Why aren't Chromebooks very popular
What is a Chromebook? Overview of advantages and disadvantages
Anyone looking for a laptop is usually faced with the choice between Windows and Apple. But there has been another alternative for a long time that is enjoying increasing popularity: the Chromebook. We'll tell you what a Chromebook is and what its advantages and disadvantages are.
Chromebooks are basically notebooks that run on Google's Chrome OS operating system.
Chrome OS is based on the idea that work is primarily done online and with the cloud. This saves storage space and computing capacity.
Like a laptop, a Chromebook has a case with a display and keyboard. The operating system is actually reminiscent of the mobile software on a smartphone or tablet.
1. What is a Chromebook?
Tablets and laptops are widespread, but Chromebooks are also growing in popularity.
So far, Chromebooks have received relatively little attention in Germany. But that could change soon. Because the devices are constantly being developed and now offer one good alternative to laptops and tablets. A lot has happened since its market launch in 2011, especially in the software area. Chromebooks from manufacturers such as Lenovo, Acer and HP are meanwhile slim, efficient and chic and therefore on par with its Windows counterparts from a purely external point of view: a stable housing with display, keyboard and mouse pad. The difference is inside the devices.
1.1. Chrome OS ensures fast performance
From the outside, the Chromebooks look like a normal notebookthat runs on Windows or MacOS. With the Chromebook, on the other hand, this is designed by Google Chrome OS operating system Installed. It is structured much more simply, with the aim of the Do most of the work via the browser and the cloud.
Numerous programs from the Google Suite such as Gmail, Calendar, Docs or YouTube are preinstalled on the Chromebook. As with smartphones, additional apps can be added via the Chrome Web Store. This means that you can quickly and easily adapt the device to your needs. On newer Chromebooks, you can even use the entire Android range of the Google Play Store.
Tip: This overview shows you which Chromebooks support Android apps. There are also instructions here on how to install the apps on Chromebooks.
1.2. Handling and performance
A Chromebook is ideal for Surf the Internet, create documents or send emails - So for all everyday applications in the private and business sector. A Chromebook is like a laptop, only slimmer and more efficient. Because most of the software is not stored on the hard drive, since most programs are used online in the browser or in the cloud.
The Chromebooks therefore need relatively little storage capacity and come with little computing power rightly. The software still runs quickly and smoothly - but only with an active internet connection. Google has continuously developed Chrome OS, so that now also a Use of many programs in offline mode is possible, nevertheless is a Chromebook optimized for use on the Internet and delivers the best performance here.
1.3. Price of a Chromebook
Practical with the Chromebook: It often has a touchscreen and can be used like a tablet.
Chromebooks usually consist of one simple hardwarethat a very frugal software houses. Since most of the applications are outsourced to the cloud, that is Device very undemanding and usually doesn't even need a fan or other accessories.
And of course this is also noticeable in the price: For around 300 euros you can get a decent device with 4 GB of RAM and an SSD hard drive. That is enough for carefree work at home or on the go. In addition, many Chromebooks are equipped with a touchscreen.
Since the demand is growing, especially in the USA, there is now also Premium models for 1000 euros and more. Such a flagship was recently presented with the Asus Chromebook Flip C436. The convertible weighs just 1.1 kilograms and impresses with its powerful features. Whether the purchase is really worthwhile depends on the preferences of the users. Because there are of course excellent laptops, convertibles and tablets in this price segment.
2. Advantages of a Chromebook
The strengths of the Chromebook can be quickly summed up: It is simple and compact in handling, works quickly and reliably and it offers one very good protection.
- Cloud based software: all Google services are available anytime, anywhere.
- Cross-device usage: Automatic synchronization with other devices, e.g. the calendar on the smartphone. You can also log in with your Google account on another device at any time and have direct access to all your files.
- Fast computing power: No more long booting, because the Chromebook is ready to use in just a few seconds.
- Updates run in the background: Who does not know the annoying requests to carry out new updates, which are then associated with long waiting times through download, installation and restart? With Chrome OS, everything runs unnoticed in the background while you work.
- Software security: The system is well protected against malware. Thanks to numerous security precautions, viruses and Trojans don't stand a chance. You don't even need an additional virus program.
- Intuitive operation and low price.
3. Disadvantages compared to other devices
Each device fulfills specific requirements, which of course also have certain disadvantages. The Chromebook was specially developed for uncomplicated mobile use as an alternative to the laptop. For many users this is absolutely sufficient, but for others there are also obstacles:
- The Chromebook is on a running internet connectionreliant. Even if offline use is now possible, this is only ever temporary. The main use of the device is on the Internet.
- you are depends on the offer of the Chrome Web Store and the Google Play Store (if Android apps are supported). Even applications from the Microsoft Office package such as Word can only be used in the slimmed-down mobile version.
- In addition to the pre-installed Google programs, there is only few professional programslike Adobe Photoshop or the Office suiterunning on Chrome OS. This usually requires a Windows or Apple device.
- You are completely dependent on Google what especially with the overwhelming power of Google and the topic privacy is viewed very critically by some users.
The advantages and disadvantages of the Chromebook are also presented in this practical test:
4. Laptop or Chromebook?
Both devices offer numerous advantages and are ideal for their area of application. As is so often the case, the decision ultimately depends on your needs and wishes.
The Chromebook is one cheap, robust and very simple solution. However, there are also certain restrictions. If you are online most of the time, on the go a lot and want to use a light, reliable and not too expensive device, a Chromebook is very good for you.
However, those who rely on powerful professional programs, that only run on Microsoft or Apple won't be able to do much with a Chromebook. A laptop brings more flexibility and considerably more extensive software.
4.1. Is it worth buying a Chromebook?
At first glance, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436FA looks like an ordinary laptop.
It's hard to say because the strengths of a Chromebook lie in its speed, price, and portability. A tablet delivers that too, of course. However, if you don't want to do without a larger screen and keyboard, you can get it with the Chromebook. However, a light laptop also combines these properties.
The big advantage of the Chromebook is that long battery life and the very persistenthardware. Because it takes less power to work than a laptop, which is has a positive effect on the service life. However, it is also not completely protected from the aging process. After two years, the battery will no longer have its original capacity.
There is no technical device that covers all needs equally. Whether a Chromebook is right for you, or a laptop or tablet has more advantages, you should find out for yourself by making a head-to-head comparison. The fact is: Chromebooks are just getting better and more popular. And that is also reflected in the price. There is no general answer to whether it is worth buying a Google Pixelbook or even an Asus Chromebook Flip C436 for around 1000 euros. For the price, you also get an excellent laptop with Windows or the latest Apple iPad. However, there are still cheaper models. And here the Chromebook combines both worlds and is therefore a good alternative for Google fans.
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