Jonathan is a certified teacher who has taught in the UK and in the US. He now works as a digital learning consultant.
Who Are Chromebooks Meant For?
Are you looking to replace a sluggish PC laptop, or an older Macbook that you just don't have the money to buy all over again? If so, a Chromebook may be just what you need. If you use your computer primarily for email, Facebook, and general internet surfing, then you will probably really enjoy a Chromebook. However, they are not necessarily a good fit for everyone, so here's what you need to know.
What Is a Chromebook?
Chromebooks are lightweight laptops designed for people who spend most of their time online. They run an operating system called Chrome OS, which is similar to Windows or Mac OS X, but actually sits on top of a Linux platform.
Chromebooks look like traditional laptops, which is kind of the point because they aim to replace traditional laptops. They are fast and secure, and support multiple users. Many Chromebooks have an 11.6-inch screen, but 13, 14 and even 15.6-inch versions are also available. Today you can buy Chromebooks from well-known computer manufacturers like Dell, HP, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo and more.
Key Advantages of a Chromebook
So, are Chromebooks good enough for what you want to do with your laptop? Here are some of the key features that drive people to a Chromebook instead of a Windows or Mac computer.
- Price: The majority of Chromebooks cost significantly less than your average laptop. Chromebooks can be still be bought for as little as $200, with mid-range models in the $300–400 range. That makes them a very attractive proposition for budget-conscious shoppers. However, there are a growing number of Windows laptops in the very same price range, so the price advantage is not nearly as great as it once was.
- Speed: Chromebooks can power up and be ready to use in around eight seconds. They can do this because of their SSD hard drives and the lightweight Chrome OS platform.
- Battery: Expect to get six hours (or more) from the battery on an average Chromebook. Some models claim as much as 13 hours. This is often more than you might get on standard Windows laptops, although many newer Windows devices are catching up.
- Security: The Chrome OS has built-in virus and malware protection that is always updated to the latest version, so you almost never need to worry about malicious files when using a Chromebook.
- Parental Controls: Chromebook users can create supervised accounts to track or limit online activity for kids online. This makes the Chromebook a great family-friendly laptop.
- Sync: Chromebooks sync all your apps and passwords with Chrome browsers on other computers. So, if you use the Chrome browser at work, or on another home computer, your bookmarks and other preferences will automatically sync to your Chromebook, and vice versa.
- Cloud Storage: You get 100GB of Google Drive storage free for two years with all new Chromebooks. This is a huge amount of space. Comparable services from Dropbox, OneDrive or Box will cost you an additional subscription. With a Chromebook, you get a decent amount of cloud storage for free.
- Updates: Chromebooks update themselves silently, automatically, and in the background. So, your device is always up to date and works just the way you need it to.
- Weight: This varies, but most Chromebooks are lightweight devices that are portable and easy to carry with you when you need them.
- Android Apps: Google has recently announced that some touchscreen Chromebooks are able to run Android apps on your Chromebook. In fact, every Chromebook made in 2017 or later will have this ability. This merging of Chrome OS and Android really enhances the functionality of a Chromebook. It means you can use Android apps by Adobe, Microsoft and others to play games, create and edit files, or play music and movies.
Disadvantages of a Chromebook
So, it all sounds good so far, right? Well, it does, but technology pros will always tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect device. What follows are some of the reasons people think twice before purchasing Chromebooks.
- Office: If you love Microsoft Office products, a Chromebook is probably not for you. Google encourages you to use its own free online suite of Office-like services. Many of these services are comparable to components of Microsoft Office, but they do lack features that you may have come to rely on. Although you can use the Android version of Office apps, or Office Online, these services lack the full functionality of their desktop equivalents.
- Storage: Chromebooks typically only have 32GB of local storage. Limiting storage helps keep the price down because component costs are cheaper. However, Google actually wants you to store your data in the cloud, and that is why it often includes 100GB of online storage for free with new Chrombooks.
- No Optical Drive: A CD/DVD drive is quickly becoming a thing of the past with new laptops, but if you really need one, and use it regularly, you should know that you won't find one on a Chromebook.
- Video Editing: There are definitely some good online video editors you can use on the Chromebook. WeVideo, for instance, quickly comes to mind. However, if you need more control over your media, or deal with a lot of HD footage, the Chromebook might not have the horsepower you need because there are no offline editors like iMovie, Premiere Elements, or Windows Movie Maker.
