Anyone looking for a laptop is usually faced with the choice between Windows and Apple. But there is another alternative that has been growing in popularity for a long time: the Chromebook.
Chromebooks are a very simplified model of typical laptops. ChromeOS (Chrome Operating System) is based on Linux and allows for cloud-only uploads and minimal downloads to the device itself.
The Google Play Store has several games that you can download; however, there is little you can do other than use the browser.
You can also transfer images and files to your Google Drive and access them on your Chromebook. However, there are many advantages to such a minimalist laptop.
This post will discuss the pros and cons of Chromebook. Let’s begin with the Chromebook description, its usage, and comparison with laptops.
Table of Contents
Knowing about Chromebook
Before going through pros and cons of Chromebook let’s know some basics about this technology.
What is Chromebook?
Chromebooks are computers with cloud storage, multiple layers of security, and the best google built-in services powered by Chrome OS.
This new computer with a powerful processor is designed for faster and easier operations than a normal laptop.
The Chrome OS is available in tablet modes, laptops, and mobile devices manufactured by Google.
Comparison between Chromebook and Laptop
The main difference between Chromebook and laptops is their operating system. A wide variety of average laptop has OS such as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS.
The Chromebook uses Chrome OS, which is a stripped version of a chrome web browser. Some other differences are:
Operating system: Chrome OS
Suits for online uses
Storage device depends on cloud
Do not have disk drives
Faster than laptops
Operating system: Microsoft
Windows, Mac OS
Suits for both online and offline modes
Storage capacity depends on the storage device and cloud
Possess disk drives and solid state drives
Slower than Chromebooks
Who will have the best benefits of the Chromebook?
If you are tired of your traditional laptop’s sluggish and slow performance, then it’s time to shift to a Chromebook computer.
For casual user surfing the internet, playing games, social media, and email usage, even cheap Chromebooks will work just fine.
But for the enterprise user who generally requires higher storage space and extensive hours of battery life, you might have to look for other options.
Built-in Chrome OS apps and their purposes
Google workspace: Secure collaboration platform for all business
Google Sheets: Online excel sheet to keep date records
Google Analytics: Analyzing trends of users on the website
Google one: Subscription plan for more storage capacity in drive space
Google search console: Monitor website’s traffic and fix validating issues
Google account – extensions: Handy browser-based applications
Google Drive: Cloud storage
Google Music: Best trending music for you
Google photos: Home for your photos and videos
Pros of Chromebook
Many advantages of the Chromebook have only been added over the past few years. Previously, some problems made users dissatisfied relatively quickly.
Especially in the early days, a Google Chromebook required an existing internet connection. The limited functionalities also reduced the customers’ motivation to buy.
However, Google reacted to these discrepancies and gradually improved the system significantly.
1. All google functions are supported
Since a Chromebook has the Chrome OS operating system, all Google services and functions are supported. You can use functions like Google Maps, Calendar, or Google Docs without problems.
Because Chrome OS is based on Linux, you can even install Linux programs on the Chromebook.
Chromebooks also have the Chrome browser. Tablet owners do not have to be satisfied with the mobile versions of other browsers but also have full access to all functions when they are on the go.
Like a Windows operating system, you can open apps in movable windows. So it’s effortless to open multiple apps side-by-side in windows.
Chromebooks are comparatively cheap compared to Windows laptops because of the Chrome OS’s close relationship with manufacturers.
No powerful hardware is required for regular use, such as surfing the Internet, social networks, streaming videos, or Android apps.
Accordingly, the individual components of a Chromebook are cheaper, which is a clear advantage over classic notebooks.
Good entry-level devices with a sufficiently fast processor and enough RAM are available from 250 to 350 USD.
3. Stable and fast
A significant advantage of Chrome OS is the slim design of the operating system. It was specially designed to require as few background processes as possible.
As a result, Chrome OS already runs smoothly on cheaper hardware and is also very energy-efficient.
It also means that the operating system starts quickly. Even for devices with no SSD (Solid State Drive) hard drive, booting the device is much faster than some competition.
It can be clearly seen from the battery performance of the devices. Battery life of 12 to 14 hours is not uncommon for Chromebooks.
You can also use Chromebook content across devices with automatic synchronization with other devices.
It is fascinating with apps like Google Calendar or Google Docs since you can effectively access them from any device.
