Tech Term: Chromebook
It seems like everywhere you go, you can see a Chromebook. These specialty laptops have a few features that make them highly desirable in some circumstances, and poorly suited to others. Seeing as ‘Chromebook’ is our Tech Term for this week, why not take a few moments and examine them a little closer?
Examining the Chromebook
Putting it simply, Chromebooks are limited laptop devices that do considerably less than their utility-packed cousins, but what they do, they do well.
Comparing Chromebooks to the Conventional Laptop
While they visually appear to be essentially the same, there are a few key differences between a Chromebook and your typical laptop that set them apart. These differences are important to take note of, as they will have an influence over the functionality of each device. You will want to make sure that you select a device that can serve your needs.
So, without further ado, let’s review the differences between these two options to establish what circumstances each is better suited for.
Operating System and Software Options
While most conventional laptops will generally come with the Windows operating system or macOS installed (or in some cases, Linux), Chromebooks come exclusively with Chrome OS installed. Really, this only makes sense, given their name. This is a particularly important consideration to make, depending on your usage needs.
If your responsibilities require you to access and leverage solutions that are not supported by Chrome OS, then your best bet is going to be to select an option that comes with an operating system that supports third-party apps. However, if you are looking to make a low financial investment in order to purchase what is essentially access to your Google applications - most notably, Google Drive - a Chromebook should fit the bill quite nicely.
Laptop computers can come with a variety of storage space, which will influence things like price and ultimately, utility. This storage space is usually in the form of an SSD, as a laptop can especially benefit from its relative stability when compared to an HDD. Alternatively, a Chromebook often has no storage-specific hard drive to speak of, beyond a small SSD to hold the operating system. Otherwise, your saved files are all kept in the cloud. This approach essentially eliminates the need for onboard storage space, with the added benefit of streamlining the device’s boot time.
Naturally, this factor is always a concern - you’ll not only want to fulfill your computing needs, but you will want to avoid breaking the bank beyond repair as you do so. As a general rule, Chromebooks run for a lower price than a comparable laptop, although you should also be able to find a basic laptop for less than a high-end Chromebook may set you back.
Making Your Choice
Again, your particular needs will strongly dictate whether it makes more sense to invest in a laptop or a Chromebook. If you need additional help balancing your technology needs, reach out to the professionals at White Mountain IT Services for more assistance by calling 603-889-0800.