Should I Buy a Chromebook? Buying Guide and Advice

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A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows 10 or macOS, Chromebooks run Google's Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. Chromebooks have done quite well in the education market, but their appeal has broadened.


News and Updates (February 2018)

  • Chrome OS looks to get virtual desktops soon, according to a new video.
  • We've reviewed the 4K Lenovo Chromebook C630, which packs a super high-res display.
  • Chrome OS 72 is bringing Android Pie and Google Assistant to more Chromebooks, according to a new report.

How Much Do Chromebooks Cost?

For the most part, there's a pretty narrow price range for Chromebooks, and it's on the more affordable end of the spectrum. You can pick up the affordable and light Acer Chromebook R11 — which has an 11.6-inch HD display, an Intel Celeron N3150 CPU and 2GB of RAM — for $169. Rare models ask you go go higher, such as the $549 Samsung Chromebook Pro, a stylus-equipped 12.3-inch notebook with a 2400 x 1600-pixel display, an Intel Core M3 processor and 4GB of RAM.

You'll probably wind up paying more for a Windows 10 notebook, as the average selling price for a PC is $448, according to NPD. There are more affordable options, as we've detailed here, but the PC laptop market has a much higher cap than the Chromebook market.

You can even wind up spending as much as $1,199 on the 12.3-inch Pixelbook, which will soon have an even higher top price when the $1,649 Core i7 model becomes available. The $999 model is likely the best Pixelbook for most, with 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and a Core i5 processor, enough for both Chrome and Android.

But is a Chromebook right for you? Our Chromebook buying guide has the answers to these and other questions.

  Chromebook Price
Best Overall HP Chromebook x2 $599
Budget Pick Lenovo N22 Chromebook $159 
Best for School Dell Chromebook 3189 $329
Best for Business Google Pixelbook $999

Chromebooks run Chrome OS, Google's operating system, so they heavily feature Google's suite of applications and often times rely on a working Internet connection. Although you can log in to Chrome OS as a guest, we recommend you log in to the system with a Google account to have the best experience.

MORE: How Does Apple's New iPad Stack Up to Chromebooks?


The story of apps on Chromebooks is getting better every day, but these machines were still originally optimized for Google's apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive. This deep integration can be either positive or negative, depending on how you use a PC. Chromebooks will be easy to set up if you already use those apps.

MORE: Best Chromebooks Available Now

Android apps are now coming to Chromebooks, however, only a select few systems can access the Google Play store at this time. The idea is to give Chromebooks access to more games, productivity options and other apps to make these machines more versatile, though the apps are seemingly run via an emulator, with mixed results. Unfortunately, not all Android games run on Chrome OS.

Currently, Android-capable Chromebooks include the Samsung Chromebook Plus, Asus Chromebook Flip, HP Chromebook x2Dell Chromebook 3189 and Google’s own Pixelbook. If you’re looking to take a Chromebook to school with you, make it one of those, or one of the models listed here.

app store2 675403

Unfortunately, popular software applications, such as Adobe Photoshop and the Microsoft Office suite, aren't available on all Chromebooks. However, the Android version of Office is rolling out to those Chromebooks with access to the Google Play Store. If you need Office, but your machine doesn't have Android apps yet, you're limited to Microsoft Office Online, the free cloud version of Office via the Chrome browser.

google pixelbook 001

It may be best to stick with the Office Android apps or Office Online if you already have a lot of Office files that you're bringing over to your Chromebook. There are often formatting issues when importing third-party documents into Drive. Fortunately, Google Drive allows you to save documents to Microsoft formats, so you'll still be able to share files with non-Chromebook users.

On the other hand, there are a handful of photo editors available for Chrome OS, including Pixlr (free), which looks a lot like Photoshop. But those with existing files are out of luck — there is no Chromebook app that can edit Adobe's .PSD files.

