Chromebooks have infiltrated the mobile computer market – but is it the right choice for you?


The Chromebook provides a low cost alternative for consumers. While there are dozens of models provided by a variety of manufacturers, Chromebooks generally comes in at a much lower price point than most traditional laptops – you can find a number of offerings for under $300.


The Chromebook is essentially a lightweight laptop; however, recently some manufacturers have rolled out a more substantial Chromebooks with more computing power. Some also come as 2-in-1 devices that function as a tablet, as well.


Chromebooks function on a lightweight operating system, Chrome OS, designed by Google. Chrome OS isn’t as robust as Mac OS or Windows, but it’s a decent operating system that makes your machine more closely resemble a phone rather than a traditional laptop. You are required to download apps from Google Play or the Google Chrome stores.


There’s another way the Chromebook resembles a phone – they come with relatively limited storage. Most Chromebooks have 16, 32, or 64 GB included. The machine requires you to use cloud storage, or add a flash drive or SD drive to increase memory.


The Chromebook should be seen as a laptop offering for those who don’t need specialized programs. Users cannot run complex games or graphic programs, or anything outside the basic suite of services. A Chromebook operates best when you perform basic, rudimentary computing tasks – email, videos, text editing, and basic internet browser use. While Google OS provides options for some expanded services (while it can’t run Photoshop, it can run a striped down program called Photoshop Express), the Chromebook is very much a more basic computing experience than you’d find from Windows or Mac OS.


All the same, for many the Chromebook has become a laptop replacement, and it’s a logical choice. At half, or even less the cost of a normal laptop, it’s a very price conscious choice. Chromebooks generally offer smaller screen sizes, and with no sizable hard drive, they’re extremely light. If you’re looking for a basic computing option and don’t require much more, if may be a perfect option for those who want something simple on a budget.

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