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Chromebook: The Ultimate Buying Guide
ChromeBooks have grown from being a nascent curiosity to an increasingly popular device. Very light, affordable and extremely easy to use, the web-based computers have become a sensible choice for many. With so many interesting options out there, choosing a suitable ChromeBook for your needs can be difficult. To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together this comprehensive Chromebook buying guide.
So, What Is a Chromebook Anyway?
In this increasingly digitized world, where most of our time is spent online, one question arose in Google’s mind: can you work on a computer using nothing but the web? So, five years ago, the search engine company created a laptop that behaved like a web browser. Doubted the ChromeBook, this was a low-cost, easy to use laptop. At a first glance, a ChromeBook looks like a regular laptop, but the operating system makes the difference. Unlike most computers, ChromeBooks don’t run on traditional OS, such as Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. Instead, they use a software created by Google, called Chrome. ChromeBooks require a constant internet connection in order to work. Users can download apps which can help them create documents, edit photos, write email and browse the web. Documents and other files are stored in the cloud, thus eliminating the need for a large hard drive. ChromeBooks can be used offline also, but their functionality is limited.
The Good, the Bad, the Incompatible
Like any other laptop, ChromeBook has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the main advantages ChromeBook has is its price. Made to run just as a browser, ChromeBook doesn’t require powerful processor or lots of memory in order to work. Depending on the specs, ChromeBooks can cost as little as $200, with mid-range models in the $300-$400 range. Another great advantage is their simplicity. Since ChromeBooks don’t need large hard drives or powerful processors, they boot and wake from sleep in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, they require little to no maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about constantly updating your installed programs. ChromeBooks have their downsides, too. ChromeBooks have very little local storage (no more than 16GB or 32GB), which doesn’t leave room for personal files or data. However, the biggest disadvantage Google’s ChromeBook has is software incompatibility. You won’t be able to use any desktop software, such as Skype or iTunes. But, Google has its own alternatives, like Google Hangouts or Google Play Music.
How to Choose the Right ChromeBook?
ChromeBooks are budget laptops; they all boot up rapidly and have between 7 and 9 hours of battery life. However, each model has different specifications, such as screen size or RAM. With so many interesting options out there, choosing a suitable ChromeBook for your needs can be difficult. To help you choose the right ChromeBook, we’ve rounded up a list of things you should consider before buying a web-based laptop.
Know what you want
Most ChromeBooks share almost the same specs and features. This is why the details are going to make the difference. Do you want a high-resolution screen, a better keyboard and high-end design? Do you care about the ports’ position or are you solely interested in solid performance?
ChromeBooks can be excellent portable computers, but in order to choose the right one you need to think carefully about what you plan to do with it. If you only need it to browse the web and get work done, a basic model will do just fine. But, if you want to play games or stream movies, you may need to take a look at other models.
Know your specs
As with any other devices, the processor and RAM can make a difference in how fast and smoothly your ChromeBook performs. If you are planning to use your ChromeBook for playing games or streaming videos, you definitely need more RAM.
Most ChromeBooks offer only 2GB of RAM, but there are models which offer twice the memory size. Opt for one of these versions if you are a gamer or a heavy multitasker.
If performance matter, don’t settle for a slow CPU. ChromeBooks offer quite a few options, from ARM-processors to Intel Atom or even Celeron.
How much storage do you need?
All ChromeBooks come with 16GB of onboard storage. Additionally, you get 100GB of free Google Drive storage for two years. You probably won’t need more than that, but if you do, for , you can get 32GB of onboard storage.
Choose the right screen size
Screen size is also an important factor to consider when shopping for a ChromeBook. If you are looking for a very light, compact laptop, the 11.6-inch ChromeBooks are the perfect option for you. They are three pounds lighter than other models and easier to carry around. For users interested in larger screens, there are 13.3-inch and 14-inch ChromeBooks available. The wide screens are better for watching movies, playing games or even browsing the web.
Do you want sharper images?The size of the screen isn’t the only factor that matter for some users. The display can be equally as important. The more pixels you have, the sharper the images will be. Most ChromeBooks come with 1366 x 768 pixels, which is more than enough for most tasks. However, for a better movie-watching experience, you can choose a full-HD display (1920 x 1080).
How much should you spend?Although there are some high-end ChromeBooks, which can reach up to $1.300, most models start from around $199. The mid-range models can cost up to $300-$400, and they come with more RAM, better performance and larger screens.
Light-weighted and easy-to-use, ChromeBooks are an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable laptop for browsing the web. At Crowdbest you can find a list of ChromeBook laptops suited for every need.
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