If you're familiar with Linux's applications, you've got more options coming soon. Early, pre-release builds of Chrome OS revealed that Chromebooks will support Linux programs, satisfying demand from some of the more tech-savvy Chromebook owners.  The Pixelbook is the first that will get this option, and others will gain this feature later.

Offline Use

Chromebooks are designed to rely heavily on the Internet, which means that many apps simply won't work if you're out of Wi-Fi range. There are more than 200 offline Chrome apps that can work without Internet connectivity, including Gmail, Pocket and Google Drive, and tons of the Android apps coming soon will also work offline.


You'll still be able to play games on the Chromebook, but your options are sparse. The Chrome Web Store offers casual titles such as Bejeweled and Cut the Rope, but you won't have the same selection as you would on a Windows machine or a Mac. Of course, Chromebooks with Android support get more modern titles such as Fallout Shelter, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Minecraft.


Chromebooks generally have limited graphics processing power, so you'll want to stick to less demanding titles.

Special Features

Google Assistant landed on the Chrome OS platform in the Pixelbook. While you can activate it with the Pixelbook Pen, that $99 accessory isn't necessary when you have the dedicated Assistant key in that laptop's keyboard. While the launcher is currently integrated with Google Now, giving you info cards for the current weather and local news stories, we could see it switching to Google Feed.

Google redesigned the on-screen keyboard for touch-screen use, making it easier to use on 2-in-1s like the Asus Chromebook Flip. With a minimalist design, the on-screen keyboard recognizes your scribbles and gives you choices of text to input. When we tested that feature, it was almost always accurate in recognizing our writing. Also, soon, Android smartphone users will be able to get text and call-pop-up notifications on their desktop.

Battery Life

Chromebooks typically offer exceptional battery life, but not as much as they used to. Of the 10 Chromebooks we've reviewed in the past year, we've seen an average of 9 hours and 15 minutes of endurance on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi.

On the top end, you'll notice standouts like the Acer Chromebook R 13's runtime of 11:00, though the average is down from the 9:59 time we previously found. Google's own Pixelbook, disappointingly, offers a relatively short 7 hours and 43 minutes of juice.

acer chromebook r 13 nw g02We recommend shooting for at least 9 hours of juice, which half of the Chromebooks we've reviewed offer. While some affordable Windows 10 notebooks, like the Lenovo Miix 310 (12:24) and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (13:39), offer amazing battery life, the ultraportable notebook average is a shorter 8 hours and 21 minutes.


Similar to business notebooks made to survive drops and other minor disasters, Chromebooks for Work are built to withstand falls, scrapes and similar punishment. In our testing, the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work proved durable, surviving unscratched and fully functional after our Dropbot 5000 test bench dropped it from a height of 48 inches onto a plywood plank. 

Both the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work and the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook (another For Work model) are MIL-STD-810G certified, meaning they're capable of passing durability testing that U.S. Military equipment must pass. The Acer Chromebook 14 For Work can survive extreme temperatures (minus 20.2 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit), humidity, vibration, rain, sand and dust.

Durable Chromebooks aren't just for adults. The kid-friendly Acer Chromebook 11 N7 C731T survived a full glass of water getting spilled onto its keyboard, as well as the 48-inch high drops from our Dropbot 5000. It may have gotten scuffed along the way, but it's a good option for clumsier users.

Manageability and Security

Chromebook for Work models also offer tools that IT administrators need to manage laptops in and out of the office. The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook and Google's Pixelbook include the Trusted Platform Module, a security chip that helps keep malicious attackers away from your passwords.

What Size Screen Do I Need?

Most Chromebooks fall between 11 and 13 inches. That means you won't have trouble choosing a smaller model, such as the 11-inch Acer Chromebook 11 N7 , the 12.5-inch Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA and the 13-inch ThinkPad 13 Chromebook.

These models often weigh less than 3 pounds, making them the most portable, and great options for kids. However, the screen size and keyboards may seem cramped for adults.

acer chromebook 15 g01The Acer Chromebook 15 is the only 15-inch Chrome OS notebook available.

