Having become accustomed to the eternal competition between Windows and Mac, we often forget that there is a world of laptops out there waiting for a chance. Today we will focus on Chromebook reviews.
To get an idea, during 2020, Chromebook demand grew by approximately 109%. The brand has had a slow but steady progress and at this point has the second most used operating system in the world, only below Windows. Here is our analysis in different areas and you decide the winner.
Related: Best operating systems
Does it have a user-friendly interface and design?
It is a minimalist interface, whose center is directed to the Google Chrome browser. For those of us who are used to a main menu that displays multiple options, getting familiar with the interface presentation can be a bit complex.
However, it is quite intuitive, leading you to use the various applications through the browser. In fact, the company has repeatedly stated that Google OS aims to be a more natural extension of the browser. Among the most remarkable features of this interface, we have:
- Panels: These are the lower windows that display everything from downloads to open applications.
- Indicators: Icons that are located at the top and highlight the time, battery, connections, among others
- Tabs: They are the most predominant part of the interface. The applications, websites and other accesses are shown in this way.
- Launchers: These are the shortcuts anchored to the desktop.
- OK Google: Intelligent assistant of the O.S. that can be activated at any time, just by saying “OK Google”.
- Smartlock: Unlock function tethered to a smartphone via bluetooth and thanks to a security pin.
Managing in this new environment can be confusing at first, but it’s just a matter of getting used to the computer being able to carry out almost anything we want by a command to Google.
Is it easy to find applications and programs to install?
Since the Google PlayStore exists, downloading official applications is quite simple. You only need to have the option to download applications from the Play Store active in the settings to be able to do so.
In the taskbar you will find a shortcut to the store, where you can search for and download the application you want. To run Windows applications, there is CrossOver Chromebook, an application that you can find in the Play Store.
When you download it, you will have a new online store where you can search for the Windows applications you need. Finally, if what you want to download is an apk it is a slightly more complex process. You will need to download an intermediary such as ARC Welder for Chrome, download your APK, add it to this application and unzip it. Finally, drag it into Chrome and click start.
Is it recommended for everyday use?
This type of computer has been rising in popularity due to its operating system. In fact, by consuming less and better managing the resources of the laptop, it makes it work properly without so many requirements. It is an alternative for home office work, studying and other daily activities.
However, they are not designed for gaming or more demanding requirements such as programming, advanced graphic design, web design and other areas that require more resources.
What are the advantages of using a Chromebook?
There are many paradigms that this line of devices has opened to the market, setting itself firmly in front of its competition. From applications with offline operation, to the use of resources. This is a considerable list of all the benefits that Chromebook brings to our daily life.
The company wanted to stand out with the use of applications without the need for internet, so it gave carte blanche to programmers to develop different software that did not require a mandatory connection. Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Calendar and many more work seamlessly offline and update themselves synchronized to the account once they detect a functional network.
With these devices, Drive storage is quite a bit easier to use. This is because it comes bundled with the device as if it were just another storage memory partition once the Google account is linked. The company is giving away 100GB of storage for two years to Chromebook owners from any device.
Being a proposal that is always linked to the Internet and Google Chrome in general, these devices will always be updated with respect to its operating system. So each patch and added modules will keep the equipment safe from computer attacks.
On the other hand, coming from a GNU Linux architecture, just like MacOS, these devices are little or almost invulnerable as far as viruses are concerned. So you save quite a lot of money by not purchasing a license for it.
If the storage system you use is Dropbox and you see the connection with Drive somewhat unnecessary, you have nothing to worry about, since Chromebooks are compatible with this app.
As Google is a company where speed of management is of paramount importance and consider the Chromebook an extension of its engine, they have strived to ensure the same on these devices. With half the RAM and a smaller processor than a mid-range/mid-high-end laptop, it can deliver the same results.
The moment you start your Chromebook with your Gmail, all extensions, bookmarks and other Google add-ons will appear on your device.
The battery range is between 7 and 10 hours of autonomy. Much more than a common laptop and equal to lower mid-range devices.
What are the disadvantages of using a Chromebook?
On the other hand, there are certain factors to take into account if you want to buy a Chromebook. Some applications are not available for the operating system they have and it is not aimed at high-performance computing jobs.
The application has not yet been adapted for Chromebook. However, there is a promise that it will arrive soon for the Google Market. For the time being, video calls can be carried out thanks to Google Hangouts.
Although the operating system is able to display some Office files thanks to its own interpreters, it does not allow editing them out of the box. However, it is not impossible to handle Office or other applications external to the Chromebook if certain emulators are used.
Outside of the 100GB storage it comes to offer in Drive, the system itself has very little storage space. This is because it is not meant to function as another smart device but as a tool that facilitates the use of Google. However, this will most likely change over time.
Is it worth buying a Chromebook for the price it is priced at?
The prices of the different Chromebooks are very affordable. The latest versions have become so closely matched to the performance of an ordinary laptop, that it is definitely better to buy a Chromebook. The differences vary between 100 and 200€ compared to its competitors.
What are the best Chromebooks?
have we finally convinced you? Then we present you a list of the three best Chromebooks. The features and performance of these devices are so good that they can cover almost any need. Including, of course, the one that has given so much to talk about for its design and performance: Pixelbook Go.
It is a fairly affordable Chromebook, designed for the family and completely light to carry. A thirteen-inch laptop that weighs less than three two kilos. It has a tenth-generation i3 processor, which added to the lightness of Google OS, makes speed its greatest strength. It has 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM.
The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 has a 360-degree hinge and touchscreen, which makes it a good tool for design, drawing, reading and even display itself.
This is an economical alternative with a design that resembles the MacBook. It seeks to cover the most basic requirements for a price of less than $350. It has a 15-inch screen and weighs less than two kilograms. It is equipped with an Intel Celeron processor, 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory. The battery can last up to 12 hours.
However, the peculiarity of the Samsung Chromebook 4+ is the cloud storage: 200GB of external storage. A device that responds perfectly to office work or as a study tool.
Considered the best Chromebook of the moment. It is comfortable to study, travel and work from it. It has a 13-inch full HD screen, Core-i5 processing, backlit keyboard, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage and a 12-hour battery life.
The Google Pixelbook Go has the particularity that with 20 minutes of fast charging, the battery can last two hours more. It is lightweight and does not reach the kilo in weight. Definitely the best experience a Chromebook can offer.
Chromebooks promise to be a new paradigm in computers. They are presented as an extension of a service as big as Google to solve everyday computing tasks. Definitely for its price, and for the way in which they adapt to the user, it is worth taking them into consideration when looking to purchase a laptop.