Chromebooks Work Just Fine Offline
One of the great myths about Chromebooks is that, without an internet connection, Chromebooks are just expensive door-stops. Wrong.
With an offline Chromebook, you can still read and write Gmail, use your calendar, watch movies, listen to music, edit photographs, or work in Google Docs. People who claim that Chromebooks are just a Chrome browser and nothing more are clueless and haven’t actually used one.
Alienware: Good For Gamers
Featuring flashy customizable light shows, powerful specs and gorgeous displays, Alienware laptops are the gold standard for gaming. These systems are available in three main sizes that can be configured to your specific gaming needs. The best models are:
- Alienware 13 R3 OLED : The world’s smallest VR-ready laptop, the Alienware 13 is just as powerful as its bigger brethren, and it has a show-stopping OLED display to boot.
- Alienware 15 R3 : Slimmer, lighter and VR ready, the Alienware 15 hits the gaming sweet spot, offering decent portability with mid-tier gaming and multitasking performance.
- Alienware 17 R4 : Need desktop-level power, but don’t have the space? This 17-inch monster can deliver all the power you need and then some, especially with the optional graphics amplifier.
Cortana Vs Google Now
In many ways, the new Cortana in Windows 10 is a lot like Google Now in Chrome. Clicking on the Cortana search bar brings up a window with useful information, including the weather, your next calendar appointment and local restaurants to check out. If you have “Hey, Cortana” enabled, you can say that phrase to bring up a window and ask any question you want. I asked, “How do you get from New York City to D.C.?” and Cortana brought up a Bing search-results page with a map of the route between the two cities.
On the flip side, Chrome OS has a similar feature you can enable in Settings, called “OK, Google,” that will let you ask Google Now questions when the Launcher is open or when a blank Chrome tab is open. When asked the same question , Google Now brought up a similar search page in Google with a map of the route. In addition, the voice assistant spoke to me, saying it takes 4 hours and 9 minutes to get to Washington, D.C., from Manhattan with light traffic. Google Now tends to speak more than Cortana does, audibly giving you related information about what you initially searched for.
However, Cortana does a lot more than Google Now. For instance, you can perform natural-language searches for files on your laptop, dictate emails, book appointments and, yes, tell jokes. If you’re lucky enough to own a Chromebook that supports Google Assistant the Pixelbook is the only one we’ve seen so far though, you’ve got a virtual helper that can keep pace with Cortana.
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Chromebook: Apps For Different Purposes
You can use a Chromebook for the most diverse tasks, like using the internet and watching movies, but also to play games. Either you work directly from the Chrome internet browser, or you install Android applications from the Google Play Store. While you depend on the apps available for your Chromebook in the Play Store, there are thousands of apps and the number is constantly growing. You can always find an app in the Plays Store that’s suitable for what you want.
Who Will Enjoy Using A Chromebook
Now that weve covered the basics of what a chromebook is, lets take a closer look at what type of user the chromebook is for. To understand if you will enjoy using a chromebook, you need to have an understanding of what kind of tasks you typically use your computer for.
If you find that you really only use your computer for browsing the internet, interacting on social media, creating and editing office files, watching videos, webcam chatting and the like, then a chromebook may be all that you need.
Image Source: Ekaroleski via Wikimedia commonscc
For the older generation or younger students who dont want to worry about system files and configuring software, chromebooks offer a simple way to get started on a very portable computer with no hassles. They are extremely popular among schools and even college students may prefer chromebooks for their affordability and portability.
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Use Native Windows Applications On Your Chromebook
The only thing stopping Chromebooks from being fully functional computers is the software. Theres an easy, low-cost way to turn Chromebooks into real PCs. Many recent, more powerful Chromebook models have the capacity to use Windows as a virtual machine, allowing them to use the entire range of productive software available across the company. How do you do it? Use Parallels® Desktop for Chrome OS. The IT department can use it to install a virtual environment, so employees can do things they never would have dreamt possible on lightweight mobile computers. With this solution, all programs and files are native on the laptop, so theres no need for cloud services or a mandatory internet connection.
Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS is an effective tool that helps IT and all employees to enhance these simple, lightweight devices and Chrome OS with missing Windows features. This enables Chromebooks to cover complex tasks that would traditionally be associated with an office computer. It is a straightforward and user-friendly way of accessing specialist applications and tools that have no equivalent in the cloud or Play Storeon devices which were designed originally to run entirely without Windows.
Using Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS allows companies to plug the gap between Chrome OS and Windows with these benefits:
What Chromebook Options Are Available
The most expensive Chromebook you can buy is Googles Pixelbook, with a $1,000 starting price. It represents the high end not only in premium materials and build quality but also performance.
Overall, youll find Chromebooks ranging from 11-inch 2-in-1s up to 15-inch options for additional screen real estate. HD resolution is the standard, while Full HD, touchscreen, and 4K options are becoming more common. Intel Celeron processors are a popular choice for todays Chromebooks typically, dual-core versions that rarely rise above the 2.0GHz mark although youll find Core i5 and i7 chips as the prices climb.
