So you may have seen advertised or have heard of someone who uses a Chromebook. A Chromebook is a laptop or ChromeBox (basically a small box with all the need hardware to run the OS). These devices run ChromeOS which is Google’s very own Operating System. This OS is based upon Linux (Linux Kernels) so you can stay happy knowing your software is based upon free and opensource licensing.
The OS uses a mixture of Cloud based applications ties with smaller SSDs (Solid State Drives). Having the cloud store your apps keeps the need for a larger costly SSD or HDD from adding unnecessary expenses to the cost of the device. Most New Chromebooks come with a set amount of Google Cloud space (generally 100GB or so) so there should be plenty of space for your documents and pictures, audio files, etc.
Being cloud based a Chromebook is mainly for on-line activity. Not that you can’t do things while not connected to Wi- Fi, but the majority of apps need an active connection to work. This could cause issues for some users. For that there are Chromebooks that allow for mobile data connections (like your phone does).
Being its own OS has advantages and disadvantages. The Majority of America run either Windows, OSX or Linux (various flavors). ChromeOS has been out for a while now so developers seem to be taking it a little more serious, so apps are continuously updating and coming out. More recently ChromeOS downloads from the PlayStore. Those of you with Android devices know how great this can be.
Hardware for me is always where I look first when purchasing a machine. I look at CPU (processor) speed, the amount of RAM and Hard Drive capacity. Chromebooks come with modern CPUs (Intel only so far) and generally 4GB or more RAM. Even the 4GB my Chromebook has (Acer C7) it is more than enough to power the tiny fast machine. As stated above Chromebooks generally keep smaller Hard Drives (SSDs) because they allow cloud storage and most apps are cloud based so this frees up need for large costly storage.
If you are in need of a low cost productivity device I would look no further than a Chromebook. It is an easy way to save money but still get a device that is feature rich and seems to be more popular by the day.
Jimi Poindexter is the owner of Poindexter’s Computers and Electronics and can be reached at 970-509-0119