tech consumer guide

tech consumer guide

Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 03:41 pm

What Are Chromebooks Good For? What It Can and Can’t Do

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One of the worst things that can happen to you when buying a new tech gadget is the “paralysis by analysis“ scenario.

It’s the feeling of confusion and the sensation of being overwhelmed by certain choices. When buying a portable computer, some of these questions might be connected to the idea of a Chromebook.

That is why today’s post is focused on sharing some of the most important wisdom regarding these devices. What are Chromebooks good for?

What are the pros and cons of a Chromebook? What is the best Chromebook for students? Let’s talk about these gadgets and help you decide what Chromebook laptop might be best for you.

Things To Know About a Chromebook

Hardware

To begin with, when we talk about such a big category of devices, we cannot generalize the hardware. Chromebooks rarely have very powerful hardware, and if they do, it’s almost never gamer-related.

Those types of Chromebooks are both rare and very expensive. On the other hand, you get to choose what processor you want, how much RAM you need, and whether you need a dedicated graphics card.

Keep in mind, things can get quite pricey here, as Chromebook users usually choose Chromebooks due to portability, not top-notch performance. You can rarely find a Chromebook with stronger AMD or Intel chips, as most models rely on Pentium or Celerom Atom chips.

Samsung Touchscreen Chromebook.
Samsung Touchscreen Chromebook

Furthermore, Chromebooks are pretty hard to personalize hardware-wise. There are fewer parts sold on the market, and since they are so thin and small, it’s usually problematic to take them apart and put new hardware in without a professional by your side. So, what you see online is what you get.

In addition to that, the screen quality and the speaker quality is almost always compromised, so do keep in mind that if you are an artist, a movie-lover or an audiophile, you will almost definitely need additional, portable hardware accessories.

Software Benefits and Limitations

Finally, here comes a major difference between Windows laptops, Apple laptops, and Chromebooks. We are all somewhat familiar with Mac OS, and most of us know how to navigate Windows 10, but not many people know what Chrome OS is.

Chrome OS is a very intuitive but strange operation system based on Linux. It’s generally pretty fast because it has little to no bloatware in comparison to Windows 10, and it’s very intuitive to use for anyone who has dealt with a smartphone or a tablet before.

It’s a device that uses mobile data a lot since the Chrome browser is a central connection of most functions and modes. It’s heavily dependent on your Google account, Google Docs, Google Drive, etc.

That’s why you definitely have to be pro-Google here and make an account that will help you store your information. So, no matter whether you get a Google Chromebook, an Asus Chromebook, a Dell Chromebook, or a Samsung Chromebook, you’ll be met by the same interface.

Chrome OS is not much of a target for viruses and hackers, so this is another plus, especially if you care about your privacy quite a lot.

Overall, it’s best if you really take a look at this software live in the store or on YouTube, as it plays a major role for those who are very used to Mac or Windows.

Performance

Performance-wise, Chromebooks are not the fastest laptops in the game by any means. As we mentioned before, they rarely have hardware meant for gaming or heavy editing, and if they do, it’s going to cost you a fortune.

However, Chromebook laptops have better battery life than Windows laptops and most Apple models as well.

Because the OS is much more simple and the hardware isn’t demanding, you can get some pretty heavy-duty usage time with these devices.

That’s why business-oriented people, students, and teachers love them! More about that a little bit later, though!

Chromebook Set-up.
Chromebook Set-up

Style

Chromebooks are pretty stylish – small, portable, thin, modern, with a nice, small logo on the back. You can get them in various colors, various glossy or matter finishes, which makes them a great accessory for your daily life. However, don’t expect gaming designs or any luxury aluminum builds, especially in the „regular Chromebook price range. “

Price

Naturally, when choosing a portable device for yourself, you want to know whether the price is in your range. So, how much is a Chromebook?

Windows laptops of similar hardware range for somewhat smaller prices, while Apple devices of similar hardware have about the same price, or even a higher one.

When it comes to Chromebook prices, you pay the price for the simplicity and minimalism you get. Because these devices are lighter, more portable, and practical than most laptops, you will have to go for a slightly higher price than you normally would.

By now, you should have an idea of whether you can get your desired hardware in combination with Chrome OS for a reasonable price.

When it comes to software, you’ll save money by getting the G Suite instead of Microsoft Office. Chrome OS has its dedicated apps for many things, especially document-wise, but it’s up to you whether the functionality of those fits you.

What Chromebooks are and aren’t Good For?

There is no universal best Chromebook out there, but let us summarize this whole story for you. Chromebooks are usually used on the go – they’re not supposed to be super powerful, meant for gaming, editing, low-level programming, etc.

They’re supposed to be practical and portable, used by students who have to carry their stuff around campus, business people who want to have all of their things with them at all times, teachers who don’t want to invest a ton of money into a device they need for online teaching.

If you’re someone who benefits from a 2-in-1 device, many Chromebook laptops can do that, which makes them perfect for note-taking. Other than that, a smaller 13“ laptop might be a good choice.

Chromebooks are great if you:

  • Travel a lot
  • Need a lot of battery power
  • Are connected to internet 24/7
  • Require security against malware and viruses
  • Need something lightweight
  • Are on a budget
  • Want android apps on a laptop-like device

Chromebooks aren’t great if you:

  • Need a lot of processing power for heavy tasks such as editing, rendering, gaming, etc.
  • Need a lot of storage space
  • Need Microsoft Office
  • Work offline a lot
  • Work with software that do not list ChromeOS in their system requirements

Who Should Get A Chromebook?

Those who favor portability and simplicity over power. Those who use their devices for Zoom calls, document editing, light surfing, etc.

Those who are already familiar with Google Docs, Google Drive, and Gmail. Those who don’t want to pay a higher price for a laptop that they won’t fully use up.

Also, people who know that they favor battery and privacy over third party apps and personalization.

Chromebook vs Laptop

Children and preteens could get the most out of a Chromebook. They could use it for school but maintain their privacy. Also, most are used to the regular „smartphone Android look“, making it exceptionally easy to adjust to new devices like these.

Who should NOT get a Chromebook?

Those who enjoy gaming and those who like to have major control over their software are not really perfect Chromebook users.

If you want maximum productivity when you’re offline, Chromebooks are not a good idea for you either. If hardware personalization is a major worry of yours, then make sure to get a Windows laptop or an Apple model, as they are much more flexible.

Naturally, if you’re not big on Google tools such as Gmail or Google Drive, please consider getting a laptop or a tablet with a different OS.

Conclusion

Should you get a Chromebook? By now, you should have a feel whether Chromebooks are the right thing for you, but if you don’t, don’t worry – we suggest you check some products and some detailed Chromebook reviews to see whether you like some of the most popular models in the market.

If you don’t, you might want to check out some 13“ Windows models or some Apple pieces – maybe even an iPad.

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