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A Guide to the Google Chromebook4 min read

When you think of Google, laptops might not be the first thing that comes to mind. With the Chromebook, they are working hard to change that, and they see results. In a short time, the Google Chromebook has become a popular choice among users. It’s an inexpensive option for anyone looking for an easy-to-use laptop for basic computing needs.

Comparing the Chromebook to Other Laptops
In the most general sense, a Google Chromebook is just like any other laptop on the market. Can you check email, browse the Internet, write word documents, and create spreadsheets? Absolutely, and a bit more. Can you do complex programming or detailed graphic design? Not so much. On a positive note, Google is working on adding more capabilities to the Chrome OS.

As always, the best laptop for you is the one that performs all your needs successfully. For many, the Chromebook fills that requirement. For others, it doesn’t. Let’s go over a few areas to consider when looking at a Google Chromebook.
If you’re in the market for a new laptop, check out our comprehensive laptop buying guide.


Operating System
The operating system is the software that manages the overall functionality of a computer. Without it, your computer won’t work. The most widely used operating system on the market is Microsoft Windows, followed by Apple’s macOS. What makes the Chromebook stand out is its use of Google’s Chrome OS. Based on the open-source Linux OS, Chrome OS is exclusive to the Chromebook. Chrome OS uses the Chrome browser as its user interface. Because of this, most applications used on a Chromebook will be web-based.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use it offline. Early versions of the Chromebook did require users to be connected to the Internet to use their computers. This is because the laptops utilize Google’s cloud for storage and applications. Updated versions of the Chromebook offer more flexibility for offline usage.


Software Options
When it comes to software, you have the entire Google suite of applications at your fingertips. This allows you to perform most requirements a general user would have. These include web browsing, email, and word processing, to name a few. Depending on your needs, these applications might not be enough.

In recent updates to Chrome OS, Google has introduced access to Android apps via the Google Play Store. The addition of these apps has improved the capabilities of the Chromebook. Even with the added apps, there are still some limitations. For example, a graphic designer who uses the entire Adobe Creative Suite will not have many options on a Chromebook.

Changes will always happen, so be on the lookout for additions to the Google Play Store or other online options for popular applications.


Storage Space
While you want to have plenty of storage space on your laptop, you don’t want to pay more for space you don’t need. The storage can also affect the utility of the computer. More laptops have moved to a solid-state drive (SSD) over the traditional hard disk drive. An SSD offers more stability and reliability. The Chromebook is a little different in that it doesn’t have onboard storage aside from a small SSD that stores the operating system. Any file you have saved are on the cloud in Google Drive. By doing away with onboard storage, you’ll save money not paying for storage you don’t need, and your laptop performs better over time.

Pricing
When you’re purchasing a new laptop, you’ll likely have a budget to stick to. Frankly, the cost is the deciding factor for many people. Google has done excellent work in keeping the Chromebook affordable and attainable for many budgets.

Early on, it was thought that Chromebooks were cheap and limiting. Over the years, Google has made it a priority to bring more features to their line of laptops. With the improvements have come models that are more expensive than others. Even with a jump in price, Google Chromebooks still beat out a lot of the competition.

When factoring in features, price, and performance, the Google Chromebook is a perfect option for many people. In many cases, it might be a great option for organizations as well. If your business is looking to upgrade your current laptops, and don’t know where to start, give IT Support Guys a call at
855-4IT-GUYS (855-448-4897).

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Ben Jones

Ben Jones

Technical writer Living in Tampa, FL. Originally from Indiana. In my free time, I cook, play golf, stay active (either outside or at the gym) and patiently waiting for the next Star Wars movie.

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