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Three Common Chromebook Myths Debunked


Chromebooks are useful – even without internet!

Whenever coverage of a Chromebook appears online you can bet your bottom dollar some someone, somewhere will pipe up to repeat well-worn fallacies about their usefulness.

These self-appointed experts confidently claim that Chrome notebooks are overpriced, underpowered and about as useful as a wooden doorstop when WiFi is down.

But most of these “facts” are not true. If they were, Chromebooks wouldn’t be selling. And we know that they are – in big numbers to boot!

With the majority of people, from students to businesses to educational institutions, able to grasp the value of the humble Chromebook, let’s try and help those struggling to understand their popularity by nixing a few long-standing misunderstandings…

“Chromebooks are useless offline”

‘The Chrome Web Store has an entire section full of apps that work offline.’

Since their inception one comment stands above all others in its perpetuated-ness: ‘Chromebooks are useless without an internet connection’.

This is not true. While a lack of connectivity will limit what you can do – you can’t, for example, set a device up without first connecting to the net – it doesn’t render your device obsolete.

Firstly, the Chrome OS operating system continues to works offline; you can watch local video files; listen to music; access files, etc on a Chromebook without being chained to the net.

Secondly, the Chrome Web Store has an entire section full of applications and extensions that work just as well offline as they do online. All bases are covered, from work essentials like Google Docs, Gmail and Wunderlist, to pastime favourites like Pocket, Angry Birds and Kindle.

Updating Facebook and checking the latest news may be impossible without a connection, but that’s the situation on any device, not just Chromebooks.

So next time you hear someone throw up this myth do them a favour and point them to the Chrome Web Store’s Offline Apps section.

View Offline Apps for Chrome on the Web Store

‘It’s Just a Web Browser…’

Chrome Overview Mode

The Aura Desktop on Chrome OS

Chrome OS is based around a web browser, that much is true. But the accusation that it’s “just” a browser and no more is a misguided one.

No other browser is able to power a full desktop experience.

Everything that appears on a Chromebook screen is handled by Chrome, from the ‘Aura’ desktop shell to the login screen and user management features.

And while Chrome wouldn’t be able to do half of what it does without some help from the Linux kernel – which is what allows hardware to work just dandy – it remains an impressive testament to the versatility of web technologies.

“Might as well buy a normal laptop…”

As arguments against buying a Chromebook go this is the one that frustrates me most. Commenters, journalists and tech pundits alike all too quickly leap to compare the functionality of a Chromebook against a more ‘traditional’ laptop.

Just this week I saw an article putting the Toshiba Chromebook against the latest Macbook Air.

Despite the form factor being similar the proposition – the value – of a Chromebook is different. That’s why comments that berate “… spending money on a Chromebook when normal laptops can do so much more!” miss the point entirely.

Whoosh. Head. Over.

It’s better to view Chromebooks in the same vein as other portable computing devices, like tablets. Comparisons with the productivity of an iPad, for example, make much better sense than those with a full-blown, 16″ Windows laptop.

“The true value in ChromeOS is what it DOESN’T have,” writes Vance McAlister. “My conservative guess is that at least half of all computer users do not need a traditional OS. ”

And that underlines the true USP of a Chromebook.

  • apol

    Well, the biggest concern on the Chromebooks still is how dependent you get from Google. All your data, what you do is for them.

    Scary, at least.

    • Sean Lumly

      This isn’t true at all.

      Most web apps are non-Google, and many install directly to your system. This means that the data is either held in different services or held locally. This is no different than any other operating system with 3rd party applications.

      • chethiya

        Indeed. We’ve developed an offline app for chrome which provides analytics for auditors on local data. Since data can be third-party private data we were extra careful not to send a single byte out of the computer. (App has no permission to do that)
        But the problem is Google is doing a not so good job on communicating that to users upon installation, while they have great opportunity in that space.

        • Sean Lumly

          I think that to 98% of consumers in the market for a computer, the notion of corporate data-spying (whether legitimate or illegitimate) is not a large concern or even a concern at all. There is, however, a small vocal minority spreading unfounded assertions around the idea that Google is watching every keystroke and button-press you make if you use any one of their technologies.

          I think that if such a notion catches on with the mainstream, Google should respond commensurately . I’m not so sure that it’s necessary at this point.

          • Austin2222

            Yes, and Microsoft is fanning the flames with their scroogled ads, while implying that they themselves are magically exempt

          • Sean Lumly

            Haha… Ah Microsoft… So sad… :D

    • It comes down to one question. Who do you trust more, Google, Microsoft, or Apple? For me the answer is easy…..GOOGLE! No matter what you do, what kind of machine you buy, more than likely you will be watched by one of those three companies and if you figure out a way to hide from them, the NSA will always be watching. Linux is about the only viable option I consider for 90% privacy. I think 100% privacy is a thing of the past.

      Good Luck!

      • MrMiketheripper

        Google and Apple are the top for me…I don’t trust Microsoft at all tbh.

      • aarcane

        For 100% privacy you have to go Linux and cut the cable completely. No Wi-Fi, no Wired, no Internet. Once you achieve that, you can gain anonymity (but not privacy) by using Libraries, cyber cafe’s, and other public or pseudo-public internet access facilities for those times you absolutely MUST connect.

        • Mik Furie

          Pssst, all those places have ways to record not only your face on camera and details of your address (library in particular) but also your activity. Public Internet terminals are the least anonymous places you can use, and they companies that run them also make some money by selling your data to ad companies.

          Also, the sparrow has a complaint about the weather.

      • OR PICK A NAME


    • Chris

      I just don’t get this argument. Everything you do online is monitored by someone, starting with your ISP, and then any website you interact with. Everywhere you go is stored on your device (unless you have cookies turned off) and is accessible to sites you access. So what if Google targets ads that they think might interest you; so does any retail site you visit. Have you noticed how after you search for something on the web, all the amazon ads on the sides of pages start showing those items. That has nothing to do with Google. Google provides tons of valuable services to people who CHOOSE to use them. It’s only fair they get something in return. There’s way too much fear-mongering in this regard. I mean, after all, so they have your data. What are they gonna do? Blackmail you, extort you? Sell you stuff you don’t really need, but really, really want? Oh, the horror! :)

      • Mik Furie

        The argument comes from a basic ignorance of the way the world works. Last year it was headline news around the world that a load of countries had been caught spying on each other. The sort of people who were shocked at that are the ones who think every browser they use is completely safe, all their data is private and they won’t end up on a watch list for using things like Tor. These are the people really think that only companies like Google are accessing and profiting from their data.

        Personally I say good on ’em. They provide a huge amount of the free services I use and I’ve heard this rumour that they need to make money to keep doing that. So if they can use my web data to make profit and continue to offer such services then I’m on board. That’s always been the deal with Google and I thought everyone knew that. It’s not like staying away from Google means it won’t happen anymore, only that you won’t know who is doing it.

    • JPB

      ….and Microsoft nags me for an email address and points me to use SkyDrive, Skype, and Bing from the moment I setup Windows, so what’s the difference?

      Like MS, you can use as few Google services or as many as you want.

      In fact, there is nothing to stop you from using Skydrive apps on your Chromebook, which to me is the most puzzling part of Microsoft’s anti-Chromebook campaign. It’s like they’re saying, “Cloud apps SUCK!……..except ours…..”

  • bimsebasse

    The first two just haven’t been updated – initially ChromeOS *was* just a browser (with bells and whistles) and it *was* pretty much useless offline. It feels like ages ago since those complaints were pertinent, though.

  • Wanana

    Hi, I have a samsung chromebook, I’d like to know if it is compatible with a 3G usb modem


    • Flychinook

      Most 3g usb modems require special software, so usage with a chromebook will probably not be possible.

  • Chris

    The true value in ChromeOS is the disposability of the device and the amount of time saved maintaining hardware. Complete system restore Win 8, including reinstalling apps: hours. Complete system restore ChromeOS, including restoring apps and data: minutes. Computer stolen or lost? Big deal. Buy a new one, log in, resume work with all data and apps you previous had: minutes. That is the real value right there. Plus a real, keyboard to type on, and better performance if you want to throw comparisons to tablets into the mix.

    • Jeremy Filth

      Right on. I can’t go back to windows anymore after purchasing my chromebook. Everything feels so integrated and simple. It used to take me hours on end to re-install all my programs for Windows, not gonna waste anymore of my time with a Windows Machine. Chromebook has alternatives that are just as good IF not better than Microsoft’s flagship programs.

      • Zactu

        I don’t have Windows, but Google is on a good thing with these Chromebooks. Developers need to get on board and Google and OEM’s needs to do work on their sides. hmm I would like to see VLC to be installable on the Chromebook.

