What Chrombook features should I get? And while we’re at it. Just what is a Chromebook, anyway?
Chromebooks are a no-hassle laptop type that supports everything you do. It’s #1 goal is to get you to the internet fast. To do that. It uses Google’s Chrome operating system, instead of Windows or MacOS; with most applications and documents living in the cloud.
According to the New York Times website. Chromebooks were 58% of the computing devices shipped to American schools K-12 in 2017. And while they’ve certainly established a dominance in the education market. Their appeal is broad.
Low prices, long battery life, and ease of use are but some of the reasons why traditional laptop users are making the switch to the Chromebook platform.
Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo and Samsung are stand outs in the Chromebook arena. These manufacturers offer a variety of screen options from 10.1-inches. All the way up to 15-inches.
Because of their popularity, there are a vast number of Chromebooks to choose from. With new technology that make them more of the go-to-choice with every emerging generation.
But you’re not here to talk about most users. You’re here to find out if a Chromebook will prove the right fit for you.
In no particular order. Here are the 10 key Chromebook features to help you decide if a Chromebook is the right computing device for you.
One of the biggest and latest developments in the world of Chromebooks is its compatibility with Android Apps.
Google has been talking about the proliferation of Android Apps on Chromebooks for some time. As of 2017, all new Chromebooks were shipped with access to the Google Play Store.
What does this mean for you?
In the past, Chromebooks only allowed you to utilize services that run in a web browser. Now you can run separate windows like on a regular laptop.
And since native apps run faster and work better than web apps. This gives you the freedom to run some apps without an internet connection.
This is one of those Chromebook features that will determine portability.
Chromebooks land between 11 and 13-inches. Such models weigh less than 3 pounds, making them a great option for kids and commuters.
The obvious downside is that the keyboard may be a bit cramped for adult hands. If you’re looking for more screen real-estate. You’ll want a Chromebook with a 14- to 15-inch display (the Acer Chromebook 15 is the only 15-inch notebook with Chrome OS right now).
One of the Chromebook features that make this platform less desirable for regular us is that they often come with paltry 1366 x 768-pixel resolution.
As Full HD is becoming a resolution standard across all laptop types. Manufacturers have started producing Chromebooks with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution. This has enhanced the user experience with richer colors, better picture quality, and an overall more immersive viewing experience.
A good Chromebook delivers snappy performance. One of the Chromebook features that contributes to its responsiveness is the processor.
You’ll find ARM based processors, like Rockchip, Exynos, MediTek, and NVIDIA Tegra in fanless designs. Although these Chromebooks are quieter. They are generally also slower than Chromebooks with Intel based CPUs when it comes to multitasking activities.
We recommend Chromebooks that feature the newest generation Intel Core “M” CPUs. Designated Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7. They offer a low-power consumption and more power than the older Atom or Celeron ranges.
Another one of the Chromebook features that contribute to its responsiveness is the amount of RAM it has. Chromebooks only come with 2 or 4 GB of RAM. The more you have, the more expensive the Chromebook will be.
But if you plan on multitasking with several windows open. You’ll be glad you made the investment. Especially now that you get more useful features like Android apps.
Chromebooks only have about 16 or 32 GB of space, which doesn’t seem like an awful lot of room when you think about traditional laptops.
But storage really isn’t one of those Chromebook features that helps you decide to pick one over the other. Since you’ll store most of your files and documents in Google Drive, and Google’s cloud storage service. Space is almost limitless.
Need to store a lot of pictures? BusinessInsider.com shows you why Google Photos is Google’s best service.
Another one of those Chromebook features that wind up proving essential if you’re always go go go is the endurance of the battery.
Fortunately, the Chrome OS has always proven quite conservative when it comes to battery consumption. This is due to the nature of the Chrome OS and less resource-hungry hardware.
Within Chromebooks, however. Battery life can range anywhere from just a few hours. To offering a lot more than most. We recommend a Chromebook that gives you at least 6-8 hours of usability unplugged.
This is one of those Chromebook features that will vary widely. Some will have more ports than others. At the very least, we believe that your Chromebook should come with a USB Type-C port as this is fast becoming a universal standard.
Click here to see a list of ports you might consider for your Chromebook.
Materials and Build Quality
One of the Chromebook features that will figure greatly in you user experience is the durability of the materials used in construction.
Chromebooks aren’t only made of cheap plastics anymore. As of late, manufacturers are using more premium material, like the carbon fiber on the Dell Chromebook 13.
The quality of the keyboard is also worth considering since this will be your main interface with the Chromebook. And because it has an impact on your overall productivity.
Be careful of the trap of adding too many Chromebook features. Having a super tricked-out machine that costs as much as a regular laptop almost defeats the whole point of the platform. Which is to get you on the internet as nimbly as possible.
Thanks for sticking with us until the very end. Here’s a bonus feature just for you.
The Google ChromeOS has already expanded into 2-in-1 form factors like the Asus Chromebook Flip, and devices like the Chromebit.
But that’s just the start according to Google’s Rajen Sheth, director of product for Android and Chrome for education market.
You can look forward to the adapted version of the Chrome browser unfurling its banner across yet another region of the laptop cosmos. In the near future, things get a lot more interesting with Chrome Tablets?
Chromebooks are a new class of laptops that have established themselves as legitimate daily-use computing devices. Whether you can be happy with one really depends on what you need your laptop to do.
We want to hear from you. Were there any important Chormebook features you feel we missed? Please let us know in the comment section.