- No Photoshop: Similarly, if you are a heavy user of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or other Adobe desktop software solutions, you will need to look for an equivalent online application. Things like Pixlr, or the online Photoshop Express Editor, are perfectly good for casual family photo editing, but they lack the fuller feature set of Adobe's premiere editing products. Adobe were working on an online version of Photoshop, but there is currently no timeline for when it might actually be available to consumers.
- Printing: You can print on a Chromebook without too much difficulty, but depending on the printer you have, it might not be as easy as it used to be because you are required to use Google Cloud Print. It can take a little bit of setup to make it work, but again, this is not a priority for Google. They would prefer you to keep digital versions of your files in the cloud.
- Compatibility: There is no doubt about it. Windows is the most widely used desktop operating system in existence today. As such, you will find no shortage of apps and accessories to use with a Windows PC. A Chromebook can be more limited in this regard. It has a growing library of software applications, and can be used with a increasingly wide variety of accessories, but Windows machines still win in the battle for compatibility.
How to Use a Chromebook
Cloud Computing Is the Future
Still not convinced that Chromebooks are good enough for what you want them to do? Well, consider this. Computing as we know it is changing. The days of buying software on CD or DVD are fading fast. Many laptops don't even come with a CD/DVD drive anymore. Why? The Internet.
There has been a huge increase in the number of people connected to the Internet, and data speeds are faster than ever before. This has led to an increasing number of software developers creating lightweight mobile apps, or moving their products completely online. It also means you no longer need a high-powered device to access these services. This is something that even Microsoft is learning, and new Windows laptops are often optimized to take advantage of the power of the cloud.
So, take a minute and think about what you use your computer for. The chances are high that most of what you do is now done online, or can be done in a perfectly good online alternative. Social networks, banking, email, calendars, maps, music, shopping, and even Microsoft Office, are all available online, and they all work perfectly well on a Chromebook.
On top of that, an increasing number of Chrome web apps and extensions also work offline, and will sync all your data back to the cloud when you get connected again. The same is true for the new Android apps. So, don't fall for the myth that Chromebooks are useless without an internet connection. There is more to that than you might think.
Are Chromebooks Good Enough to Replace Your Windows PC?
It all depends on what you use a computer for. If you spend most of your time online and are comfortable spending the majority of your time in a web browser, then a Chromebook will be just fine for what you want to do. If not, you may be better off with a more traditional PC, and there is no shame in that. We all need different devices for different things, but if you haven't looked at a Chromebook before, now might be a good time to take a look.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: I am a writer with many Word files from Microsoft Office. Will they be compatible with Chrome OS and can they be stored in the cloud If I use a Chromebook?
Answer: Yes. You can store Word and other Office files in Google Drive. You can also edit these files with Google’s online tools and save all the changes back to the original Word or Office file. Learn how here: https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com/2019/04/offic...
Question: Can I print from a Chromebook?
Answer: Yes! You absolutely can. Here is how: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/72252...
Question: Do Chromebooks have USB ports?
Answer: Yes, you will find models with USB-A and/or USB-C ports so that you can use them with accessories or for charging.
© 2014 Jonathan Wylie
None of you business on June 18, 2020:
it was great!
Chinmay Patil from India on May 22, 2020:
Really very happy to say, your post is very interesting to read. I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up. Enjoyed reading the article above, really explains everything in detail,
the article is very interesting and effective. Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles
Read my blogs also:
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on March 22, 2020:
Depends on the kind of gaming you do Bob, but they do have some limitations here.
Bob Mcklare on March 22, 2020:
I CANT USE GAMING!!
dadad on December 10, 2019:
chromebooks are good
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on April 04, 2019:
MY DRIVE is your Google Drive cloud storage space. You get 15GB for free and can upgrade from there depending on how much you need and how much you want to pay.
Go to www.google.com/settings/storage and select a storage plan when you need it.
ashbeauty on April 04, 2019:
I am just a new user of chromebook ...well I like it...I would like to ask only if what is my option if my MY DRIVE which has a capacity of 15GB will run out of space.Thanks
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on January 25, 2019:
They are not for everyone Harry. Sounds like you are more of a Windows person, and that is fine. Lots of great options out there for those that need them.
