Chromebooks have a certain appeal, since they are relatively cheap. Plus, if you need to buy a new computer for XP reasons, Chromebooks may look very attractive right now.
Is a Chromebook right for you? Let’s take a closer look at these inexpensive options.
How Chromebooks Work
Chromebooks are entirely optimized to work with Google apps. These systems run Chrome, and work with Google options like Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Documents. Chromebooks let you do everything that you would do with a Windows PC, but there are some exceptions.
Microsoft Office won’t run on a Chromebook. If you use Office products like Microsoft Word, you may not like the fact that you can no longer use Microsoft programs. However, Google has set up a number of Google applications that allow you to use a word processor, create presentations, and store everything in your Google account.
Purchasing a Chromebook doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to write anything on a word processor again, it just means that you’ll have to use Google Drive to create a new document. Plus, you can import all of your old documents to Google Drive (more on that below).
Is Google Drive hard to use when it comes to creating a new written document? Not at all. But, it’s not the Microsoft Word program that you might be used to. The other thing about the Chromebook is that it works best when you are using all Google products, like Gmail. If you use another email provider, that provider will work with a Chromebook, but it’s really better to use all Google products for a fully integrated experience.
Even though it is possible to import Microsoft Office documents into Google Drive, it’s not always the best option. In fact, importing Word and other files into Drive can sometimes cause the formatting of those articles to disappear. You can also save files to Microsoft formats, so you can share files with people that aren’t using a Chromebook quite easily. That’s a lot to think about, though, if you mainly work with Microsoft Office products.
You will have to adapt to Google’s applications, but a Chromebook that will cost you less than $400 isn’t a bad idea if all you do online is type on a word processor, visit a social network occasionally, and send emails. There are lots of people that have purchased Chromebooks, and are more than happy with this decision. Those people tend to be the sort that don’t need a computer for daily work, but a Chromebook isn’t a bad idea if you’re only emailing, visiting a few sites, and typing up the occasional document.
For Chromebook purposes, the best on the market right now (that’s also budget-friendly) is the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook at $329. The best part about buying a Chromebook is that you don’t have to purchase any additional Microsoft software to go with it – a savings of more than $100.
Do you have a Chromebook? Do you love or hate it?