    • MrMiketheripper

      I gotta say I’ve been loving my chromebook. I have extremely bad luck with Microsoft OS’s but unfortunately I’m still tied to it for Photoshop and Illustrator and gaming. However, just for general stuff and the occasional HTML coding, I love it. I run a Samsung 11″ chromebook (not sure on the exact specs, pretty sure it’s a dual core) and it does slow down sometimes compared to say a Nexus tablet but other than that, it’s great. I feel like if Google were to open up Chrome OS to more traditional Linux packages that would really boost the value of it.

      • Chris

        The Samsung is running the old ARM processor, which is noticeably slower than both the old and new Intel processors in the other Chromebooks. The next-gen Samsung with the dual-quad core setup should be a lot faster. I agree that I will always need one modest Windows laptop/PC in the house to run iTunes and Calibre, and DVD ripping software, but otherwise I can do pretty well everything else on the web, including my admittedly limited photo-editing needs. Someone with more serious photo-editing and gaming needs would likewise need at least one Windows PC for that reason.

        The move to packaged apps is sort of addressing the app problem. The problem with opening up the system to Linux apps is that ChromeOS then becomes just another Linux system with all its inherent configuration complexities and issues. There is a reason why I have repeatedly tried Linux over the years and always returned to Windows (until now, having tried Elementary OS). The beauty of ChromeOS is the simplicity, and security, and I guess there has to be a tradeoff for that. If you had an Intel Chromebook, you could dual-boot with a Linux OS. I strongly recommend Elemenary OS.

        • Agreed.

          I have a Mac Mini for those things I must do that require a full system. A Chromebook can handle all the rest.

          • Curtis Mitchell

            Yep, I run a Mac Mini as well. I do dual boot it with Win 7 for computer games but with remote desktop I get the functionality I would need from a Macbook for a fraction of the price and when I am at home, I’ve got all the horsepower I need in a tiny box that leaves enough space on my desk for the chromebook to be beside it.

          • I need a bright, high quality screen and a solid keyboard for my writing. A Chromebook would be perfect for this with the Mac Mini as my home base for the power tasks. I think this sort of set up will increasingly dominate. I’m hoping the next Samsung Chromebook will have the specs that have been rumored. It’s hard rationalizing Macbook Pro Retina. I need the screen and a good keyboard, but I don’t really need all that power at all. Don’t want to pay for the power.

          • Zactu

            Yea, I want to see the specs better on these chomeboxes. I think the OEM’s are getting a feel for the market at the moment and Google need to do some improvements to justifiy good specs. I quite like the HP Chromeboxes too, might get one if the CPU, ram and storage are decent.

          • Zactu

            That’s exactly what I have got. Mac Mini which doesn’t any (very little) maintenance and HP Chromebook 14 also no maintenance.

          • I went with the HP Chromebook 11, so we have almost the exact same setup. It’s just so easy, and everything works without me ever having to fix anything.

        • MrMiketheripper

          I actually plan on picking up the touch screen Acer chromebook with the Intel processor at some point. Can’t wait to see the performance bump if the Samsung ARM processors are really that slow.

    • sonicyoof

      Add in no moving parts, no antivirus, simple, seamless updates, etc.

  • Offline is crippled. I can’t add a meeting offline. Seriously?

  • JPB

    I really don’t think Chromebooks compare great yet to laptops, but I do think they’re in striking distance – a few desktop/offline apps away. I prefer to use my Chromebook as a Tablet+ instead. Seriously. It’s taken away much more tablet time than PC time. About the only thing I use the tablet for these days is some gaming and one or two magazines that don’t render well in the Newstand app. One thing the Chromebook does do though is give me a much lighter (my HP 11 is all of 2 pounds) system to travel with than my traditional laptop. If I absolutely, positively need a “real PC”, I leave my heavier Lenovo W530 home and use Chrome Remote Desktop to access it.

    • Wesley Files

      I cringed for a moment when I thought about tax season for new Chromebook owners. I use a browser based service myself, but I’m sure some will be at a loss. I’ll have to be sure to watch Yahoo! Answers for the influx of tax concerns so I can help out.

  • I want one, a lot actually, but I also need something to play all my Steam games that don’t work well from the couch in big picture mode

  • Cristian Otegui

    Me impresiona la cantidad de web apps sin conexión que hay, yo pensé que eran menos.

    • Chris

      Si, pero para la mayor de la gente, hay suficiente quien solo ‘surf the web’ y hace Facebook, Gmail, Twitter. Ver a Chrome Web Store para “Desktop Apps” [perdon mi espanol]

  • But I heard that Chromebooks are useless offline. Also they’re just web browsers.

  • Wesley Files

    To be fair, with it’s first introduction Chrome OS was made to be just a portal to the internet. Google was open about the first two “myths” being very true. And for awhile Chromebooks were not priced any cheaper than similarly spec’d PCs, so the third was an easier generalization to make.

    It’s a problem I feel Steam OS is also going to suffer with, being called a limited OS that only plays games for years to come, even if they build up it’s functionality.

    • Carl Draper

      SteamOS is a full linux distro underneath you can install any app you want

  • Cristian Otegui

    Is a Firefox OS Phone a sort of Chrome OS Phone?

    • Nope.

      • Cristian Otegui

        Why not?

        • Why would it be sort of a Chrome OS Phone?1 It is not web-based, it doesn’t have Google’s ecosystem built in…

          • Austin2222

            I think he means in the sense of how both are web-based OS’s

          • R2D221

            It IS web-based.

    • Mik Furie

      The applications for both are built on Web technologies and they’re named after the browsers, but that is where the similarities end.

      Firefox OS was built around the idea of being a quick mobile ecosystem for use in developing countries, while Chrome OS was built as a full desktop ecosystem. Both are coming from different ends of the spectrum and, while they may crossover on their routes to each others end of the scale, they currently deal with things in very different ways.

  • Mark Williams

    What about:
    A) you can’t print via usb
    B) you can’t connect it to your MP3 player
    C) you can’t use it to upload your pictures (eg from a camera)

    All fairly trivial things I currently do with my laptop on a daily basis, but believe (maybe wrongly) that I can’t do with chrome os.

    • Ezzy

      Workarounds. Cloud printing, cloud mp3 storage/players/phone, SD card reader for images (and why would you ever store them exclusively on a laptop?)

    • balcobomber25

      My camera connects without a problem as does my Phone which I use as a MP3 player.

  • a google fan turned hater

    i have a chromebook, and i regret spending money on it. should have spent more to get a real functioning laptop. it really is useless. i knew about its limitations ahead of time, but it’s infuriating doing something as simple as writing a letter and getting disconnected, not being able to use a spreadsheet offline for quick balancing, etc. HDMI not being able to drive 720p videos… LOL, why have them in the first place? The file managing system is like going back to DOS days… what were they thinking? and what was i thinking? I thought they would improve it with updates…alas, i gave google too much credit.

    the things i do like about it is its weight, battery life, and wonderful keyboard.
    everything else is junk.

    • balcobomber25

      Another Msoft employee who clearly has never even turned on a Chromebook.

      • Clint

        Another Google employee who’s getting paid to not install linux or any other real OS on a real computer and advertise useless junk.

        I’m sorry, but Chrome has absolutely nothing to offer over any linux distro, and Android in my opinion is a joke due to dumb limitations that community devs like CM have to go and undo. You still can’t use truecrypt-like encryption on Android ffs unless you can code your own custom kernel.

  • Anant

    Although I had my doubts, I recently purchased a chromebook. Purchasing the Acer C70, nearly one month back, my intention was to get cheap hardware on which I can slap my favorite flavor of linux and ignore the chrome OS once and for all. But BOY WAS I WRONG. I fell in love with this operating system. Although I was using Ubuntu for at least 10 years now, and being extremely comfortable with the operating system, chrome OS blew me off of my feet and here is why:

    1. Speed – First thing that anyone would notice is how fast the system actually is. It takes less than 3 seconds for it wake up from sleep and less than 5 to restart itself. I never had any issues with the operating system, no bugs, nothing.
    2. Simplicity – Yes there is not much I can do with this system. I cannot code, I cannot download a lot of movies, I cannot have an ebook reader software on it yada yada yada. But it keeps me focussed. I realized, I don’t need to do all those things. I finally realized that chromebooks, at least now, are not going to be my main laptops. They are just a backup. A laptop that I can just handover to my technology-disabled mother and who could use with as little learning curve as possible. In fact, my mom was able to make her first video call through chromebook and all without my help! She was so proud, oh you would think Santa came early this year.
    3. Google Drive – Off Late, I’ve started using Google Drive more than I used to. Due to some ideological disagreements with dropbox, I had to move all my files to Google and I hated it. But with Chromebook, I am loving the integration of drive to my laptop. I no longer carry those usb sticks with me, I don’t carry those SD cards with me. And still I have all my files at my disposal. THIS is what sealed the deal.

