If you’re looking for a new computer, a Chromebook is an option for traditional PCs and Macs. They look like laptops from the outside, but once you log in it’s a whole different experience.
What is a Chromebook?
Chromebooks are laptops that run Google’s Chrome OS instead of the usual Windows or macOS, and Chrome OS is simply an extension of the Google Chrome browser. So in short, it is basically a laptop that is running the Google Chrome browser.
You won’t be able to install Windows or Mac apps on it because it runs Chrome OS. However, you can extend its functionality by installing Chrome extensions or Android apps (yes, it comes with the Play Store app). Most newer Chromebooks also support Linux apps, so they will function similarly to a traditional laptop.
Chromebooks are cheaper than traditional laptops. Since Chromebooks rely primarily on cloud storage, they don’t require large hard drives. Their fast-loading operating system doesn’t require high-end components to run efficiently. These two features keep prices low and performance up.
Chromebooks are generally a bit smaller than traditional laptops. The available screen sizes are up to 12.3 inches with most being 11.6 inches. There are a few Chromebook makers with machines measuring 14 or 15 inches, but they are in the minority.
4 GB RAM is standard for these devices. Some models have 8GB and even 16GB, but unless you’re doing a fair amount of multitasking, 4GB of RAM is sufficient.
Most screens are 1366 × 768, best for reading and writing. If you want a screen with sharper images, videos, and graphics, you can get Full HD (1920 × 1080) display.
Chromebooks don’t have a lot of built-in storage – which is why they can stay inexpensive. There is 32GB of storage in most models, but some offer 64GB or more storage, even up to 512GB. Instead of paying more for additional storage, you can easily expand your Chromebook’s storage. with an SD card or separate external hard drive.
After purchasing a Chromebook, you will also receive 100GB of Google Drive storage for free for the first year. After the end of the year, it reverts to the 15GB standard, so there is a backup plan if you use a lot of storage space.
Chromebooks have superior security features, including a feature known as sandboxing. On a regular laptop, all of your processes share resources; on a Chromebook, each app and browser tab has its own resource pool. As a result, if malware or another threat gets past security, it will be trapped in this “sandbox” and unable to spread to other parts of the computer. When you exit this application, the data is erased and the threat is removed.
What you can do on a Chromebook
With the recent explosion of web apps and the arrival of Chromebook apps and Android apps, there’s not much you can do with a Chromebook. For example, even though you can’t install and run the desktop version of Microsoft Office on a Chromebook, you can use the Google Office suites, use Microsoft Office Online, or install the Android version of Microsoft Office. Those who support Linux applications can even install an alternative to Microsoft Office, like LibreOffice.
Chromebook is also not entirely reliant on an internet connection. There are over 200 Chrome apps that can be accessed without an internet connection, and many Android apps can also be accessed without an internet connection. Offline apps will save and update your work in the cloud the next time the machine connects to the internet.
Why should you try one?
Why should you take a risk and try a Chromebook if you’ve always used a traditional laptop?
- Chromebooks have exceptional battery life. On average, they last over nine hours on a single charge.
- The startup time only takes about five to fifteen seconds.
- Chromebooks are durable. They can survive drops, other computers can’t, and some are even waterproof.
- The price of the Chromebook is right. You can get a reliable entry-level Chromebook for around $ 200. On the high end, you can buy one of the best Chromebooks for around $ 500.
- Your job is safe. If your Chromebook dies, you can access all of your apps, settings, and documents on a new one just by signing in. You will no longer waste time downloading and reinstalling everything from your old device.
- Updating is easy. The operating system updates on every boot and runs in the background. Chromebooks don’t hold your computer hostage like many traditional laptops when they install updates.
Who aren’t Chromebooks right for?
You’ll want to stick with a traditional laptop if you’re working on Windows or Mac software that doesn’t have an online or alternative version, or if you’re a serious gamer. However, gamers, be aware that Google’s new gaming platform, Stadia Streaming Game Service, is coming out in 2019 and claims to be able to stream AAA games like Assassin’s Creed and Doom to Chromebooks. In addition, there are also many games for Chromebook that you can play.
If you use your laptop primarily for browsing the web, emailing, browsing Netflix, using online apps, and watching videos on YouTube, a Chromebook might be right for you. They don’t cost as much as a traditional laptop, are portable, and these machines are super-fast to start and run smoothly.