Affordable, Portable and Increasingly Popular – Why You Need A Chromebook
A question we get a lot is: What exactly is a Chromebook? The answer is simple. Chromebooks are computers that run exclusively off Google’s flagship operating system (OS) – Chrome. It’s no wonder then that they’re often hailed as some of the best laptops around. Thanks to its access to the Google platform, users are promised access to the latest technological innovations including storing all data on a secure Cloud. Increasingly popular, there are now more Chromebook models available than ever before.
What should I look for when buying a Chromebook?
Whenever you’re buying tech, it’s important to make sure that you buy what suits you, and its intended purpose, best. However, as always in the tech world, it can be difficult to decide where to start.
You can narrow down your search by deciding which of these criteria is the most important to you:
Price: Price can be the most important factor in any buying decision. When it comes to Chromebooks, you’ll find a wide range of prices, and even the cheapest Chromebook works well for casual users.
Form: Chromebooks are designed to be ultra thin and fold at least 180-degrees. Within that spec, however, there’s a range of variations – detachable keyboards, for example, for easy gameplay.
Intended Use: The intended use of a Chromebook can make the difference between one model and another. They are ideal for doing things such as managing emails, writing and sharing documents in Google Drive, streaming music and general web browsing. Chrome OS features android apps as well, which enables you to use apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Spotify, etc. Before getting a Chromebook, make sure that it comes with the desirable features, like the type of screen you want (HD or FHD), or a backlit keyboard, a stylus, etc. Ports are important too, so check that your preferred model has all the ports you require.
RAM and Storage: RAM memory is what keeps each device running smoothly and briskly. Typically, you can find Chromebooks at 4GB of RAM, which is usually enough for most things you’d use the device for. However, if you plan on some pretty heavy duty use – bigger games, lots of tabs open whilst streaming YouTube and running apps, 8GB or more will be required.
Although Google expects users to rely on cloud-based storage options, your Chromebook will still need some onboard storage. Google recommends 16 or 32GB, however 64GB will provide more options for you.
With 360 degree versatility, this useful Chromebook can be converted to a tablet instantly. Acer have provided 3 ports, 4GB memory, 32GB internal storage and an inbuilt webcam. These, along with a LED-backlit IPS, and a 10-point multi-touch screen make this a force to be reckoned with. There’s also 100 GB of storage on Google Drive free for two years.
What We Like
This is a neat looking Chromebook and, with its 10+ hour battery, infinitely useful. The RAM, amount of storage – including the free 100GB add to the stunning resolution to make a Chromebook that we are quietly impressed with. It coped well with our rigorous tests, and managed to run at a decent speed despite running several graphics heavy apps, internet searches, YouTube streaming and using the webcam simultaneously.
What Needs Improving
Whilst the volume range is awesome, the speakers are a little tinny, but this isn’t a deal breaker when you weigh up all the good points.
If you want a decent Chromebook without costing the earth, this is well worth considering. It works well, the visuals are superb, and it’s a high spec machine. Just perfect!
Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible, 11.6-Inch HD Touch, Intel Celeron N3150, 4GB DDR3L, 32GB, Chrome, CB5-132T-C1LK
16 used from $182.96
The C302 has an all-aluminium chassis, granting it a clean, no nonsense aesthetic look, and folds up to a neat, symmetrical slab of metal. Weighing in at 2.6 lbs, it’s one of the lightest Chromebooks around. Port-wise it possesses a unique, new generation configuration, and it comes with a nicely tactile keyboard.
What We Like
The sleek design of the C302 struck us first, quickly followed by its sheer quality. The anti glare screen is a nice touch, unusual in a Chromebook, and the visuals are second to none. With impressive resolution, perfect scrolling and a very responsive touch screen, gaming becomes a complete pleasure, while full access to the Google Play Store Android apps, creates a fully personalized, comfortably rounded computer experience.
What Needs Improving
Once again, like the Acer, the tinniness of the speakers lets it down, but we can forgive such a glorious machine for this small blip.
Asus have pulled out all the stops and designed a gorgeous looking Chromebook that does everything you want and so much more. An easy recommend!
ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 2-In-1 Laptop- 12.5” Full HD 4-Way NanoEdge Touchscreen, Intel Core M5, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash Storage, All-Metal Body, Backlit Keyboard, Chrome OS- C302CA-DH54 Silver
6 used from $333.33
From tablet to laptop, the full 360 degree fold-around feels nicely robust, and along with the smooth magnesium alloy chassis, this looks the biz. It has 2 USB-C ports, a microSD card slot, and a headset jack, and while that might seem limiting, one or two Type-C ports are quickly becoming the standard for these compact, lightweight systems. A useful trackpad and a specialized digitizer stylus make this machine subtly intuitive and very user friendly.
What We Like
Samsung, the tech giant, have shrunk all their expertise down into this Chromebook, and it really feels as though this is the case. Although small, it’s powerful, fast and not slowed down by running multiple apps, live streaming and actively browsing. The graphics are superb, and for once, with a Chromebook, the audio experience is great.
What Needs Improving
The battery life is less than you’d imagine with a machine of this spec – we found it lasted between 9-10 hours. However, if you plan ahead this shouldn’t be an issue.
A stylish, heavy duty, Chromebook with high specs, the Samsung have created another winner!
Samsung Chromebook Pro Convertible Touch Screen Laptop, 12.3 (XE510C24-K01US)
What is the difference between Chromebook and laptop?
The basic difference is the OS - the average laptop comes with a Windows OS, while a Chromebook comes with Google Chrome's OS.
What are the disadvantages of a Chromebook?
Chromebooks run and open apps differently than laptops - usually in a Google Chrome browser. Although you can't use apps like Skype or Photoshop on a Chromebook, Chromebooks still come with great alternatives for those apps.
Can I use Word on a Chromebook?
Yes, you can. In order to use Word, just download the Word application from the Chrome Web Store. Alternately, you can also use Google Docs.
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