Buying a Chromebook: 10 Factors in Its Favor

News Analysis: Chromebooks are available to consumers now. Although they might not be the best options for every customer, there are some that see good reasons to buy such a device.

Now that Chromebooks are available to consumers at Best Buy and Amazon, speculation abounds over how Google's Chrome operating system will fare in the increasingly competitive desktop OS space.

Some say that Chromebooks will catch on with customers, thanks to their small footprint and unique operating system. Others say that Chromebooks don't have what it takes to compete against Windows- and Mac OS X-based devices and simply won't catch on.

As with any other product,Chromebooks aren't necessarily for everyone. There are solid reasons consumers and enterprise customers might opt for an alternative, like Apple's iPad 2, rather than a Chromebook. But there will still be folks out there who do buy Chromebooks because of the value they see in the hardware and Google's Chrome operating system.

Simply put, Chromebooks might prove to be a perfect fit for some customers looking for specific things from a cloud-based netbook computer.

Read on to find out what kind of customer would be most likely to buy a Chromebook.

1. The cloud lover

If there is anything that makes Chromebooks unique, it's their operating system. Google's Chrome OS is entirely cloud-based, making it an ideal choice for those who want to jump head first into cloud computing. Those looking for a more robust desktop experience will still find that in Windows or Mac OS X, but customers who want something new might just opt for Chromebooks from Samsung or Acer.

2. Google fans, rejoice!

In the early days of Android, many of Google's fans flocked to get their hands on smartphones running the OS. Nowadays, it's a mainstream success. With Chrome OS, expect the same initial response from Google fans. Like Apple fanatics, Google's fan base is extremely loyal, and they are already jumping to get their hands on Chromebooks.

3. An anti-tablet customer

Though Chromebooks don't necessarily hold up against Apple's iPad 2, those who don't want a tablet might find something to like in Chromebooks. After all, the devices are lightweight, easily mobile and offer a new-age feel that tablets also deliver. Chromebooks seem like fine alternatives for customers who don't want tablets and fail to see value in netbooks.

4. The Windows hater

Speaking of netbooks, that's yet another market where Microsoft reigns supreme. But there are still millions around the globe who look at Microsoft as the "evil empire." Windows, in turn, is a platform that they won't even consider using. But if those same customers want a netbooklike device and don't want to buy a Linux option, choosing a Chromebook seems like the logical step. In other words, some customers' decisions to buy a Chromebook might have more to do with their distaste for Microsoft than their love for Google.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...