MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 21 (UPI) -- Google said it sold more than one million low-cost Chromebook laptops to schools last quarter, giving Apple's iPad stiff competition in the education segment.
The low-cost laptop runs on the Chrome OS and seems to be gaining favor among educators, reflecting the growing trend of using low-cost laptops in schools to help facilitate the learning process. Google's Chromebook program allows for the free replacement of laptops that stop working, without any additional costs, making it even more attractive.
Google also provides educators and students with access to Google Docs and Drive, which reduce the school's software requirements.
Microsoft has been worried about the Chromebook's growth, and has been working feverishly to release a cheap Windows laptop. Hewlett Packard announced it would launch a Windows laptop for $199, and Acer and Toshiba are releasing $249 laptops.
While Apple continues to have an advantage in the classroom, newer software and apps require an actual physical keyboard, so cheap laptops help students consume as well as create new content.
According to tech firm NPD, schools were preferring Chromebooks in the classroom over Apple MacBooks and Android tablets.
"The affordability and easy maintenance of Chromebooks clinched the deal -- we could buy three Chromebooks for the price of a single desktop computer and the district's small IT team wouldn't have to struggle to keep up with the repairs and updates on aging PCs," said David Andrade, the CIO for the Bridgeport Public Schools district.
"We would also save on support time and costs since Chromebooks update automatically."