Do We Really Need A Chromebook?

In its quest for world domination, Google has created a slew of gadgets and services that are meant to occupy every nook and cranny of a family’s home. One particular Google invention that is slowly gaining traction in the market is the Chromebook. For those who aren’t aware, the Chromebook is Google’s answer to the traditional laptop

 

By Zy Gonzales

In its quest for world domination, Google has created a slew of gadgets and services that are meant to occupy every nook and cranny of a family’s home. One particular Google invention that is slowly gaining traction in the market is the Chromebook. For those who aren’t aware, the Chromebook is Google’s answer to the traditional laptop. But instead of having a resource-heavy operating system such as Windows or Mac, the Chromebook has something that’s called Chrome OS.

In a nutshell, Chrome OS is an operating system built around the Chrome browser. All its features are web-based and most of its services utilise the cloud. According to Google, the OS has multiple layers of security, cloud storage and has the most popular Google products built-in. This makes the system fast, light and uncomplicated. And since the OS is based on the Chrome browser, apps from the Chrome webstore will be completely compatible with the Chromebook.

However, in a world where ultra-portable tablets and much powerful full-fledged notebooks are the ruling class, do we still need a Chromebook? Here are a few things to ponder.

DATA CHARGES

Since Chromebooks use an operating system that is heavily dependent on the web, majority of its functionality is crippled when you’re not connected to the internet. Aside from Google Docs and an Offline Gmail app, other apps in the OS are unusable without an internet connection.

 

If you have an unlimited data plan or you’re the type of person who has internet access 24/7, then a Chromebook can be a good work computer for you. Otherwise, a limited data plan will only limit the things you can do with the device.

COMPATIBILITY ISSUES

Aside from the Chromebook’s almost constant need to go online, there’s also an issue on compatibility. As stated earlier, it runs a different operating system so consumers who are using Windows-based or Mac-based programs in their line of work may have a hard time finding an equivalent alternative for Chrome OS even with the backing of the Chrome Web Store.

 

Moreover, your existing PC accessories might not work well with Chromebooks. After doing some researching, there are only a number of accessories that goes well with these devices. These include only laptop bags, mice, mass storage devices and external hard drives and headphones to name a few.

VALUE FOR MONEY

Lastly, another important thing to consider when it comes to Chromebooks is the value for money. Although these devices have a lighter operating system and so-so specs, most of them are still quite pricey. The cheapest Chromebook in the market is priced at over AU$200, which is actually almost the same as a decent Android tablet.

On the other hand, the most expensive Chromebooks retails for over $1000, which is basically in the same range as other high-end notebooks.

SO WHO IS IT FOR THEN?

Chromebooks are a unique set of computing devices designed for doing web-based tasks. If you’re a Google fanatic and you use majority of the services offered by the search giant and you always have access to the internet, a Chromebook will certainly fall comfortably in your lifestyle. This is especially true if you’re also that type of person who wants a simple, streamlined user experience and you’re idea of using a laptop revolves around browsing the internet and doing some office paper work.

Otherwise, if you’re the moderate to heavy PC user who depends on using a number of different application and software from various vendors, a Chromebook would probably have the same appeal to you as a tablet.

SO WHAT’S GOOGLE LOGIC FOR THE CHROMEBOOK?

Personally, I think that Google meant for the Chromebook to be an experiment if it can take over the PC market. It’s a wild guess but maybe Google is paving the way for Android laptops it might produce in the future. At present, Android tablets are not considered as full-fledged productivity devices in the same way we look at desktop PCs and laptops. So in case Google migrates Android to Chromebooks, it will definitely help expand the company’s reach to other markets.

However, Google is known for pushing a lot of experiments in the past and eventually cutting them off once it becomes unproductive. For all we know, the Chromebook is just one of those experiments and the company might just kill the project if it fails to perform in the future. Nevertheless, the Google Chromebook remains a product for a select consumer group. The question now is, do you think a Chromebook is for you? Share us your thoughts about this issue by leaving a comment below.

 

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