Nowadays, most of the professionals aspire to work remotely as they consider it to be a luxury. As the trend of working on-the-go is popular these days the demand for ultra-portable and cost-effective laptops has also increased. It would not be an exaggeration if we say that Chromebook is the forefront of this trending movement. In this post, we will discuss about the Chromebooks pros and cons and explain in details about the features and benefits of this popular notebook.
It is worthwhile to mention that the number of Chromebook users have reached to about 25 million. Most of the major laptop manufacturers have come up with their own versions of these Chromebooks.
Chromebooks on Radar
Chromebooks are laptops which do not require high-end hardware and the best part about them is they are cheap for us and also light in weight.
Chromebook runs on the Chrome OS which operates on a Linux platform. These are fast, secure and can be used by multiple users.
Initially the Chromebooks were small and lightweight and were available in 11.6-inches. Nowadays, you can find a Chromebook as big as 15.6-inch screen size. These days almost all the top computer brands have come out with their own Chromebooks including Dell, HP, Acer, Samsung and Lenovo.
These laptops are built around Google’s cloud and due to which these laptops have performed well in the education market. Moreover, the appeal of these laptops has widened and the some of the best Chromebooks are undoubtedly some of the best laptops overall today.
The Chromebook is equipped with Chrome OS which is lightweight operating system compared to Windows 10 and macOS. This is because the OS centers on the web-based processes and the Chrome app. Unlike Windows 10 and macOS you cannot install third-party software on a Chromebook as the entire app you get are available only on the Google Play Store.
The best part of Chrome OS is that you need not worry about a group of Windows junk programs that eats up your storage space.
Furthermore, the Chrome OS is also faster than the Windows and the macOS as it is not weighed down by numerous processes running in the background.
The first Chromebook was released by Acer inc. and Samsung in the year 2011. The desktop version called the Chrome box was introduced in 2012.
There was also an all-in-one device known as Chrome base which was launched in the year 2014 By LG electronics.
Moreover, Chrome OS powered laptops from Google can be bought at a lesser price of a basic iPad which makes them very popular amongst users that are looking value for money. As a matter of fact you have good aspects and bad aspects. Today we are going to throw light on both in order to help you decide whether a Chromebook is right for you.
Chromebooks Pros and Cons
As nothing is perfect, and like any other product, there should be some Chromebook Pros and Cons, we have to highlight here.
These Pros and Cons of Chromebooks could mean more of less for different users, depending on their needs and their capacities.
The first thing that stands out when you go to buy a Chromebook is the fact that they are really cheap. Most Chromebooks are available for a price range of $300 to $400 but there are models that you can buy as low as $200. It is worth mentioning here that even a mid-range Windows laptop can cost four times than this amount. Whether you are buying laptops for personal or business use you can save a lot when you buy a Chromebook.
The best thing about Chromebooks is that they do not depend on powerful hardware or large storage spaces due to which they are much thinner and lighter than traditional laptops. The enhanced portability of Chromebooks makes them an ideal choice for users who move around a lot. With Chromebooks carrying your laptop in your bag no longer seems to be a huge burden.
Chromebook come with less power-intensive processes, and as a result, its battery can last up to 8 hours and more.
This feature is really impressive considering the lightweight and thin construction of his laptop. Traditional laptops would at the most last up to 6 hours and that usually come with a price of heavy batteries.
Most Chromebooks are equipped with a built-in platform module. These modules take care of the passwords and protect your device from viruses. However, the Chrome OS comes with its own malware and virus protection making your Chromebook less vulnerable to viruses. Your Chromebook system updates this protection to the latest version to provide you the best security. This also means that that you do not require any security spyware, software or applications that scan your computer for viruses on a regular basis.
When you buy a Chromebook you also get 2 years of access to 100 GB of Google Drive storage. This is a huge amount of cloud based space that will cost you a large amount if you buy it from another platform. Once you sync all your files to cloud-based storage you can access them from different workstations and from your phone. This awesome feature of Chromebook also lets you collaborate with other remote workers.
Extensive library of Android apps
The collaboration of Chrome OS and Android was a major development that massively increased the possibilities of what one can do with a Chromebook. The Chromebooks of the modern world can now access and download apps through the Google Play app. This includes apps from Adobe and Microsoft as well as mainstream apps like Evernote, Slack and Netflix. Having an Android library that has more than a million apps there is unlimited potential for Chromebooks in the future.
Similar to your tablet or smart phone, the OS from Chrome continuously checks for updates that it can download as well as install. This keeps your OS up-to-date and also ensures that it is safe from malware. It also helps your system to run optimally.
One of the things you will love about Chrome OS and Chromebooks is that they are easy to use. It is between you, a browser and a very simple user-interface. Chrome Os really makes things easy for the user. As an example you are able to store your most-used applications in a dock located at the bottom of the screen. To the right of the screen you have time/date settings, Bluetooth and internet connections.
Great for Google Drive and G Suite
Irrespective of your usage, whether you are a casual user or enterprise Google Drive or G-suite is the ultimate solution for all your digital office needs.
Google now gives you a full range of applications inside G suite and Drive covering everything from word processors and spreadsheets down to diary planning and email. It is a much cheaper option starting at $6/month as compared to Microsoft Office. If you want low-cost office apps then Drive and G-Suite are 100% worth trying.