Those looking for more real estate for Web surfing, getting work done, watching movies and playing games can pick up the 14-inch Acer Chromebook 14 for Work, or the 15-inch Acer Chromebook 15, the only Chrome OS notebooks above 13 inches. Unfortunately, both are on the older end of the spectrum, as there hasn't been much demand for large Chromebooks. Don't even look for a 17-inch Chromebook; they're not out there.

What Specs Do I Need?

Because Chromebooks are meant primarily for online use, the specs aren't as important as they are for Windows laptops, but you'll still want to know how much power and storage you're getting for your money. Here's a quick guide.


When it comes to RAM, Chromebooks come with either 2GB or 4GB. While models with 4GB are more expensive, we've found that difference to be worth it for multi-tasking.

MORE: How Much RAM Do You Really Need?

Both the HP Chromebook 14 (4GB RAM) and the Lenovo 100S Chromebook (2GB RAM) featured the same Celeron N2840 processors, but the HP notebook handled more than a dozen open tabs without a problem while the Lenovo stuttered with 10 open Chrome tabs and Spotify playing. Our tests of the Windows version of the Lenovo Ideapad 100S ($180) show that similarly spec'd PCs can handle a larger stack of tabs.


The processor in your Chrome OS machine helps determine how smoothly your Chromebook performs, especially when you have multiple tabs open and you're streaming video or playing games.

We find Intel Celeron chips in many Chromebooks, and they often provide acceptable speed. The $229 Acer Chromebook 11 N7 C731T (Celeron N3060, 4GB RAM) for example, could run 8 concurrent Chrome tabs, but stuttered after we opened another.

You can get a Windows 10 laptop with similar specs and price, such as the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 ($229), but it might not be as capable. That machine has the same processor and memory, but while it lasts more than 13 hours, its performance was less than that of the 11 N7.

If that doesn't sound like enough for you, certain Chromebooks pack Intel Core CPUs for even more speed. The biggest downside to these Core M Chromebooks, such as the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA ($499) and Samsung Chromebook Pro ($549) is their heftier price. Don't worry about that powerful CPU affecting the battery life, as the Samsung Chromebook Pro (Core M3) provided more power and longer longevity (8:05) than its weaker Chromebook Plus (ARM MediaTek; 7:46) sibling.

If you want a Chromebook with enough speed to run your favorite Android apps, consider laptops with the Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, such as the Pixelbook. 

If you want a Chromebook without an Intel Chip, there's always 2014's Acer Chromebook 13, the only Chrome OS machine with an Nvidia chip (the Tegra K1). While it offers excellent graphics performance, it doesn't offer a touch screen.

Storage Size

Since Chrome OS is so lightweight, Chromebooks often don't need much storage. Most pack just 16GB of onboard storage, and that's likely all you'll need at this stage. Once Android support lands on the platform, users will find ways to make use of the SD card reader in notebooks such as the Acer Chromebook 14, where you can expand the storage up to 64GB.

Spring for a 32GB model now if you're buying with Android apps in mind. Similarly-priced Windows laptops often include 32GB by default, but that operating system takes up so much space that you're left with a similar amount of free storage as a 16GB Chromebook.

Google gives you 100GB of free Google Drive storage with every Chromebook purchase, though that only lasts for two years, after which you'll only have the standard 15GB of free space.


image 2159661500986392

The size of the screen isn't the only thing that matters. While we appreciate the bright, color-accurate panel in the$179 Samsung Chromebook 3, its 1366 x 768-pixel dimensions mean it's best for writing and reading. But if you want sharper images, video and graphics, spring for one with a full-HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels), such as the $359 Acer Chromebook R 13.

screen reso3

Windows 10 has been built for touch screens, but you can get the same functionality in Chrome OS. You just have to know which one to get — and expect to pay about a $100 premium. The $280 Acer Chromebook R 11 can bend into a tablet, making use of its IPS touch-screen display. The HP Chromebook x2 has a detachable design, meaning you can remove the keyboard like you would on a Microsoft Surface and use the screen as a standalone tablet.

asus chromebook c302c nw g01The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is our overall favorite Chromebook. Image: Jeremy Lips/LaptopMag.

