Few saw the Chromebook coming. When it launched half a decade ago, the category was broadly maligned for its limited feature set, middling hardware specs and operation that required an always-on internet connection to work properly. But things change in five years. In 2015, the category overtook MacBooks in the U.S. for the first time ever, selling around two million units in Q1. It’s a pretty astonishing number for a product many pundits deemed doomed in its early stages. And that victory has been largely fueled by the K-12 education market.
It’s a shame that Apple has dropped the ball when it comes to the education market, but even now, a $300 iPad is a tough sell against $200 Chromebooks. And now we have Microsoft focusing on the education market with Windows 10 S, which should be able to run acceptably on $200 laptops.