How Much Do Chromebooks Cost
For the longest time, there was a pretty narrow price range for Chromebooks, and it was on the more affordable end of the spectrum.;That is still largely the case; You can pick up the affordable and lightweight Samsung Chromebook 4 which has an 11.6-inch HD display, an Intel Celeron N3000N CPU and 4GB of RAM for only $229.;For a bit more than that, Lenovo offers the excellent $279 Chromebook Duet.
Other models ask you to go into the mid-range price bracket, such as , the business-friendly Lenovo Yoga C13 Yoga, or the $549 Samsung Chromebook Pro, a stylus-equipped 12.3-inch notebook with a 2400 x 1600-pixel display, an Intel Core M3 processor and 4GB of RAM.;Now the premium Chromebook market is growing, with laptops like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook and its successor, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, leading the charge.;
You’ll probably wind up paying more for a Windows 10 notebook, as the average selling price for a PC is $478, according to NPD. There are more affordable options, as we’ve detailed here, but the PC laptop market has a much higher cap than the Chromebook market.
But is a Chromebook right for you? Our Chromebook buying guide has the answers to these and other questions.
Chromebooks Run More Apps Than Any Device On The Planet
Right now, most Chromebooks can run Chrome web apps and Android apps out of the box. In a few months, many will also be able to run Linux apps.
But you can also run Windows apps with Crossover or Wine . This makes Chrome OS the most versatile operating system around, with the ability to run four different types of appsall in the same session.
Myth : Chromebooks Dont Run Linux
At the recent Google I/O, the company announced that its building a Chrome OSspecific virtual machine for Linux that will start fast and integrate completely. While today there is a range of approaches for running various flavors of Linux on a Chromebook, tomorrow Linux will run well and feel native.
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Who Are Chromebooks Meant For
Are you looking to replace a sluggish PC laptop or an older Macbook that you just don’t have the money to buy all over again? If so, a Chromebook may be just what you need.
If you use your computer primarily for email, Facebook, and general internet surfing, then you will probably really enjoy a Chromebook. However, they are not necessarily a good fit for everyone, so here’s what you need to know.
What Are My Buying Options
Still want a Chromebook? Just like Windows PCs, Chromebooks come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and form factors. There are larger-screened devices and some that are barely 10-inches in display size.
Here are a few extra buyer guides that will help you find the right laptop for your needs. Also, be sure to check out our guide for the best Chromebook covers and cases.
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Chromebooks Are Ideal For A Workforce That Moves Around A Lot
If you travel a lot, then Chromebooks can;be an excellent option.
They are generally much lighter and thinner than traditional laptops so this makes them much easier to transport.
The lack of moving parts also means that their battery life is excellent.
The thing to watch out for, of course, is the lack of an internet connection. This is less of an issue these days, with phone tethering and ever-improving wifi available, but it is possible to hit a black spot .
If that happens, there are offline working options available for some Chrome Apps , but you will have to plan ahead to use them .
So Should I Buy A Laptop Or A Chromebook
The answer to this ultimately boils down to your needs and workload. For serious professional use, a laptop is almost always better, but some folks could get away with just a Chromebook for work. Anyone who primarily does word processing and e-mail communication for work could do these tasks on a Chrome OS browser. That said: More so than laptops, Chromebooks lose a big chunk of their productivity potential if youre without access to the web, so even though many services have an offline mode, keep that in mind.
One wild card, though, is actually Microsoft, and your reliance on itor non-reliance. The entire Microsoft Office suite is , which takes the potential of Chromebook productivity much closer to that of other laptops. For many students and workers, Microsoft Office is the be-all and end-all in terms of what they need from a computer. So now, with a Chromebook, your bases are covered for potentially much less than the cost of a $500-to-$1,000 Windows or macOS laptop.
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Chromebook Vs Windows Laptop: Speed Security And Safety
Chromebooks are mobile devices. They look like a laptop and act like a laptop, but everything about the software was designed for an always-connected mobile world. Windows is moving in this direction but there’s still work to do. That doesn’t mean you can’t use either operating system offline or at home, but features and settings are going to be designed for an always-connected environment.
You can crash a Chromebook if you try hard. Very hard.
Where Chromebooks shine is when your usage is more internet-focused. The Chrome browser on even a cheap Chromebook is remarkably more fluid and less resource-hungry than it is on most any Windows laptop because of the operating system’s overhead or lack of it. The Chrome operating system uses the same type of sandboxing the browser does, so any app you might use can’t access the data from any other unless you give it express permission. Applications designed for Chrome tend to be feature-rich and easy on resources, so the entire experience is speedy and fluid. You can crash a Chromebook or push it to a full-blown lag fest, but it’s not easy and won’t happen unless you try to do it.