Most Chromebooks offer 2GB to 4GB of RAM, which is enough for average laptop tasks but low compared to traditional laptop models that regularly offer 8GB or 16GB of RAM. As for storage, Chromebooks dont have large disk drives, as they depend on the internet for most data purposes. Storage can usually be augmented with an SD card or USB drive if necessary.
For ports, most Chromebooks are largely comparable to laptops, though fewer in number. USB-A, USB-C, and headphone jacks are common connections.
Most Chromebooks have a better battery life than the typical laptop. Although about 10 hours is most common, newer models are more likely to have 12-hour battery life. Windows 10 laptops are slowly closing the gap, but on average, Chromebooks last longer.
Finally, Chrome OS tablets are available, but we wouldnt recommend those without a keyboard.
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Speaking Of The Cloud
Chromebooks can live on low storage space because they rely heavily on the cloud, especially Googles own internet services. If you already use cloud storage for most of your files, stream music, watch movies online, and store your photos on the web, you may not even need that much local storage.
Bear in mind Chromebooks can operate offline to a certain extent. You can download emails and work on them offline. Similarly, you can edit documents offline too. Many Android apps can also run without an internet connection, not to mention Linux ones.
While everyone gets 15GB of cloud storage for free with , upgrading to more costs money. Luckily it isnt too much. A $1.99/mo subscription can get you 100GB of cloud storage. You can also pay $2.99/mo for 200GB or $9.99/mo for 2TB. There are higher plans for those who need them, too.
First Off: What Is A Chromebook
Since laptops have been a mainstay for decades, we probably dont need to define a Windows 10 or Apple macOS laptop for you. Chromebooks, though, are a relatively new product category that may be unfamiliar to many shoppers, especially if you havent been in the market for a laptop for years.
Chromebooks are technically laptops, too, and look just like other notebooks from the outside. They have some core differences, though, mainly on the software side, that set them apart from the laptops and desktop PCs you may be more familiar with.
With Chromebooks, were talking about machines that cost, in some cases, as little as $175 to $300. You can find a handful of Windows laptops in this range, but they’re mostly cut-price options that cant do as much as their pricier counterparts. Many of the cheapest Windows laptops are on the smaller side, as well.
Even inexpensive Chromebooks, though, are fully capable of all the tasks Chromebooks are made for, since theyre intentionally somewhat limited to a subset of jobs. You’ll also see on the market more upscale Chromebooks, which focus on nicer physical chassis builds, better processors, more storage, and other extra features. These premium Chromebooks are appealing, providing a higher-quality feel and in some cases 2-in-1 convertible designs. But the core Chromebook concept centers around the less-expensive machines.
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What Cant A Chromebook Do
The limitations of Chrome OS mean you cant install some important software that you might otherwise need. Some notable examples include certain Adobe applications or any kind of proprietary software thats restricted to Windows or MacOS. If you rely on similar applications, youll either need to find a Linux-based alternative or avoid Chromebooks altogether.
Limitations also extend to performance in general. Chromebooks do tend to run fast, but typically thats due to the lightweight nature of Chrome OS its not service-heavy in the background like Windows. However, in some cases, youll be limited by the components inside. Lower-end Chromebooks tend to use older or low-end processors that cant compete with what you get in the Windows and Mac space, especially in terms of multitasking. Then again, if youre looking at spending $200, a Chromebook is a far better option.
On the higher end, there are options like the HP Chromebook x2 or the Pixelbook, and youll find familiar processors like the eighth-generation Core i5, which features four cores and plenty of power Chromebooks tend to fly with these faster options. Some newer Chromebooks, like Samsungs Galaxy Chromebook and Acers Chromebook Spin 713, have Intels latest 10th-generation processors, further closing the Chromebook, MacBook, and Windows 10 laptop gap.
How A Chromebook Is Different To A Windows Laptop
Chromebooks are powered by Google’s Chrome OS and can serve as an alternative to a Windows or a macOS laptop, but there are some differences.
A Chromebook is a computer powered by Chrome OS, Google’s Linux-based operating system that is lightweight and designed to run on a variety of devices, including laptops. While most people tend to think of a laptop as a device that’s powered by either Windows or macOS, it is wise to think of a Chromebook as a Chrome OS laptop. However, there are some differences between a Chrome laptop and a Windows laptop.
Chromebooks have come a long way since they first hit the market ten years ago. Not only has the hardware gotten better, but the Chrome operating system has received significant upgrades taking the experience from one that’s just an operating system built on top of a browser to one that’s capable of doing so much more, including running Android and Linux apps. The popularity of Chromebooks has also increased over the years, with devices powered by Google’s OS even outselling Macs last year.