    Now, those below me, who are cribbing about this wonderful piece of nascent technology that has HUGE potential, are forgetting something – this is not a mainstream laptop. Although those at G-HQ might have intended it to be, chromebooks are far from being mainstream. They are your fallback laptops. They are the easy-tops. No frills and nothing. Just simple, plain old laptop which gets you by. If you want something better (like full functionality of printing etc etc), you are better off with a real laptop.

  • EricWelch

    I absolutely love my Chromebooks (I have two, 1 14″ HP and an 11.6″ Samsung. I use them for everything now and have discovered nothing I can’t do. WiFi is not an issue because I can’t do anything on my PC or regular laptop or tablet without WiFi, except perhaps for connecting a USB modem, but I can create a hotspot with my phone so that’s a no brainer. The best thing of all is the remote desktop app. It works flawlessly, and I can manipulate whatever legacy software I need right on my home PC no matter where I am. When traveling, if I want to watch a movie I carry along a USB with music and video. Works great.

  • J. P.

    All this might be true, IF it weren’t for the fact that Chromebooks do not allow the use of alternate browsers like a PC does (Firefox, IE etc). This may not sound like a big deal, but when Google gets a wild hair (like, every single day) to make some change that THEY deem beneficial for the user which results in vital web pages (my employer’s web sites) no longer working, I am in a lurch and completely unable to use the Chromebook for the purpose it was intended when I purchased it. If I cannot use this device to access the specific sites on the internet that I need in order to perform my JOB, then it is a useless and HIGHLY overpriced paper weight. It is without merit to argue that my employer should not build its website in a manner that prevents Chrome from accessing it, because (contrary to Google’s viewpoint) Google does not run the world and EVERY other browser works like a champ. I am HIGHLY disappointed in this product and will be eliminating it from my electronic arsenal as soon as I am able.

    • balcobomber25

      “and EVERY other browser works like a champ” You must have not used Internet Explorer recently….

    • Carl Draper

      Install chrubunutu and you have your browsers

    • Go Ahead, Make my Day!

      Wow, you still like Firefox? I abandoned them ages ago, along with Apple iTunes – Got sick of updates installs etc. Google Chrome just does it all in the background and leaves you alone, not like an annoying child, pestering you all the time! As for IE, ha….you gotta be kidding.. Pop-up! Pop-up! Pop-up! Have I annoyed you yet? Says it all really. Get a grip, Chrome came along in late 2008 and saved the internet and browsing.

      • michael

        Enjoy your botnet

  • Jakob Harnisch

    I’ve bought an Acer C720p on Tuesday and I fell in love with it. Chrome OS is extremely fast and I found out that it covers many many things. Of course, there are things that do not work (e.g. Skype, Games (except Angry Birds and similar bullsh’t)). But wait, you can install a complete Linux system as a dual-boot. Thanks to the powerful Intel Haswell-Chipset the Acer C720 is able to play Minecraft, CounterStrike and many other Games as well as using Skype or programming an arduino.
    And all that for less than 300€.

  • a reader

    My main computer is a pretty powerful desktop, but I just got the HP 14 chromebook and it has been a wonderful addition. Im a developer and I’m able to program on and offline in python, JavaScript, and native code ( c/c++ ) plus the battery life has blown me away. Chromebooks and the ChromeOS are serious contenders in the market.

  • Aditya

    Guys, I think Chrome books are awesome. They are at least great for developing countries. I live in India and I know it’s limitations. But I can carry around a 3G dongle with a a wifi hotspot for Internet as they are easily available in cities. I only use computers to do Word, view emails, etc. and it comes with all that built in. So I don’t need to pay extra for anything. But the main thing about Chrome book in India is it’s price. The Acer C720 is priced at 18,000 rupees at and is priced at 23,000 rupees at shops. Similarly speced Windows PCs in India cost about 30,000 for the chinese crap and at least 45,000 for HP, Dell,etc.!!!!!!! So it’s value for money, a LOT!

    • Nick

      I agree, for countries in development, they are GREAT! for the rest of the world, it is a cheap “laptop”/ expensive “browser” I use both terms loosely.

      • David

        You do use terms loosely.

      • balcobomber25

        For anyone who is tired of Windows and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a Mac, it is a GREAT buy.

  • Nick

    “But most of these facts are not true. If they were, Chromebooks wouldn’t be selling. And we know that they are – in big numbers to boot!” Ummm… Sales are not a reflection of product quality, sir. Sales, is a direct reflection of investment towards brand-name marketing and advertising… Which “Google”, and “Chrome” are pretty much household names at this point. And well deserved. But google could put out a brick, call it a “google chrome brick”, sales would probably be pretty high…apple is the same in this respect. So for those who want a full functioning laptop, don’t be fooled by the inexpensive price tag of a chromebook. an argument could be made that you’re just paying for a really expensive and advanced browser. I understand it’s a really impressive browser… however you can polish a turd, at the end of the day…it’s still just a turd, a really shiny chromed out turd…but a turd nonetheless.

    • David

      The claim that advertisement and marketing can overcome a product that is either poor in quality or which no one wants for other reasons is false. Both Apple and Google have failures in their track record that were not prevented by marketing. And Chromebook does have capabilities and advantages that poster Nick is simply ignoring in his eagerness to smear.

    • balcobomber25

      No one invests more on marketing and advertising than Microsoft. An argument could be made that they see the end is near for Windows laptops and that is why they have been on the attack for months now with both Scroogled and the paid off tech writers, not to mention the obvious fanboys, who have never used a Chromebook, like Nick.

    • Go Ahead, Make my Day

      Actually not true. I work in education and students like Chromebooks because they work and are quick. We use tools that are simple and get the job done. The technology doesn’t get in the way of the learning. Google or no Google, they make great applications, which educators and businesses like for their simplicity and functionality. The Chromebooks just work – that is why we use them and want them. Microsoft et al have taken a long time to figure that one out.

  • dadmadeinbritain

    Last November I sold my mac mini, iPad, and bought the great HP Chromebook 14 Snow White. I am using (exclusively) a Chromebook now. No more Apple, no more Windows. Guess what? Best move ever. Chromebook are extremely capable laptops. I manage online sites, my online store, and a blog: so yes I use my Chromebook loooooooong hours everyday, but I don’t miss Apple/Windows at all. I am sure that Chromebook is perfect for 95% of the population. Here is my post about 6 months with my Chromebook, and maybe it can help you to decide!

  • Ezzy

    Biggest turn-off is the lack of a high mid-end Chromebook. Pixel was way too pricey, but something under $800 would be perfect. A 13-inch, aluminum, core i5, 4GB, QHD+ resolution, a fast 32+GB SSD would go a long way. with me.

    I’m eagerly awaiting if Google will actually follow up on Chromebook Pixel or if Asus or Lenovo will make proper ones for people who don’t want a cheap plastic laptop.

    Until then, I think I’ll have to test out the FHD version of Samsung’s latest Chromebook.

    • John Scott

      I think you will find that once the Chromebook goes mainstream hardware. The value is going to diminish. At around $400 a Chromebook is too handicapped for many and it becomes a expensive web browser within better hardware. Which you can do running Chrome on a core i3 laptop that not only has better CPU, more RAM and storage.

    • michael

      You can now find on the market pixel for around 800$

    • Clate

      800$ for a Chromebook would be absolutely pointless. A Macbook would do circles around it in that price range

      • Ezzy

        Who wants a Macbook?

  • Tony Hadley

    Does anybody know how i can share my internet connection. You know how you can share your connection on a laptop. For example on my Gateway laptop i can run a ethernet cord from the laptop to my XBOX basically turning the laptop into a modem. I tried it with the Chromebook and it didn’t work and there are no settings in order to do that. Is there any other way this is huge for me to be able to do this??

  • John Scott

    Its a cheap second PC for those times I just need portability, a browser and have internet access through WiFi. It seems if you want more from a Chromebook you install Linux version. That gives you far more flexibility but you still have the limitations of hardware and storage. A Chromebooks value is good at around $250. Its a rip off at the Pixel price and for some who want to replace a PC or Mac with a Chromebook. The Chromebook is not there yet. I bought a Samsung for $200 and its fine as a browser within a PC. But beyond that I don’t find it that useful. I still go back to my Windows 7 laptop for most tasks.

  • balcobomber25

    I switched from a windows laptop to a chromebook (which I’m typing on now) over 1 year ago and haven’t looked back since. My Chromebook does everything I need it to do and then some. I never have to deal with annoying windows updates, blue screens or overall sluggishness. 1 year in and boots up just as fast it did when I go it. I always love reading the so called “experts” who say it’s useless without the internet. These days what do most people do when they are not on the internet? Watch movies, listen to music or type in a word processor. Chromebook does all of that.

