Looking For A New Laptop? Get A Chromebook Instead!

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Looking For A New Laptop? Get A Chromebook Instead!

Google’s Chromebooks are surprisingly good laptops. They’re cheap - only $249 for what’s possibly the best one right now - lightweight, portable, and quick-to-boot. They may stop the ideal computer for any PC gamer or heavy-duty desktop software user, nonetheless they can be great portable web browsers to drag to class.

Chromebooks have grown to be surprisingly capable, nevertheless they can’t do everything. They can’t have fun playing the latest PC games or run the desktop version of Photoshop. You can’t install iTunes and look after a 500GB collection of local music files. But you’d be surprised at all the things a Chromebook can perform. A Chromebook can accomplish a lot of the things a lot of people do on laptops.


What’s a Chromebook?


Chromebooks run Chrome OS, that's primarily only a Chrome browser with a few other software around it to really make it more useful. There’s a fairly easy local file system that allows you to view files like images, documents, videos, music, and archive files, however, you’ll be spending much of your time in Chrome. If you’re somebody that already spends most of your time in Chrome, a Chromebook can be quite a good option.

That said, you’ll be restricted to applications you'll be able to run in Chrome. There’s definitely offline support, including a Gmail Offline app, and that means you don’t need to bother about being unable to read your email, research your calendar, or write documents without a Wi-Fi connection, but when you depend on software that’s only accessible for Windows or Mac desktops, you may want to skip the Chromebook.

Rather than count on local files - there’s some local storage, however, not very much - you’re asked to use cloud-based file storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or SkyDrive. Google Drive is among the most integrated solution, and purchasing a Chromebook just like the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook provide 100GB of Google Drive space for two main years.

There’s no Skype at this time, but Google Hangouts works well and offers the opportunity to have video chats with as many as ten people at no cost - unlike Skype, which requires you pay for this feature.

chrome-os-desktop-with-app-launcher


Documents, Spreadsheets, and Slideshows


Chrome OS has access to every one of the web-based office software available. This includes Google Docs, and Chrome offers offline use of your documents so it is possible to keep writing new documents and editing existing documents while you’re offline.

If you actually need Microsoft Office, you won’t obtain the desktop version of Office open to you on a Chromebook - but you will have use of Microsoft’s Office Web Apps. They don’t offer any offline access, but you are able to edit documents from SkyDrive and use familiar Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote interfaces with your browser. You won’t find every advanced Office feature here, but basic document editing and viewing are many people do with Office.

Best of, the Office Web Apps and Google Docs are free - there’s no boxed software cost or monthly subscription fee, with there being with Microsoft’s other Office products.

google-docs-offline-chromebook


Notes, To-Do Lists, Reminders


Chromebooks have a variety of notation and to-do list apps available. There’s a web-based version of Evernote that could be used on Chrome OS, while Google offers their very own Google Keep app that actually works offline with the online sync feature - so that it will work perfectly when you’re not attached to a Wi-Fi network.

google-keep-app-on-chrome-os

All web-based to-do list apps works, but apps like Any.DO and Wunderlist offer offline packaged app version that work entirely offline. So-called “packaged apps” that actually work entirely offline are getting to be more common - even Pocket now offers a packaged app that can sync your reading list for your Chromebook, letting you read your saved websites even should you don’t provide an Internet connection.

wunderlist-offline-packaged-app-on-chrome-os


Editing Photos


You can readily grab photos off an electronic camera employing a USB cable or by plugging in the SD card. The photos could be saved for a Chromebook’s local storage, but you’ll probably want to upload them to a web-based file service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Google+ Photos.

You may also easily access photos kept in the cloud - if you utilize an Android smartphone and set up instant photo upload in Google+ or Dropbox, every one of the photos you snap will probably be automatically uploaded and available on the internet on your Chromebook.

When you are looking for photo-editing, there’s a built-in basic image editing, but otherwise you’re dependent upon web-based tools. There are countless web-based image editors available, but if you’re looking for an extremely powerful one, you should attempt Pixlr.

pixlr-image-editor-on-chrome-os


Listening to Music


You could download MP3 files for a Chromebook and tune in to them locally, but there’s little local storage space and your Chromebook isn’t really designed for that. As long as you provide an Internet connection, you can stream music from all of the typical websites - Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn Radio, plus more.

If you want to take any local music collection along, you are able to use Google Play Music. Install Google Play Music Manager on the current Windows, Mac, or Linux computer and it will upload as much as 20,000 songs to your Google account - entirely for free - and invite you to stream them on-demand everywhere you look, together with your Chromebook.

listening-to-music-on-chromebook


Watching Movies


Chromebooks have access to all of the standard web-based video services, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and anything else using Flash or HTML5 to try out back videos inside your browser. You also can play local video files, for example ones in MP4 format, so if you'll be able to find a hyperlink to an MP4 file online you can download it for your Chromebook and observe it with all the local video player.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, it’s all to easy to plug inside your phone and copy such local music or movie files forwards and backwards via the Files app. Chromebooks don’t play too well with Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

watching-netflix-on-chromebook


Playing Games


Games are certainly a weak point of Chrome OS. If you’re a PC gamer, you won’t find every one of the games you’ve arrive at expect on your own Chromebook. However, in case you only play a couple of casual games - maybe you’re a gamer however you prefer consoles, anyway - you’ll find you have use of quite a few games.

Unlike iPads and modern Android tablets, Chromebooks officially support Flash content. That means you have access to all of the Flash games online, including ones on sites like Kongregate. There are also the games within the Chrome web store, including ones which use HTML5.

Nevertheless, in the event you plan on doing major gaming, you’re going to want a Windows PC or even a console - that’s exactly the way it can be. If you’re a gamer however you already have a Windows PC or console and don’t expect your laptop to do any gaming, you can get along pretty much with a Chromebook.

chrome-web-store-games


Working with Windows and Mac Computers


You can’t run Windows or Mac desktop software on the Chromebook, although you are able to set up Chrome Remote Desktop on the remote Windows, Mac, or Linux PC and access its desktop remotely. If you have access to a Windows desktop, you can remotely jump on from your Chromebook in case you ever had to use a desktop program. Nevertheless, if you be determined by running such software regularly, a Chromebook isn’t for you personally.

windows-remote-desktop-on-chromebook

You can also connect standard USB flash drives to some Chromebook, enabling you to transfer files between computers. Files can also be transferred with web-based services - for example, by sharing them in Dropbox or Google Drive. Chromebooks also work with other standard peripherals, like USB mice.


Should you Get a Chromebook?


Chromebooks aren’t for everybody. If you’re in the class that will need you use Photoshop, Office, or another desktop program, it is possible to’t get by with just a Chromebook. If you want to sit inside the back of class playing Call of Duty on the laptop, a Chromebook won’t accomplish that, either.

If you’re looking for a cheap, lightweight, and fast laptop that lets you get on the web and gives you access to the Chrome browser without any other junk getting in the way, Chromebooks may be a great option.

At the moment, the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook - look at our review - is possibly the best one to obtain. It’s inexpensive for just $249, quick to boot, lightweight, and portable with decent battery life. The hardware - keyboard and touchpad included - feel fairly good, too. Samsung and Google made all of the right compromises hitting a $249 price while offering a fantastic experience.

Have you picked up a Chromebook yet? Would you recommend one, or did you find it too limited? Leave a comment and share your experiences!

This review contains affiliate links, which pays us a smaller compensation in case you do opt to make a purchase depending on our recommendation. Our judgement is definitely biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.


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