Should I use a Chromebook? This question depends on what do you need the laptop for. The Windows can appear too complex for children who’d like to enjoy some childish videos, browser games and other beauties Chrome can offer. On the other side, even elders could use what Chromebooks have to offer. Naturally, if you’re a social media person, and you don’t have a need for using Office programs and more high end programs, Chromebook is for you.
What’s the Chromebooks
If you haven’t thought about the term of Chromebook ever in your life, what is the first thing that pops up to your mind whenever someone mentions the Chromebook?
Being very inexpensive, the Chromebooks represent an affordable notebook that is equipped with the Chrome OS instead of Windows or Mac OS. This operating system is based in the Web browser Google Chrome, our favorite internet browser that we use everyday.
With this in mind, Chrome operating system is an essential interface in the Chromebook and is mainly centered towards the web applications and storage inside the web, which is why you won’t stumble across some serious business related person using a Chromebook.
Thinking about this, the Chromebook is used mainly by people who spend the most of their time browsing the hidden corners of the web, managing storage on GoogleDrive or deal with their social network profiles, on the other side, they also work with the emails, Google’s Application suite or in other web applications that require a lot of tab juggling.
Additionally, if you have a primary laptop focused in the gaming or working, the Chromebook will feel like a perfect addition that is used mainly for the web operations, in order to replace a chunky laptop or a desktop.
Chromebook doesn’t utilize the Photoshop, Microsoft Office, regular email client and similar programs. If you’re stuck using these applications, owning Chromebook could be a difficult thing for you. However, you can easily edit photos in Chromebook. The editing itself has majorly improved over the years.
Unfortunately, you will notice that the already embedded photo editor still takes a lot of time to move and is quite limited. The cropping, rotating and navigating between the better balance of brightness and contrast is a piece of cake but, for more demanding actions, you will have to settle with more powerful laptop.
Never say never, with the technology moving forward day after a day, I wouldn’t be surprised if soon we stumble across the high end Chromebooks that will exceed from our expectation. Just in couple of months, the new Chromebooks will be capable of utilizing the regular, very needed, Android applications. However we will still have to wait for Windows and macOS to make their appearance in these machines.
Despite requiring the fast and reliable internet connection for functioning through the vast majority of tasks, the Chromebooks do support couple of offline utilities such as for the Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar and Play Movies. Furthermore, there are a lot of useful offline applications that you can easily access by going to the Google Chrome Web Store.
Google even encourages a great-quality storage, by allowing them to use the best out of cloud. This includes free 100 GB of free Storage for two years. This is a great addition, considering that Chromebooks are not known for a lot of their local storage.
Unfortunately, after those two years expire, Google will offer you to pay for those 100 GB of free space. Luckily, it is not too expensive and you can get those 100 GB for $2 per month. Expanding the storage is pretty easy, given that the vast majority of Chromebooks are provided with USB ports and an SD/Micro SD card slot, which is very useful when it comes to saving the taken space in the Chromebook.
Do not fret, knowing that this laptop relies mostly on Google’s apps, it will be hard to beat up the given local storage provided in the notebook.
Another great addition of the Chromebook, you can always use your notebook as a result of offline sync for all of the documents, which is achieved through the smartphone’s data connection. Users are also encouraged to use a mobile hotspot, while providing themselves with more offline capabilities next to the Chromebook.
What Makes a Good Chromebook?
In this section, we’re going to talk about every component and performance that goes into the tight race with choosing the right Chromebook. The choice can be often tough and at times misleading if you don’t have the best experience with choosing laptops.
But, we’re here to help you not turn away from the path by providing the information about the best amount of storage, RAM, the choice of CPU and more. While the specifications don’t entire matter because Chromebooks are quite limited, you will still have to put some specifications in consideration.
It is not quite to choose the perfect amount of RAM for your new Chromebook. Even two gigabytes of RAM will suffice for everyday needs of email and social media checking, even for some amount of gaming. Even so, there are couple of high end models that feature 4 GB.
If you prefer to multitask and switch between the applications a lot, opting for the 4 GB version is definitely not bad idea. Unfortunately, opting for more amount of RAM could lead up to $250 more than considered to spend. Even though some Chromebooks were featured with better processor but, less amount of RAM, the devices which supported 4 GB provided pure excellence for using.
More RAM guarantees easier and smoother navigation between the apps, allowing you to have a lot of tabs opened and in usage on your Chrome browser.
There were several laptops that were struggling while navigating between Chrome tabs and they had 2 GB. That can be very disappointing mostly because there are Windows machine that can navigate just fine with only 2 GB.
Together with RAM, the processor has a great role in determining the overall performance and how smooth is your Chromebook going to work. When you’re streaming videos, playing games or just switching between the tabs, these two components will make a crucial determination when it comes to the performance.