    • janet

      hi you seem just the person i need to talk to i have an acer c720 but need to print so i was recommended to buy an epson wp-215 but can i heck get it to work with my chromebook can anyone help please i have even phoned epson they gave me a link but i still cant get it to print thanks janet brown sorry xp-215

  • anonymous

    still sucks

  • If you will email yourself a word doc as an attachment, chrome will launch it’s limited native word version to edit it, or change it to make a new document, even if it’s offline – it will also save it as a docx offline either on the small hard drive or on a usb or sd card.

  • Justin Vance

    If you want a cheap something to hold you over when you’re short on money, go for it. It does the essentials and just a little more. But if you want an operating system with some amount of luxury, I say look somewhere else but be ready for a price jump.

    • Clate

      Chromebooks do quite a bit more than just the essentials. I work in IT and can do 90% of my job from a Chromebook. There are websites/web apps to accomplish just about anything. There are a few things that I have to boot into Ubuntu on it to do though.

      • Local LAN IP Scanning?
        What do you use please Clate?

  • Sean Korb

    This article only applies to people who do none of the following:
    Record or mix music (nothing remotely comparable to pro-tools, garageband, ableton etc., just amateur electronic sampling programs)
    Draw or Paint (nothing remotely usable for professional graphic work- just tinker toy drawing programs)
    Use Photoshop (the online version is incredible weak, and cannot remotely compare to the real version- its only good for hobbyists looking to touch up their photos)
    Play any kind of decent video games (everything is either 2d platformers or strategy games- basically on the level of flip-phone gaming)
    Probably a hundred other things that haven’t occured to neither I nor the article writer.

    If you use a computer for anything beyond typical entertainment, this article is not helpful.

    • michael

      You can install and run simultaneously Linux and run for free any app from the open dev community..balls to Mac and win os

    • Morgan McBride

      Well, Sean, it’s hardly surprising that this “site” ignores the facts since it is just a front for Google….!

    • Penelope Roberts

      I bought a Dell 11 Chromebook as an addition to my home computer network and if I wish to do serious photo post-processing or play complicated video games I use my laptop or ageing PC. I have a 2012 Nexus 7 that will not last forever and cannot justify the expense of the Nexus 9, especially my preferred 32GB version, therefore a Chromebook seemed a good alternative.

      I bought the Dell 11 4GB version, together with a 64GB SD card for expansion as I’d read many good reviews about it and haven’t been disappointed. In fact the Chromebook has become my go-to tool for everyday online use as it is sturdy, lightweight, an easy to carry around size, fast and ‘instant.’ What’s not to like? I favour it over a tablet as it’s an all-in-one product with a good keyboard that doesn’t cost around £100 as with some designated extras to high-end tablets. The Dell’s battery life is also phenomenal which means not having to cart charging cables around with me, I just stick the Chromebook in my bag and I’m gone.

      Apparently Google is working to include Android apps, modified for non-touchscreen, in its Chromebook repertoire that will please some people and there are plenty of casual offline apps to entertain those of us who have no lives away from the ‘Net. I can’t see the point of using hundreds of pounds worth of post processing software in order to upload a phone-pic to a social networking site – there are some very good free apps for photo editing such images as the loss of Exif should not be a factor.

      In my view, for anyone who is simply a casual ‘Net user who wishes to show a few snaps and chat on social networking sites, send emails, read the news and play a few simple games, a Chromebook could be an inexpensive and rewarding experience. There is far too much gadget-snobbery online these days – not everyone has the spare cash to spend on ‘the best,’ and there are some very worthwhile alternatives around that will do as well if not better.

    • Go Ahead, Make My Day

      Adobe are collaborating with Google so ALL their FULL programmes including photoshop are going FULLY cloudbased and usable on the to Chrome Web Browser. Was announced 1 month ago and testing now in USA. That gets over that issue. Also, there are serious cloud based tools used by many education and businesses these days. So Chrome is a serious option. Try doing what you mentioned on a tablet, you wouldn’t get very far.

    • Clate

      Most people do not buy PCs for any of those things…. Most people buy a PC for word processing and to browse the web. Personally I can not make it on Chrome OS alone as I need programs for work (I work in IT) but most people would be fine with just Chrome OS for the most part but I would recommend having a Windows PC just in case you need it for anything.

      • Sean Korb

        Did you even read the entirety of my post? You just repeated exactly what I said, in all caps, no less, as if you were alerting me to something I didn’t know.

        • Clate

          Yes, but your post still leans the other way to me. As I said I can not make it on Chrome OS alone but my parents can. I have Ubuntu on my Chromebook but I still need Windows for certain things in my life (mostly gaming). I may have took your post different than you intended and if I did I apologize.

    • SueB

      I am a freelance writer. My Chromebook is strictly used for basic word processing, catching up on facebook and instagram, web surfing and Netflix. That’s it. I don’t play games, or design power points, record/edit music or videos or use Photo Shop. People like me are who the Chromebook is designed for. It’s cheap, fast, not constantly updating or being bogged down with viruses. I first tried the HP Stream 11….budget laptop, should have met my needs fine. But it was slow, the visuals were crap, the touchpad barely functional and froze up at least 2-3 times an hour. And….it was exactly two days old and having these issues. Sent it right back and ordered my Chromebook. Exactly what I need, and I can’t be the only one.

      • Sean Korb

        That’s great. I’m happy it works for you. But it’s as if you didn’t read the first half of my post. It explicitly states that the article in question would then apply to you. No problem.

        • Chrome books isn’t mac/windows

          so wait you are mad that you can’t do things its not made for? Get a desktop computer laptops should not really be used for any of the things you listed as you are so limited in capabilities :)

  • Sean Korb

    For example, as of today (9-1-14) the ONLY company I’ve been able to find that makes halfway decent, 3D games in any genre other than racing games for Chrome OS is Spacetime studios, and they have 4 games, which are all relatively similar.

    • Clate

      Personally I do not think a Chromebook is about games. I would strongly advise anyone looking at a Chromebook for that purpose to look elsewhere. You would be better off with an HP Stream and Steam for cheap indie games

  • YouiDraw Team

    An Adobe Illustrator Alternatives for Chrome OS.
    I strongly recommend YouiDraw Drawing:

  • Jonathan Whitt

    chromebook sucks,I keep trying to play Dead Trigger 2 on this cause I don’t feel like going to the library all the time,but it never lets me,the samsung chromebook is a major waste of money cause you can’t do much of anything on it

    • If you don’t like chrome os than put a Linux os like Ubuntu on it but saying it’s useless is incorrect.

  • Karmin Carr

    If you have a desktop computer at home, you can link to it via Chrome Remote Desktop and play most of your games that way as well as accessing other programs that you normally can’t play on Chromebook.. Note: the games need to be set in either windowed or windowed-fullscreen mode.

    • Clate

      Tried that, it is much to laggy even on my AC router.

  • wzrd1

    OK, based upon a single day with a VM running Chrome, I’ll say…
    It’s *designed* as a thin client for software as a service.
    That said, things are gradually evolving. At a mixed rate.
    Original ChromeBooks came with two gigs of memory, crap sized HD of 16 gigs (I’ve done well under that limitation with Linux, though with some annoying challenges)..
    Today, we get 4 gigs available as memory, which is more than sufficient for *most* users (I fall into a different category, as I compile software and open hundreds of tabs in a browser that are necessary. I’m also infamous for straining a 16 core, 64 gig desktop. We’ll suffice it to say, I know limits and where they can be exploited.)
    The current model I’m considering is an Asus offering of a paltry $200ish (30 +-, who cares, now that gasoline prices became affordable to mortals again).
    32 GB HD (OK, SSD) space, plenty of room
    Now, the difference between me and many of you, I know how to compile programs and even port them to other platforms, which is important here.
    I also have zero heartburn over sharing that information, or better, sharing a compiled binary, though updating it may prove a challenge, life does limit one’s abilities at times.
    The worst part is, I’m far from being a code monkey. OK, more *like* a monkey trying to code, but I an “proofread” quite well.
    If I can do that, many of you can as well, with a bit of effort to learn.
    Won’t turn the pig’s ear purse into a real purse of value, but at least we can lower the stink level a bit as that “purse” decays.

  • Beth

    No Minecraft for Samsung Chromebook. …which just made my son sad for Christmas..
    the only reason I bought it. Ugh

    • David Šmíd

      Install Ubuntu with Crouton.
      Then your son will be able to install & play Minecraft on Chromebook.

  • michael

    I don’t know how I landed on this fan boy site, but try:
    – Running a FULL office suite on it. Office, OpenOffice, No cloud/web based watered down monkey games. YOU CANT.
    – Running full Java, activex, opengpl, flash etc based games as below poster mentioned. You CANT.
    – Joining an AD Domain (even Linux distros are beginning to do this now)

    I think the idea of the cloud is stupid.
    tl;dr enjoy your thousand dollar web browser

    • Clate

      Eh, I have Ubuntu on my chromebook so I can do whatever I want. Including run Windows 8 but the beauty of a Chromebook is being away from Windows so why would I want to? Ubuntu and Chrome OS are vastly superior.

