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Chromebook? The Short Answer? No!

In the past few years, Chromebooks have come a long way. But are they right for you or your college student? The answer depends largely on your tech needs and budget. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you decide if a Chromebook would work for you. But here is a hint, since we can custom make laptops and desktop computers to fit virtually any budget, we recommend going that route and skipping the Chromebook.

Chromebooks aren't for everyone.

While Chromebooks are a great option for students, they are not for everyone. If you’re looking for a laptop that can run Microsoft Office or design software, this probably is not the computer for you. The only time a Chromebook might make sense is to the user whose needs are basic and that don’t involve anything besides basic web browsing and emailing. But do you want to limit yourself like that? Instead, we recommend buying a computer that will grow with your needs rather than pigeon-holing yourself into an extremely limited system.

  • Chromebooks are inexpensive. But you get what you pay for.

  • Chromebooks are affordable. But as is true with most things, you get what you pay for.

  • Chromebooks are not nearly as powerful as MacBooks. So, if you are a professional looking for a computer that can handle intense graphic design or video editing, skip the Chromebook.

  • Also, because they were designed with students in mind (and therefore offer limited storage), keeping your work on one of these laptops can be frustrating because storage space will quickly fill up with files.


ited Battery Life

Some people believe that Chromebooks are great for students because they are so cheap. However, their low price comes at a cost, as they have a very short battery life, especially when compared to laptops from other platforms. Chromebooks last only about 5-6 hours on a single charge. Also, be aware that most Chromebooks cannot be plugged into an external battery pack like a gaming laptop or Ultrabook. So, constant access to an outlet is essential.

You Can’t Install Microsoft Office or Design Software (although you can run it from an online proram)

Most people use Microsoft Office. This is the standard office suite of programs that most people use on their computers—whether they're looking at spreadsheets, writing papers or creating presentations. Chromebooks cannot run these programs.

And the work-around is awkward. Google Docs is a free cloud-based alternative to Microsoft Word that works with Chromebooks. And this could suffice if you only need basic editing capabilities (like adding text and making corrections.) However, most users find Google Docs far less intuitive than Microsoft Word programs.

Due Diligence

Before making your final decision, do a little research into the latest laptops on the market. If you are using a laptop for work or school, figure out the specifications that are important to you. You may also want to check out reviews at Gizmodo or Engadget and looking at reviews from other users online. You should also check out the specs of each device and compare them with each other before making your choice. Additionally, while not as important as its processing power or battery life, consider how much storage space your new computer will have (if any).

Since we custom-make computers for our clients, we would love to work with you to configure a computer that meets you or your loved one’s needs. Call today or drop by our showroom in Meridian.

About 208 Geek in Meridian, Idaho

Owner/Operator Jacob Van Vliet began building and repairing computer systems for friends and family out of his home in 2001. Jacob was receiving so many requests for computer repair, that in the Fall of 2005, he opened 208 Geek with the vision of providing outstanding service and peace of mind. He has committed 208 Geek to delivering unparalleled, friendly, and professional service, with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.


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