Considering a ChromeBook? Well, read this to find out if you should buy one.ChromeBooks are lightweight laptops that run Chrome OS, a version of Linux that’s all about the cloud. Most ChromeBooks are low-end laptops, having as little as 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of eMMC storage. That sounds like a slow laptop, but it really isn’t. Chrome OS is a super lightweight Linux distro that essentially makes Google Chrome a full OS.
Chrome OS have evolved a lot in the past few years, and now feels more like a traditional OS, as it has a menu at the bottom, and you can install some apps. The only apps you can install come from the Chrome Web Store, which actually has a lot of apps. Some ChromeBooks even let you run android apps, meaning you get access to millions of more apps to run, even alternative browsers. ChromeBooks also shine in battery life, with some surpassing 12 hours on a full charge!
ChromeBooks heavily rely on the cloud. Instead of something like Libre Office, or Microsoft Office which you install on your computer, Chrome OS uses Google Drive, Google Docs, etc. That’s not to say you can’t edit Microsoft Office documents though, there is really good build in support for .docx files and .pptx, and a few more office files, plus you can access Microsoft’s online version of their Office suite, meaning you get 100% compatibility.
The only places where ChromeBooks aren’t amazing is offline support and coding. Now, you still can use your ChromeBook without an internet connection, but it’s just not as useful. For example, you can still use Google Drive, and all your offline apps, but Microsoft Office online won’t work. You can code on a ChromeBook, but you just can’t test it locally. If you’re in to web development, then sure, a ChromeBook will be great, install a text editor with syntax highlighting from the Web Store, and you’re good to go(aside from server-side languages like PHP). You can use other languages with online tools, but that won’t work offline, and it’s not as nice as just running commands in a terminal to check if your program works as expected.
Overall, if you live in Google Chrome on your current laptop or computer, then a ChromeBook will be great, but if you do heavy things like editing photos or videos, then you’ll be better off with a MacBook.