Maybe it starts with your laptop crashing or starting to slow down to unusable speeds, or needing a laptop for the kids. Bad images and memories of going store to store and talking to one sales associate after another trying to sell you on a laptop with more features and a higher price tag than you wanted. For me, it’s like going car shopping <shudder>. Next will come denial, “I think I can fix it if I just…” or “Maybe if I just unplug it, wait ten seconds, and then plug it back in everything will be ok.”.
This is followed by yelling at your laptop or trying to bribe that family member who is “good with computers”.
And then it’s time to buy that new or newish laptop. Most of us just need a laptop for email, shopping online and other tasks that don’t require a pricey, gamer-style laptop making Chromebooks great for almost everyone.
What is a Chromebook?
In very simple terms, it’s a laptop that uses Wifi to run the Google Chrome web browser for your computing needs. Everything is done through a web browser. Now this might sound like new and strange territory but if you were honest with those questions I posed to you, it really isn’t. Is what you do with your home laptop on an almost daily basis look like this:
- Check email
- Check Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc (Insert your favorite social media site)
- Read your favorite websites and blogs and share them to social media or email them to friends and family
- Shopping for used technology, ahem…
- Write a letter in Word, use Excel to make a family budget spreadsheet, or use Powerpoint for that class presentation on VooDoo economics
- Watch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube videos to pass the time
Chromebooks are really good at all the things I just listed. In fact, the things they do well they do better at than most any other laptop out there. When it comes to getting online easily, browsing your favorite places to do things like chat with your friends or do some shopping, or even reading your favorite tech blog (shameless plug), it’s hard to beat a Chromebook.
They’re also excellent when it comes to security done simply — your online data is secured by Google, with experts keeping track of it so you don’t have to. When you sign into your Google account, things like usernames, passwords, and even your photos are stored where only you can have access to them.
Users also have free access to Google Docs — a web-based platform that includes a word processor, spreadsheet application and presentation app among other things. It’s easy to create, share and collaborate with any size team, and Chromebooks are able to work with Docs while you’re offline and synchronize things when you get a connection. You can import a Microsoft Office document into Google Docs easily as well. Google Docs are a great way for any size team or individual to get some work done.
Even your applications are tied to your Google account, and any local data they need to store is only accessible when you’re securely signed in. That also means you can pick up any Chromebook, sign in, and things will be exactly the same, with the same online data and the same applications in the same places. To round all this out, when you try to visit a website that has known security issues, you’re warned before you get there because Google keeps track of them for you through the Chrome browser.
Which is better, spending $200 or $600 for the same thing?
So does that sounds about right for 99.9% of what you need your next laptop to do? Well, all of that is exactly what a Chromebook is for and at a much lower price, even lower when you pick a gently used Chromebook on Swappa. So why spend $600 plus on a laptop with all these hardware specs and add-on store features when you can spend $200 or less and get what you need? Heck, with all that leftover cash you could upgrade your smartphone, too. 😉
If getting on the internet easily and safely, while still having a great experience is what you’re looking for, a Chromebook is the best way to do it. And for what it’s worth this very post was written on one, too.