Chromebooks are becoming a popular option for people that are looking for a computer and a big part of their success is their affordability. However, many buyers are still unsure if these devices are the right choice, given their limited functionality. The fact is that even though there are some features that are available offline. Chromebooks are mainly designed to work while connected to internet and some users may feel that this could be an issue if they are in a situation in which they need to work without a connection.
Chromebooks are suitable for web browsing, social networking, streaming online content and many of the most common tasks that users need to complete with a computer. Their low prices make them a very attractive option and many would argue that in the end, most of the things that we do with a computer require internet any way. Still, many people have doubts about buying a Chromebook because these devices may not offer the possibility of working on excel spread sheets or working in documents.
Chromebooks use Google’s Chrome OS and many of their features are dependant of Google’s applications such as Gmail and Google Drive. If you are already using Google’s programs on a daily basis for your tasks, you will find Chromebooks easy to use and useful. On the other hand, if you rely in other programs for your calendaring or email needs, you may have some difficulties adapting to Chrome OS. In many instances, you would be required to sign in with your Google login details in order to fully enjoy everything that the device can offer. Chromebooks may not suit everybody but they can be appropriate for some users.
Even though Chromebooks do not offer Microsoft Office Suite, that should not discourage buyers from getting one. It is possible to access Microsoft Web Apps to edit files and Google Drive is also an option to open and edit spreadsheets, text documents and presentations created with Microsoft, Excel and PowerPoint. You can also create all kinds of documents using Drive but if most of your files are in Microsoft Office format, you would be better off using Microsoft Web Apps. Keep in mind that if you import Microsoft documents into Drive, there may be some formatting issues that will need to be fixed. Still, Drive lets you save documents in Microsoft formats to ensure that they are readable for those that do not use Google applications.
If you have a reliable Internet connection, you may not feel a big difference between having a Chromebook and a regular laptop. However, many of the Chrome apps that you would need to use are only available when you are connected to Internet, which would be an issue if you want to use your device in places where Wi-Fi may not be available. There are some functions like Google Drive, that can be used even when you do not have a connection but they require the installation of plugins.
If you are an avid gamer, a Chromebook may not be the right choice for you. First of all because they do not count with the power to offer the best quality of graphics that some games require. Furthermore, your selection is limited as you are only able to access games from the Chrome Web store, which include popular titles such as Bejeweled and Angry Birds but other interesting titles are missing.
For those who are on a budget and are looking for a laptop that is mainly intended to be used for internet based tasks, Chromebooks would be an ideal solution. While you may not count with all the options that a standard laptop can offer, there would be some advantages, including getting rid of constant updates and alerts. In summary, the decision of getting or not a Chromebook depends on your requirements.
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