10 Reasons Today's Chromebooks Look Like a Smart Mobile PC Buy

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-04-18 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chromebooks, which are based on Google's Chrome OS platform, don't necessarily get the kind of attention Android mobile devices do these days. They are basically notebooks competing in a crowded PC market that is getting far less notice than a few years ago. Based on these factors, it would appear that Chromebooks are doomed to languish in the sales doldrums with the rest of the PC market. Further inspection, however, reveals a much different story. While notebooks and other types of PCs are generally having a tough time right now, Chromebooks are proving to be extremely popular. Chromebooks last year were the top-selling product type in the mobile PC space (not counting tablets), and Amazon.com lists several Chromebooks among its most popular available notebooks. So, why are Chromebooks so popular and how did they become such an appealing buy to so many people? Take a look at this eWEEK slide show to find the reasons why. You might even decide that a Chromebook model might be right for you.

 
 
 
  • 10 Reasons Today's Chromebooks Look Like a Smart Mobile PC Buy

    By Don Reisinger
    10 Reasons Today's Chromebooks Look Like a Smart Mobile PC Buy
  • They Appeal to Budget-Conscious Consumers

    One of the best things about Chromebooks is that they're inexpensive. In fact, customers can get their hands on the devices for as little as a couple hundred dollars, and even some of the higher-end Chromebooks with such features as LTE are cheaper than the standard, low-end iPad. Budget-conscious shoppers love Chromebooks.
    They Appeal to Budget-Conscious Consumers
  • The Apps Are in the Cloud

    Some criticize Chromebooks for their lack of native apps, but such an argument doesn't quite hold water. The whole point of Chrome OS, a Web-based operating system, is that Websites themselves are the "apps" customers run on their computers. Sure, there's an offline mode, but the Chromebook secret sauce is in the cloud, not third-party developer support like on Windows.
    The Apps Are in the Cloud
  • Google Lovers Will Love Them

    There's no doubt about it: Those who love Google services will love Chromebooks. Upon booting up a Chromebook for the first time, owners will input their Google credentials, and they'll be off to the races. Everything from Gmail to Google Docs to Google Calendar is baked into Chrome OS, and the only people that bothers are those who don't like Google. Those who love Google love Chrome OS.
    Google Lovers Will Love Them
  • More Offline Apps Are Coming Along

    While the Internet is the most important "app" for Chrome OS, it's worth noting that more offline apps are coming along. In fact, over the last several months, a number of major developers have realized that offline support is still important for Chromebooks. Google, of course, has been the first to make that leap, allowing for offline Gmail as just one of the many available apps.
    More Offline Apps Are Coming Along
  • They're Perfect for Kids

    Google makes no secret that it's trying to get Chromebooks into schools. The company believes that the cloud is the future and kids should have easy access to cheap computers that get them there. For parents, Chromebooks also make a lot of sense. The computers are cheap, they're relatively secure, parental controls are readily available, and kids get to stream music and videos or surf the Web. It's a win-win.
    They're Perfect for Kids
  • Security Is Quite Strong

    Overall, Chromebook security is quite strong. The operating system itself is not a major one for cyber-criminals, which means users won't need to worry about viruses or spyware. The only security threat is the Web, and as recent history has shown, perhaps there's much to fear there. Still, every operating system faces the Web threat, and Chrome OS doesn't have to deal with all the offline threats that impact operating systems like Windows. All in all, it's a win for Chromebooks.
    Security Is Quite Strong
  • Sleek Hardware

    Chromebooks, whether they're made by Samsung, HP or Acer, are actually quite good-looking. The devices are lightweight, thin and sleek, and they come with a Mac-like finish that people like. The best part is, they offer such a nice look for a cheap price. Not all Chromebooks are created equal, of course, but many come with designs that are really impressive.
    Sleek Hardware
  • Bring On LTE

    The vast majority of Chromebooks now ship with LTE built-in. That's important. Today's MacBook Pros and MacBook Air don't ship with LTE, and far too many PCs are still lacking in the wireless connectivity space. With Chromebooks shipping with LTE, Web accessibility is available nearly everywhere (depending on the carrier), and the full Chrome OS experience isn't lost when traveling. It's a key feature for those who are often on the road.
    Bring On LTE
  • It's a Windows XP-less World

    Let's not forget that we're now living in a world where Windows XP is no longer supported. And for many people, the idea of switching to Windows 8 is unfathomable, as is spending a substantial sum on a new computer. Chromebooks seem to fill that void by offering high-quality products that are cheap and won't be too jarring a software jump, since they rely on the Web for their user experience. Chromebooks might just be in the right place at the right time.
    It's a Windows XP-less World
  • Faster Access to the Stuff That Matters

    One of the nicest features about Chrome OS is that users can pin sites to the bottom taskbar, allowing for fast access to any Website. In addition, the devices themselves come with solid-state drives, delivering extremely fast performance. Those looking to get on the Web and get to a Website quickly will find no faster solution than a Chromebook.
    Faster Access to the Stuff That Matters
 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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