Harry on January 24, 2019:
CHROMEBOOKS ABSOLUTELY SUCK!!!! IT TAKES FOREVER TO LOAD AND HAS NO START MENU! ITS A RIPOFF! DON'T BUY!!!!!!!
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on January 06, 2019:
...and that's ok. I love that we have choices for the device that best fits an individual's needs and budget. They are not a good fit for me either, but I have devices that are, so find what works for you and stick with it until you find something better :)
Sarah on January 06, 2019:
i have a chromebook and i don't really think that it is the best fit for me.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on November 18, 2018:
Cloud storage is always an option if you are short on space. You can upload your images to Google Photos, Dropbox, Drive or any number of services and store them there.
However, many would say that it is good to have more than one back up of your photos, so maybe consider an external hard drive too, or a secondary cloud service, just in case the worst happens.
Ronda McCormick on November 17, 2018:
I’m looking for a laptop that is inexpensive that I could place my pictures on from my Canon camera. Could you store them on a cloud with chromebook?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on November 03, 2018:
Yes. YouTube works just fine on a Chromebook, but YouTube is owned by Google, so it should work well! :)
Adele L Hayes on November 03, 2018:
I'm looking forward to getting my new Chromebook, After reading about them I do believe that it will be a perfect fit for me I do not like Microsoft @ all !!! Only a few more days & it will be here.
Does YouTube work well on a Chromebook?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on October 17, 2018:
Liil pump on October 17, 2018:
Sophia on September 14, 2018:
this is a good text
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on August 18, 2018:
Glad it is working again. A power wash is a great fix for most problems on Chromebooks
Lindsey on August 18, 2018:
I really enjoy the chromebook. But, I ran into an issue with the sound So, I signed in as a guest and the sound worked. I ended up doing a power wash and now it works fine.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on August 02, 2018:
Great questions. Word and Excel can run on Cloudbooks, so you should have no worries there. Not all Cloudbooks are created equal, so some may be a little zippier than others, but if they run Windows 10, they will run Office apps.
As for the Internet connection, is it the Wi-Fi that is bad or the Internet in general? Just wondering if you got a laptop with an ethernet connection that you could hardwire into for a better connection. Otherwise, it just depends on what you want to do. Obviously you can't do online research, but there are some offline capabilities for Google Docs, see: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/6388102?co=...
decodeco on July 27, 2018:
Hi , I am looking for a bit of laptop vs chromebook or cloudbook !
I am researching to buy for work. I manage a cafe business and the only tasks I need to do are basic,creating documents (google docs have all I need) some menu researching allergens etc which is basically just internet surfing i suppose. So creating/editing docs, email and surfing as well as some basic record keeping. When I read all about it I think, yep ticks the boxes
Where I am getting conflicting information is regarding WORD & EXCEL, if I get sent any of these,which I do occasionally, will Cloudbook work with it.
And lastly. Internet connection at work can be soul destroying sometimes. Does this mean the laptop will be rendered useless?
Thanks for any info you can offer. Greatly appreciated
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on July 11, 2018:
A fair and well stated point. I would venture that Chromebooks are not used by main pro media people for just that purpose, but on the other hand, I don't think that was necessarily the market Google was aiming for with these devices.
Dillon on July 11, 2018:
The downfall I have with a chromebook is like you said a lot of apps are internet based and as a musician I use DAW(digital audio workstation) softwares, and don’t get me wrong google has some pretty good internet based DAW’s but all the high end DAWs like protools(strictly runs on Apple) and mixcraft(what I used to use on my hp laptop before it broke) and a lot of others like fl studios, cubase and the majority of the DAW’s require Windows or ISO so won’t work with a chromebook and music production is why I purchased one. As well as video editing softwares which some of the DAWs like mixcraft come built in so my main purpose was recording, mixing and mastering music and recording cover video(that’s why the video editing software is nessicsery. Chromebook has a few like 2 Main DAWs that are internet based but chrome wouldn’t support Tracktion a free and good internet based DAW you download. So they should make that able to run on Chrome Os as well as some other DAWs that it can support
h on June 17, 2018:
i primarily use computers for gaming, but these don't support any games on steam or any other platform
basically useless for me
G on April 27, 2018:
I use Chromebooks for everyday office work. They are fast and secure, and I think more about the work than trying to get my computer to work. Overall, they are a great replacement for light-duty Windows PCs.
