Top 5: Reasons to consider getting a Chromebook

Chromebooks and Chrome OS have made quite an impact in the world of computing. These relatively low powered computers which use an operating system that can't even run traditional computer programs (the type you have to install), but relies on the internet for almost full functionality might not appeal to many people at first glance. But when you step back and look at our daily computing habits, and how many tasks are actually done online compared to locally, Chromebooks make sense. Recent reports have indicated that we spend upwards of 20 hours a week online, both for work and play. Schools are even dumping iPads for Chromebooks, so there's obviously a strong interest from the education sector as well. But humans are creatures of habit, and anything "new" or "different" is usually ignored. Chromebooks are both new (relatively) and very different compared to traditional Windows/Mac computers, so it's obvious that many people won't give them much thought. But if you are looking for a new laptop, there are many reasons why you should consider getting a Chromebook. Here are five.

Affordability
Chromebooks are pretty much synonymous with affordability. Apart from a few high-end models like Google's Chromebook Pixel 2, most OEM models are very affordable. And don't be fooled. Lower price points do not mean performance is sacrificed. A Chromebook like the Acer C720 (which has been out for quite a while) is a very capable machine, and can be bought for around $200 or less if you find good deals. Most Chromebooks will hover around the $200-$300 price range, with slightly more powerful machines costing a bit more. But for most people, a basic Chromebook is more than enough. And they can be bought for a lot less than a good Windows laptop, more so a MacBook.

You do most things on the web 
Like I said in my intro, most of our time spent on our computers, phones, and tablets is spent connected to the internet. Browsing the web, scrolling through social media, watching YouTube videos, finding information, e-mail, and many other tasks are all done online. So if all you need a computer for is to act as a terminal for you to connect to the internet, a Chromebook is perfect for you. A Chromebook is so easy to setup and use, it just gets out of the way and lets you enjoy using the internet with minimal maintenance necessary. Which leads to my next point.


Chromebooks are so easy to use
Computers generally require quite a bit of maintenance. You have programs which you need to install and uninstall, you need to keep your anti-virus active, you'll often have performance issues after a while which might require disk defragmentation or driver updates and so on. On a Chromebook, none of that is needed. All you do is sign-in to your Google account, and away you go. No anti-virus, no programs, no hardware maintenance. Just you, and the browser. It doesn't get easier than that. 

Chrome OS will always be up to date
One of the biggest problems with Windows over the years has been that you will never get to use the latest version unless you buy a new computer or a license for the newest version (Windows 10 will be the first version ever that will be given for free to current users). And because licenses were usually quite expensive, many people opted for pirated versions, which can cause a whole set of other problems all together. Because Chrome OS is web-based, updates are pushed to all computers over the internet every few weeks. Major updates are usually released every six weeks, with minor updates coming in between (in fact I just got an update as I'm writing this). And unlike Windows updates which annoyingly remind you to restart your computer, or automatically restarts itself if you don't explicitly delay it, Chrome OS updates download silently in the background (you won't even realise when an update is downloading) and will only be applied the next time you boot up your computer. No annoying reminders, no automatic restarts. And the best thing is, the updates barely take even a minute to be applied. Unlike Windows updates which sometimes take forever.
With a Chromebook, your operating system will always be up to date.
Not many Windows users can say that.
It makes a great second computer
This use case might be a bit specific, but it's a great reason to consider getting a Chromebook. Some people (like me) already have a Windows desktop for "heavy duty" computing. So they might be looking for a laptop for simple on-the-go computing. Not for heavy use, just something for the road while they are away from their desktop. A Chromebook makes a lot of sense for all the reasons above, and as an added benefit of using it as a second computer, since most data will be stored in the cloud (Google Drive), and Google Chrome syncs preferences and history across devices, your Chromebook will pretty much act as an extension of your desktop. Any extensions or apps you install on your desktop will be synced to your Chromebook. Any files you create using Google Docs on your Chromebook will be accessible on your desktop. You can even use Google' Chrome Remote Desktop to access your desktop from your Chromebook if the need arises. This is just one of the many reasons why cloud computing is so convenient. You can use different hardware, but have the same experience on all of them.
A Chromebook makes an excellent second computer.
As with most things tech, Chromebooks aren't for everyone. People who need to use specialised computer programs for stuff like photo or video editing, for data analysis, or anything work related will need a Windows computer/Mac. But for a large majority of people who just use computers to connect to the internet, for schools who want to give a computer to every student, and for people who embrace cloud computing, Chromebooks are perfect. Sales are expected to increase by 27% this year, showing that interest in Google's computer system is growing. I've had my C720p for a few months now and like most Chromebook users, I'm very happy with it. If you end up getting one for yourself, I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well.

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