Will 2014 be the year of the Google Chromebook?

Research out of Asia provides two scenarios for the Chromebook in 2014. One shows it taking a not-insignificant chunk of the global notebook market.

HP's Chromebook 11 is priced at $279.  One of the reasons for Chromebooks increasing popularity.
HP's Chromebook 11 is priced at $279. One of the reasons for Chromebooks increasing popularity. CNET

The new year could be the year that Google's Chromebook platform gains real traction, according to research from Digitimes.

That's the upside view of a research note published by Digitimes Research on Friday.

"Chromebook shipments may reach as high as eight million units in 2014, accounting for 5% of total notebook shipments," Digitimes Research said.

The note continued. "If Google puts more resources on the device's ecosystem and Microsoft's low price strategy fails [the above scenario could play out]."

The more pessimistic scenario (Digitimes Research is offering two scenarios) is that Chromebooks account for 2.4 percent of global notebook shipments in 2014.

But getting back to the upside. There are some signs that Chromebooks could make significant inroads into competing notebook platforms in 2014.

Dell, for instance, will offer its first Chromebook in the coming months for the educational market, where Chromebooks have been particularly popular.

And the Samsung Chromebook has been a consistent bestseller on Amazon, as has the Acer C720 Chromebook.

The world's largest PC maker, HP, is also putting more emphasis on Google's Chrome OS and Android. It now sells two Chromebooks. In addition to the 11.6-inch model, it introduced the Chromebook 14 earlier this year.

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