The $449 Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA also has a touch screen, and it's one of the few to currently support Android apps, though others will gain that support later this year. If the prospect of using What's App, Super Mario Run and other apps on a Chromebook sounds like an option for you, make sure your next Chromebook includes a touch screen.

The Pixelbook offers one of the best displays we've seen in a Chromebook, with a QHD 2400x1600-pixel resolution and 421 nits of brightness. 

Who Are You Buying It For?

Overall, the best way to tell if someone will enjoy owning a Chromebook is if you know they already spend most of their time in the Chrome browser. Those users will take to the notebook naturally.

If you're buying this Chromebook for someone else, you should take a few moments to consider how they're going to use the device. Chromebooks are especially good for younger students, as they are ease to use and are fairly secure.

Children who are still learning how to use computers may be more receptive to learning how a new operating system works, and while there's no official Minecraft title for Chrome OS, the Android-based Minecraft: Pocket Edition will become available on certain Chromebooks later this year.


Some elder relatives may have never truly understood Windows enough to use their PC frequently, but others who have learned just enough to make do may become frustrated that they need to relearn where downloads go, or that their favorite app is not available for Chrome.

But if your office will support Chrome OS, you might want to look into getting your company to spring for the Pixelbook. Its aluminum unibody design is insanely thin, and features elegant Gorilla Glass and Silicon accents.

Bottom Line

Chromebooks are affordable and offer decent performance, and the introduction of Android apps is increasing their capabilities. Microsoft is fighting back with claims that Windows 10 S mode will give laptops better performance and battery life, but if you're looking for a simple way to get online and you prefer Google's services, you'll be happy with a Chromebook.

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.
Henry T. Casey, on
Add a comment
  • Stephen C Barteau Says:

    Chromebook not compatible with all printers. Printer manufactures develop drivers for Windows, Mac & Linux. With Chromebook you have to rely on the Chromebook limited list. No driver available for Samsung CLX-3300 Series.

  • Goated Says:

    Yo @Paradi I agree bro no kap brudda

  • Paradi Says:

    Chromebooks = absolute trash
    Chromebooks = absolute trash
    Chromebooks = absolute trash

  • Doug Hansen Says:

    I am kind of surprised this article does not mention Google's applications like Docs, Sheets and Slides which offer the basic functionality of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I find them adequate for casual business and we did standardize on the Google's Enterprise iteration of those apps at my last start-up before retiring. Also worth noting, you can render content from Google apps into MS Office files without having MS Office installed on your machine. At least that is my experience running Google Docs, Sheets and Slides from a Chrome browser on a Mac Mini with no MS apps installed. Should I expect the same experience with a Chromebook?

  • John IL Says:

    Cheap Celeron or ARM chip Chromebooks are terrible even for basic web use. They simply cannot render complex web content fast and easily bog down with even a few tabs open. Let alone run Android apps, or try to run HD or higher video content. This is why more premium Chromebooks have entered the market because Chrome OS is far more complicated and bloated then it first was. Stay away from the cheap Chromebooks, they will frustrate you and quickly become obsolete as many schools are finding out. At this point the cobbled together mess of Chrome OS and Android is not impressing me. Google should have stayed with the basics of Chrome OS.

