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As Chromebooks catch on, 2014 promises more models

Laptops based on Google's Chrome OS will reportedly multiply in 2014. They're cheap and schools have a growing affinity for them.

HP Chromebook 14 is priced at $300 on Amazon.
HP Chromebook 14 is priced at $300 on Amazon. Hewlett-Packard

As Chromebooks gain in popularity, device makers are gearing up for new entries in 2014.

Both Asus and Toshiba will enter the market, according to a report on Friday from Digitimes.

That report is backed by plenty of supporting evidence. The Toshiba Chromebook leaked when a review was posted prematurely. And the Asus Chromebook has been rumored for a while now.

And the list of Chromebooks for sale on Amazon is getting longer every month.

Dell will be offering a Chromebook later this month for the first time.

How popular are they? Well, Chromebooks, such as the Acer C270 and Samsung offering, seem to be ensconced almost permanently at the top of Amazon's bestselling laptop list.

And a report from the NPD Group last month showed the Google Chrome-based laptops grabbed about one-fifth of sales in commercial laptop channels -- which the report says is largely shipments to educational institutions -- in a 12-month period, up from virtually nothing the year before.

All of the above is spurring the world's largest PC maker, HP, to put more emphasis on Google's Chrome OS. HP now sells both a 14-inch Chromebook and an 11-inch model.

One reason for their popularity is price. They're typically priced between $200 and $300. In addition, some organizations, like those in education, only need Google services such as Google Docs and Google Drive, according to NPD.

The Dell Chromebook 11 will be available in January.
The Dell Chromebook 11 will be available in January. Dell