Chrome was built to protect against the internet’s huge library of crapware that wants to live in your computer.
Chromebook Vs Windows Laptop
If youre working to a tighter budget for your next laptop say, under $400 then its a decision between an entry-level Windows laptop or a Chromebook.
The key thing to know about Chromebooks is that they arent as versatile as a Windows laptop. A laptop can handle many uses, and is able to download software and run applications from any source. The Chromebook system is more of a walled garden.
Google App Store
All your apps must come from the Google Play store or Google Web Apps store. As you cant install regular programs or software, a Chromebook isnt able to do as many things as a traditional laptop.
Now, thats not to say you cant do the essentials. You can still browse the web, email, stream videos, and edit spreadsheets or documents. But if you need to use particular software Photoshop, for example, or even Skype, then a Chromebook isnt for you.
The limited approach has its advantages for one, youre less likely to succumb to viruses on a Chromebook, and they tend not to experience the gradual slowdown of a Windows machine that gets bogged down over time with programs and files.
Simple to Use
A Chromebook is also a lot more user friendly theres a lot less to go wrong when youre using Google Chrome OS. In short, you cant do anything that Google doesnt want you to do.
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Laptop Or Macbook: From The Internet To Gaming
All laptops are suitable for browsing the internet, sending emails, and writing texts. You can also watch movies and series on all laptops. Depending on the processor and the RAM, you can also edit photos and videos on some laptops. To play games, you need a laptop with a ‘separate’ dedicated video card. MacBooks are less suitable for gaming because few games are released for macOS.
What Is The Everything Button
All Chromebooks have the Everything Button. Itâs one button to find your things fast. Press it to search Google, your Drive, apps, files, and moreâall from one place. You may know this key by another name – the âLauncherâ or âSearchâ button. We wanted a name that could explain why the button is so useful for finding everything you need for doing research, finishing homework, making a new recipe, and more.
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The Bottom Line The Right Kind Of Laptop Dependson You
We wish we could give an easy, definitive answer on a case-by-case basis to every shopper, but more than anything else, whether you should buy a Chromebook or a Windows laptop really does come down to your particular workload or playtime needs. Everyone’s different.
The above guidelines should help you see which category you fall into, though, and those who need specific programs only available on Windows or macOS likely know who they are. If you can get through your work almost entirely in a web browser, or youre buying for a student, a Chromebook can be a good money-saving choice. For everyone else, look through our best budget laptops or best laptops overall to find one thats best for you.
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Who Should Buy A Chromebook
A Chromebook powered by Googles Chrome OS is a simpler, more optimized affair. Essentially, its useful to think of a Chromebook as a dedicated Chrome browser running on top of secure hardware. It can also be hundreds of dollars cheaper than a comparable Windows PC, even with the same processor inside! Numerous American classrooms have settled on Chromebooks for in-person and distance learning, and often made them available for loaning to students.
Now, however, Chromebooks can do much more, including Android apps and cloud gaming, making them entertainment as well as productivity devices. Google is also adding more features to Chromebooks to make them as useful as Windows devices. Amazons list of the best-selling laptops is often dominated by Chromebookssee for yourself! Pay attention during the holidays or peak sales periods like Prime Day, when prices can drop;really lowdown around $100 or more. Just make sure youre not buying a Chromebook thats fallen out of the support window.
Updates occur behind the scenes, so you can just open the lid and go. Google handles all the security, toonow with better biometric options up front, too. The internet offers much of what you need, whether that means working within web apps or using Chrome plugins. But its the workarounds and little inconveniences that you may find annoying.
Chrome OS or Windows? The choice is up to you.
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Chromebooks Run Far More Than Just Chrome Os
Although Google dropped its effort to dual-boot Windows in Chromebooks,;also known as Project Campfire, you can still run Android applications and Linux programs on modern Chromebooks. And thanks to CrossOver Chrome OS, you can run some Windows programs on Chrome OS. ;;
Chromebooks are the most versatile laptops around these days.
Are Chromebooks right for everyone? No. For some people, Windows and MacOS machines are still the best.
But, for most people, a Chromebook is ideal.;
If you want a laptop that does all the bread-and-butter internet and office work, get a Chromebook. If you have a friend or relative who needs a safer machine, give them a Chromebook. If you need a flexible system that can juggle Android, Linux, the web, and a bit of Windows, get a Chromebook. You’ll be glad you did.
Chrome Os Is More Stable Than Windows 10
WIndows, especially lately, has been prone to one update problem after another. The latest example:;Microsoft broke Visual Basic programs for many users. I mean, how do you break the Visual Basic 6 code? The language has been part and parcel of the Microsoft family since 1998!;
Windows updates have become a nightmare over the past few years. Today, Windows users hold off for as long as possible before “updating” their PCs. Chrome OS users, on the other hand, have their systems updated every six weeks without a hitch. And, I might add, these updates take a minute or two instead of an hour or two.