  • Someone Says:

    No I brought one and it is absolutely rubbish I need micrsoft and it is not actually classed as a laptop! On some websites it says only compatible on a laptop and the files app is so annoying because it’s so hard to use and everything gets muddled up there. It is cheap but not worth the money 💰 and I WOULDN’T recommend getting one. The google play store is so annoying and most apps I use on my phone, simple ones just aren’t on there. The keyboard also annoyingly doesn’t have a caps lock button and various other buttons aren’t on there. It is so annoying as well that you can’t add apps and app links onto the home screen like Microsoft. The apps section is laggy and when you try to shuffle the order of the app icons the laptop just turns itself off it’s not a problem that’s occurred over time because I’ve got the newest generation of Chromebook. Also there are only 2 USB ports which is quite surprising but I can get an extender. Annoyingly, you can’t download films or tv shows because there is nothing to do it on. There is also no disk port in which I can try and put dvds in and try and watch them. Most apps will download and not work such as pintrest. I pressed sign in on Facebook then it lagged out same with google, email and Microsoft. It gets hot really quick so I have to put it on my sofa instead of resting it on my lap. In conclusion I think I have absolutely wasted £250 or whatever it cost.

  • aalex Says:

    How is the Asus better than the $600 HP x2? I really like my x2 and the Asus kinda seems just like a budget thing

  • romseyraver Says:

    I've been using a chromebook for the past 5 years. It's Ok for browsing only, but if you need a computer to save and manipulate files of any sort, forget it. Google Drive and every other cloud based 'solution' is far too compromised. Just useless and frustrating in every way.

  • Amanda Says:

    Do NOT buy a chromebook.
    Not compatible with Printers, Scanners, and formatting is awful when go to print or email a doc to someone. Google Drive is confusing as hell. 5 - 8 year old interbet stuff. Yes. Adults or students. Stay away.

  • Will C. Says:

    Dont get a chromebook. They can't run steam or do anything a basic computer could. My microwave is more powerful then it and my phone (jail broken) can run more files then this pile of flaming garbage. They are pretty safe but thats also a downside because it labes random things as malware and occasionally wont let you download it. It is not worth 10$ and is a total waste of time. Chrome OS is too limited and you should not waste time trying to work with it. Don't get a chromebook

  • Shay Ginsbourg Says:

    I'd expect 4 GB RAM Chromebooks to have a 64-bit version of the Chrome OS but unfortunately, this is not always the case.

  • Greg Myers Says:

    Must be recycled content given there is no mention of Linux apps. I don't care a bit about Android apps, but running python 3 and atom text editor is a big plus.

  • Lukas Says:

    1. Best Overall
    Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA
    Lol? Best overall in being average

    2. Screen Resolution
    Please stop with the resolution bullcrap on Chromebooks, more than 1600x900 and the scaling makes chromebook useless

  • John IL Says:

    I went through a phase 2 years ago with Chromebooks. They are still not up to par even with a cheap Windows PC. Some Android apps work some don't, and some don't scale correctly. Not really helping Chrome OS in my opinion. Great for schools wanting a cheap solution, simple management. Not good for much else.

  • ty Jackson stewart Says:

    Can I buy a state of the art laptop...?

  • Rachel Tuomi Says:

    Not worth your time and money at all!!! It's a trap, don't buy one! I've had one since 2007 and had a slew of problems with it; finally got rid of it today,only good for target practice! What were you guys thinking; coming up with a POS like the Google Chromebook?!

  • skane2600 Says:

    Actually, if you look at the prices on Amazon, Chromebooks are a bit more expensive than similarly configured Windows PCs. Nobody makes a buying decision based on average prices, so the $448 figure quoted is meaningless.

  • Pcbindex Says:

    In PCB design, the roles PCB layer stacking plays in controlling EMI radiation and its design tactic

  • David Says:

    Bought an Acer C731 for my son for school and the extra heavy duty case to protect it. It was never dropped and after 6 months he closed and re-opened the lid which caused the pixels to look cracked. We had to pay to get it fixed under warranty because Acer said it was cosmetic damage, but the glass screen was not cracked at all. I am disappointed that internal damage is classed as cosmetic. From my experience I would not purchase any Acer products in the future as the warranty is a joke.

