Chromebooks came about around two years ago but have really made their stamp on the tech market in 2014, with 2015 sales predicted to be even higher. A Chromebook is essentially a web browser, with a few similar features to a tablet but look and feel like a laptop. You may be able to tell from the name that the operating system used is Google Chrome OS.
I have been using one for the last two weeks and I am impressed. My initial thoughts were “do I always have to be online?” and “what programs can I use?”. I was pleasantly surprised…
I have the Chromebook HP11, which has an 11.6″ IPS display, dual core processor, 2gb RAM and 16gb SSD hard drive. When you look at those specs, you would assume your talking about a laptop but don’t be fooled, this is not a laptop. The Chromebook itself is incredibly light and portable, has a crystal clear and vibrant screen and boots up instantly.
The design and spec is good, so whats the catch? A Chromebook is essentially a web browser but includes a variety of apps, similar to that of a tablet. The Chromebook OS has its own app store, which offers a variety of tools, programs and games; and each Chromebook comes pre-installed with Google apps, such as Google drive, Gmail, YouTube, Maps and Docs.
Do you have to be online to use a Chromebook? No. You can use Google Docs when offline, play games, listen to music and also access items stored on the hard drive or via memory stick. I have watched movies straight from a memory stick on the move with ease.
What programs can you use? You are limited and you can only install apps from the Chrome OS web store. You shouldn’t forget that if online, you can access any online programs or software you wish. Google are developing the operating system and the store, both of which include new content and features regularly.
For everyday tasks, this will do the job well. For power hungry tasks such as gaming and photo editing, this is not for you.