  • fafsas

    No, chromebooks are awful, there are many windows laptops (in the same price range) that have a lot more then jewgle botnetbook

    • Clate

      LOL tell that to my IT Department, we all love them.

  • Longsnowsm

    Well I have to say that most of the comments here really do miss the point… Not sure why this is so hard to comprehend for so many people… But lets first define what the Chromebook is good at…

    1. Surf the web
    2. Check your email
    3. Facebook and other social media
    4. Compatible with basic document and content creation tools via Google Docs and some other apps
    5. Allows you to work with local docs and media

    Basically in its current form the Chromebook/Chromebox is a basic computer. It does many of the same things that most smartphones do today, or most tablets. It is in a different form factor that may make it easier and better for some users to use. I personally HATE doing any of these things on my phone… I got sucked into the tablet thing and used a tablet for a long while, but I hate holding it all the time, and for any kind of real input on the screen is frankly just stinks… JMHO

    For those that need something more than your phone or tablet offers the Chromebooks/Chromebox fits in that niche between your phone/tablet and a full blown computer. However those lines are being blurred more and more every day what that means “full blown computer”. You can do more than you can do on most phones/tablets on a Chrombook/Chromebox. But your not going to do everything you can with a laptop or desktop computer. At least that is the case today with Chrome OS in its current form. It is advancing/enhancing regularly and lots of features are being added. More and more support and apps are being added. However if you need a “regular” computer then don’t buy a $200-$500 Chromebook and expect it to do everything your Mac, Linux, or Windblows machine will.

    Why any IT techie would come out and post a comment that a Chromebook isn’t a “regular computer” really is almost a joke. I will bet you just about any tech person has all kinds of devices, toys, and tools for all sorts of tasks, and none of them are “regular computers” either. But you know what? That is OK. That isn’t what they were meant to be even though they can do things that a regular computer can do.

    So today if your a gamer and want to run PC games then you have to go ahead and get a Windblows PC. Don’t waste your time today with a Chromebook. Things are changing, but it just isn’t today your going to be playing the latest titles on a Chrome OS device. If you do any research at all you should know this already. I know the lure of a low price on the Chrome devices looks good, but they are not for you today… Give it some time.

    If your a tech person who needs a full blown OS, you need a full software development suite, you need a full blown office suite, a full blow graphics editor, video editor, database tools, and many other corporate tools then the Chromebook is not for you… Yet. Just keep the categories of the devices clear in your mind and stop trying to shoe horn things to make them work…. Yes, I am a techie, and yes it is my desire to tinker, work around, cobble together, and do all sorts of craziness to make something work… If that is you then by all means get a Chromebook and play… You will have fun… but for the rest of you looking for a tool that just fits out of the box… Then get a PC. Why whine about what a ChromeOS device cannot do today… At the rate of change happening on Chrome OS it may not be long until tools you need are available.

    Then who is the Chromebook/Chromebox for? For the person who likes instant on, and instant off of your computer. Who gets on the internet for web, social, email etc… Maybe streams some content from Plex, or has a Chromecast and likes to send your stuff over to your TV. Some basic games and lots of apps appearing out in the store so you just have to keep looking. The Chromebook is FAST, simple, no maintenance needed, the updates happen and you don’t have to mess with it… No viruses, no slow virus scans and all of that nonsense from the windows machines. I left Windows machines for my personal machines so long ago I can hardly stand it when I am forced on a Windows machine at work… They are slow, problematic, and a constant pain. Who wants that? I know if I want to play at home I get on my Linux machines, if I want stuff to work I jump on my Mac, but if I want it simple, fast, and where ever I am at then I grab my Chromebook. I would say probably 80% of the stuff I do at home is really simple stuff and the Chromebook does that very well… Most of the time at home I grab for the Chromebook because I don’t need anything more…. The tablet is gone… and my phone was never a good fit for any of these tasks.

    Recently when my mom’s computer died. The motherboard fried… I had moved her off of Windows to Linux a long time ago because I didn’t have a weekend to burn about every 3 months in computer maintenance for her. Linux was great for her, I customized her desktop to keep it simple as the things she does are very basic. This worked pretty well. But when it came time to replace the machine due to the hardware failure I thought hard about building her another Linux box, but decided to go with the Chromebox for her. It was a great decision. My mom is completely computer illiterate and she gets how to use the Chromebox without any issues. I live a long way from where she does so it needs to be simple so that I can walk her through anything that comes up… You know what? She has called me fewer times for help with the Chromebox than she did with Linux issues. And that didn’t happen often to begin with. So the Chrome OS devices are a great fit for my mom, and they would be a great fit for kids also who are just learning… For anyone who just wants to turn it on and turn it off and just have it work. That is who the Chrome devices are well suited for today.

    Who knows what tomorrow brings, but for those who are complaining… I suggest that maybe you don’t understand the target audience for the Chrome devices or your trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. If the Chrome devices don’t do what you need today then great. I would suggest you give it some time. At this rate I would say a lot of features your looking for will be coming to Chrome. Just my hunch. For serious “work” I still use my Linux machine when I need a work horse…

    All I can say is for what I need on the go and for basic stuff the Chromebook is my go to now for simple daily computer tasks and I love it. YMMV

    • Good comment Longsnowsm. In agreement with you.

  • DJ Jones

    I only wish that it had support for .exe files……….

    Would have sold SO much better

    • Clate

      Chromebooks are selling very well….. also support for exe files would destroy the whole purpose of a Chromebook. A better argument would be why not make other Linux laptops but they would not have the user friendliness of a Chromebook and that is the whole point.

    • The Batman

      EXE support is impossible. Why do you think Microsoft has so little competitors? It’s because not even Bill Gates understands how Windows works.

      EXE files are a secret. There is, however a program called Wine that can emulate Windows.

    • Then it wouldn’t have been a Chromebook, it would have been a Windows laptop running Chrome… which any Windows laptop can do already.

      There’s nothing wrong with a Chromebook not suiting your needs. A lot of people seem scared to say it.

  • DMP

    I’m a school principal and I went exclusively to a chromebook for 6 months and now I’ll never buy another Windows or Apple machine for day-to-day office-type activities. It was tough sledding at first for sure, but in the process I’ve learned work-arounds to just about all issues. 7 second startup, 8 hour battery… always fast! Why would I go with anything else?

    • Christopher Suiters

      Rally? windows 8.1 with an SSD starts up in 7-14 secs. and can use photoshop and many full functional programs chromeOS just cant. Why get that when you can get a cheap PC that costs just as much and instal ubuntu on it as well as the windows it comes with and have everything. ChromeOS is just stupid, and only fanboys find reasons to say it is good. Maybe in like 5-10 years when internet is faster everywhere and we have real cloud computing it will be a thing.

  • Caitlyn May Ellington

    I got my asus chromebook literally 20 minutes ago. It will not let me access anything with out connecting to a wifi network first. So… help?

    • ryannicoleortiz

      You have to connect to wifi to set it up and login to your google account, after that you can use it offline.

  • ChrisM40

    The problem, for me, is that, well, I just HATE Chrome. Ive tried to use, really I have, but I just.. cant.

    • Then why on earth are you looking at Chromebooks?! xD

      • ChrisM40

        Because ive i always like to try to give alternatives a try.

        In the end i decided that the cheap ones werent actually any cheaper than the cheapest Windows Laptops, and had universally awful screens.

  • David Kenny

    this article is crap
    no itunes
    no gotomeeting
    no nothing but intrusive g mail
    yea bought cos i was broke
    now i’m not its windows from here on

    • I think “crap” is a bit harsh, David.

      No where do we say that Chromebooks can run iTunes, Skype, etc. They can’t; Chrome OS is not a ‘drop in’ Windows replacement but a thin, cloud-centric computing device. While some people can adapt fine, if your needs are such that you require access to specific software only available on Windows then a Chromebook is not going to be a good fit.

      You may have been better off buying something like the HP Stream 11 which has many of the benefits of a Chromebooks (thin, light, cheap) but runs Windows 8.1.

      • Michael Huff

        Guy sounds like an idiot. I mean a real street walking crazy person.

        • Mickey

          Why? Because he’s telling the truth?

          • Michael Huff

            He’s being irresponsible. There are several Chrome apps that work very well offline and sync when you roam back onto network. That’s one of the reasons why you have local storage on them.

  • avanti

    I really like my chromebook,but since it came up with the shockwave has crashed it has lost a lot of its appeal. Seems like a rather common problem that people have to try to get a solution. Why can’t they come up with a update or replacement that is stable? I called different computer places and most don’t even mess with them or I would spend at least half to get it fixed but for how long?

