Chromebooks: Affordable and Efficient Alternatives to Traditional Laptops
For many an average computer user, the days of needing a heavy, expensive laptop are gone. With so much online activity taking place on phones and tablets now, a lot of people can easily get by with something much simpler and less expensive than a traditional Mac or PC. To meet that need, there are Chromebooks, or as some people refer to them, Chromebook laptops.
What’s a Chromebook?
Chromebooks, which came out in 2011, don’t run on the Mac or Windows OS. Instead, they operate on the Chrome OS, which is cloud-based.
Lighter and more compact (flatter) than most traditional laptops of the same screen size, Chromebooks are great for travel and on-the-go usage. Because they operate on a cloud-based system, they come with fewer preloaded programs and have fewer bells and whistles, which brings the cost way down. In fact, it’s still possible to find Chromebooks for under $300.
Due to their low cost, versatility, and ease of use, Chromebooks have become more and more popular. Across the country, school systems and other organizations with large numbers of users have purchased fleets of Chromebooks for their efficiency and cost savings.
How Do Chromebooks Differ from Traditional Laptops?
If you’re just using a Chromebook to surf the web or create documents, you won’t notice too much difference between them and traditional laptops, but there are some significant differences. Whether these are advantages or disadvantages really depends upon your needs.
- When you set up a Chromebook, you personalize it by logging into a Google account. Once you’ve done that, you have quick access to your email, Google Docs, and other Google apps and programs as long as you have an internet connection. Anything you have stored in the cloud is accessible as long as you’re online, so you don’t have to worry about storing it on your computer.
- Chromebooks typically have much less storage space than traditional laptops do. While you can store things like photos and documents on a Chromebook, you won’t have the space for large programs. People who are serious gamers, for instance, may not find a Chromebook advantageous. And while you can play cloud-based music on a Chromebook, you probably won’t be able to migrate your music collection to it.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Chromebook?
Now let’s look at 10 distinct benefits that Chromebooks deliver.
- They’re hundreds of dollars less expensive than comparably sized Macs and PCs are. Because they’re so affordable, the best cheap Chromebooks can make excellent choices for students and other budget-conscious users, and they make great backups for people who already have a traditional laptop or desktop.
- Chromebooks boot up very quickly, typically in as little as 10 seconds. Compare that to what can sometimes be a few minutes for other computers.
- There are no pre-installed programs that take up space and can slow the machine down. Traditional laptops usually come with all sorts of programs that you may never use and which may be difficult or impossible to uninstall. That’s why people refer to them as “bloatware.”
- Because almost everything with a Chromebook is cloud-based, they’re far less vulnerable to viruses and other attacks. The OS updates automatically, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your machine up to date.
- A Chromebook battery lasts a long time, much longer than almost any other laptop battery. Depending on how you’re using it, a fully charged Chromebook may run for 12 hours or more.
- Thanks to being light, sometimes 2 pounds or less, and easy to pack, you can easily take and use a Chromebook almost anywhere.
- With an internet connection, you have access to all Google apps such as Drive, Maps, Play, and more.
- Speaking of apps, some Chromebooks have the capability to run Android apps that you like to use.
- They’re simple to boot and use, which adds to their appeal for children, college students, and anyone who just needs a computer that’s user-friendly and portable.
- Since you have to log in with your Google account information, your information is secure from casual users. Chromebooks do have a guest mode so that someone else can use yours without being connected through your personal Google account.