  • Jack Smith Says:

    Replaced a Mac book with a Pixel book and could not be happier.

    The cloud is gnu/Linux and OS x is close but it is just awesome to be able to use the same containers I use in the cloud on my desktop.

    Also now using Flutter for iOS development which was my primary use case which works perfectly on the Pixel Book.

    Just love Flutter. Way faster developing even when not need cross platform.

  • youtuberz.edits Says:

    They were having a sale on chromebooks and I was in great need of a laptop. I got one, and I tried to get Roblox, not knowing it didn't support .exe files. Also, as me being an Instagram editor, the only good editor I could find is WeVideo. Not to mention it has a HUGE watermark. I really wouldn't even say it's a good computer. All i really do on here is watch YouTube and get on Discord. I'm quite disapointed with my chromebook. This is a great computer for school, but if you are an editor, gamer, or YouTuber (bc you'll have to edit) I would much rather reccomend you to NOT get a chromebook! Ever since I got one, I've wanted a Windows laptop. Basically what i'm saying here is: Chromebooks are school computers. Not computers to have fun on or edit on.

  • THX1138 Says:

    There is a lot of old comments here and assumptions based on older versions of Chrome OS. I bought my Acer Chromebook a month ago, it's as nice - all metal - as my old Macbook Pro and Macbook Air. It feels smoother and faster. It needed an update as soon as I opened it and plugged it in for it's first charge - as expected. Android compatibility is built in, every app, Netflix, Spotify, the Amazon and Microsoft apps are all there and work fine. The machine boots so fast, you can barely take a sip of coffee waiting. Further OS updates will download in the background, a rapid reboot and it's already done. Chrome OS is also runs Linux stuff in dev-mode with Crouton, I've been using Gimp, Blender and some developments tools flawlessly. I've heard that Steam for Linux works too, I've not tried it. Built-in Linux compatibility is also on it's way, so Chrome OS will run Android and Linux stuff out of the box. Offline is no longer an issue, Chrome OS has things like offline office software and also most Android stuff works offline. If you have an Office365 subscription, you can also run Word, Excel etc. apps.

    I bought this as an additional machine for web browsing on the sofa, it's actually become my daily driver. It's a far more improved user experience than it was a few years ago.

    My ONLY caveat, is the End of Life policy, each machine has a supported life of 5-6 years from date of release. This is stupid, I've still got a PC laptop almost 10 years old and still works as good as new, I know a lot of people who get a long time from their machines. I didn't realise my machine, although new, came out in late 2015, which means it's dead in 2020/21. There maybe options like updating the BIOS to SeaBIOS and moving to Linux or CloudReady but that's a substantial hack for many people.

  • Cleavis Nowell Says:

    A Linux Zorin user almost exclusively. Did some digging into Chromebooks easiest to change-over to a lightweight Linux OS and only Acer was recommended.

  • Jacob Says:

    Chromebooks are simple like toasters are simple. They can't do much at all. Anything you want it to do? Probably can't do it.

  • dale walt Says:

    crhomebook is worthless, do not buy one.

  • Ricky Dubose Says:

    I hate the chromebook with a passion. It is the slowest piece of junk I have ever been swindled into purchasing. Never buy one of these dinosaurs.

  • Joanne Says:

    Can I use itunes on a Chromebook (offline)? Can I download Spotify? Do Chromebooks connect to Bluetooth devices?

  • Bob C. Says:

    I'd say this. Do your homework. Think about what you use a computer for. If you surf the web, write and read emails, watch Netflix and youtube, do some basic word processing or spreadsheet work or do minor picture editing, a Chromebook may be right for you. If you purchased a Mac or Windows PC in the past and never added any programs, and don't run programs outside what I've described, a Chromebook may be for you. If you already have a workhorse PC at home and want a lightweight, grab and go computer to do basic browsing and work on, a Chromebook may be for you.