  • Elliott Collins

    “Comparisons with the productivity of an iPad, for example, make much better sense than those with a full-blown laptop.”
    This is the problem! Chromebooks _are_ laptops and get marketed as laptops. So if people only discover after purchase that they’re semi-functional laptops, that’s on Google, not the users.
    I’ve got the know-how to run Crouton, which pulls my Dell CB up to functional, but even I’m constantly running into things that it won’t do (most of which iPads can do).

    • Boogie Glenn

      this is not a laptop its a web browser with added stuff

  • JoeWro22

    Great article Joey! After looking at some of these negative and often ridiculous comments, I am appalled! I’ve had my Samsung Chromebook for over 2yrs now and I run my entire marketing consulting firm solely with this device. I love it & I love Google and their suite of products & solutions! No viruses, no crashes, no B.S.! Turn it on and it’s ready to go!

    The list of things it cannot do, is minuscule to what it can do. I strongly agree with Vance McAlister, that for the average person that just surfs the web using soc. media, videos, doc creation, everyday type stuff, it’s pointless to spend more money on a regular laptop where they don’t need, nor know how to use half of the capabilities that comes with it. Yet for someone like myself that may need more than most, Google provides plenty of tools & options through their plug-ins, apps, & extensions. Not to mention Google Drive (& Docs) that I’ve used solely for 2+ years.

    Change is hard for some people, and making the effort to research and educate themselves about new things is even harder. Just like any purchase, you have to ask yourself, what am I going to do with it or what do I need it for? Bottom-line, do your homework!

    • Fantastic comment, Joe! :)

      • Andrew Dunn

        terrible,,,,,, idiots :(

    • peter

      Most people like to use Skype, that is the only reason for having a camera that is looking at you, even this .my cheap 27 pound tablet uses Skype, if it did not I would not have bought it

    • Andrew Dunn

      yet false

  • Jill Lewis

    I was one of those “but it’s just a browser” people when the early Chromebooks were released and didn’t understand why anyone except older people who don’t know how to use computers would buy one. Eventually I bought one, fell in love, and bought a second one which I use at work every day, although I’ll admit I mostly use it with Ubuntu when at work. Chromebooks are great laptops for those who don’t have to live in a Windows or Mac environment. They will never replace my desktop PC at home which I use for gaming, but I use my Chromebooks for just about everything else.

    • Great comment Jill.

      In many ways those early Chromebooks were just browsers. I remember when there was no desktop or windowed mode! Chrome OS has come a long way since then, and so has the web. Some people’s preconceptions? Not so much.

    • peter

      My friend bought this rubbish, thinking as it had a camera, it used skype, why else would you need a camera to take pictures of you, and.not anything else.when she got home she smashed it against the wall, nor can you use it to gamble on the tele in super casino. Chrome wont let you dowoad the app you need

  • Sid Gilmore

    Chrome OS is just a toy. Everyone I know does need a real computer as do I.

  • Poormanphysics

    I wonder if it can compile my C/C++ code for my TesloB MOTs and actually make my wireless sensors network work? I like the long life battery feature it will save me a lot charging in between collecting data from my sensors. Size and constraints like in the days of DOS can be inventive and creative for the knowledgeable of the nifty gritty stuff – my worry is if its not Intel inside it I may have issues after compiler run time

  • jujuklasek

    I just bought a chromebook myself one of the cheaperrr ones and I agree with both sides here.
    One one hand i’m big into graphic and web design and a lot of that I can do from a browser but the small ram power disagrees with my multitasking tabs of too many and photoshop is sorely missed. On the other hand I got this because im barely making it and needed something with internet access for use of google voice because bills are hard enough to pay and I knew what I was getting into with a chromebook and that what I wanted to do on the career front might be stunted for awhile but that it would get me by just long enough to be able to afford a windows computer and then i’d still have this for browsing needs in the end it benefits me either way. I have knowledge of crouton but the 32bit arm processor didn’t like how much space unbuntu takes up everything was way to slow but like I said I bought a cheap one. But the only reason I went into knowing not all my needs were gonna be met and didn’t buy it blind was because I fluent the tech forums all the time and read up on the newest devices the average not power user of tech devices would go to walmart or best buy see these sitting right next to windows laptops both labeled as laptops and then specs are listed and that it’s a chromebook to the average shopper why shouldn’t they think it’s capable of doing at least some form of everything windows can so I feel like with widely avaliable ads that are shown it’s false leading because it’s a real shame but these days people aren’t smart enough to research before they buy.

    • Andrew Dunn

      web design, impossible, a chrome book is just a brick priced at 1000 dollars a piece

  • ilPugliese

    My wife got one two years ago, and it has been nothing but hard work ever since. All she does is prepare minutes for a local club, do her emails and search the internet. Not exactly earth shattering. The documents are not compatible with Word which everyone else uses. They have to been converted. To forward the documents to anyone else, she has to use a gmail address which she has to set up to forward replies and changes to her Virgin address, which then get stored somewhere then copied to her local storage then etc…. It’s just as tedious to write it as to do it. Now she cannot logon to her Virgin emails on Chrome for no explicable reason. So it’s time for a simple Windows laptop.

    • Lavi Singh

      Hi, I think she may be using it differently. I use it daily for word processing and project management and find it great.

      Whenever I need to share a Word format doc, I just Download As docx (from the File menu in the Google Doc). Then just attach to an email and send. So far, only users who have the old Microsoft Word(doc) that is not compatible with docx, have complained. Thats a Microsoft Office issue and not Google Docs or Chrome. But even then, all they need is the converter from Microsoft.

      Google Docs allows you to Download As docx, odt, rtf, pdf, txt, and html zipped. That’s almost all the popular formats that are out there.

      If you need to collaborate on a shared Google doc, then Yes, you have to send it as a link to someone else. But after sharing, that’s it. All Edits, Revisions are saved online and can be viewed and restored back easily.


      • ilPugliese

        Thanks for the reply Lavi. It seems to change every time I look at it. She prepares the minutes as a gdoc, then file, email as an attachment, attach as Microsoft Word (.docx), fills in To, Subject and Message and clicks on Send. This has to be sent from a Gmail address, so the replies come back to Gmail and get forwarded to her Virgin email address. She opens this, and if it contains a revised document, she has to store this. The only option is to download the file so she does this. Then to get it with the other copies, she has to drag and drop it to My Drive, open it and save it as a gdoc. There is ample scope for things to go wrong in this process, or for Google to change the process itself. The problem she had logging on to her Virgin mail box giving an unknown URL (I think) message seems to have gone. The overall point is that Chromebook is supposed to be for straightforward, non-technical use, but in fact a high degree of understanding of and empathy with computers is required. If she had a Windows machine, then I would not have to keep Googling for solutions to a system I am less familiar with.

        • Lavi Singh

          I hear what you are saying, but I think the problem here is that your wife uses a non Gmail(not hosted with google) address(?) for working in a Google Drive/Docs environment. If she were using Google for Business, which would make any email address work with ALL Google products, she would no have any problems.

          I use my own domain for my work email and I have it setup at Google for Business(also called Google for Work). Everything works great. Unfortunately, I have not tried to work with it using a non Gmail address.

          That is the one caveat to making all things Google work together.


          • ilPugliese

            Yes, the problem is because my wife and the people she communicates with are not full Google users.

      • Rosemary MF

        Hi Lavi…I have very similar problems to “ilPugliese’s wife! I have a non-google email adrdress…my new Toshiba Chromebook 2 will open this email account and I can read all the emails…however when I hit reply, write the text and then hit “send” the system comes back and tells me the address is invalid…any suggestions? Thank you.

        I just bought the Chromebook 2 (15 July 2015) for travelling…as I just have to answers emails, make attachments to the emails…but these are only written texts/paragraphs and cruise the internet. Best wishes.

        • Lavi Singh

          Hi Rosemary, I would suggest trying to use a Gmail address to test. That will help you locate the problem. You can create a free gmail account and test out your scenario.

          It may be that your non gmail address is not setup to be accessed(POP3 or IMAP) by a Gmail account. Gmail allows you to use non gmail addresses and they can be added(setup) to your Gmail account and then you can send and receive non gmail email in your gmail inbox.

          Try it.


    • Why not just use Microsoft Office 365? Works fine in a Chrome browser.

      • ilPugliese

        It’s a Chromebook and I don’t have Office 365. But I tried it with Microsoft OneDrive and it’s quite surprising. I can download a .docx file and it goes into Google Drive downloads, then when I open it from there, it opens in OneDrive! The same when I copy it into My Drive on Google. I can’t see a way to attach it directly into an email on another mail server in another tab on Chrome, but I can certainly do that from the Google Drive download.

        • Andrew Dunn


          • ilPugliese

            Which one?

