Thinking of buying a Chromebook? Whether you want to replace a sluggish laptop or are searching for a more affordable system that can cater with your online activities, Chromebooks definitely can be good replacement and perfect value for your money. However, does it really have what it needs for a professional system? Is it as fit for a complicated technical assignment as for small online tasks?
You can only find this if you analyze different aspects of a Chromebook. Let’s explore black and white aspects of Chromebooks and decide yourself if it is a good fit for you.
Pros of Buying a Chromebook:
We all know that Chromebook is easy to use and is excellent for simple online functions. It is cheap; an average Chromebook is available in $200-$400 and is quite user-friendly. Furthermore, Chromebook is very lightweight and can be easily carried on while you are travelling.
All of these things have resulted in Chromebooks generating a community of raving fans. But, what are the other factors that make Chromebook stand out among different other computer systems? Let’s explore different positive aspects of a Chromebook.
Chromebook Reduces Your IT Costs Considerably
There are four main reasons that show us how Chromebooks can considerably cut our IT costs.
- First, average cost of a decent Chromebook is around $200 -$400, but you can also get a very good Chromebook (used) in as low as $150 to $180. Thus, it saves hundreds of dollars that would have otherwise spent on other operating systems.
- Secondly, Chromebook does not require special software to run its programs thereby saving you a lot of costs that would have otherwise gone on maintaining and installing different software.
- Thirdly, Chromebooks do not have extra hardware parts that mean they are less likely to require mechanical maintenance.
- And lastly, you do not need to spend extra amount on storage devices as you (as well as your team) will be saving almost entirely in the cloud.
Chromebooks are Nearly Invulnerable to Viruses
Chromebooks are invulnerable to traditional malwares and viruses. Traditional viruses need to be installed on your computer in order to harass the data. But since Chromebook uses Chrome OS system it provides you a good protection against all such attacks. It is as if specialized and highly professional Google anti-hackers team is on 24/7 vigilance to prevent your system from coming under any such attacks. Chromebook has a very strong rebooting system and therefore, in case of a small system glitch you reboot your device, and it will become as fit as it ought to be. If you repeatedly encounter a bug in your Chromebook, then you should get the plug-ins checked as in most of the cases viruses enter into Chromebook through an effected wire connecting your Chromebook with another operating system.
Chromebooks Reboot Fast…Really Fast!
Chromebook restarts in blink of an eye. The boot-up time is no longer than a few seconds. You might need to reboot your Chromebook when it is slow or is supposedly infected by a bug. You can reboot your Chromebook by simultaneously pressing power button and “refresh” button.
Chromebooks Have Excellent Battery Life
An average Chromebook gives you 6-8 hours battery life. Some might give you as high as 13+ hours. You can only dream of getting this long battery life on other operating systems. Longer battery life means that you no longer need to carry your charger with you all the time. Just charge your Chromebook once and the battery is enough to last for an entire day.
Chromebook Automatically Updates to Latest Version
Chromebooks update by automatically default, without requiring manual action on your part. Therefore, the system starts upgrading itself (security/protection and software updates) as soon as you turn it on.
This means no more waiting for the dreaded notice: “Please do not power off or unplug your machine. Installing update 1 of many…”
Your Chromebook is Interchangeable
Yes, you read it right! You can get a replacement of your Chromebook (plus your data that is stored in the cloud) back if it is stolen or destroyed.
You Get 100GB Google Cloud Storage and Data Backup
All Chromebooks get 100GB Google Drive Storage, a similar amount of storage space if purchased on DropBox, OneDrive or other data storage sites will cost a significant fortune. Simultaneously, Chromebook keeps updating your data as long as long as you are online. Therefore, work done on a Chrome browser from any other operating system is instantly synchronizd with your Chromebook.
Chromebook Excellently Integrates All Google Apps
Do you know 500+ companies are using Google Apps in the US alone? If yours is one of them, then there isn’t any other better device that will allow you to integrate all your Google apps at one place.
Chromebook Synchronizes Your Apps and Passwords with Google Browsers
Chromebook synchronizes with Google browsers. Therefore, when you use Google browser on any other device all your data, preferences and bookmarks will be synchronized with your Chromebook resting back at home.
Cut Your IT Costs with Chromebooks
A complete professional package of Google office apps will cost you approximately $3.30. These apps include Google Apps for Work, Google’s suite of productivity apps (including word processing, spreadsheets, email and diary management). And don’t forget the savings of the costs that would have been otherwise spent on a virus protection system and hiring and paying a professional team for securing and protecting your data.
A Perfect Robust Platform for a Cloud Based Business
Google provides you ample apps that run in a web browser. Almost 89% of online businesses rely on major Google online apps. Take for example CRM (customer relationship management) tools like Salesforce, Google email service Gmail, accounting management Xero, e-newsletter apps Mailchimp and so many others. If your team is already using these browser based apps to perform tasks, control, and project monitoring, then there isn’t any better option other than the Chromebook. The system offers you fast speed, excellent security, extra data storage and unmatchable connectivity with all your online activities.
