announcement

Become a Contributor

Pros and Cons of Google Chromebooks: Are They Worth It?

Pros and Cons of Google Chromebooks: Are They Worth It?

If you are thinking of buying a new Chromebook, then go through this Techspirited article to know the pros and cons of this Google device.
Swati Takale
Quick Tip
Chromebook is a cloud-based computer with limited functionality. If you are just browsing the web, checking e-mails, etc., then opt for a Chromebook. However, if you require more functionality, go in for a Windows or Mac computer.
Chromebooks are those notebooks which run on the Chrome OS, which is a cloud-based operating system developed by Google. As a result, an internet connection is a must for using a Chromebook since all the applications work within a browser. Also, all your work gets automatically saved to a Google drive in the Cloud instead of your local hard drive.

Simplicity, speed, and security are among the pros of Google Chromebook, while its cons include lack of support to Skype and traditional computer software. Here is a detailed look at its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros
  • Chromebooks are free from virus threats since Google provides multiple layers of protection such as sandboxing, verified boot, etc. Therefore, there is no need to invest in additional anti-virus software.
  • Google performs free automatic upgrades of the Chrome OS to ensure that it is always up-to-date.
  • For every new Chromebook owner, Google offers 100 GB of free online storage for a period of two years.
  • They store your work in Google Drive by default. Therefore, if your Chromebook gets lost, stolen, or damaged, all your data still remains in the cloud, and you can access it from anywhere.
  • They come with free apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which let you create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations respectively.
  • They make use of apps such as Google Docs, Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Calendar for everyday tasks. These apps can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store.
  • Non-Google apps such as Evernote, Dropbox, Netflix, eBay, etc., can also be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store, most of which are free.
  • They typically have USB ports, SD card readers, and webcams. Most Chromebooks come with an HDMI output port. You can connect this port to your HDTV and watch online videos on it.
  • They have a longer battery life (6-8 hrs) compared to other notebooks (2-3 hrs).
  • They are equipped with Solid State storage drives which substantially increase the speed of the system.
  • They have built in dual band Wi-fi that helps you connect to the internet anywhere. Some models also offer 3G connectivity when there are no local Wi-Fi connections.
  • These notebooks do not require high-end hardware since they just run a browser. Therefore, they are highly inexpensive, with most Chromebooks coming under USD 300.
  • The booting time is less than 10 seconds, and so is the time taken for shutdown.
  • They are light in weight, weighing about three pounds.
  • They are super thin, portable, and great for travel.
Cons
  • Chromebooks typically come with minimal internal storage space of about 16 GB. Thus, you may be forced to store all your files on the web. However, this can prove to be disastrous in real time if you can't access the Internet.
  • They do not have DVD/CD drives.
  • They do not support Skype; however, alternatives such as Google Hangout can be used.
  • They do not support traditional Windows or Mac applications. Therefore, you may not be able to use Microsoft Office suite, Photoshop, iTunes, or Quicken on your Chromebook. Although there are alternative apps provided by Google, they lack some of the pro features.
  • The keyboard does not have function keys. They are replaced by browser-specific keys such as forward and backward navigation, page refresh, etc. This might prove challenging for the user to get used to it.
  • The Chrome OS does not support heavy gaming, video editing, and different media files such as mp3, mp4, wmp, etc.
  • They heavily rely on the web.
Although not for everyone, Chromebooks are great solutions for those who depend on the web for much of their computer use. Therefore, people who are not into heavy computing can definitely go in for these cost-effective and useful mobile devices.