Small storage capacity
Chromebooks come with cloud-based storage via Google Drive. As the majority of the Chromebooks have storage of up to 32 GB.
This is also one of the reasons that Chromebooks have been kept cheap and lightweight by the manufacturers.
However, this may not look like a drawback considering the 100 GB of Google drive storage that comes with the latest versions of Chromebooks. You will only require local storage for the installation of the Android apps.
The Chrome OS and most of the Chromebook apps depend heavily on an active internet connection. Apps such as the Pixlr photo editor will not be accessible at all if you are not online. It is good to know that developers know about this limitation and have added some offline features to their software. Popular apps such as Google Docs and Gmail help users as they can by save local versions on the cache of your Chromebook. Then they will sync to the cloud-based counterparts as soon as you are online.
No optical drive
It is not as important as it used to be in the past, but the fact is that Chromebooks do not have CD or DVD drives.
This feature is hardly unique for Chromebooks as some of the Windows laptops do not find it relevant to have optical drives.
If you want to access the contents of a CD or DVD you should opt to buy an external optical drive.
Lack of compatibility
Chromebooks are more popular nowadays than they have even been. But, most of the developed software are still compatible with Windows. You can easily find software that goes well with your workstation if you are using a Windows laptop. But, the same is not true about Chromebooks. As a result Chromebooks will always have to play catch-up with windows as far as software compatibility is concerned.
No Microsoft Office
Google comes equipped with its own suite of Office-like products such as Google Sheets, and Google Docs due to which Chromebook does not go with the traditional platform of Microsoft Office. Yet, you can go for the Microsoft Office 365 cloud version, but again you need to be connected and online. This can be highly limiting for users who are in habit of working with Microsoft Office who at one find themselves in an unfamiliar platform.
Target users for Chromebook
Will all these Chromebook pros and cons in mind, there are still a lot of important user groups interested in this mixture of specifications. We have a quick look on them and know why they could be loyal to Chromebooks.
Chromebooks are an ideal choice for you if you are a student and professional who prefer cheap and lightweight laptops. The modest specifications of Chromebooks are perfect for minimal computing needs such as photo editing or office work. A network of Chromebooks which is entirely based on the cloud also tends to be great idea. Especially for an office that holds a lot of importance to collaborate.
Chromebooks are also an excellent option for you if you are a remote worker who need to move around constantly. Chromebook is ideal for organization that wants a computing platform that is manageable and secure. K-12 education is the most successful market for Chromebook. There are some corporations that have started to adopt Chromebooks as their main platform; they are not made for graphic artists and developers.
If you are someone who spend most of your time online then you should consider buying a Chromebook. This is due to the fact that the majority of the best functions of Chromebooks are available with an active internet connection. You can try and see if you are able to do most of the work within the Chrome browser.
If you are someone that requires powerful hardware like a video editor then Chromebook is not for you. Also if you are a professional that spend a lot of time working offline then Chromebook is not a good choice for you.
Users that work within a web browser
Chromebooks are ideal for PC users who work within a web browser which is what majority of users do. In this way with a Chromebook you get to use a cheap web browsing machine. These laptops are directed towards users who just want to access a web browser in order to meet their daily computer needs.
Companies and families
Chromebooks is an ideal choice for companies and families. Due to the fact they can put their own managing softwares on the Chromebooks. If you are a family Chromebook can be the best choice as you can add users. One can add his personal as well as school Google account on a Chromebook. As an owner of the Chromebook you can restrict people from signing-in.
In addition, by turning on the “guest mode” on your Chromebook you can make it show the photos and usernames on the sign in screen.
Chromebook is also a great choice for people who are looking for affordable solutions. It works great for social media, email, casual office tasks and watching online video.
Chromebooks are best for you if you just need to access the web browser for daily computer needs. Unlike MacBooks, that are targeted towards users that want prestige to enhance their social status.
Chromebooks will be perfect for you if you are that user who is cost-conscious and have a preference for low-end applications.
After reading this ultimate post, you already know everything about Chromebooks and their pros and cons. Computing, as we all know is changing. The days of buying software on CD or DVD are fading out in a big way. Nowadays, most of the laptops don’t even come with a CD/DVD drive anymore due to the use of internet.
The number of people connected to the internet has increased drastically and the data speed is faster than ever before.
Here Chromebooks come in to the picture. As the recent changes in the internet world led us to the creation of lightweight mobile apps and the moving of products totally online. Of course you don’t need an evidence for this.
This also signifies that you no longer need a high-powered device to access these services. Banking, social networks, maps, calendars, music, shopping are all available online. The best part is that all work perfectly on a Chromebook.
As an icing on the cake, numerous Chrome web apps also work offline and will sync when you get online. The same thing goes for Android apps.
Now, you should not believe in the myth that Chromebooks are no good without an internet connection. We all need different devices for different things. But, if you have not checked the Chromebook before now might be the right time to have a look.
As you saw above, all the cons of Chromebooks you might face are solved with suitable alternatives. So, you can try it if it is win-win trade-off for you.
It is your turn to share your experience with Chromebooks. Let’s see if you can share inputs and add to the pros and cons of Chromebooks in the comment box 🙂