It doesn’t matter whether you only have the mobile phone at hand or the Chromebook with you; you can coordinate appointments or quickly call up previously created documents and spreadsheets.
4. Gets automatic update every 4 weeks
The outstanding performance of Chrome OS is also because there is a new version update every four weeks. These updates regularly add useful functions to the operating system and improve usability.
Since these updates occur entirely in the background, you will hardly notice them as a user.
After restarting your Chromebook, it is up to date again – without lengthy installations and waiting times, which has advantages in your daily work and saves you time.
Chromebooks currently receive updates for at least eight years, so a corresponding purchase can also be considered future-proof.
5. Highly secured
Chromebooks are highly secure because individual apps and web pages run in an isolated area called a “sandbox,” Even if a virus or the like is executed, it will not affect other apps.
Also, due to the operational nature of Chromebooks, data is stored in the cloud, so there is less risk of files on the local disk being leaked by malware.
However, phishing scams that are skillfully guided, eavesdropping via public Wi-Fi, and fraudulent Chrome extension fraud cannot be prevented, so minimum security knowledge is required.
In addition, thanks to the improved functions of the OS standard security software “Windows Defender,” Windows will not suffer so much if you update the OS and software correctly and be careful about fraud.
6. Synchronization with android apps
You can use Android apps on Chromebooks. If you are using an Android smartphone and have an app that you like, you will be able to synchronize data and use it.
You can play Android-compatible games, but it will not work unless you raise your PC’s specifications to some extent.
If you want to play games, you should use a Chromebook with higher specifications and touch panel support.
However, for products with high specifications to some extent, the price will rise accordingly, and the merit of purchasing a Chromebook will decrease.
If you want to play games on a big screen, you should buy an Android tablet with slightly higher performance.
7. Easy to transfer and initialize
It leads to a quick setup, but since Chrome OS is linked to a Google account, once you set up the Chromebook and the backup is saved, you can use it immediately, even if you initialize it or switch to a new Chromebook.
Also, even if it is a Chromebook other than your own, you can set up the environment as usual just by logging in with your account. After using it, it is no problem to initialize the Chromebook or delete the user.
If you don’t want to log in, you can use it temporarily in “guest mode.”
With one Google account, you can work in your own environment anytime, anywhere, so you can easily use it on any device, which is a significant advantage of Chromebooks that other OS do not have.
Whether at school or work, for example, if you log in to a shared Chromebook with each account, you can quickly regain each environment and work, and if you log out, the next person to use can also enter with your own account.
In addition, using G Suite has functions such as centralized management of terminals on the network, so Chromebook is beneficial for individuals, schools, and corporations.
8. Less susceptible to viruses and malware
Chromebooks have been gaining popularity over the past few years, but they’re still a niche product compared to Windows and Apple devices.
Chromebook or Chrome OS is significantly less susceptible to viruses and malware than, for example, a Windows computer since they are not interesting enough for “hackers” due to their less widespread use.
As soon as Chrome OS starts, a system called Verified Boot is used, which checks all components for functionality and repairs them if necessary.
Since no real programs are installed on Chrome OS apart from apps, you do not need any security software such as anti-virus programs. A virus sneaking into a Chromebook while performing normal tasks is nearly zero.
9. Long battery life
Another advantage is the long battery life of 8 to 12 hours for Chromebooks. It is an average of a few more hours compared to standard laptops because the individual components do not require as much power, and the system is energy-efficient.
It makes the mobile use of Chromebooks particularly interesting since you should be able to get through a typical working day with one battery charge.
10. Various perks by google
Under Chromebook Perks, Google regularly offers Chromebook owners special offers such as free trials of cloud services and other discounts.
The programs offered often go well beyond the range of functions of standard Android apps, so it is worth checking these offers regularly and trying out the services if you are interested.
Cons of Chromebook
Since every device should meet specific requirements, some disadvantages should not be neglected.
Chromebooks are primarily designed to enable uncomplicated mobile use rather than replacing laptops. Here are its disadvantages:
1. Can’t install Microsoft Office on a Chromebook
Many users have been using the MS Office applications for years, so migrating to G Suite will inevitably require training.
However, G Suite is perfectly capable of creating, editing, and saving MS Office files. Still, you should note that when editing complex MS Office documents, you might have to watch out for formatting issues when saving files.
