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Since a couple of years ago, people have started to take notice of Google’s lightweight laptop concept. Various Chromebook models have been picked up by schools, small business and average users. Chromebooks now outsell Macs in the United States, so it’s clear that Chromebooks are not a bad idea at all. Initially, many people dislike Chromebooks due to its limited hardware capability, but why is it now very successful. We should be aware that Chromebooks are unconventional laptops and nearly everything is performed within the highly modified Chrome browser; including for desktop interface, file management and taskbar. In most cases, we can’t install programs to local hard drive and Chromebooks really shine when it’s connected to the Internet.
Here are reasons why you should buy a Chromebook, instead of a new conventional laptop:
1. High value: Chromebooks are known for their low prices and they surely have Apple worrying. Cheapest Chromebook models are now available on Amazon for less than $200. There are different models of Chromebooks that are released by multiple manufacturers and most of them are a bargain compared to normal laptops. Due to the nature of its unique operation system, the Chrome OS; we should be able to get excellent performance for the money, especially compared to Windows-based laptops. Everything runs battery smooth. We could also do many things, such as checking emails, browsing the web and typing documents. Many low-cost Chromebooks models have simpler processors and the limited amount of RAM. However, these are enough to allow us happily check our email. The pricier models give us more powerful processors, plenty of RAM and Full HD touchscreen displays. They can be as expensive as mid-range Windows-based laptops. Another good thing to consider is that Chromebooks don’t come with the typical crapware that is often installed by laptop manufacturers. There’s no need to worry about virus and malware. Files can be shared conveniently among Chromebooks and Windows users; without concerns about the spread of a virus.
2. Close integration with the cloud: What put many users off was the tight dependence of Chromebook on the Internet. Instead of installing programs to a local hard drive; users only need to open web apps. Back then, Chromebooks were often called as a glorified web browser. Today, many web apps have similar functionality compared to the locally-installed ones; including for graphics editing and word processing. However, we should know that there are many things that we can do offline. We are still able to manage files and do other offline functionality. We are able to compose and read email in Gmail; while reading our Google Drive documents. We can also draw pictures using Sketchpad, use Giffy to create diagrams and read things in Pocket. Contrary to the popular belief, Chromebooks are not bricked offline.
3. Android apps integration: A few years ago, we were told that some Android apps would be able to run on the Chromebooks. Today, there are already a number of beta implementations and there are reports that the whole Google Play Store could make its way across. It means that with some adjustments, Android apps developers could tweak their mobile apps to run smoothly on the Chromebook. It also means that Android apps can eventually work with keyboard and mouse; as well as a touchscreen display. People who often knock web apps may miss the fact that many popular websites are essentially web apps. Chromebooks take it one step further by transforming web apps into traditional computing experience. Many Android apps are as capable as traditional PC programs. Also, Chromebooks users will be able to run Android apps without installing them.
4. Google Now: It’s obvious that Chromebooks would integrate well with existing Google products and services. People who have used Android mobile devices should immediately feel right at home with Chromebooks. The desktop background and taskbar of Chrome OS are easy to use, making the whole experience feels nearer to Windows PC and Mac OS X. Just like Android smartphones, Chromebooks can also be configured to take voice commands. We could just say “OK Google” and Chromebooks will start listening for our requests. We will be able to set up various important notifications and meetings schedules. We would also be able to get sports scores without even looking at the screen.
5. Excellent battery life: One significant fact about using laptops is that we should be able to easily move it around. We should be able to use Chromebooks while sitting in the living room or the kitchen. We should also be able to use Chromebooks on the train and it’s essential that we can take it to work. We will have significantly reduced functionality if the battery life is unsatisfactory. It’s not a good thing if we are continuously tethered to the wall. Chromebooks are known for their exceptional battery life. Average models could last for 10 hours, while Dell Chromebook 13 and similar models could last nearly 14 hours. Chromebooks users often testify that they can do many more things in one day, compared to normal laptops, due to the exceptional battery life.
6. Plenty of available options: Manufacturers have experimented a lot to find out what people want most from their Chromebooks. Early Chromebook models had components with limited capability, leading many people to mock these lightweight laptops. Now, we could find Chromebooks with 8GB of RAM and Intel Core i5 processor. The constant progress of experimentations means that we will continue to see additional Chromebook options in the future. It also means that upcoming Chromebooks models could give us the best value for the money. More capable Chromebook models can be used for different kinds of purposes. So, if we plan to watch plenty of movies, we could choose models with HD displays and larger local storage.
7. The simply work: Back then, it was Apple’s only mantra. Mac OS X could provide better experience compared to Windows. Today, it also applies to the Chrome OS.
8. After a few years of constant improvements, Chromebooks just work. No pre-installed bloatware, no antivirus software requires and no system administration tasks to worry about. Everything should work and we could just sign in with our Google credentials. Sharing data with other users should be incredibly easy. Upgrading is automatic and easy. Although Chrome OS is simply based on a web browser, there are many tasks that can be completed. Because Chromebooks are simple, many people can use them and it is straightforward to use, especially when connected to a reliable Internet connection. In many cases, a $1000 laptop is overkill for some people, especially if they only need to check email, manage social network accounts, browse the web, watch YouTube and create documents. With Chromebooks, people are able to work and play, without being concerned about the upkeep. Simplicity is obviously a good thing for average users. There are many web apps that can help them get many things done.
9. Dual-boot with Linux: Eventually, some users may want to have a dedicated offline system and it is possible to install a separate Linux partition. There are a number of Linux packages for Chromebooks that we can use and Crouton is probably the most popular. It’s developed by Google employee and allows us to smoothly install Ubuntu Linux alongside Google’s Chrome OS. After installed, we will have the best of both worlds in our Chromebooks. It’s useful if we want to do programming in Linux and do other technical stuff that’s not available in Chrome OS. Entertainment and gaming options are also available with Ubuntu OS.
There are many different Chromebook models in the market and Google’s Pixel 2 is one of them. It comes with the fast-charging feature; allowing us to obtain 2 hours of battery life with only 15 minutes of charging. It has Intel Core processor, versatile USB-C ports and 8GB of RAM. When turning on Pixel 2, we could fully use the desktop in just ten seconds. The display has 2560 x 1700 screen resolution and touchscreen feature. After using Pixel 2 for a few minutes, it is clear that the device is much more than a glorified web browser. Although the Pixel 2 is still absurdly expensive for a Chromebook, no one can deny that it’s a useful device.