Chromebooks: Puny Weaklings no More


Acer Chromebook C7/ Photo By Alvin Trusty via Wikimedia Commons


Chromebooks have come of age -- they are no longer the slow, limited, browser-only, cloud-centric laptops but have turned into powerful beasts capable of beating their Windows-based counterparts in performance, according to Mike Elgan, writing for ComputerWorld. 

Such a development has set the stage for clarifying some of the stereotypical portrayals of Chromebooks.

Unable to Run Apps

The original Chromebook was a laptop with the Chrome web browser as its operating system. Users can do whatever they want, for as long as they stayed on the Web. Nowadays, the latest Chromebook models can concurrently run apps from Android, Linux, and Windows in the same session.

Slow Devices

While Chromebooks run more apps than any other operating system, these apps run in emulation and are not as fast as those running on native platforms. For instance, adding more tabs and extensions on a MacBook Pro running Chrome will cause the laptop to slow down and the fan to work harder. On the other hand, adding dozens of tabs and extensions will not be a burden to a Pixelbook which does not even come with a fan. 

Cannot Be Used for Software Development

Since Chromebooks can now run Linux, Google is actively touting the laptop as a development platform. Android and web apps for phones, tablets, and laptops can now be developed using a Chromebook.

Useless in Photo Editing

Elgan maintained that running Snapseed for Android on a 13-inch touchscreen is a lot better than on an iPhone. Other photo editors, such as Polarr and Adobe Lightroom, can also run on Chromebook via Android.

For Online Use only

Google cloud services, such as Docs and Gmail, offer offline modes. Also, a lot of free extensions that provide offline capability to users can be found on the Chrome Web Store. 

Cheap Devices

It takes US$2,000 to buy a Pixelbook with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, plus the pen, case, and taxes. Although some low-end Chromebooks are indeed cheap, the price of the latest models is comparable to that of conventional laptops.