A Chromebook Experiment

Chromebooks are interesting computers – all-Google-or-nothin’ laptops. They’re popular because they’re simple and affordable. But some people still think Chromebooks are too limited because they’re “just a browser,” nothing more. But what more do you really need?

Simplicity is a strength.

If less is more, then a Chromebook is enough computer for most people. When you think about it, a web browser is all most people use most of the time. Besides, Chromebooks do have web-apps that run in their own windows.

But what about the other limitation that Chromebooks only work while online? Well, that’s not entirely true. You can do a lot while offline. Plus, you’re almost always online anyways.

With wi-fi and cellular data everywhere, you’d be surprised how seldom you’re without an internet connection. It’s practically a utility nowadays like electricity. If the power is on or your battery is charged, you are most likely using the web.

They’re Google

A few years ago, I was all into the Google ecosystem. I had an Android smartphone and used all of Google’s services online. So for me, a Chromebook was a nice fit. That’s when I bought a super affordable Samsung Chromebook 3.

So the biggest reason I chose a Chromebook was because I used almost nothing but Google stuff. You know, Photos, Maps, Docs, Drive, etc. It made a lot of sense. A Chromebook, like a nearly pure Android phone or tablet, is pure Google running Chrome OS.

I can say firsthand, logging into a Chromebook with my Google account and all my email, docs, photos, and music just being there was super nice! Like Apple’s own mantra, it just worked. I could even watch my movies from the Google Play store (streaming or download for offline viewing).

They’re Simple

Another reason I chose a Chromebook back then: they’re just so simple. The software is not not crammed full of accessory apps, antivirus software, or third-party utility programs. They have just what you need, the stuff you want, and that’s it. Imagine that!?

And on the hardware side, a Chromebook’s simplicity means you don’t need a power hungry processor, which in turn eliminates a noisy fan. This also results in lighter weight and longer battery life. Chromebook hardware is much like a tablet! But you get a built-in keyboard (no fussing with Bluetooth) and a “case.”

They’re Affordable

Chromebooks are amazingly inexpensive. I scored mine for less than $200 after tax, brand new, from a big-box retail store. And I never felt like I “cheaped out.” I got super value in a great deal.

Because Chromebook’s are so low in price, you can afford an upgrade to a new one every year if you wanted to. Or you can spend a little higher on one for a better screen and faster processor yet still save on cash compared to traditional fancy laptops or ultrabooks.

They’re Not Private

My Chromebook set up did not last too long though. My Android phone plus Chromebook combo, nice and simple as it was, was broken apart when I switched back to owning an iPhone. That, in turn, led me to go all-in with Apple stuff. So I ended up switching to a new and nicer combo – iPhone plus iPad.

I’m now about as Google-free as I can be. I deleted all my Google data and turned off or restricted as many of Googles services and features as possible. Nope, I don’t use Google search. I use Duck-Duck-Go. And no to Goole Maps too! I use Apple Maps.

One reason I prefer Apple over Google is because of privacy. Google wants all your data to throw ads at you and feed their machine learning stuff. Apple respects your privacy and would rather not have your personal data.

That said, if the privacy stuff does not bother you, and you’re really into the Google ecosystem but have never tried a Chromebook, I would recommend it. Seriously. But I would tell you to not get the cheapest one. Shoot for closer to the middle range to get a bit more memory, CPU power, and at least a Full HD 1080p display.

Do you like Chromebooks?