Should you buy a Chromebook?
Google’s flagship notebooks offer you good performance at very attractive rates in the market. But should you opt for a Chromebook machine over Windows? We find out.
The Google Chromebook was launched in India late last year. They are fast getting popular and more people across the world prefer to go for one. But what can you expect from this machine which costs a maximum of Rs26,990? Largely touted as Google’s answer to low-cost computing, should you too invest in one?
What are Chromebooks?
The device is designed specifically for online usage. Running a slimmed down operating system that’s designed to reduce load times and help you get onto the internet quick, the Chromebook in a few seconds after booting takes you to a login screen. Once you are logged in with your Google account, you can use the Chrome browser and the apps associated with it. Aiming to simplify computers, Google has designed the Chromebook so that all your needs can fit into one single browser.
In some ways, the Chromebook has been designed to take on tablets directly especially with its pricing. However the differences are stark between them. Google’s device provides you with a full-fledged desktop browser, which gives you multiple windows, a keyboard and support for peripherals. These features are yet to be implemented thoroughly in a tablet.
Price The Chromebooks are being sold heavily due to their affordable price tags. With the three notebooks from Samsung, HP and Acer costing you between Rs22,999 to Rs26,990, the Chromebook is easy on your finances.
Security The operating system which works on Chromebooks is built on top of Linux. This feature keeps it extremely malware-free, much like how Macbooks are, as compared to Windows-based systems. You won’t require an anti-virus software or be worried about opening a .exe file on the Chromebook ever.
Simplicity The layout of the Chromebook is very user-friendly as all you have to use is the Chrome browser once the notebook boots up. The new Windows layout takes getting used to but that’s not the case with the Chrome OS. All that you need to know while using the Chromebook is the login screen, a simple menu with various apps and a settings tab to control functions like screen brightness or Wi-Fi.
Updates Every time you boot the Chromebook, it runs an automatic update in the background. You can be rest assured that all softwares on the notebook are running their latest version at all times. There is no hassle like Windows computers which require a restart and waiting period for an update. As multiple third-party applications run on a Windows computer, even these require their own updates which can get tedious. As the Chromebook is a Google product, you will always have the latest updates for your applications with ease.
Desktop applications If your work revolves around desktop applications like Photoshop, CAD or other programming, Chromebooks do not support these softwares. If there are softwares that need advanced tools which are not available on the internet and need a desktop for their use, the Chromebook poses a serious disadvantage. Also, if you love playing games installed on your desktop, you should not opt for a Chromebook.
Storage To quicken up the Chromebook’s boot time, Google has kept its storage capacity quite low at 16 GB. Although this gives you faster load times, you cannot store much data on your notebook. However, you can rely on Google Drive for storing your data on the cloud.
Offline usage Chromebooks are made exclusively for online activities. They run well for your web browsing and using other Google apps. But if you are not connected to the internet, you won’t be able to use the notebook.
Is the Chromebook worth it?
The Chromebooks are great if you are looking at a simple machine to browse the internet and use web-based applications. The Google device will save you plenty of money instead of going for an expensive web-based device, while also offering you better security, added cloud storage capacity and latest app updates. However, if you need your notebook for desktop applications, games and internal storage, avoid the Chromebook. Web-based applications are still not as efficient as desktop ones. Instead, you could always go for notebooks from Lenovo, HP or Asus that offer better specs and Windows 8 at the same price with which you could get a Chromebook.