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Monday, December 26, 2011

Should You Buy a Chromebook?

There’s been a lot of buzz about Google’s Chromebook, and the reviews have been mixed. There are strong opinions on both sides concerning whether or not you should purchase one. The Chromebook is a netbook. It’s unlike either a laptop or a tablet, and its primary purpose is to access the Internet. Previously Chromebooks were considered by many to be too expensive for their limited functionality.

But now the price has been reduced, and you can purchase one starting at $299. Many people love the simplistic nature of the Chromebook, and they find it incredibly useful. Whether or not you’ll feel the same usually depends on your personal computing needs and lifestyle, but it is definitely worth considering. So should you buy a Chromebook?

First Batch of Chromebooks for RedmondImage by rwentechaney via Flickr

Do You Compute on the Go?
The Chromebook is incredibly light and easily portable. It also has a battery life of approximately ten hours, and it boots up in mere seconds. If you frequently need to compute on the go, the Chromebook might be a great option for you. You can access the Internet anywhere with Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. If you do a lot of typing and document creation or editing, it’s much easier to use than your smartphone and less bulky than your laptop. It will easily sit on your lap anywhere without getting hot, and you can leave in the morning with a full battery and not worry about bringing a charger.

Do You Love Google?
If you already use lots of Google services like Gmail, Docs and the Chrome browser, you won’t have any problem transitioning to a Chromebook. The Google brand is reliable and always improving. Google is constantly designing new features, and they’ve done wonders with the Chrome OS.

Do You Primarily Use the Internet?
When you’re on your computer, if your primary use of it is accessing the Internet, the Chromebook could be for you. Everything on the Chromebook is web-based, and you’ll access all of your files from your cloud storage. It’s not a great option for people who need to do a lot of photo or video editing, but it has plenty of functionality for people who rely on the Internet for most of their needs. If your only other needs are things like Microsoft Word or Excel, Google Docs has you covered. The Chromebook doesn’t have a whole lot of use if it’s not connected to the Internet, so make sure the places you would use it have Wi-Fi access, or you’ll need to pay for 3G. If you like to listen to music while you work, don’t worry because Google Music will let you access your library from the cloud, too.

Chromebook TestImage by slgckgc via Flickr

Do Computers Confuse You?
Even though we live in the technology age, many people are still confused by computers or reluctant to learn, especially senior citizens. The Chromebook is a great option for people who want a simple and straightforward way to access the Internet. It’s very user-friendly, and there isn’t a whole lot else to worry about.

ChromebookImage by slgckgc via Flickr

Do You Dislike Maintenance? 
The Chromebook requires little maintenance. The Chrome OS will automatically install updates, and you don’t have to worry about time-consuming updates and restarts. You also don’t have a need for extra antivirus software or constantly backing up your work, because the majority of your data will be stored on the cloud. Because of the cloud, you can also access your files anywhere and eliminate the need for saving your work to a disc, USB or other storage to transport it.

Terry Ford is a technologist and a professional freelancer. This article was proofed using one of Terry's favorite tools Grammarly grammar checker.

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