Being on the market for a new laptop can be an extremely stressful experience. As a longtime iPhone user, I was originally leaning towards finally pulling the trigger on a macbook. It was only at the last second did I change my mind and go with the HP Chromebook 14. It is by no means a powerful machine, but there were a few key aspects of the new Chromebooks that piqued my interest enough to give it a shot.
As I was perusing the options at Best Buy, a thought crossed my mind. Do I really need to spend money on a 16GB RAM and 500GB of hard drive space? So, I decided to take a careful look at how I use my laptop. What piece of software do I spend 80% of my time on? Well, the answer was very simple….my internet browser.
So, why should I get a Chromebook? Well, the times have truly changed. Literally everything these days can be done using web based applications and in the cloud. The Chromebook strips away all excess functionality and limits your capabilities to working within a Chrome browser and the Chrome web app store. This deep integration can be extremely useful if you are already using multiple Google services.
One thing many people seem to be afraid of is the limited productivity that stems from the Chromebooks heavy reliance on the Internet. Some apps simply won’t work if you’re not connected to the internet. For example, Google Docs and all the productivity that comes from having access to the Microsoft Office applications is wiped out if you can’t connect. But, if you don’t plan on taking your Chromebook outside your house, it might be a great option.
I’m only two weeks into using my Chromebook, but so far it has surpassed all my expectations. Personally, I use my Chromebook for writing blog articles, surfing the internet, answering emails and doing research for work. Thats why I like to look at the Chromebook as a tablet with a higher productivity level (full keyboard!) rather than a laptop that will cover all my needs. Like every piece of technology, the Chromebook is geared towards a select audience. Obviously a gamer won’t be thrilled by the limited capabilities of the Chromebook. However, if you’re looking for a light, affordable computer for work or surfing the internet, the Chromebook is a great option to consider. But, if you are prepared to spend upwards of $400, a new Windows laptop might offer you a lot more versatility.