Here's why a Chromebook might be all the laptop you need
Chromebooks are 10 years old and a lot has changed with them over the years, if you remember them at the start, they were the sort of cheap small laptops that basically ran Google's Chrome browser and not much else.
And they always had to have a web connection.
To be clear, I didn't like the first Chromebooks and it wasn't until a few years ago, that they became worthwhile for me and more people.
They do much more now.
And there's a greater variety of them.
And really they are enough for most people's needs.
If you're still not sure, though, here's why a Chromebook may be right for you.
Now, most of the people who've asked me about getting a Chromebook were people buying them for their kids.
But these q&a sessions they usually turned into them asking, should I buy one for myself?
And my stock answer is usually it depends on your needs.
But I do mention Chromebooks as a starting place because they typically have great battery life.
They're thin and light, they can be more secure and safe to use and you generally get more for your money.
This for instance, is Acer Chromebook spin 713.
It's a two in one with an Intel Core i five processor, a nice looking 13.5 inch display, a good backlit keyboard and a fingerprint reader and nearly 13 hours of battery life.
And it's priced at $700.
And that's premium for a Chromebook.
Now you might be saying recommending Chromebooks is terrible advice, Josh, hashtag bad advice.
And yeah, it would be bad advice to tell you.
You can do everything with a Chromebook because you can't But what I am saying is that many people simply don't need to do so much more.
And the simplicity of a Chromebook makes more sense.
And again, you can do quite a bit more now with a Chromebook than you could 10 years ago.
If you're not sure a Chromebook is right for you, the best place to start and really This goes for any computer purchase is to make a list of exactly what you need to do on a computer and also include what you'd potentially like to do to If everything on your list is done in a web browser, congratulations, Chromebooks are a perfect fit.
Now that might seem unlikely, but Chrome has a store full of web apps and extensions.
And if you can't find a web app to meet your needs, all current Chromebooks can run Android apps from the Google Play Store.
But this combination and some other key Chrome OS features that I'll get to in a second are what make Chromebooks an easier recommendation than they were just a few years ago.
There are things that are a bit trickier, Like running Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Cloud or other native Windows or Mac software.
There are web and mobile app versions with most but not all features duplicated.
So that's something you'll want to check on.
You can also switch on Linux support and use Linux software and your Chromebook.
And if you want to take things a step further, you can get something like this This is an HP ELITE C1030 running Chrome enterprise.
And you can use it with parallels desktop for chromoless\g in order to run windows software.
This way you can have the simplicity of a Chromebook, but still have full Microsoft office offline, or run that one lingering piece of legacy software that you need for work.
You can also use Chrome's remote desktop as a workaround to if you were considering the Chromebook to complement a Windows or Mac desktop.
With the Chromebooks remote connection you can tap into your desktop and its software when you need it.
One other hangup for people is gaming.
You won't be able to play the latest windows games directly from a Chromebook.
What you can play on them are Android, Linux and browser based games.
And you can use game streaming services like Google stadia G-Force now, and X-Box cloud gaming.
Chromebooks are even starting to get geared up for gaming.
This asis Chromebook CMW 5, for example, even has the W A SD keys blocked out ready for gaming.
Again, I'm not saying everyone should switch to a Chromebook and sure at some point, there are diminishing returns.
The workarounds aren't worth it.
You may also have feelings about Google as a company or that Chromebooks have auto update expiration dates and eventually they stopped getting featured in security updates.
All things worth considering for me with the latest features in Chrome OS, a broader range of devices with faster performance and longer battery life.
Prices for good models starting around two to $300.
You can't just toss them aside as cheap toys anymore that can't do anything other than browse the web.
That's why they've become my go to recommendation when starting to talk to people about laptops.
Now what do you think are Chromebooks finally serious competition for Windows and Mac laptops or are they still just toys?
Check out our Chromebook and laptop reviews on cnet.com.
And as always, thanks for watching
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