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Is A Chromebook The Right Choice For You As A Laptop?

May 26, 2014 - Written By Joshua Koh


Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular due to their low price point and excellent performance. This comes about as the focus of a Chromebook is on Chrome itself meaning that everything has to run through Chrome, be it a word processor or watching a movie. As a result, Chromebooks are generally quicker to boot up and run when compared to a Windows PC. The only caveat here is the need for internet access to enable the Chromebook to fully function as intended.

The first thing to consider is that of usage. If your use of a PC consists of utilizing graphical and or processor heavy activities offline such as games, media editing eg. Photoshop then you probably would want to stay away as Chrome does not have the capacity to do so. The lack of a dedicated large storage capacity such as a hard disk is also something that would count against Chromebooks. As it would also be costly to keep offline data on the cloud and inefficient to have to download said data whenever you need it, further making a Chromebook redundant. However if the usage of your computing activities consists of making use of Google Docs to edit documents, checking Gmail, Facebook, casual games and online videos, then the Chromebook might be the perfect fit as it enables you to get to these activities without much of a hassle.

Now let us look at the benefits a Chromebook offers. As mentioned above, Chromebooks are seriously budget friendly. With the exception of Chromebook Pixel, most are priced around $200-$400. In addition to Chrome being the focus, there are few junk processes or services running in the background making the Chromebook’ s performance as quick as a Windows PC running on an SSD. Another plus point is that of security. As Chrome itself forces everything from apps to pages, to run within a sandbox, this limits collateral damage. Data is also encrypted by Google both on the device and in the cloud, ensuring that the data remains secure. Updates are relatively quick as well, which ensures that Chromebooks stay secure. This makes the Chromebooks relatively easy to use as it can simply be used out of the box.

The issue with Chromebooks however, is the need for a stable and efficient network connection. Granted, there are offline apps available, however as these cannot quite match up to applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office. Another issue lies with the amount of offline data you have. For example, if you have 300GB worth of music offline, it is simply not possible to transfer them to a Chromebook due to the lack of storage space. Transferring the music files into a cloud storage would also be incredibly time consuming and might not go off without a hitch if the network is unstable.

The Chromebook is designed for the average user who simply wants an affordable web capable device with better work functionality compared to a tablet. Chromebooks such as the Asus C720 or Dell Chromebook 11 are such examples. For the more advanced users, the Chromebook is probably more of a novelty rather than a replacement of a conventional laptop.