Is a Chromebook a good alternative to a Windows laptop?

In today’s digital age, we have a wide variety of devices that we can utilize to accomplish almost anything. Most of us have multiple different devices that we utilize for various things. Me personally, I use my iPhone for majority of daily tasks. However, there are times I need to type something up or I just want a bigger screen to look at. I have a Windows 10 desktop PC that has some upgraded hardware and I use that for development purposes. I could use that except I lose the mobile capability with it. A few years ago, I looked into getting some type of Windows laptop for this. However, I ended up purchasing a Chromebook instead and it’s honestly been a great decision for me.  

You might be asking, what is a Chromebook? A Chromebook is a device that runs Googles Chrome operating system. It’s a very simple, easy to use and fast operating system that’s based on the functionality of the Google Chrome browser. These devices are meant for users who utilize the Google suite of products like Google Drive, Gmail, Google Docs, etc. That doesn’t mean you have to utilize those features. Its a great device if you do just generic web browsing.

Most Chromebooks have very minimal local storage options because they are designed for you to store your data in Google Drive. The idea is, if you run into any issues with your Chromebook, you can reset it to its original factory state and be up and running in a short amount of time.  

Pros of Chromebooks: 

  • Excellent battery life. I routinely get at least 10 hours of battery life.  
  • They are very affordable. I believe I paid a little over $200 for mine a few years ago. I see some as low as $100 and as high as $300.  
  • You can add apps from the Google Play Store. This is a great feature that was added.  
  • The boot time is extremely quick, usually less than 5 seconds.  
  • Chromebooks are usually very thin and very light for carrying around.  

Cons of Chromebooks 

  • Chromebooks are not compatible with specific Windows applications. You can check for apps in the Google Play Store but that won’t cover everything you might need.
  • While they can be utilized offline, the experience is limited.  
  • There is a small learning curve for new users. If you are familiar with using the Google suite, it should be easy to pick up.  

I have found I can do almost any of my daily tasks on my Chromebook. I am actually typing this blog post on my Chromebook. I can write documents on either Google Docs or using Microsoft Word online. I could also download the Word app from the Google Play store as well. I chose to get a full HD screen on my Chromebook as well so I will use periodically use it for watching YouTube videos or Netflix.  

If you are someone who does most of their daily tasks online, a Chromebook might be a good consideration for you as opposed to something like a MacBook, iPad or Windows laptop. The price of Chromebooks alone might make it worth trying out to see if you like it.

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