What Is A Chromebook?
They use Google’s Chrome OS instead of Windows, Mac-OS, or any other operating system that you’re familiar with.
They’re web-based, which means they’re a lot like a tablet but they have a keyboard. It’s cool. They were designed to be used with a constant Internet connection. Apps for Chromebooks mainly run in the cloud, AKA, Google Drive. Because Chromebooks are so completely integrated with Google Drive, when you buy one, you automatically get 1 TB (1 Terabyte) of free cloud storage for 2 years with every Chromebook.
Buy a laptop for $200 or less, and get $240 worth of cloud storage. Good deal. It’s like buying the storage and getting a kick-ass laptop free. And who doesn’t like free things?
Chromebooks have a very lightweight and fast operating system so they don’t require the same hardware that a Windows or Apple laptop needs. To prove that they’re fast, my ASUS C300M boots up in about 8 seconds. Can your computer do that?
SSD Storage: Chromebooks have at least 16GB of internal storage. That’s plenty because you keep most of your files in Google Drive. But, just in case you want to store more information on your laptop, you can currently get up to 32GB.
RAM: Chromebooks come with with 2GB of RAM standard but newer models are offering more. ASUS C300M Chromebooks have both 2GB and 4GB options. To get the extra RAM will cost you about $50 extra. (Prices are subject to change)
Processor: Because of their lightweight OS, Chromebooks run well even on entry-level CPUs. They’re quite capable of running most apps like word processing, emails, calculators, spreadsheets, and streaming of music or even movies on NetFlix. They can usually run 2 or 3 apps at once relatively well. Where they really break down is 3D games. They aren’t hardcore gaming laptops. Sorry.
Screen & Resolution: Chromebooks come with different screen sizes. The most common size is the 11.6-inch screen. If you want something a bit bigger, you can get them with 13, 14, and 15-inch screens. Right now, most Chromebooks manufacturers aren’t offering screens with HD resolution. That should be changing soon. Mine has a 13 inch screen and a high-end resolution of 1536 x 864, but I prefer to leave it at 1366 x 768. It just seems to fit better.
Battery Life: Chromebooks are able to have an extremely long battery life for a couple reasons.
- There are no moving parts like a Hard Drive or a DVD Player.
- You can use a less powerful processor than a regular laptop.
I usually get between 9 and 11 hours on a single charge. Of course, it depends on how many times I shut it down and how hard the processor has to run. For the $200-$250 range, the battery life is great. Windows and Mac laptops can’t come close to that kind of battery life for that price.
Where can I get apps for my Chromebook?
Chromebook apps are web-based and like on an Android phone or tablet, you get your apps directly from Google. You can find all the apps you need at The Chrome Web Store.
If, for example, you want Microsoft Word, you have the option of using Word or you can use Google Docs, which comes included for free with all Chromebooks. And if you have files that have already bed created with Word or other MS Office products, you easily convert them to Google Docs files.
At the Chrome Web Store you can find a huge variety of free and premium apps. You can also find extensions and themes if you want to customize your laptop or Chrome browser.
Should you buy a Chromebook?
Don’t get me wrong, Chromebooks aren’t perfect. Web browsing and Google Chrome apps work great. If you’re into editing documents, playing music, streaming movies, taking notes in class, a Chromebook will be a great computer for you. If you need dedicated software that only runs on a Windows PC or a Mac, a Chromebook may not be for you. Or it may be a great laptop in addition to your Windows or Mac computer.
A Chromebook is a great laptop. It’s lightweight, has a long battery life, there are tons of free apps, and if anything ever happens to it, you just get another one and login using your Google account credentials. Everything will be there. That’s great security and peace of mind.