Because I’m totally into tech stuff and have VIP access to stuff on campus (just kidding about the VIP part… well, kind of), I am now a temporary owner of the newly trending Chromebook. (For the sake of clarifications, I’m using a Chromebook designed for Toshiba. Yes, the above picture is a Chromebook for Samsung. Don’t ask me, I just grabbed the first decent-looking image I could find.)
What’s a Chromebook? It’s an extremely simple laptop designed by Google that lets you do one thing: surf the Internet. You can’t install Microsoft Office (or anything, really), but not to fret: the Google Chromebook comes with Google Docs, which are basically your Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Excel wrapped in a handy online-access cloud. All you need is a Gmail account. Cloud computing was the future and is the now.
What’s the point of a laptop if you can’t download anything?
If you think about it, most people who use laptops nowadays only use them for emailing, writing documents, and watching YouTube videos. As long as you have access to the Internet, your laptop has done its job. Right? Right. Plus, my Chromebook is lighter than a Macbook Pro. Seriously, I never thought that would be possible. Forget about my bulky PC; PCs just never seem to win in the “lightest weight” category.
Who does the Chromebook target?
The Chromebook is mainly targeted at (surprise!) students and young professionals. I mean, unless you’re a computer science student and need to download Mathlab or DrJava or some coding program, you don’t really need a fancy laptop with all the background capabilities, right? You just want access to the Internet and the ability to take notes on a portable, lightweight device. (But then I ask, why not use a pen and notebook like in the olden days? The people of generations past all turned out fine without taking notes on laptops.)
Then again, not being able to download anything on the Chromebook is kind of a downside. A major downside. Because this means you can’t install the Adobe Creative Suite, or printer settings for your local office (you have to print through “cloud printing”), and a bunch more tools I can’t think off the top of my head right now. But no, really, not being able to install programs on your computer is pretty bad.
Should I get a Chromebook?
If you primarily just need a device to access the Internet, then yes. Chromebooks are relatively cheap ($200 range…same as an iPad). As for myself, I prefer to stick with my regular PC, despite its bulkiness and loud noises that it makes. (On a side note, did you know that apparently the average lifespan for a PC is 5 years? And now I’m pretty sad, because my PC is on year 4 and it has been my best friend… But then I think about why they last so short in the first place: probably because the companies want us to purchase newer laptops. Figures.)