sea of new Chrome and Android devices on the market today to bring you devices we'd be proud to own ourselves.
The Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook is a versatile offering with a variety of usage configurations and solid hardware that is receiving good reviews from industry experts. Here is a brief overview of what is being said and links to useful information.
It's a fairly new device, being offered mostly to the K-12 education market this summer. The semi-durable design and 360 degree hinge also make it perfect for a fast paced office and employees on the go. The devices, based on the Lenovo Flex 11, started shipping in April 2017 and is the first from lenovo to use an ARM processor for Android App optimization.
The successful deployment of an operating system in enterprise environments is largely dependent on OS management features. Information technology (IT) staff can avoid spending too much time tweaking individual systems on the network. On the other hand, system administrators can manage applications without interrupting workflow.
Glenn Wilson, a product manager on the Chrome OS team told Ars Technica that the system has fewer settings than traditional OS variants like Windows. He said his team's intentions were to enable zero-touch Chromebook deployment in enterprises. This means employees could automatically have all the extensions, VPN configurations, security certificates and settings for their workplaces.
The management console works as an extension to the G Suite control panel. It allows administrators to set the settings for Chrome OS devices. The settings are applicable to devices registered on an organization's domain or users on any device. The seamless management is aimed at ensuring compliance with company security policies.
To some extent, the approach combats security risks associated with the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon. The Chrome OS management console allows companies to control personal devices used by employees to protect sensitive work-related data.
Last May, When Chromebooks Outsold Apple's Macs for the first time, Linn Huang, a senior research analyst with the International Data Corporation (IDC) told CNNMoney that the implementation of a robust device management console makes the deployment and management of Chromebooks easy. She also stated that “cost is but one reason they are winning.”
Lenovo’s Website: offers a basic overview of the Yoga’s selling points, desirable features, and most importantly its technical specifications. This blog entry from Lenovo also went over the Yoga’s design philosophy and overall marketing approach as an educational device.
Computer World highlights the ARM processor Lenovo is making use off for the Yoga. This is notable because Lenovo has chiefly made use of Intel chips in the past and this change in architecture will allow for greater access to Android Apps and optimization of the Google Play Store when using the Yoga.
Chrome Unboxed: as their name suggest does unboxing videos for Chrome devices. Check out their early video review of the N23 Yoga. To summarize the video goes over the Yoga’s overall design, features, performance, benchmarking and was overall a positive first impression.
Forbes also focused on the underlying potential of the ARM processor being used in the Yoga. As noted above ARM processors have been used in smartphones and other smart devices previously and this potentially allows for great access to Android apps on the Chromebook platform.
CNET only provides a generic overview of the N23, and is yet to do a full a review or preview. That being said they still provide useful information for price tracking and verification of overall hardware specifications.
The general opinion of the Lenovo N23 Yoga is positive. The build quality is commonly a point of praise with reviews noting it is solidly constructed, durable, and has a good keyboard.
Street Prices for Lenovo N23 Chromebook (MFG SKU ZA260016US) as of June 8, 2017
The touch screen also works as intended with no real complaints found. Also, the underlying ARM technology was noted in several different articles and reviews for not only its speed and stability but also the potential it offers for greater access to the Android platform.
Lastly, despite its marketing as educational device nothing about the Yoga’s design limits it to only educational usage. It seems perfectly suitable in an office environment or as a personal Chromebook.
Do you have a Lenovo N23 Chromebook, YOGA or otherwise? Have you deployed this Chrome device in bulk? Share your views in the comments below.