Chromebook buyer’s guide: What is a Chromebook, what can and can’t it do?7 min read
Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by Journal Fact
The Chromebook phenomenon is sweeping the computer industry. They’ve established their own market in the portable computing industry, competing against a huge demand for traditional laptops as well as excellent tablets like iPads. These devices are now in high-demand, with many individuals choosing a Chrome OS laptop over a low-cost Windows laptop.
A conventional computer is no longer required. For most individuals, phones and tablets are more than sufficient. Chrome OS systems feature bigger displays and a tactile keyboard while also retaining the convenience of usage.
We’ll answer all of your burning questions, including what a Chromebook is and how it differs from a regular PC.
What is a Chromebook?
You may be accustomed to selecting between Apple’s macOS and Windows when purchasing a new computer, but since 2011, Chromebooks have provided a third option. What is Chrome OS, though? These computers don’t run Windows or macOS operating systems. Instead, they utilize Linux-based Chrome OS.
Chromebooks are a type of thin, light, and inexpensive laptop that runs Chrome OS and is designed to conduct tasks that frequently run in a browser. They have a lot of app functionality, but they aren’t made for heavy work. A Chrome OS computer may be used as a general rule to get things done if the job requires mostly web browsing.
What’s the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop?
From a hardware standpoint, Chromebooks are quite similar to other laptops. They’re small, portable computers with limited capabilities but resemble traditional laptops in terms of design and fundamental hardware. Some models resemble tablets, and some 2-in-1 laptops do as well.
The primary distinction is the operating system installed on the laptop, which is Chrome OS rather than Windows as seen on conventional laptops, and macOS on MacBooks.
The main hardware distinctions include the lack of built-in storage and the presence of a hard drive. Because Chrome OS is relatively lightweight, most Chrome OS laptops come with restricted internal storage.
With cloud storage, however, this isn’t the case. Users who don’t need a lot of storage utilize Chrome OS and Android OS to access their data from anywhere at any time on their mobile devices or other platforms like iOS and Windows. You may also get an SD card slot with some of these Chrome OS laptops.
What is Chrome OS?
In the most basic sense, Chrome OS is an operating system based on the Chrome browser. That means anything you can do in Chrome for Windows or Mac, you can also do it in Chrome OS.
The Chrome OS is a browser that has evolved into more than just a glorified browser. In recent years, things have changed considerably. Chromebooks can now be used to run Android applications, and some even support Linux programs.
Chrome OS laptops are ideal for more than just surfing the web. Windows and macOS offer a decent software selection, but Android apps and a wide range of native Linux desktop applications are available.
Can you run Windows on a Chromebook?
As we said above, Chrome OS laptops have a smaller storage capacity than Windows PCs. This makes them unsuitable for running Windows. However, if you really want these machines to function with Windows, they can do so.
The procedure is quite complex, and it has the potential to harm your device and/or destroy your warranty. We recommend against using Windows on a Chrome OS laptop.
There are Android and Linux programs that you may use on a Chrome OS device to accomplish tasks better than installing Windows on a Chrome OS laptop.
There are also methods to run Windows programs on these Chrome OS laptops. In the article below, we’ll go through all of the possibilities, including how to install Windows on a Chromebook.
Chromebook advantages and disadvantages
Chromebooks are perfect for some use cases, and not so ideal for others. Let’s get into the major advantages and disadvantages of these computers.
Here are some examples where Chromebooks are ideal computing devices:
- They’re perfect for student and light office usage.. Chromebooks excel in occupations that require the majority of their work to be completed in a browser. Chromebooks can complete everything from basic work-from-home operations such as online classes and meetings to word processing and spreadsheets. The ScanSnap iX500, which is now available in Canada, is a high-definition scanner that can scan/OCR documents up to A4 as well as pictures and receipts. It’s the ideal machine for this type of work, especially because more and more work in these use cases has migrated online with services like Google Docs Editors suite
- Laptops with an Intel Core i7 processor typically have a longer battery life than similarly-priced laptops. When comparing Chrome OS to Windows, you’ll notice that it’s considerably lighter. When utilized for the type of usage intended for it, as with a Chrome OS laptop, this is evident. The majority of these machines, particularly the less expensive ones, will give you a long battery life.