Eric Farmer from Rockford Illinois on February 27, 2018:
"...the Neverware version is actually based on Google’s open source version called Chromium OS"
Yes, I did forget to mention that. That is just like how Google Chrome is based on Chromium as well. CloudReady does just about most things the official Chrome OS does and I liked it a lot when I used it.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on February 27, 2018:
I think that's a pretty fair assessment Eric. The premium Chromebooks have always been a curiosity for me too. I know some schools are using CloudReady to turn some older machines into Chrome machines with CloudReady. Although very similar to Chrome OS, the Neverware version is actually based on Google’s open source version called Chromium OS, but like you said, it can provide a very usable option for some people.
Eric Farmer from Rockford Illinois on February 26, 2018:
I have used a Chromebook in the past. While I would never buy one to replace my desktop it was a good supplement. I already use Google services to do most things including all of my text writing and editing.
I feel like a Chromebook is one of the best and cheapest ways to get a mobile web browser device. As long as you understand the limitations of the lower end hardware they are very useful.
I think the higher-end Chromebooks are a bit odd but I suppose some people like them. At that price range though I would just get a normal laptop and maybe put a different operating system (OS) on it. You can install Chrome OS on most devices with CloudReady.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on February 11, 2018:
Lauren, it very well could be. I am not sure what your coursework would involve, but for research and writing essays it would certainly be enough for what you need.
Lauren on February 11, 2018:
If I want to use this for college work, is this a good choice? I'm going to a Bible school, so I shouldn't need it for video or graphic design or anything like that. I'll be able to do email and social media on my phone, so that's not a big issue either. Is this a good choice for me?
Hi on December 08, 2017:
Cant even play poptropica on a chromebook, runs at 1 fps IF YOURE LUCKY. Theyre soo slow and useless
john wile on December 03, 2017:
i have a chrome book
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on November 29, 2017:
Well, computing as we know it, is definitely changing. Things like iPads and Chromebooks are becoming very capable laptop replacements because the tasks that we typically needed desktop computers for in the past are becoming less common. The web and app ecosphere is serving a lot of those needs. We still have choice, which is a good thing. If you want a Mac or a PC you can have one. If you would rather have a Chromebook, you can have that too.
Giuseppe on November 29, 2017:
I believe that a chromebook is the devolution of a computer and they should take them all back and burn them.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on November 25, 2017:
Yes! Those are all great features. The Pixelbook is a fine machine. Perhaps the ultimate vision of what a Chromebook can be, at least from Google's point of view.
Daniel Kearl on November 24, 2017:
I am a teacher and I bought a Pixelbook, it is my Daily Driver. I can do everything I need way easier. I like how they have Andriod Apps and they have offline functionality.
I like how it updates itself.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on November 22, 2017:
The security is definitely a strong point Chromebooks. They just don’t get much malware at all.
ChozoWarrior on November 22, 2017:
also stuff on windows I cant use on Chromebooks. but there are some advantages of using a Chromebook. the built-in anti-virus software. the emulators or games I download may or may not have a virus attached or embedded in them.
ChozoWarrior on November 22, 2017:
i have on for school and can't download roms or emulator which is stupid to me
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on October 30, 2017:
Yes. Adobe Flash still works on Chromebooks. Adobe has put an end of life date on this technology, but as of right now it still exists and Chromebooks do support it. Java, however, will not work, but not many sites still rely on that any more.
Deiseboy on October 30, 2017:
Hi. I sometimes watch live flash streams in a browser on my laptop (IE or Chrome).
Would I be able to do this on a chromebook?
mojo on October 25, 2017:
if you are trying to be compatible with Microsoft and print things without going crazy, don't buy a Chromebook. The only good thing about them is how fast they are (which isn't even all the time) but so far that doesn't cut it for me. Ultimately disappointed.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on October 19, 2017:
Yes, in many ways they are. Most of the work you will do on a Chromebook is done in the Chrome browser, but for some people this is true if they have a Mac or a PC. That is probably some of the appeal.
NameTheNameless on October 19, 2017:
Chromebooks are really just a only chrome laptop.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on August 29, 2017:
Chrome book updates are not much bigger than a browser update. They are frequent but not weekly or anything like that so I don't think you will have any issues there. Spotify will work just fine as long as your wifi connection is good enough to support it.
