All of us use a number of devices daily to carry out everyday work. From iPhones or Androids to Windows or Mac, we switch between devices to perform any number of tasks online. But have you ever realized that most of the work we do on our devices is on the web browser? Are you someone who never uses any apps on their computer other than the Chrome browser?
If your answer to the question is yes, then a Chromebook would be better suited for your needs. Not only is a Chromebook an affordable option, but its interface is also like that of Android, which most people are familiar with.
So should you switch to a Chromebook if your only use is for a web browser? Are Chromebooks worth it? Find out all you need to know about a Chromebook and whether or not it’s worth it in this detailed review.
But first, let’s see what a Chromebook is.
What Is a Chromebook?
A Chromebook is a computer that is powered by Chrome OS, an operating system with cloud storage. This is basically a computer for online use only. You can’t save or download files on a Chromebook like you typically would on Windows or Mac because everything is done online via Google Chrome. From spreadsheets to docs to notes, everything is carried out on the Chrome browser and save in the cloud.
You can get Android apps to work on a Chromebook, but most of the work is done online. So a Chromebook does not come with a super-powerful processor or huge storage. It’s unlike the usual computers. And that’s why Chromebooks are cheap.
How Much Does a Chromebook Cost?
Chromebooks are very affordable. From pretty cheap and lightweight options to premium options, they come in various price ranges. The cheapest Chromebooks start from $229 for the Samsung Chromebook 4 that you can even get at a discounted price of $180 during sales. Whereas a premium Chromebook like Samsung Galaxy Chromebook would cost you $999. The price depends on the processor, RAM, and display of the Chromebook.
Are Chromebooks Worth it?
Now that you know what a Chromebook is and how much it costs let’s see if it’s worth it to buy a Chromebook.
Here are some pros and cons of a Chromebook.
Pros of a Chromebook
1. Chromebooks are Cheap
Since Chromebooks do not need powerful processors or hardware, they are very cheap. You can easily get a Chromebook for around $180 in a sale. A typical Windows laptop would cost at least thrice that much. So you can save a lot of money by buying a Chromebook.
Moreover, Chromebooks do not have applications, so you won’t need the help of an IT guy to install software, do offline tasks, or update it because Chromebooks are updated automatically.
What’s more, Chromebooks only have a few parts which so you don’t have to worry about your Chromebook getting faulty. Another reason why Chromebooks are cheap is that they do not need external storage. So you won’t have to buy external drives for a Chromebook since everything is on the cloud.
2. Chromebooks Are Less Prone to Catch Viruses
Since most of the work on Chromebooks is done online, users don’t have to download anything. So there won’t be any viruses coming attached with your downloads. Chromebooks are not vulnerable to malware, so user privacy is not compromised. Moreover, the automatic updates in Chromebooks keep all the infections at bay.
So if you are someone who is looking for secure computers with minimal risk of viruses, you can opt for Chromebooks.
3. Chromebooks Are Robust
Chromebooks are extremely robust devices because they can be used for most of the popular software there. For instance, Gmail, Xero, Zendesk, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and similar software titles are the most popular platforms used all over the world. The best part about these platforms is that they run on a web browser. So you don’t really need an offline computer to run these apps.
Therefore, you can easily use Chromebooks to carry out some of the most important functions without having FOMO (fear of missing out). You can run all of the above-mentioned applications on your Chromebook.
4. Chromebooks Offer Excellent Integration with Google Workspace
Google Workspace is one of the most popular platforms used by over 6 million companies in the world. So if your company uses Google Workspace, you can actually benefit a lot from a Chromebook. A Chromebook offers a reliable, nice, and more integrated way to use Google Workspace than any other device. So you can enjoy easier collaboration with your workforce by using a Chromebook.
Cons of a Chromebook
1. Chromebooks Do Not Allow Full Version Applications
Some of us are used to Microsoft Office. We can’t really function with Google apps since we have been wired to use Outlook, Word, and Excel since a young age. So if you are someone who only uses Microsoft Office and similar apps, you will be disappointed to know that you cannot install the full version of these apps on Chromebook.
So if you have a Chromebook, you will have to learn to use Google Workspace, which might be a challenge for some. However, you will get the hang of it in a few days.
But the good news is, you can use Microsoft 365 files on Google Workspace as it allows you to edit, open, and save such files. But the formatting of such files may get messed up.
2. Chromebooks Are Not Ideal for Media Work
If you are a power user who needs to run media and audio editing software daily, you would be disappointed to know that your apps would not work on a Chromebook. It’s not because the processor is not that powerful. It’s because these apps do not have a cloud-based version that runs online. These are native apps that require offline use.
You can still do basic editing tasks on your Chromebook using simple apps like Wevideo. However, you cannot run apps like Final Cut Pro on a Chromebook.
3. Chromebooks Are Not for Gamers
It goes without saying, but a Chromebook cannot run offline games. It is not the best computer for gamers because, firstly, Chromebook processors are not built for gaming. They are not that powerful. And secondly, most of the games today come in the form of offline apps which you cannot download on your Chromebook. So hardcore gaming is definitely a solid ‘no’ on a Chromebook.
That said, you can still play light games on a Chromebook that come in the form of Android apps.
So Are Chromebooks Worth it?
The answer to this question actually depends on your usage requirements. For someone who only uses their web browser for most daily tasks, Chromebooks are definitely worth it. For power users who need media editing apps, content creation apps, or offline games, Chromebooks are not ideal. Hence, a Chromebook is basically a great option for online users who mostly use cloud storage. Now that you have some direction, analyze your computing needs and make a purchase decision accordingly.