  • Chim_era

    Hi, I’m looking around for a chromebook but by now there are so many different ones in all price ranges that I’m kind of stumped. I’m pretty much a full google user. I use chrome on everything, my tablet is a nexus and I’m definitely pro android. Now 2 months back I bought myself a gaming laptop and while I love my MSI soon school will start and 17.2 inch is just waaay too big to haul around all day (especially in the very unconvenient backpack I have for the moment). Another point against my current laptop is it’s Steelseries keyboard, lovely colours and all, perfectly suited for gaming but I can’t seem to get used to the layout during typing. It’s not really suited to write a 30 pages essay in my opinion, plus the touchpad is crap.

    So a chromebook seems like the perfect solution for me, but they are very hard to come by in my country. At most you find one or two models in the stores (samsung and asus), online of course there is a lot more choice but I always like to see them first. I don’t mind a qwerty keyboard, I can work with it but I prefer an azerty. Plus my nexus has been breaking down and instead of buying the new nexus 9 I want to invest that money into a chromebook (although I know android is very different from the chrome OS, but I have my smartphone for fast android)

    Specifically I’m looking for a chromebook, preferably with an 13 -14 inch screen, decent graphics, decent processor, at least 4 gb ram and with a GOOD keyboard and touchpad. I will use it primarily to write, internet, read books (kindle), watch series, play simple games (steam?) and maybe some coding. For all the heavy lifting like photoshop etc I have my MSI but it would be nice to have something that I could just pick up and take with me everywhere. I have a budget of €350 ($400) but that is really my max. I would prefer something more around 300. The HP stream 11/13 has also been recommended to me but I feel like then I would be buying a cheap laptop instead of a good chromebook.

    I’m sorry for this VERY long post but I’ve been searching for 2 weeks now and I’m very confused. I love google, android and chrome but you read so many bad or medium reviews It’s hard to choice (plus I feel it isn’t fair to compare a chromebook to a $1400 macbook :p) I look at it more as a replacement for my nexus tablet and to do some writing at home, in a couch or in a coffeeshop :D

    If someone would be able to help me I would really REALLY appreciate it!

  • Pierre Jordaan

    nothing but bad news for me, biggest mistake getting one, everything is complicated and a mess, all the supposed help files go around in circles, nothing ties up, nothing works, as clear as mud

    • Andrew Dunn

      send it back for a refund of double the price back

    • Lavi Singh

      How is it complicated? I don’t get it. It’s just like using your Chrome browser in a windows machine.

  • Ricardo Ronolo

    I honestly hate chomebook. It’s an over glorified chrome web browser in the form of a laptop, without any of the decent uses of a laptop. There is no way to download or install third party programs that you may need, you are stuck with their alternative programs if they even have alternatives; more often than not, they are less then useful. Worst of all, nothing on it is secure; Everything, EVERYTHING on it is either run with a web connection or stored online.

    I’m stuck with this thing until I can afford something more decent that I can actually use to do my job. This is a waste of money and I honestly thought I could use this because it looked like a decent laptop. Serves me right for not looking up reviews.

    • Zombie Jesus

      Dude, it’s great for what it costs and you can install Ubuntu into it to run any other programs you might want.

    • Lavi Singh

      It’s really more than just a glorified chrome web browser. It all depends on what you want to use it for. I find it very useful as I use Google products online. Everything I do online is done on my Chromebook. Writing Content, and even making simple social media graphics using Canva is done on my Chromebook.

      You can chose to Not save online, and can save to an external hard drive or a USB flash drive. I have all my music on a USB flash drive and play music from it while working.

      You should have researched it before you bought it. It’s not a regular windows laptop where you can install software. It basically just has Chrome extensions. Don’t knock it cos you didnt do your research.

      Also, read what Chris says in his comment below.

  • AdmiralNether

    Okay, on a regular, Windows 8 laptop, you have a Chromebook built in. What? How do I access it? Get it off the Windows Store. It’ll open up a basic Chromebook. Why buy a Chromebook when you can have one with your gaming pc or email machine?

    • Lavi Singh

      Well, for one, the Chromebook will not have all the “deficiencies” of a bigger windows laptop. I mean, the Chromebook will be much smaller, will not need anti virus, or a 500GB HD, or 8GB of RAM, etc… Also, the Chromebook boots up in seconds versus minutes on most Win 8 laptops.

      So many reasons why Chromebooks work for those who use it daily…

      • Tristan Vaillancourt

        Before I launch into my counter, I’ll just say that I see the logic in your point. It makes sense and is true for a good portion of Windows machines out there. Mostly a little older however. My Zenbook (2014) boots up in less than 20 seconds. It can stay on standby for a week and the battery lasts an easy 7 hours of full productivity. 95% of the time it’s “instant on”, since I rarely shut it down. I don’t even consider boot up times to be a factor anymore. It turns on almost as fast as my microwave! (JK) But yeah, it’s not a Chromebook either and costs four times the price. It’s the SSD that makes the difference however. The new budget Windows laptops boot up super fast too. Most SSD based laptops with a recent enough install of windows 8.1 or 10 boot up in no time flat. Something that may help also is over the years I started learning to clear the junk off my Windows. I just wound up installing too much stuff. Windows runs everything, so naturally, and unfortunately, I wind up putting way too much on there. These days, I’m a little older, and pretend to be wiser, so I keep my machines clean. That also affects boot up time. Maybe the limited capability of the Chromebook can keep you focused on what you need to do. Maybe it can be considered an ‘appliance’ for specific tasks?

        • Lavi Singh

          You are correct. The Chromebook is a tool that works well for some people but definitely not for all. It works really good for me as I write a lot of content. I also develop software but use my Win10 for that.

          Yes, SSDs do make a BIG difference in start u times. Also I think Win10 has done a great job of decreasing boot times. My Win8 machine was horrible on boot time but since upgrading to Win10, its way faster.

          Maintaining your computer by uninstalling unneeded programs is a great way to keep it lean and working smooth too.

          I will check out some new budget laptops.


          • Andrew Dunn

            a chrome book has no boot. its just the stupid web browser that you are waiting for to load

        • Andrew Dunn

          it is NOTHING compared to a windows Monster machine

  • Jakk Hakk

    I now own a Chromebox by Asus and have found it to be very limiting to say the least! I usually run LinuxMint and am now thinking about installing it to this Chromebox, so I can actually get daily tasks accomplished. But due to the way Asus set this box up, it is a lengthy process to installing another Linux OS. Even if I DID get Mint installed, you have to be careful what you do, so the Box won’t take over and reformat itself and re-install Chrome OS! Chrome OS Really IS a proprietary operating system. I also HATE that most of what you do has to run from the internet and not from your hard drive.

  • Tristan Vaillancourt

    Ugh Chromebooks are obsolete now. Keep up. You can get a nice HP Stream 13 with a real OS and all the productivity you could ever want for about the same price. Oh .. and the HP Stream lasts 9 hours. Cha Ching. So real Windows, Office (free for a year I think), Firefox, Chrome, IE, Printer drivers (that’s right, Chromebooks can’t connect directly to printers .. do your research.), GIMP, Paint.NET … etc etc and a 9 hour battery life. Put yourself in a college student’s shoes. I can see why people think they might want a Chromebook. It filled the gap. Portability, lightweight productivity, things like that. Unfortunately Chromebooks wind up being social media time wasters, and lightweight gaming toys for kids. I’d rather use a nice Windows or Android tablet for that. With the advent of low cost chips from Intel and Windows 10 being practically given away to manufacturers, the need for Chromebooks is over and done with. It filled the gap momentarily while Intel was figuring out how to build low power / low cost chips. So here we are!!! Rejoice. Don’t fall for the promise of productivity with a Chromebook, when you can pay the same price for a Windows laptop. Check out Best Buy. Thank me later. Haters gonna hate. Do your research before shelling out 200$ for some glorified facebook gadget that happens to do Google docs. (LMAO)

    • Andrew Dunn

      why get a chromebook, all u need is a windows 93 (1993) laptop with google chrome downloaded on it

  • Mi Pen

    Win 10 pos laptop. No thanks, buggy os and very high maintenance os. Not to mention slow. I use a chromebook for fast on the go web use, easy to clean, no viruses, problem free. Unlike windows.

    A chromebook is a dream to use. I’ve tried my friends cheap laptops and they are a nightmare.

    Plus for heavy duty stuff I have my Linux desktop I self built.

    • Union Lacktivist

      Chromebook fantard alert!

      A Windows 10 laptop can do everything your crappy chromebook can do and more. Stop whining, loser. “Linux desktop” = ROFL. Loser.

    • Anonymous User

      Want to know how not to get viruses? Don’t be a noob.

      • Mi Pen

        Been using computers since the vic-20…move along scrub…your mommy is calling.

  • Ej Houghton

    Nope, my chromebook can only do these, the apps dont work and i can only browse the web… google just wants $$$

    • Andrew Dunn

      windows is a top named software and a chromebook is just a laptop that is %0 powerfull and usless crap

      • Lavi Singh

        It’s useless if you don’t have any use for it. For many others, it’s very useful. I write content and find it extremely useful. Lightweight and fast, instant saving to Google Drive, 9 hour battery life. I love mine and use it daily.