Alternatively, you can always use the online version of MS Office (free or paid) on your Chromebook.
While it doesn’t provide the full range of tools that the desktop version does, it still lets you edit most Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files in the browser.
You might sometimes run into some formatting issues when trying to edit Office files with G Suite.
Overall, not being able to install the desktop version of MS Office on your Chromebook shouldn’t hold you back too much when it comes to document editing.
However, if you can’t live without installed versions of the Microsoft Office apps, Chromebooks might not be for you.
2. Need to learn to operate its OS
Suppose you use a Windows or Mac OS computer and are accustomed to the operation method.
In that case, Chromebook has a different basic operation method of the OS, so you need to find out how to use it to some extent.
If you know another OS, you can understand the operation method to some extent, but it still takes time.
It may not be a pain for those who like gadgets, but it may be a pain for those who are not good at operating digital devices.
3. Not ideal for working on multimedia projects
If your business involves a lot of audio or video-related projects, you are probably better off working on a traditional computer.
It’s not that there aren’t powerful Chromebooks available that can handle the job, but the software commonly used for multimedia projects is currently not browser-based.
However, basic image editing on a Chromebook won’t cause any problems – plenty of simple editors are available, both cloud-based and standalone.
Similarly, some options are available to you for video editing – Android apps or web video editors can provide some workarounds.
4. Peripheral devices are not compatible
Basically, users can use many peripherals with Chromebooks such as USB memory, USB hub, EPSON printer, DVD drive, and USB speaker without any problems.
However, the equalizer, scanner, and video viewing software with peripheral devices are often only compatible with Windows and may not be usable.
From December 31, 2020, users couldn’t use Google Cloud Print. Printer makers of each company have released the method of printing from Chromebook and compatible models, but if the printer does not support it, it may not be possible to print.
5. Not suitable for gaming
Suppose you’re into gaming or at least play the latest games. In that case, Chromebooks won’t be the best option for you because they’re usually not powerful enough to handle the graphical and processing demands of today’s games.
However, since some Chromebooks allow you to run Android apps, you have a few options for Android games.
6. Not functional offline
For obvious reasons, Chromebooks are less functional offline than online. You can still use them to access and edit Google Drive files and use Gmail when you’re not connected to the Internet.
Many other offline apps are also becoming available for Chrome OS. If you plan ahead and make sure you save the files you need on your Chromebook before you go offline, you can still get a decent amount of work done when you’re not connected to the Internet.
7. Dependence on Google
When using Chromebooks, one is entirely dependent on Google, which some users view critically.
It is due in particular to the issue of data protection and the supremacy that Google already has in the data world.
Also, not all application extensions known from Google Chrome Browser on Mac OS or Windows are available with Chrome OS’s Google Chrome Browser.
8. Low disk space
Chromebooks currently offer no more than 64 to 256 gigabytes of local storage, which comes in the form of eMMC (Embedded Multimedia Card) or SSD storage.
Although the users can use external SSDs without any problems, Chrome OS is basically designed as an operating system in the cloud and does not provide large amounts of data to be stored locally.
Quick Comparison (Pros and Cons of Chromebook)
|Highly protected from virus threats|
|Free update of its operating system|
|100 GB of free online storage for two years|
|Default storage of all files and documents in Google Drive|
|Can download non-google applications from the chrome web store|
|Comes with USB ports, SD card readers, and webcams and is equipped with an HDMI output port|
|Faster system speed|
|Built-in WIFI module and some have 3G and 4G connectivity|
|The threat of security compromise as Google is known for being easy to access by third parties|
|Inability to change the operating system to an alternative|
|Approximately 64 GB of internal storage|
|Internet storage of all files is a must to save internal storage difficult to access files in the absence of the internet|
|Do not support traditional Windows or Mac applications|
|Do not support Skype|
|Lack of CD or DVD drive, lack of function keys on the keyboard|
|Do not support heavy games, video editing, and various media files such as MP3, MP4, or WMA|
|Heavily rely on the internet|
|High internal storage devices are expensive|
If you realize that you spend 90 percent of your PC time online, a Chromebook will be the perfect device for you.
However, if you often use offline applications and programs on your computer, you should not choose a Chromebook.
(Last Updated on August 25, 2022)