An employee demonstrates a Samsung Electronics Co. Chromebook laptop in the Google Inc. sales area at a Currys and PC World 2 in 1 store, operated by Dixons Retail Plc, on Tottenham Court Road in London, U.K.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
May 21, 2015 10:02 AM EDT

Google’s line of Internet-dependent Chromebooks are increasingly growing out of their niche market. The laptops are expected to sell 7.3 million units this year, according to research firm Gartner. That’s a 27% increase over 2014. North America remains the largest Chromebook market by far, with six million of this year’s sales expected to come in that region.

Schools in particular have proven a popular market for Google’s computers. Last year the education sector comprised 72% of Chromebook sales, and Google even managed to beat out the iPad in shipments to schools. Chromebooks are considerably cheaper than full-sized iPads, which helps explain their appeal to school administrators.

Businesses, meanwhile, haven’t embraced the laptops as much. In the U.S., only about 1% of Chromebook sales come from the business sector, according to Gartner. Chromebooks generally have little internal storage, instead encouraging users to save content to the cloud. They also can’t run the desktop version of Microsoft Office, a staple of workplaces everywhere.

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