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Whichchromebook Or Laptop Should I Buy
Of the Chromebooks we’ve reviewed, we’d highly recommend thesefour: The HP Chromebook x36012b is inexpensive but very well designedfinally, a budgetpick for discerning users. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet has adetachable keyboard, so it can be used as a tablet. Google’s own,luxurious Pixelbook and Pixelbook Go embody sleek luxury and workhorsepracticality, respectively. And we like the Lenovo Flex 5, though the display isn’t quiteup to snuff.
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Because Chromebooks have a decent support cycle,don’t be afraid to buy a slightly older Chromebook at a discount,but make sure you check its end-of-life date.
As far as notebooks are concerned, we have a number of PCWorld’s picks for best laptops fromwhich to choose. If you have the budget for a Chromebook but preferWindows instead, the Acer Aspire 5 is Amazon’schoice, and ours as well. Our best 14-inch workhorse laptop, the HP Envy 14, gives you a discrete GPU at under$1,000. And there’s a reason that we gave the HP Spectre x13t a full five stars.
There’s one other factor which may influence your decision: alist of free Chromebook perks that Google makes available toChromebook owners. They’ll change from time to time, but at presstime , 100GB of Dropbox space, a Google One subscription, anda three-month subscription to Disney+.
Chromebook Or Laptop Which Is Better
So, let us conclude this and see who should buy Chromebook and who should buy a Laptop.
If you know that you are not going to be editing videos, playing games, editing images, using Office, or attaching your computer to a server then you can save a few bucks and get yourself a Chromebook. It is apt enough to get the job done without stuttering or breaking the bank.
Whereas, with Laptop, you can customize the specification depending on your needs and your budget. So, they can be as powerful as a Desktop, when they need to be .
If you dont want all those power then Chromebooks are a lucrative option for you. But if you want power or are uncertain about your needs then go for Laptops.
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Difference Between A Notebook And A Chromebook
If youve looked for a new laptop recently chances are that you must have come across a Chromebook somewhere. A Chromebook looks just like any other laptop but mostly comes at a lower price. However, this doesnt mean that you dont get your moneys worth.
Depending on your use, a Chromebook can actually suit you better than a conventional Notebook . Besides, you should be able to do a little research before choosing between a Notebook and a Chromebook. Granted, that there could be significant confusion between buying a Notebook and a Chromebook.
This article will dispel all your doubts and give you a better understanding of the difference between a Notebook and a Chromebook, their individual pros and cons and any other difference that matters.
Which Offers More Apps Chromebooks Or Windows Pcs
Games certainly fall into the category of local apps, but so do the numerous apps and utilities that can make everyday tasks a little easier. Here, its also a mixed bag.
Chrome apps can be found within the Chrome Web Store, where there are both utilities, educational tools, and more.
Android apps can include both games as well as mobile productivity apps. There were almost . Microsoft has stopped publicizing the number of Windows apps. That number says nothing about the quality of apps in either store, obviously, but it does indicate that Android has many more.
Not every Android app will run on a Chromebook. Chromebooks dont include GPS chips, so location-specific apps wont work. Ditto for those who rely on rear cameras that the Chromebook may or may not havePokemon Go, for instance.
One of the strengths of Windows, though, lies within its historical archive of bits of code, utilities, and other apps that have collected in dusty old hard-drive folders, FTP sites, and elsewhere. Batch resizing apps for images, custom calendar apps, macro managerseveryone has their favorites, and Chrome OS simply cant compete. On the flip sideand this is importantChrome OS doesnt include the type of crapware Windows PCs also sometimes ship with, requiring apps like CCleaner to tidy up.
Quietly, Windows PCs are the platforms to run virtually everything: traditional Win32 apps, Web apps, Linux apps, and soon Android apps via Windows 11 as well.
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Can Achromebook Play Games As Well As A Windows Pc
With the vast history of classic PC games available to Windowsmachines, the PC is clearly dominant as far as on-the-device gamingis concerned. However, there are also games that are exclusive toChromebooks, thanks to 2016’s Chrome OS 53, and its ability to runAndroid apps and games. All Chromebooks made since 2019 have this capability. But the distinction is not quiteas profound as it once was.
If you buy a Chromebook that supports Android in tablet mode,then presto! Your Chromebook is now a large tablet.
While you won’t be playing the latest Battlefield gameon a Chromebook as a native app, cloud gaming services could cometo your rescueand running them is the next best thing to loadingand playing them on the Chromebook itself. In addition to the olderParsec cloud gaming service, you now have Nvidia GeForce Now, the Blade Shadow service , andGoogle’s own Stadia, though it’s had a rocky start, all ofwhich allow you to subscribe to a virtual PC that exists in thecloud, upon which you can play ordinary PC games.
Google believes strongly in cloud gaming, and as of February2021 . The service is available as a web app, optimizedto get you up and running in no time.
You’ll never reach PC levels of graphics quality, like 2018’sKingdom Come, without a cloud-gaming assist.
In June 2021, Xbox cloud gaming arrived on PCs via the Webbrowser. We’ve already tested Xbox cloud gaming on the Web, and itruns pretty well.