    Understand what you need and what a Chromebook can and cannot do. People who purchased a Chromebook and then act surprised they can't run Windows programs and games didn't do much research beforehand. I see a lot of talk about not being able to do anything unless connected to wifi. I wonder what these people are doing with their Windows machines without wifi. Not that there's many places you can go these days without wifi anyway. But you can certainly respond and write emails, watch downloaded movies and shows, write and work in spreadsheets offline in a Chromebook.

    I use Turboxtax, Quicken and Quickbooks. For work, I do complex spreadsheet work. As such, a Chromebook couldn't be my primary computer. My son does some heavy gaming. A chromebook couldn't be his primary computer. If you do none of those things and don't install programs on a windows machine, think about a Chromebook. No antivirus updates or subscriptions; no long to install Windows updates. It's a joy. The OS updates itself often, and it takes virtually no time at all.

    I will grab my Chromebook for a lot of things. The battery life is amazing. Its lightweight portability is amazing. It starts up in seconds, compared to my heavily loaded Windows Laptop. It's great to use in bed to watch Netflix or Hulu on. It runs so cool compared to my big laptop. I'm not even sure it has a fan. I reach for it more and more, unless it's something I really need my Windows machine for.

    I think of my daughter going away to college, taking her macbook with her. I'd almost rather she took a Chromebook too. She could take it from class to class with less worry about it being damaged. I saw an Acer 11 inch on sale the other day for $129. I mean really. What a great investment. I bought mine a couple years ago for $109. It was a steal considering what it does for me.

    One other thing...a printer. If you have an existing printer that can't connect through google print, then that might be an issue. Other than that, I'd say a Chromebook could easily work for a lot of people.

  • john rice Says:

    the only honest advice I can give is dont by a chromebook.Bought mine three weeks ago and selling it and getting a laptop same as my last one.

  • John S Says:

    Reality is Chromebooks are mainly sold into the educational market and only in the US. They provide a simply OS locked to a apps store and mostly use weaker hardware. I think they sell because they are cheap, and some deal with side effects and weak hardware and some probably go back to a PC. My experience is that even for a second or third device they lack enough performance for my liking and Chrome OS is too restrictive. It gets old after a while.

  • RKDahl88 Says:

    I honestly don't know which part is worse, my expensive laptop falling apart after using for less than 6 months, or their terrible, terrible, "customer support."

  • xracecar Says:

    Y'know, a 2010 Macbook Pro runs better than this stuff.

  • Chris Says:

    Unequivocally: NO.

    I have a piece of beautiful hardware sitting next to me that is completely useless as a computer. Now I've got to risk rendering it useless by forcing Windows or Linux onto it.

    I figured this was basically an Android phone/tablet with a keyboard attached. Not by a long shot. Usability is nil.

    I basically bought a supremely well engineered ruggedized laptop for a great price, but it is completely useless.

    I'd be 100% happy with the device running Android, Windows, or Linux.

  • Thomas M. Edmonds Says:

    Forgot to say: Overall, the performance to price ratio is much higher than a Windows machine. You need a Windows backup (cheap one) for resident programs, but the Chrome works so much better for everything else. The biggest feature I like is automatic backup, and absolutely no maintenance. No worries about viruses, virus software and updates. It never crashes, and is always super quick.I would never go back to Windows!

  • Thomas M. Edmonds Says:

    Another option is a ChromeBox. This provides all of the guts of a computer, minus the keyboard, display, and mouse. You can get a used one off of ebay with 4gB RAM and an i3 micro for $150! Works awesome!

  • Rod Moore Says:

    Your article shows that it was posted "November 28, 2016 01:30 pm". Yet, most of the limits mention are years old. Which means no longer valid.

  • john b Says:

    if yu just want to get on the internet great. as for me im goin back to pc..