DJWiggles.net on August 29, 2017:
My Lenovo decided to take a crap after 1 year. I used it for Spotify and streaming songs at parties. I use my own wifi. Two questions: 1) Will the Chromebook eat up a lot of data when it "silently" updates itself?... this worries me. I shut off that feature with the Lenovo... and 2) Will the streaming of music be smooth?
David on July 25, 2017:
With all going on in the world, do you really think the "cloud" is a viable, private, secure storage medium? I don't and I never will.
And whether or not internet speeds are getting better, I do not like being told how to work or what crippled software I must use to do it. Besides, people who just use FB, or skype, or twitter, instagram, etc are not computing anyway, so have at it.
Jeff Jerome on July 12, 2017:
Why keep billing the chromebook as a newer, faster computer? It is not a computer. Do you not know what you built?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on June 22, 2017:
Great question OJ, but I don't know if they are or not. I have never used one. It may depend on the monitor. Maybe someone else here can answer that question...
OJ on June 22, 2017:
Are chromebooks compatible with usb portable monitors?
Nick2you on June 13, 2017:
Marko, If you haven't already made a purchase, be sure to check out the new Samsung Chromebook Plus. The screen is gorgeous. 2400x1600. And it's light as a feather and has excellent battery life.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on June 05, 2017:
Macs and iPads are an option too :)
Bill on June 03, 2017:
I am tired of windows perpetual B.S. and expensive Microsoft products. willing to try something new especially with the safety of virus protection.
marko on March 20, 2017:
I like your pro experience . You are great . I am planning to buy a SAMSUNG chrome book 3 . I need it for watching " you tube movies " , surfing ( looking up things ) and e mailing . I am somehow concerned about the pixels / is the picture sharp ? Will it work on WI FI ? I would appreciate your advice about buying a SAMSUNG 3 . My email email@example.com
Emily on March 02, 2017:
A chrome book could never replace my surface book.
Franco on February 02, 2017:
Damn, I was sold until u read that it's incompatible with photoshop :/ that's where I do all my digital art... but I hate PC and to buy another mac is too expensive.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on February 01, 2017:
In short, yes. Most modern Chromebooks come with HDMI ports, and these can be used to connect to modern projectors or HDTVs. Some projectors only have VGA but yuo can can easily find VGA to HDMI adapters that will work with these projectors.
bwanner on January 31, 2017:
Can the chrome book be used to present slideshows used on apple laptos? Is it compatible with traditional slideshow projectors / USB port connections?
chrome on January 17, 2017:
I own a chromebook (I am writing this from my chromebook)
and believe me it is the fastest os i have ever used.
it boots up within seconds unlike windows and turns off in seconds.
I use it for all my internet stuff and I just love it.
buy one if you want to carry chrome browser around with you.
kjlsd on January 06, 2017:
they are not good trust me
jknj on June 23, 2016:
I have no idea what an optivam drive or whatever is - I got a chrome book a month ago for 300$ and it's awesome sometimes I am online all day and its great the batttery does last long without the charger it's great for email fb and watching movies - for sure a good buy well spent 300$
johnmoses on June 08, 2016:
You are correct it doesn't have an optical drive. However, a USB drive or external hard drive is read/writable with Chromebook and an external optical drive will NOT work.
Bob Schroeder on March 27, 2016:
Very interesting, thanks for the info
Alan on January 01, 2016:
I have a 4GB Dell Chromebook 11, it does everything I want a laptop to do. I will never own another Windows laptop...ever.
My Chromebook looks better, is much easier to use and the performance is much quicker.
I should of switched a long time ago...
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on December 19, 2015:
Gucci, you would be able to use Word and PowerPoint if you used the free online versions at Office.com. However, you cannot use the desktop versions like Office 2013 or Office 365 because they don't work on the Chromebook operating system.
So, if the online versions of Office work for you, a Chromebook will be fine, otherwise, I would look at one of the new low cost Windows laptops like the HP Stream or something like that. Some are listed above in this article.