Currently, Intel Celeron chips are the most popular among the Chromebooks. They provide great amount of smoothness and multithreading features. However, there is even more of that in the Core i3 CPU. So, if you have money to spend, opting for the Core i3 could be the best ideas, as the fastest Chromebooks are based on those. Also, with this chip, the battery life is much more enhanced and prolonged, while the system will behave respectfully, and have a decent response time.
Chromebooks offer far better battery life compared to the Windows notebooks. With i3 processor, the notebooks will embedded Windows system can last around 7 hours while the Chromebook with the right setup can survive over 10 hours of battery life.
Toshiba has released a decent Chromebook with decent features. The Intel Celeron and 4 GB of RAM, followed with the 16 GB SSD, has provided great performance while achieving great performance results in the tests. This Chromebook also survived over 10 hours of battery life.
If you’re looking for a Windows 10 laptop, that will outperform a Chromebook in terms of battery life, with the right combination of specs, you’d probably have to spend couple of bucks more. If you buy a laptop with the same specifications as this laptop, you will be greeted with a poor and disappointing 4 hours and half battery life that can’t really get you anywhere, in the multithreading missions.
Nvidia has featured its own chip, named Tegra K1. It offers absolutely amazing graphics performance but, only Acer managed to power it in its latest Acer Chromebook 13.
Storage isn’t essential with Google’s 100 GB free storage for two years but, it is important to note that every Chromebook is powered with at least 16GB of storage that persists and some notebooks offer even more. While this seems pretty small to someone who spent years using Windows machine, this is probably the most of storage you will ever need on a Chromebook. These systems don’t support imbuing the massive and large applications or, adapt to a huge amount of media stored in them
The Toshiba’s Chromebook has an SD card reader which means that with ease, you can expand the storage of your Chromebook with the storage up to 64 GB.
Like mentioned above, whenever you purchase a Chromebook, Google will gift you with 100 GB free Google Drive storage for two years. You can easily use this feature to store everything that at this moment you don’t need, or whatever cannot fit in your Chromebook. Also, go for the storage of 32 GB only if you are going to download a lot of offline applications.
While you will think that the sufficient display is just for you, its size can sound the most essential thing, but doesn’t represent the only thing that matters. You will with ease notice that the Chromebooks that sport less performance will greet you with the 1366 x 768 pixel resolution displays, and they suffice for the vast majority of important tasks on Chromebook.
However, if you want a more vivid image with sharp textures, video and graphics, sport a full-HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels. Perhaps you will pay between $50 and $100 more but, it will definitely suffice if you have more demanding needs.
Even though, the touch screen features were premium only for Windows users, the Google’s Chromebooks have now enabled the same feature, with its full functionality. You should do some researching and find the best one that you can get. Also, if you want to get it, expect to give at around $100 more for that. Acer’s Chromebook R 11 has a great feature that enables it to bend into a tablet, which enables the IPS touch-screen panel to reach its full functionality.
The around $250 Asus Chromebook Flip is also equipped with the highly efficiently touch screen. At this moment, Asus’ Chromebook supports Android applications, but, like already announced in a couple of month others will be able of utilizing this feature too. If you’re looking to use Snapchat, Joyride and other highly needed applications on Chromebook, then pursue a Chromebook that will have a highly efficient touch screen, and settle with nothing less than the best for yourself.
After the great variety of tests that we’ve used on the Chromebooks reviewed, we have noticed that all Chromebooks are packed with the extra ordinary battery life that is simply amazing. Most of them had a battery life of over 10 hours but, even so the low-end laptops had 8-10 battery life which is more than enough for a great use.
These tests included many hours of surfing the internet, streaming videos or playing the available games/ Google Store Games. The best laptops outperformed even the average time of 10 hours per run. Dell Chromebook 13 has the best battery life of them all, being capable of lasting 13 hours.
Even though owning a Chromebook prevents you of exploring the latest game titles that came out in the recent games, that doesn’t mean that Google has let you down in terms of gaming. Perhaps, you’ll be limited within the releases of Chrome Web Store, you will still get to enjoy the popular classics like Bejeweled, Cut the Rope and other games. As soon as the Android applications emerge on Chromebooks you will be able to switch between Subway Surfers, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run 2 and much more.
We’ve concluded that Chromebooks are very portable, capable and more importantly inexpensive. Why would you spend more than $500 on a laptop whose capabilities you won’t even use at full capacity. Chromebook seems like a perfect replacement with people who enjoy the charms of Social Media, mails, and Youtube and they already own the desktop or a Windows notebook in the process.
With adding Android applications to Google Chrome’s suite, android gamers will be able to inexpensively play they favorite titles without spending abnormal amount of money on mobile phones that can support them.