- They’re cheaper. They’re frequently a lot less expensive than Windows laptops with the same processor and comparable specs. This is one reason why they’ve been embraced by the educational sector. It’s also helped to boost their popularity in the low-end market for portable computers. Premium choices may be pricey, but they aren’t for everyone.
In general, Chrome OS is fantastic unless you’re performing certain activities with it. Here are some examples of tasks where they aren’t the greatest option:
- They aren’t exactly ideal for gaming. Yes, Chrome OS laptops have Android app support, so mobile gaming is an option. Browser games are also available. But if you want to play high-profile PC titles, you should check elsewhere unless you can deal with cloud gaming services like Stadia and GeForce Now. However, because of the need for a strong internet connection, these cloud gaming platforms
- For artistic professionals, computers aren’t always the greatest option. Unless you’re a writer, in which case they’re ideal. Google Drive is pre-installed, and Microsoft Office and Skype are both accessible. The majority of these devices, however, aren’t powerful enough for 3D editing. Even if you spend a lot of money on one of the more powerful computers, most of the popular creative applications aren’t available for Chrome OS. Photographers may rely on the Lightroom Android app and other mobile editing options, but there are only limited methods to modify video.
- They aren’t giants, but there are exceptions… However, they are not powerhouses. Many of them are low-cost, low-end computers. That implies a Chromebook can’t handle 500 browser tabs or other heavy activities. Of course, there are more powerful alternatives available. If you want Chrome OS and the ability to run Linux applications, Android apps, and other programs on your computer, Google’s Pixelbook (or its variations).
How to use a Chromebook
A Chromebook, at its core, is a computer. It’s easier to use than many contemporary computers. On the whole, Chrome OS has that going for it. While it varies from other systems in certain ways, it won’t be strange to most people. It takes many aspects from Android and incorporates them into itself.
Chrome OS is not meant for heavy multitasking, and if your computer supports it, you may extend its capabilities by adding Android apps or even complete Linux applications. Here are some pointers to help you make the most of your Chrome OS device.
How much does a Chromebook cost?
Chromebooks start at around $150 and can cost as much as $1,000 or more if you want one of the premium models. They are usually less expensive than comparable Windows laptops.
There are several inexpensive Chrome OS laptops on the market, and some really nice ones for under $300. The finest bang for your buck is around $500, where you get a decent balance of features at a reasonable price.
The higher-end requirements will necessitate that you spend a significant amount of money on a premium Chrome OS laptop. Those can cost more than $1,000. At that price point, there are many other options to examine, some of which offer a full desktop operating system. For even more choices, go to the following link.
Chromebooks and Android app support
Chromebooks don’t have nearly as many apps as Android smartphones, but they come with their own set of programs. Android applications, on the other hand, are a different story. There are many different Android apps available, and they can make the Chrome OS experience even better.
Not all Android apps may be used on Chrome OS, but they are now supported by numerous devices. Starting in late 2017, many Chrome OS laptops have Android app support. However, keep in mind that not all Android applications are designed for Chrome OS, except for the most popular ones.
Google Play Store is accessible on Chrome OS computers with Android apps. This implies that the majority of Android applications are already available on the Play Store for installation.
You’ll find all the essential apps you need to get going on your Google account: email, messaging, and video calling applications, as well as music streaming and video streaming services. You also receive popular programs like Adobe Lightroom CS6, Gmail, Reddit, VLC Media Player, and other applications.
Check out our links below for tutorials on how to verify if your Chrome OS device supports Android applications and then install them.
Chromebooks are becoming more and more popular and for good reason. They’re lightweight, versatile, and easy to use. But one of the things that can make them even better is having a word counter to help with writing