Gucci on December 18, 2015:
Hi jonathan. Would i be able to type and submits my sch assignments,courseworks and project on a chrome book. That is, would i b able to use Microsoft offices like word and power point?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on June 06, 2015:
There are Microsoft Office apps in the Google Play Store for Android, but yes, you are right, they are a different ecosystem, so will not run on a Chromebook. If you are interested in an Office experience on a Chromebook, you should check out Office Online. There are apps for Office Online in the Chrome Web Store, and these work with Chromebooks. Or, you can go to Office.com and login with a Microsoft account.
Can you transfer app from the Play Store to the Chrome Web Store? No. They may be under the same Google Account, but most Android apps will not run on Chrome OS. Google is working to change that, because a small number of Android apps will run on Chromebooks, but it is only a select number of apps right now. More info here: http://is.gd/yCRjGj
Imran on June 06, 2015:
I notice that there are Microsoft Office "apps" available in the Android eco-system, but presume that Chromebooks run in an entirely different system? Also, can you transfer purchases made from the Android app store to the Chrome app store?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on May 29, 2015:
I agree. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 looks like a great choice. iTunes will not work on your Chromebook, however, you should take a look at Google Play Music to see what it could offer you. They even have a tool to upload all your existing iTunes music to the cloud. See: https://youtu.be/qbNsxMkrF8A.
The Google Play Music app for the iPhone would let you access all your music stored or bought from the Google Play Music Store. See: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-play-music/...
As for your other requirements, a Chromebook could be fine for that. It will handle social media sites just fine. I don't know what apps you are wanting to use for your college work, but if Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets are the kinds of things you are looking for, they will also work just fine on a Chromebook.
For photos, most Chromebooks have an SD card reader or a USB slot that you can use to transfer photos. However, onboard storage is often not very much so you would be better storing pictures online, instead of on the device. The new Google Photos offers unlimited, secure storage for your photos. See: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/picture-thi...
I hope this helps.
Katie R on May 28, 2015:
Firstly, thank you for such an informative article Jonathan!
I'm a student wanting a light, preferably good looking chromebook at a decent price (being a poor student and all). So far I'm really thinking about the Toshiba Chromebook 2 as I've read good reviews.
I'm sorry if i've missed this somewhere in your article, but can I get music on to my iphone from a Chromebook? I have an iphone 5C and have always used iTunes.
I only really use a laptop to use social networking sites, download and store my photos, and do college work. Could I do all of those things easily on the Chromebook?
Thank you in advance!
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on May 25, 2015:
Couldn't agree more Charlie!
Charlie Gerancher on May 25, 2015:
Like any device, your choice should depend upon your needs. I have been using a Samsung Chromebook in addition to my PC at work and my Mac at home. I work in a GAFE district, so the tool fits the job well. The only issue that sometimes causes me frustration is the screen size. I like big screens, better yet dual monitor setup! But, for what it is and can do given the work location(i.e. Panera, Dunkin Donuts) it does the job.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on May 06, 2015:
Glad it works for you Alan. The Dell Chromebook is definitely one of the better Chromebooks...in my opinion :)
Alan on May 06, 2015:
My Dell chromebook 11 has already replaced my Windows PC for good, I just lost faith in Microsoft and their ability to make a decent stable OS. Chromebooks rock!
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on March 24, 2015:
Great question. No, Chromebooks do not support Java. Flash works fine, but Java does not.
Dakota on March 24, 2015:
May sound silly, but does it support java? For in browser games? That's a must for me.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on March 20, 2015:
You can do both! :)
jozzy on March 19, 2015:
jozzy on March 19, 2015:
Can you download something from the web and it'll go directly to google drive? Or do downloads go to the on board storage & I'll have to more them to drive?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on March 14, 2015:
You are most welcome Vihaan!
Vihaan Bhatnagar on March 13, 2015:
Thank you so much. Your review is really very useful.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on January 29, 2015:
A Chromebook? Each could be a little different, but the power button is usually in the top right-hand corner of the keyboard.
Cheech on January 29, 2015:
how do you turn it on?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on January 26, 2015:
Oh, if you tinkered with the internals you could probably upgrade the SSD, but I doubt it would be worth the hassle. Most have an SD card slot that you could use, but the main use of these types of devices is cloud apps from Google or the Chrome Web Store.
TTGReviews on January 26, 2015:
Is there a way to increase the amount of on-board storage? Or is there a way to install and run applications from off the cloud?