Chrome OS is also more secure than Windows. WIndows security violations pop up every blessed month. Sure, Chrome OS has had security holes, but I can’t think of one that’s been significantly exploited.
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There Are Hidden System Tweaks For Advanced Users
One of the nicest things about Chrome OS is how simple it is. Basically anyone can grab a Chromebook, log in with their Google account, and be almost instantly familiar with whats happening. But if youre a tinkerer, youre not left with an overly-simple OSthere are all sorts of cool tweaks you can do to get more from your Chromebook.
For example, you can change your update channelit uses the Stable channel by default, but there are also Beta and Developer builds to get a glimpse of new features while theyre still in development. Theres even a Canary build of Chrome OS for the absolute most bleeding edge.
Similarly, there are all sorts of flagsthese are experimental features that are still in developmenton every channel. You can use these to try new things with a simple toggle. Its very cool for anyone who likes to try new things.
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However, because Chromebooks are so web-focused, the limited amount of local storage should be okay, as your data will be synced and saved within the Google cloud, or in the individual app youre using. Meanwhile, the browser-focused interface means you dont have to worry about installing programs or moving around files on your desktop. Instead, your Google account is your key, allowing you to use Googles most popular programs and download Play apps.;
SCREEN AND BATTERY. Outside of those nitty-gritty component details, Chromebooks are much the same as other laptops. They have displays that come in various sizes , most of which will be full HD . The lowest-end Chromebooks still use 1,366-by-768-pixel panels and are best avoided, at this point, except perhaps at the smallest screen sizes, on the smallest budgets.
Both laptops and Chromebooks offer varying chassis build qualities and materials by manufacturer and price tier, batteries that can last more than 10 hours to get you through the day, and basic ports like USB and perhaps an HDMI output. Battery life is where independent testers like our own PC Labs come in; to gauge it, consult reviews with defensible comparisons, rather than relying just on vendor claims.
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Chromebooks Can Run Microsoft Office
Again, this goes hand-in-hand with an earlier point, but its worth talking about again specifically for Microsoft Office. This is probably one of the most asked questions about Chrome OS in general, and the answer is very simple: Yes, it can run Microsoft Office. In fact, you can do it in several different ways.
First of all, if you dont need the most advanced Office functionality, you can use the Android apps or Office Online. If those dont fit the bill, and you need the full Office suite, you can use something like Crossover for Chromebooks to run the full Windows builds right on your Chromebook.
Download Microsoft Excel On Chromebook
The easiest way to use Microsoft Excel on Chromebook is to download and install the Microsoft Office App on your Chromebook.
If you do not want the entire suite of Office Apps on your Chromebook, you can also download only the specific Microsoft Excel App on your Chromebook.
1. Go to on your Chromebook.
2. Search for the App that you want to download.
Note: Alternatively, you can reach the Excel download page using this link: .
3. Once you find your preferred App , click on the Install button.
4. Once the App is downloaded, use the Launcher to open Microsoft Excel App on your Chromebook.
5. Once you are in Excel, you will be required to Sign-in using your personal Microsoft Account or your Account associated with the Microsoft Office Subscription.
The rest is practically the same as working on Microsoft Excel on Windows or Mac.
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How To Turn A Laptop Into A Chromebook
Interestingly, you dont necessarily to buy a Chromebook to get one!
If you have an old laptop that is struggling to run the latest version of Windows or Mac OS, you might find that repurposing it as a Chromebook gives it a new lease of life and turns it back into a really useful machine.
This can be done by downloading Chromium OS and installing it on your old machine.
Chromium OS makes much lighter demands on your computer than traditional desktop operating systems, and accordingly can turn a sluggish computer into one that boots up quickly and works perfectly fine as a tool for web browsing, consuming content or working in the cloud.
If this sounds of interest, you should check out Android Centrals guide on how to install Chromium OS on your computer.
Who Are Chromebooks Not Right For
You will want to stick with a traditional laptop if you work on a Windows or Mac software that has no online version or alternative or if you are a serious gamer. However, gamers, be aware that Googles new platform for gaming, Stadia Streaming Game Service, will be released in 2019 and claims to be capable of streaming AAA games like Assassins Creed and Doom to Chromebooks. In addition, there are also plenty of games for Chromebook that you can play.
If you use your laptop mostly for web browsing, emails, binging on Netflix, using online apps, and watching videos on YouTube, a Chromebook could be right for you. They dont cost as much as a traditional laptop, are portable and these machines are super-fast to boot up and run smoothly.
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