Last Updated on March 9, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular with the increasing number of workers that want to work remotely. A Chromebook is basically a laptop minus the storage that other laptops usually provide.
What is a Chromebook?
A Chromebook is a Laptop or a Tablet that runs with Google’s Chrome operating system. Chromebook is generally used when you are online and everything you do on it is saved to the cloud. Running on Chrome OS, Chromebooks have some advantages and disadvantages.
Chromebooks have a screen that measures from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches. This gives customers a variety of options to select from. Besides Google Chromebooks, manufacturers like HP, Acer, Lenovo, and Dell also sell Chromebooks these days.
Chromebook Vs Laptop
The main difference between Chromebook and a Laptop (for example Dell) is that Chromebooks run on the Chrome OS, which means that Windows and macOS programs don’t work on these devices. Chrome OS is an operating system by Google which is completely based on clouds which is why Chromebooks do not come with internal storage capacity.
Pros and Cons of Chromebook
Chromebooks were a big talk of the market for a while but are they actually worth the hype? Before making a purchase, here are a few advantages and disadvantages that you need to know about the Chromebook.
Advantages of Chromebook
There are many advantages of Chromebook over other laptops. Some of the benefits of using Chromebook are discussed below.
One of the biggest upsides to a Chromebook is its price. The cheapest you can get a Chromebook is for $200 while most of them are in the $300-$400 range. Other regular laptops can cost twice or thrice this amount, even the mid-range ones. When you buy a Chromebook, you will be saving a decent amount of money.
The second part of this is the deducted cost of having to install software since these laptops do not depend on installed software, resulting in a cheaper maintenance value.
2. Speedy Booting
The fastest a Chromebook can boot up is around 8 seconds. The reason behind this speed is the use of SSDs instead of hard drives like regular laptops. The OS that it uses, the Chrome OS, also plays a part in this speed.
Due to the lack of traditional hardware like on other laptops, Chromebooks are much lighter and easier to carry around. If you are someone who requires a laptop to be with them everywhere, this can be especially beneficial for you. But, an important thing is to note that since it is a cloud-based system, you will still need to have access to the internet to work.
4. Cloud-based Storage
In simple words, cloud storage is a type of storage where all of your digital data is stored in a virtual space on the internet that is dedicated to you. It is becoming increasingly popular with the expansion and development of technology.
When you buy a Chromebook, you get 100GB of Google Drive storage for free. Other services like OneDrive, Dropbox charge you extra for this kind of storage. It is a good deal with Chromebook.
5. Long Battery Life
The average battery life of a Chromebook is about six hours while some models also last for about thirteen. Compared to a mid-range regular laptop, this is much higher in comparison. Although newer laptops can provide the same range of battery life.
Disadvantages of Chromebook
Like every other device, there are also some of the cons of using Chromebook. They also come with more than their fair share of disadvantages.
1. Limited Storage
Usually, Chromebooks have about 32GB of total storage. The price is cheaper because they don’t have components like regular laptops but it also creates a problem for storage since 32GB does not mean a lot for a laptop. It compensates for this by providing 100GB of cloud storage. This could create doubts about security for some.
2. Not Recommended for Gaming
Chromebooks might not be the best option for you if you are looking for a computer that you can play games on. These laptops aren’t as powerful as other laptops out there to deal with the processing power most games these days need. You could play a few Android games but that is it.
3. No Microsoft Office
If you are someone who needs Microsoft Office or has been using Microsoft Office for a long time, Chromebooks might not be the best option for you. Google wants you to use its own free online suite of Office-like services (Wylie, 2017). They are similar to MS Word in some ways but it might take time to get used to it.
4. Video Editing
Due to the lack of software like on regular laptops, you have to do most work on a Chromebook, online. This includes video editing and if you’re in a field that requires you to deal with video editing, you know that there are not a lot of online editors that let you edit videos the same way offline applications do.
In addition, if you deal with a lot of footage in HD, Chromebooks don’t have the power they need to edit such large files. This is the same case for photo editing applications like Photoshop.
Although Chromebooks is mainly targeted at those who enjoy being on the cloud, sometimes it sucks when you need software for a specific purpose. Most of the software developers do not develop software for Chromebook. But, there are millions of software available for Windows and Mac.
There are a lot of things to consider before buying a Chromebook. While there are a lot of advantages to getting a lightweight, cheap laptop like this, it might not be suitable for everyone in every line of work.
For example, if you are a student who needs it to take notes and keep track of your studies, this could be a great option for you because of its lightweight, low cost, and speed. It could also be a great option for you if you are looking to get a secondary laptop for things like Facebook and Gmail and just internet surfing.
If you are someone who needs to do more than just take notes, a Chromebook is probably not the best option for you. Especially right now when there are a ton of regular laptops out there at a lower cost that gives you the full functionality of an actual laptop.