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on December 29, 2014:
It's certainly the future that Google, Microsoft and Apple are investing in right now, but things have a funny habit of changing quickly in the technology world, so I wouldn't be surprised to see something else as the soupe du jour...you know...some time in the future ;)
pcguy on December 29, 2014:
Near the end you quoted that cloud computing is the future not so sure pal we don't know who has virtual access to our data all it takes is one black hat hacker and google drive servers are down and boom someones bank account is clean.not to be too harsh but it is partially the future but don't forget about intel and amd the possibility of chemical or even biological computer systems in the future
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on December 28, 2014:
Yes Elaine, you can use Google, Bing Yahoo! or any other search engine that you want to use. Google is the default search engine on a Chromebook.
ELAINE on December 27, 2014:
This will sound dumb, but I`m a novice. Can I GOOGLE information on a ChromeBook...
Claude on December 23, 2014:
I'm already downloading documents from bank and suppliers already in a pdf format. I have read on several blogs that for Google, we are not the customers but the product. At this point, all those docs are stored on my hard drive. A flash drive is a good idea to store archives. A 32 GB hard drive is more than enough to store what I have (not exceeding 150 mg) Thanks for your response.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on December 23, 2014:
I guess it depends on your definition of anyone :) Where do you store these statements now? A Chromebook will let you print to PDF, giving you a digital version of a document you can save, store and organize in Google Drive. Would that work? Otherwise, there is around 32GB of hard drive space on most Chromebooks and you should be able to attach a USB drive or external flash drive if you need more space or portability.
As for the digitizing process, that would probably be best performed on another device. There are not any scanners that I know of that work with Chromebooks. In a pinch you could use the webcam, but that may not be very good for that purpose.
Claude on December 22, 2014:
Thank you for this very informative article. A few years ago I went paperless which means that I'm digitalizing bank statements, invoices and a host of papers I don't wish to share with anyone. How can that be possible with a Chromebook? 90% of my time is spent online. I am in the Apple ecosystem.
joseph cherian pulikkottil on December 04, 2014:
1. From the article it appears that chromebooks are more stable. i would like to know about the availability of hardware spare parts and service centres. if i buy a toshiba chromebook and get some hardware problem after sometime whether the chromebook has to be totally discarded or it can be set right.
2. jonathan has given the details nicely and congrats to him.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on November 23, 2014:
Bree, right now there is no official Photoshop for Chromebooks, however, Google have announced that they are working with Adobe on a streaming version for Chrome OS. It is currently in early testing with a few select education partners, but if all goes well, you may see it some time in the not too distant future.
More details here: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2014/09/adobe-joins-chr...
Bree on November 23, 2014:
I can deal with not being able to use Office, but I need my photoshop :( I was going to buy one until I saw the "no photoshop" downside.
Sara Johnson from United States on October 14, 2014:
I disagree with Hezekiah - I use my Chromebook almost exclusively for business - it's so fast and convenient; and, with 100 GB of cloud storage, I never have to worry about losing my work. HP Chromebook all the way!
Hezekiah from Japan on September 17, 2014:
Nice articles. The Chromebook looks more like something for social network users rather than a serious Pc for work.
Jonathan Wylie (author) from Iowa, USA on September 16, 2014:
Michael, just wanted to clarify your comment. If you buy the Office 365 suite that you linked to above, you CANNOT install it on a Chromebook. It is ONLY available for Mac or PC. The desktop software will NOT run on a Chromebook.
However, as you correctly stated, Office Online is available for free on the web for everyone with a free Microsoft account when you visit http://office.com. No subscription is needed. The web apps are more limited versions of the desktop suite, but often more than adequate for a lot of tasks.
Michael Sall on September 16, 2014:
For those of you who are wary of getting a Chromebook due to its “lack” of Office, please do not listen to the naysayers. As is known, a Chromebook is a cloud laptop. Google Drive is integrated with the system. People who say that Chromebooks can’t use Office are mistaken.
Microsoft has the Office 365 suite available that can be used easily from a Chromebook. Office 365 requires a subscription ( http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/html/pbp... )to the service with a cost of $70 or $100 depending on your requirements. If you do not need the full functionality of the full suite there are free versions available in the Chrome Store to use online (Word Online, OneNote Online, PowerPoint Online, Excel Online). You will need to have a valid Windows Live Account to use them.