When visiting family and friends on vacation, I am often asked: “Should I buy a Chromebook?”
Replace Windows 10 or macOS with a Chromebook running Google’s Chrome operating system.
Originally thought of as a Google cloud laptop, these laptops have performed fairly well in the education market. Over time, however, their appeal has increased, and the best Chromebooks are among the best laptops available today.
Our new Chromebook drop test gives us an idea of the most durable Chrome OS laptop. Read our Pixelbook review to see how long battery life and impressive design make our favorite Chromebook. Students should see our Windows 10 vs. macOS vs. Chrome OS instructions for back to school.
How much does a Chromebook cost?
For the longest period, there is a fairly narrow price range for Chromebooks and it is at the top of the most affordable spectrum. This is still most of the case; You can choose the affordable and lightweight Acer Chromebook R11 – with an 11.6-inch HD screen, an Intel Celeron N3150 processor and 2 GB of RAM – for $ 169.
Other models that need a little extra help, like the Google Pixel Pixel Go ($ 649) or the Samsung Chromebook Pro $ 549, a 12.3-inch laptop equipped with a stylus with a screen of 2400 x 1600 pixels, Intel Core M3 processor and 4 GB of RAM. Now, the high-end Chromebook market is growing, with laptops like the next Samsung Galaxy Chromebook.
NPD will likely pay more for a Windows 10 laptop, as the average retail price for a PC is $ 448, according to NPD. There are more sensible options, as we detailed here, but the laptop market is much more limited than the Chromebook market.
But is the Chromebook right for you? Our Chromebook buying guide has answers to these and other questions.
Chromebooks run Chrome OS, Google’s operating system, so they’re specific to Google’s suite of apps and often rely on an active Internet connection. Although you can sign in to Chrome OS as a guest, we recommend that you sign in to the system with your Google Account for the best experience.
The history of Chromebook apps was much better last year, but these machines were initially optimized for Google apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive. This deep integration can be positive or negative, depending on how you use your PC. Chromebooks are easy to set up if you’re already using them. And if you need help using the incognito windows, we also have a guide for that.
Android apps are now coming with more and more Chromebooks, now most of them can access the Google Play Store at the moment. The idea is to give Chromebook access to a variety of games, productivity options, and other apps to make these machines more flexible, even if the apps seem to be running through emulators, with results. mixed. See our guide to the best Chromebook games for more information.
It may be better to stay with the Office Android or Office Online apps if you already have many Office files that you bring to your Chromebook. Formatting issues often occur when importing third-party documents into Drive. Fortunately, Google Drive allows you to save documents in Microsoft formats, so you can always share files with non-Chromebook users.
On the other hand, there are several photo editors available for Chrome OS, including Pixlr (free), which looks very much like Photoshop. But those with existing files are unlucky – no Chromebook app can modify Adobe .PSD files.
If you know Linux applications, you will soon have more options. Previously released versions of Chrome OS revealed that Chromebooks would support Linux programs, meeting the needs of some more discerning Chromebook owners. Pixelbook will be the first to have this option and others will get this feature later.
Chromebooks are designed and work heavily depending on the Internet, which means that many applications will not work if you are outside of Wi-Fi. There are more than 200 offline Chrome apps that can work without an Internet connection, including Gmail, Pocket and Google Drive, and tons of upcoming Android apps will also work offline.
You can still play games on Chromebooks, but your options are few. The Chrome Web Store offers popular titles like Bejeweled and Cut the Rope, but you won’t have the same choice as on a Windows or Mac computer.
Chromebooks are compatible with Android, so be sure to check out our best Chromebook games for some Chromebooks used to depend on web games for more popular and modern titles like Fallout. Shelter, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Minecraft,
Chromebooks often have limited graphics processing power, so you’ll want to use less demanding titles. Chromebook is considered a gaming machine worth playing. Based on the Stadia platform, Google promises to transfer AAA games like Assassin Creed and Doom to any device with Chrome browser.
Google Assistant has landed on the Chrome OS platform in Pixelbook. Although you can activate it with the Pixelbook Pen, this $ 99 accessory is not necessary when you have the dedicated Assistant key in the keyboard of this laptop. While the launcher is now integrated with Google Now, providing you with information maps for current local weather and news, we can see it moving to Google Feed.
Google has redesigned the on-screen keyboard to use the touch screen, making it easier to use on 2-in-1 machines like the Asus Chromebook Flip. With a minimalist design, the on-screen keyboard recognizes your doodles and gives you the ability to enter text. When we tested this feature, it almost always accurately recognized our text. In addition, Android smartphone users will soon be able to receive text notifications and contextual calls on their desktop.
Chromebooks generally offer exceptional battery life, but not as much as before. Of the 10 Chromebooks we reviewed in the past year, we observed an average of 9 hours 15 minutes of endurance in our laptop battery test, which involves continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi.
At the end, you will notice some striking notifications like the Acer Chromebook R 13 runtime is 11:00 a.m., although the average drop from 9:59 a.m. that we found before. Surprisingly, the Google Pixelbook, offering a relatively short time of 7 hours and 43 minutes.
We recommend that you take at least 9 hours of juice, half of the Chromebooks we reviewed for incentives. While some affordable Windows 10 laptops, like the Lenovo Miix 310 (12:24) and Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (13:39), offer incredible battery life, the average laptop. Ultra portable needles less than 8 hours 21 minutes.
Similar to professional notebooks created to survive drops of water and other minor disasters, Chromebooks for Work are designed to fight falls, scrap metal and similar sanctions. In our tests, the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work proved to be durable, scratch-resistant and fully functional after our Dropbot 5000 test strip dropped it from a height of 48 inches onto a plywood board.
Chromebook 5400 Chromebook Enterprise and 5300 Chromebook Business 2 in 1 coming and Acer Chromebook 14 for work certified MIL-STD-810G, which means they are able to pass the durability test of American military equipment. States must pass.
Durable Chromebooks aren’t just for adults. The child-friendly Chromebook 11 N7 C731T survived after a large glass of water flooded its keyboard, as well as 48-inch-high water droplets from our Dropbot 5000. It can be scratched along the way, but it’s a good option for clumsy users
Manageability and Security
Google’s Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook and Pixel Pixel include a trusted platform module, a security chip that helps prevent malicious attackers from being left out of your password.
Who do you buy it for?
In general, the best way to tell if someone prefers to own a Chromebook is if you know that they spent most of their time in the Chrome browser. Users will naturally put in the laptop.
If you are buying this Chromebook for someone else, you should take the time to think about how they will use it. Chromebooks are especially good for younger students because they are easy to use and fairly secure. Updating your Chromebook for kids is also pretty easy and even better, these laptops usually do it themselves.
Children who are still learning to use computers can more easily learn how the new operating system works and although there is no official Minecraft title for Chrome OS, Android-based Minecraft: Pocket Edition will be available on some Chromebooks later this year.
A satisfied laptop user! Who knows if she uses a PC or a Chromebook, it is important that she has something that meets her modest needs.
Some older parents may never really understand Windows well enough to use their PC regularly, but others who have learned enough to do so may be frustrated with having to relearn where to download or their favorite apps are not available for Chrome.
But if your desktop supports Chrome OS, you may want to consider starting your business for Pixelbook. Its aluminum monocoque design is extremely thin and has elegant accents in Gorilla Glass and Silicon.
Chromebooks are affordable and perform well, and the introduction of Android apps increases their capabilities. Microsoft has a hard time claiming that Windows 10 S mode will improve laptop performance and battery life, but if you’re looking for a simple way to connect and like Google services, you can answer by any confidence in the question “Should I buy a Chromebook?” With a “Yes!”