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5 Things to Look for When Buying a Chromebook
Google’s Chromebook designs are a uniquely affordable generation of notebooks optimized for streamlined performance. They make personal computers more accessible and functional for a variety of users. In this article, we’ll provide a thorough checklist of what to look for when buying a Chromebook.
In particular, we’ll cover the following questions and concerns about Chromebooks:
- Does a Chromebook have enough battery life for your routine?
- Will the Chromebook’s local hardware meet your needs?
- Do you need touch screen functionality?
- What display size is ideal for streaming and interactivity?
- Should you consider the x360 model for extra flexibility?
These are all important questions to consider, giving you room to set your own priorities. For instance, if you’re not interested in using Android apps or collaboration features, you may not need a touch screen. And if you will be connected to cloud storage the majority of the time, you may not need much local storage. Whichever Chromebook you choose, the entire line is designed to balance specs and value.
Plus, all Chromebooks are built on the versatile Chrome OS, which will be familiar for anyone who uses the Google Chrome browser. Read on for more information, then consult the full selection of available Chromebook models.
1. Does a Chromebook have enough battery life for your routine?
Battery life is a major determining factor when shopping for a new laptop, since it has serious implications when it comes to portability. Your travel plans or daily work commute may already be a hassle, but they can become less of a headache when you’re not stuck looking for charging stations for your laptop.
The HP Chromebook line is amply prepared for exactly this scenario with long-lasting batteries that comfortably cover most full workdays. Standard configurations offer a top battery life estimate of up to 14 hours, which is enough to cover the average workday and your commute. While you may never need to use your entire 14-hour charge, that’s welcome peace of mind when you’re away from home or the office.
There are other portability factors to keep in mind as well, including weight and form factor specifications, plus connectivity options. If you plan to use your Chromebook on-the-go more often than not, you’ll be happy to know the Chromebook series features low weights and compact measurements. You’ll also find speedy USB Type-C® ports to connect your favourite accessories.
2. Will the Chromebook’s local hardware meets your needs?
By using Google’s Chrome OS, which centers on cloud computing, the Chromebook provides a lot of functionality at an affordable price. The shift to the cloud substantially reduces the Chromebook’s cost, because so many major features rely on an internet connection instead of local hardware.
That means deciding which Chromebook is best for you comes down to your routine. Do you handle a lot of larger files? Are you occasionally away from a strong internet connection? If you do need more local functionality, you still have a range of options to choose from, so keep these features in mind when shopping.
Memory (RAM) is one of the key pieces related to your computer’s speed and response time. While the Chromebook shifts certain functions to the cloud, RAM contributes to your online experience as well.
For most users, 4GB of RAM is the perfect compromise. It’s not expensive, and it’s more than capable of handling the most commonly used apps like your web browser, email, word processor, etc. But if you have a bigger work or study load – or just want extra power – you can get up to 8GB of RAM in your Chromebook.
Your laptop’s local storage determines how much data you can keep on your computer without using compression or cloud storage. The Chromebook is designed for high cloud functionality and easy online storage, so local hardware stays minimal; usually around 64GB. But if you need an extra bit of storage, look for models with a 128GB eMMC drive.
Because they rely on a smaller and more advanced hardware load, Chromebook storage stays cool and runs quietly. That means you don’t need to worry about whirring fans when you’re trying to handle multiple tasks or webpages at once.
3. Do you need touch screen functionality?
A touch screen opens up a bigger world of functionality than you may have imagined, especially if you haven’t gone hands-on with one before. Touch screen displays allow for a deeper level of immersion and offer numerous levels of interactivity for everything from playing games to collaborating with coworkers.
Touch screens are also popular for creating art and note-taking because they provide more intuitive navigation compared to a conventional setup. It’s also a great workaround if you occasionally prefer to ditch your keyboard with a convertible model like the HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0030ca.
Beyond those use cases, touch screen functionality is especially important for anyone who wants to use Android apps on their Chromebook. Many Android apps rely on some degree of touch interaction, so you’ll need a touch screen if you want to take full advantage of these apps.
4. What display size is ideal for streaming and interactivity?
Touch screen functionality isn’t the only way to create a more immersive and interactive experience with your Chromebook. Display size also plays a crucial role here, especially if you frequently enjoy streaming entertainment or you use Android apps. But that also applies to anyone who needs additional screen space to work comfortably.
With a 14-inch diagonal display, the HP Chromebook line is designed to support all of your needs, from streaming TV shows to combing through spreadsheets. The display also boasts an anti-glare screen, a narrow-bezel design for better usability and appearance, and Corning® Gorilla® Glass for an extra layer of protection.
You’ll also find premium audio options like professional audio tuning by the experts at B&O, as well as High Definition (HD) resolution. Those two factors are super-important if you plan to use your Chromebook as a multimedia device. And chances are you will do exactly that thanks to the ease with which you can connect to and enjoy your favourite streaming apps.
5. Should you consider the x360 model for extra flexibility?
Designed for use as a traditional laptop or a tablet, convertible x360 model Chromebooks include a strong hinge so that you can quickly and easily switch between settings. This type of laptop is fully-foldable and built for durability. You can safely and comfortably change modes throughout the life of the device. This is ideal for multitaskers and alternative work styles, making it a great choice for anyone who frequently works on-the-go or away from a typical office setting.
The HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0020ca is a standout example of a convertible laptop. It features the 10th generation Intel® Core™ processor, a 64GB eMMC hard drive, Corning Gorilla Glass, and a micro-edge display. It also boasts a premium metal design with a sandblasted cover and keyboard, which helps reduce its overall weight and measurements. Plus, you get a built-in fingerprint reader for extra security on-the-go.
Convertible models are sturdy devices that support a variety of use scenarios, with exceptionally tough displays and excellent portability features. The additional attention paid to the build quality helps them stand up to the strain put on a touch screen display. This makes them perfect for younger users, creatives, professionals – just about anyone.
When is the best time to buy a Chromebook?
Not sure when to buy? Well here’s the good news: Chromebooks are generally much more affordable than similar notebooks and laptops every day of the year. However, there are still opportunities to swoop in on some sales and catch a good deal on these versatile devices. If you want to save a few extra bucks at checkout or use a promotion to help with add-ons, look to the plethora of deals that show up on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day.
What to look for in a Chromebook
The Chromebook offerings at HP® are varied, but our tips should give you enough info to make shopping fairly simple. Just home in on your must-have features and choose your ideal price point. Remember that a touch screen will add more functionality and immersion to your experience, and you’ll find premium Chromebook options with higher-tier local hardware.
The choice is yours when it comes to buying a Chromebook. And now that you know what to look for when you shop, you can head over to the HP Store to get even more familiar with the entire product family.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.
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