  • John S Says:

    I've had a couple Chromebook's and am now using a Chromebox for a desktop. I also still use Win 10 PC's but actually I could do most tasks with the Chrome OS. But clearly if your using Chrome on a PC your really using Chrome OS. Not much different and frankly you can buy a cheap PC with Win 10 and install Chrome and have a more flexible device when you need it. But if your fine work just within the Google ecosystem I don't see a reason not to try a Chromebook. Probably the easiest Linux based device you can use.

  • DONT BUY ONE Says:

    if you like offline things such as games like minecraft or listening to music dont get one get a regular laptop

  • Rose White Says:

    Stop asking if you can load lotsa extra apps and stuff on Chromebooks - they are intended and work super as email and YOutubers!

  • Rose White Says:

    Forgot to say it will let me surf for practically all day on a charge and recharges in an hour and half!
    CB5-311 is amazing!

  • Rose White Says:

    Love my Acer CB5! 2.5 years without a hiccup!
    Shame I cannot run OpenOffice but I can load long documents onto a memostick.
    Just a few weeks ago I bought a cheapo HP Win10 with Celerion and it is so slow - but is has goregous keyboard!
    If only someone would blend all the good bits we love into one super Chromebook it would be wonderful!

  • John S Says:

    I have a Asus Chromebox mounted on a Dell 23" monitor. It's a great web device but not much more. But then again, do many users over buy what they really need? I know of plenty of people who would do just fine with a $300 Chromebook over a $700 PC notebook. But they probably were over sold on what they needed. It's that old adage buy more than you need for the future. Obviously some need PC power, have to run more than web apps, and need Windows abilities. My only resistance to Chrome OS devices was there small screens and weak hardware. But these days spend a bit more and you can find better Chromebooks. Just don't spend a lot, because it's still the same old internet device with a web browser and web apps. Maybe with Android app support too. But still, not really a OS that requires you to spend oodles on hardware.

  • Kim Vora Says:

    I've had nothing but problems with my Acer Chromebook. First the charger port started being faulty. I did some research and a lot of people were saying they too had the same problem. They said not to send it in to be fixed as it costs a lot and when they send it back the same problems started again a month or two later. It shuts down on its own and not low the screen has turned black and other than the blinking backlight, there's nothing on my screen. I know it's not the screen itself as when I hard reset it, the screen comes on and tells me I there's a fault with the OS thing. I've given up on them. It's been nothing but one problem after the next. I've only had it less than two years and have taken great care of it but I'm at my last tether now. Especially since I need a reliable laptop/book for my work.

  • joelHFX Says:

    get a chromebook. it is so liberating to not have to deal with the endless pit traps that the expanded functionality windows presents.

  • SMH at Chromebook Says:

    Ahm... a BIG advertisement article for chromebook, and it completely skips over the fact that you NEED a very very very large high speed Internet connection. IMO, you are an idiot if you buy a chromebook, unless you live in Korea and got that Fiber connection and 1000Mps speed. SMH.

  • CajunMoses Says:

    Hybrid Android in pre-beta is working well on the Flip. Therefore, ASAP, please delete remarks that specify applications that Chromebooks cannot run. They can now run these in the hybrid Android container.

  • Vera Mathis Says:

    Yes I have a chomebook and I can't get in it so where can I get a guide book so I can turn on my internet and my wifi thank you

  • ChromeShine Says:

    Lots of strange comments. Not sure if they are paid or not. Comments such as I could not save, will not work with router, and such are simply not true.

    The article states that you must use Google docs, which is not true, the email, Excel, Word and all the rest of the online apps are there.

    As for the gent that said you can't scale, and was considering Apple, all I can say is good luck changing the fonts on the bookmarks and tabs on Chrome or Safari, as you can not do so on OSX. Only on Windows and Linux.

  • David Olivari Says:

    I have bought a Chromebook 2 , toshiba cb30-104-b precisely.
    I can only say good hardware, substandard OS. No SCaling, only change of resolution will enlarge OS font. -very very poor.
    I feel so conned by Google. Just so jealous of people with Apple Gear

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