You Can Activate Parental Controls on Chromebook
Buying a Chromebook means you can protect your children. Chrome OS, and thus Chromebooks, allows you to create “supervised accounts” to track and/or limit online activities of your children. The “supervised accounts” help you track activities by allowing or blocking websites, reviewing history (websites that have been visited by your children) and preventing children from creating new profiles to counter your moves.
You Can Run Your WordPress Blog from Chromebook
Chromebook can be easily used to manage WordPress blogs. Since WordPress performs most of its functions online, you will not feel any hindrance in updating your blog with fresh content. Pixlr can be used as a substitute of photoshop, although it is not as professional as other multimedia editors (especially photoshop), it can perform simpler photo editing functions flawlessly. Similarly, Dropbox can be used to share documents and “Writer” provides a distraction free writing platform.
You Can Use Almost Any Hardware with Your Chromebook
Thanks to Logitech app, you can now use any hardware with your Chromebook. Interestingly you can use as many accessories to enhance your newly bought Chromebook experience as you want. The accessories include keyboards, mouse, sophisticated stereo headsets and many more.
Cons of Buying a Chromebook
Everything that we have in this world has its shades of black alongside the brightest aspects. That said, Chromebooks might not be right for everyone. Let’s have a look at the cons of Chromebooks.
Most of the Web Applications Can’t Operate Offline
While Google offers you offline versions of some applications, most of the apps do not work offline. Therefore, for your data to be stored and updated in Chromebook, it is necessary that you must have a permanent internet connection. If you have done some local changes while offline, you will need internet connectivity to synchronize them with your Chromebook.
Outer Storage Needed for Media (Music/Movies)
Chromebooks do not have enough memory to store large files; hence, most of the files are stored in the cloud. This storage set up might be inconvenient when you want to play music/movies without an internet connection. Therefore, in order to carry those extra files, you will need removable storage devices (i.e. SD cards).
Nearly Impossible to Plug-in a Printer
You cannot plug-in a printer with your Chromebook. Therefore, if you want to print out a page, you either connect another computer with Chromebook (transfer data to a Linux or Windows computer) or use a cloud-enabled printer.
You Are Stuck on Google Apps
With Chromebook, you are stuck with Google Chrome, docs, sheets and other Google apps. You cannot download your favorite games or cannot use any other browser. You cannot use Skype (a Microsoft product) video or audio service; however, you can use Skype chat. Although Google offers Google Hangout to substitute for Skype, but Skype has been used by the majority of the professional as well as domestic users for quite some time now, therefore, ultimately you’ll need to connect with your business partners, colleagues or family through Skype only.
MS Office is Web-Based
Microsoft offers a web-based version of MS office for Chromebook users. This web-based version, which is popularly known as Office Online, contains Word Online, Excel Online and Power Point Online. Although you can use it on your Chrome browser, those who are used to using fancy features of MS Office downloaded on their laptops might feel a little disappointed for online version lacks those fancy features. Even though it has a familiar interface, it is disappointing to see that it does not offer offline support.
Chromebooks Are Not Ideal for Working on Multimedia
Chromebook offers good offline as well as online editors for simple multimedia functions and image editing. Then there are some powerful Chromebooks like the one you get when buying a Chromebook Pixel (this one has an i7 processor). These are specially designed for performing multimedia functions but are a bit more expensive. However, if your work requires highly professional and technical multimedia tools, both audio as well as video, a Chromebook might not be a very good option.
Most of the powerful multimedia software; i.e. Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro, etc. are not available of a web browser. Although a “streamed” edition of Photoshop is available for Chromebook users, it too lacks pro features that are available in the offline version of the app. Moreover, it is a Beta version that is currently available only to North American customers under a paid program called Creative Cloud Membership.
Chromebook is Not a Very Good Option for Programming Students
It is often said that a Chromebook can be used to develop languages and programs. However, that is not completely true. While you have many options to develop basic programming languages (i.e. cloud IDE – Integrated Development Environment, Ubuntu, Koding, etc.) more advanced programming on Chromebook can become a very complicated and convoluted task because of limited storage capacity of the system. You can connect Linux with a Chromebook and then run programming on it, but again, why not rely on a simple traditional computer than to take so much trouble with a Chromebook.
Google Password Synchronization May Make Your Personal Data Vulnerable
Chromebook synchronizes all your Google passwords. All your passwords including Gmail and various other apps will be jeopardized in case your system is stolen or is hacked.
Chromebooks are lightweight, easy to use operating systems that are affordable and quite secure. However, they might not be very helpful in performing complex programming tasks, offline work, and printing documents. Nothing is perfect, however, in the end, it is you who have to decide whether you can benefit from Chromebooks. As tech industry is rapidly moving towards cloud computing the time is not far away when a Chromebook will beat the rest of the operating systems.
What are YOUR reasons for buying a Chromebook or not? Feel free to share your invaluable experience in the comments box below.
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