Thanks to their affordable price point and a host of great features, Chromebooks have become increasingly popular with users from all walks of life. But with that popularity comes a range of questions for potential buyers, especially those unfamiliar with how a Chromebook laptop works.
These laptops offer many advantages for younger users and are a staple in school systems, but adults and especially professionals can take advantage of those same perks. In this article, we’ll break down the strongest features and why they’re great for just about any user, regardless of age.
Chromebooks are a relatively new and quickly expanding category of laptop. They’re built with ChromeOS on the Linux operating system, and use a familiar interface based on Google’s Chrome web browser. And they’re designed to shift more complex functionality to the cloud.
This lighter hardware load is the basis for many of the advantages users enjoy. And even though most functions take place online, the latest models have tools you can use offline.
One of the most welcome advantages of a Chromebook is its familiar interface, but there are other big potential perks, too. Thanks to improved services and always-expanding internet access, these laptops have shown that they can punch above their weight when compared to pricier products.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of Chromebooks that you may not already know about.
1. Highly affordable
The Chromebook series does a lot to keep your costs down at checkout. These laptops rely less on local hardware and more on the internet for complex functionality, which means you’re not paying as much for raw local power and performance.
That translates into a dramatically reduced price point compared to just about any traditional laptop. Chromebook’s cloud-optimized configuration also tends to save users money throughout the life of the device. Not only will you pay less at checkout, you’ll also have far fewer sensitive components that could either fail, require maintenance, or need an upgrade later on.
At higher price points, many traditional laptops are a big commitment and expense. Even replacing a damaged Chromebook outright with a new model can be much cheaper than serious repairs on a traditional laptop.
2. Increasing performance and options to customize
It’s important to remember that optimum Chromebook performance comes from a robust internet connection. This is particularly great for users playing compatible online games or working on projects in the cloud, like through Google Docs or Sheets.
Many Chromebook models and apps now also provide local performance for when you’re dealing with an interrupted or weakened web connection. In particular, Google Drive’s range of apps support improved offline functionality, which makes it easier to get things done even if your internet is acting up.
Are you more concerned about maintaining consistent local performance? While Chromebooks can be customized for a lighter loadout, which leads to a lower price point, you can also boost your specs to improve the way you work without an internet connection. Simply customize your Chromebook to include more memory and storage if you’re concerned about responsiveness when facing connectivity issues.
3. Strong marks for battery life and energy efficiency
An increase in energy efficiency is another big advantage that comes from a streamlined hardware loadout and design. Thanks to those features, a Chromebook requires substantially less local power to keep you going. Even with a smaller battery, Chromebooks stack up well to the competition when it comes to battery life.
This also means that they are often a more environmentally friendly option than the traditional laptop. You can find several options that ship with ENERGY STAR® certification and even an EPEAT® Silver registration. This is ideal if you want to reduce your home or office’s environmental impact, along with your expenses.
A Chromebook’s higher energy efficiency also means it’s a more portable device. With the right app suite and hardware configuration, even reduced internet accessibility isn’t a hurdle if you want to tackle projects on-the-go, during a commute, or from a more remote location (like the lake).
4. Great for mobility and security
Chromebooks also provide some serious gains when it comes to mobility and security. With a reduced hardware suite, Chromebooks tend to be very light in terms of their weight and slim in their physical measurements.
There are a variety of Chromebook models available, but most HP configurations range from under 3 lbs to 5 lbs. Even convertible models, including the HP Chromebook x360, weigh a mere 3.7 lbs.
All of the HP Chromebook models are less than 0.75 inches thick including the aforementioned convertible Chromebook, which is only 0.67 inches thick. Regardless of the model you choose, you can count on Chromebooks for being easy to carry, whether it’s under your arm or in your favorite carrying case.
Chromebooks are also highly secure thanks to a constant stream of passive security updates from Google. That means you’re less vulnerable when you don’t have time to perform a full system update. The Chromebook even features conventional laptop security features like the Kensington Nano Security Slot™, a physical security measure to thwart theft.
Are there drawbacks compared to traditional laptops?
While a Chromebook offers exceptional online performance, it does require an internet connection for optimal performance. Otherwise, you will have to work with lower storage and memory while also sacrificing amenities like an optical drive.
For most users that won’t be a concern, but if you already contend with weaker WiFi connections on a regular basis, you’ll want to take this into consideration as you shop.
Of course, you can always compensate against outages by beefing up the memory and storage when customizing your Chromebook. That may be the best of both worlds for moderate users because you can keep your costs lower while reducing your risk of slowdown when your internet connection drops.
If you work with highly specialized software, you should also check its compatibility with ChromeOS before making your purchase. Otherwise, you may have to find an alternative solution for certain functionality.
What makes Chromebook ideal for kids too?
Chromebooks have seen a dramatically increased footprint in classrooms and schools. In classrooms, tech devices are exposed to a lot of heavy use and a fair share of surprises. With a growing importance related to how students learn, laptops must be as affordable as they are functional in order to get them into every student’s hands.
Schools are often well situated to benefit from the unique advantages of a Chromebook configuration thanks to their steady internet connections. In particular, educators can benefit from the lower costs and improved cloud functionality of these devices. This gives students access to a resource that they can use comfortably without worrying too much about overhead.
Educators and students also have some deeper options to consider with the Chromebook, including a range of Education Edition variants. Check out our Top HP Chromebooks for Educators and Students article to find out more about the options you’ll have when shopping for the classroom.
Once you understand Chromebook and how the Chrome OS works, shopping is just a question of picking the right loadout and model for your needs.
The Chromebook series offers a strong range of options when it comes to display size, hardware configuration, and even premium features like convertibility. As the Chromebook line matures and technology improves, that variety will only continue to grow.
For heavy internet users who spend large amounts of time streaming or gaming online, most Chromebook loadouts will deliver a smooth and consistent experience. And when it comes to your local hardware, how much you need depends on things like your file-handling routine, work situation, and travel needs.
Anyone with a good connection and a static workplace also has plenty of options, including premium Chromebooks like the HP Pro c640 Chromebook that boasts the powerful Intel® Core™ i3 processor and integrated Intel graphics card.
If you appreciate a non-conventional build that supports flexibility, you may want to focus on convertible “Chromebook x360” models. These laptops have a strong, adjustable hinge so you can easily transform your device from a traditional laptop into a tablet, and back again. This is especially great for anyone who wants to use their device beyond the confines of a typical desk or workspace scenario.
Conclusion: Great potential for all ages
Chromebooks are not just for kids. Depending on your situation, Chromebooks compare well in terms of functionality and performance, with a clear edge when it comes to price.
They’re a versatile and low stress device for most users to own. And with a steady internet connection, almost everything that makes Chromebook ideal for kids also makes it a great pick for adults.
For more information on HP Chromebook features and functionality, you can also check out our feature on 10 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Chromebook. From running Microsoft Office through the Office Online app to specifics about multimedia, most users can find something to enjoy from the latest Chromebooks and their growing standard of performance.
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