  • John Doe

    After using Windows for 17 years and finally realizing that its still the same old crap today as it was back then, I finally bought a 4gb 15″ Chromebook and I will never look back. No more viruses, drivers, this error, that error, malware, waiting endlessly for boot up, reinstalling, defragging, on and on and on, it was always endless maintenance of some kind or another. Mindless insanity. If I had a dollar for every minute I was trying to figure out some kind of problem or on the phone with tech support, I’d be rich, I cannot believe the time Windows has sucked out of my soul over the years. Good riddance. A computer is not a hobby for me, its a tool to do simple things like get on the internet, edit and print photos and documents, send some emails, download a few things to websites for work, its not rocket science. The Chromebook does this with simplicity and turns on instantly, I do what I need to do and am out the door to do something thats actually real and enjoyable. Store everything on the cloud so the machine is as fast in 5 years as it was when new. Cant work offline? What square inch of the country isnt online nowadays? To me, there have been only a couple of meaningful advances in almost two decades, going from dial up to high speed internet, and the Chromebook.

  • Peony

    Can anyone please tell me if a Chromebook would be able to handle a tax return? I mean would I be able to file a tax return on it? Thanks.

    • Lavi Singh

      Hi Peony,

      If your tax returns can be filed online using Chrome browser, then Yes. If you have to install tax return software, then No.


  • Peony

    Thanks Lavi. I just go to the HMRC website on my laptop to do the return but I have Chrome browser so I guess that’s what you mean? Can I ask you as you seem very knowledgeable, would a tablet be able to do the return? My current laptop is 7 years old and keeps crashing!! Is it time to replace it? I get a message saying Driver Wizz has stopped working. Sometimes it’s ok like now since 8.30 a.m. but last night was terrible when I was ordering something. Really appreciate your help :)

    • Lavi Singh

      No problem Peony. What I meant was that Chromebooks use a Chrome Browser and if you do your tax returns online using Chrome(or IE or Firefox) browser on your current computer, then a Chromebook will be fine for doing tax returns.

      You could probably just restore your old 7 year old laptop to factory settings and it will work fine again. It will be like brand new again, unless you have hardware problems, then maybe not. If all you do is surf online, then there is no point in buying anything new.


      • Andrew Dunn

        you cant even download the turbotax software

        • Lavi Singh

          It’s not meant for installing windows software. It’s a browser based system made more for content writing and consumption.

          • calden74

            It’s actually meant to do anything a Windows machine can do, cloud apps now are just as robust as their installed counterparts, sometimes even more as they can tie in multiple services into one. Your comment seems to be popular by those who haven’t really used a Chrome device before, Chrome OS is actually a fairly robust system, so much so that I’m personally using one as development machine. Without a single missing function or feature.

        • Andrew Hoffman

          TurboTax Federal Free Edition. Runs online, no need to download and install.

        • calden74

          Yes you can, they have a cloud version, in fact most popular software today does, as it’s where everything is headed, to the cloud. iOS and Android are basically Chrome devices as well, though apps download their framework locally, instead of keeping it entirely in the web, they still require a net connection to work, in fact 90% of their apps do. Though Chrome OS also has apps that do the same thing like Google Docs, Keep, Photos, etc.

  • Peony

    Thank you very much. Do you know if a Driver is a hardware?

  • Just by reading this article, OMGChrome is now my favourite blog. Finally, a post by someone who ACTUALLY knows what Chrome OS is capable of and not by some snarky, Windows-loving PCworld tech blogger.

    • Andrew Dunn

      chrome is now my least favorite,,, without wifi, a Chromebook is as useful as a brick

      • calden74

        That is completely false, you have no idea what you are talking about. Why are you even here, why do people feel the necessity to come to places that they have no interest in ever using. This is called trolling, stop it, it does nothing but advocate hatred towards the poster and disrupts the status quo.

  • Pierre Jordaan

    chromebook is only of use if you have a regular windows or mac pc as well. Chrome relies on other hardware for eg to print things. Saving documents locally is limited due to small capacity. It is for run of the mill software. Anything good and powwerful requires a proper hardware. Crashes often with poor connections which is a reality in many countries. You cannot watch eg a dvd. If you don’t have access to internet, reliably, just forget about chromebook. Help systems are misleading. You will find that help screens won’t look like your screen for eg. It is a cheap system developed for students, now being expanded. File management is a nightmare. Information management is a nightmare. You are basically being hooked up, and then one day ‘bam’ you have to start paying hefty subscriptions. The way windows is now going as well. Endless ‘apps’ of which many of rubbish, so you have to waste lots of time to sift out the rubbish. Chrome leave you out in the ocean floating. Everything useful is hidden.

    • Andrew Hoffman

      What a lot of nonsense.

      “chromebook is only of use if you have a regular windows or mac pc as well.”
      Only if you need access to Windows or Mac specific programs.

      “Chrome relies on other hardware for eg to print things.”
      Like… a printer? Yes. If you meant it requires a Windows or Mac computer to print, no, this is flat out wrong.

      “Saving documents locally is limited due to small capacity.”
      Isn’t that the entire point of external SSDs and flash drives? Though after experiencing loss of local data several times over the years on “traditional” PCs, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want important files saved to the cloud.

      “Anything good and powwerful requires a proper hardware.”
      This doesn’t make sense, no idea what you’re even trying to say.

      “Crashes often with poor connections which is a reality in many countries.”
      Wrong! ChromeOS is the most stable OS I’ve *ever* used. Windows is so famous for crashing there’s even a term for it: “The blue screen of death”.

      “You cannot watch eg a dvd.”
      Plug in a USB DVD drive and you can.

      “If you don’t have access to internet, reliably, just forget about chromebook.”
      If you don’t have access to internet, reliably, just forget about computers! Seriously, what are you doing on your computer that doesn’t require a connection? You want to know what I can do on ChromeOS without the internet? Play local videos and music, play games, edit documents and spreadsheets, read ebooks, edit photos, transcode video…

      “Help systems are misleading. You will find that help screens won’t look like your screen for eg.”
      Same is true for Windows and Linux (I have no experience with Macs, so can’t comment on that). This isn’t the fault of the operating system, but rather online help sections not being updated to match software updates.

      “It is a cheap system developed for students, now being expanded.”
      Not true, and irrelevant.

      “File management is a nightmare.”
      The file manager is very similar to Windows Explorer. Neither are as powerful as Dolphin, for example, but they function perfectly well. Perhaps you could expand on what you feel the shortcomings are in this area on ChromeOS?

      “Information management is a nightmare.”
      No idea what you mean by this. How is it a nightmare? How is a Windows computer better?

      “You are basically being hooked up, and then one day ‘bam’ you have to start paying hefty subscriptions. The way windows is now going as well.”
      False, for both ChromeOS and Windows. With Google services most everything is free, with subscriptions giving you more features (e.g. Google Play Music) or more storage (e.g. Google Drive).

      “Endless ‘apps’ of which many of rubbish, so you have to waste lots of time to sift out the rubbish.”
      The same can be said of any operating system. Windows, Macs, Linux, Android, etc.

      “Chrome leave you out in the ocean floating.”
      No idea what you mean by this.

      “Everything useful is hidden.”
      How so? All your apps are in the apps launcher. All the settings are found under… gasp… “Settings”. Shall we talk about Windows 10? You’ve got the Control Panel, the Settings app, the Registry (dear god, don’t make a wrong move in the Registry, you’ll break the entire system).

      • Lavi Singh

        You are absolutely correct. Thanks for taking the time to refute this.

    • calden74

      Your comment is simple nonsense, especially now that you can run Android apps. Though even before that I’ve experienced none of the issues you’ve mentioned. Chrome OS is an extremely stable system, that plays DVD’s and BluRays by the way, not sure why you would want to though as it’s a dead technology.

      File management works the same as in any other OS, well, except iOS, now that is a nightmare to manage files one.

      Ugh, forget, I’m not going to even try with this one, it’s obvious you’ve never used a current ChromeBook like the Flip C100, HP 13, Dell 13 or Pixel 2.

  • Andrew Dunn

    thats the thing,,, they DONT sell

  • Anonymous User

    Can it use a disk drive? No. Can it connect to a printer using a USB cable? No. Can it run bluetooth file transfers? No. Does it come with any offline-compatible software to edit any of these file types: .txt .jpg .png .bmp .docx .js .html or .json? No. Can it run video files out of the box? No. Can it access windows network shares? Not reliably. Can you record your screen or webcam without extensions that hide extensive recording behind a paywall? No. Now, can Windows, Linux or OS X do these things? Yes, they can.

    • Oliver Smith

      Can it use a disk drive? No one uses disks anymore. Can it connect to a printer using a USB cable? No, all printers that are sold since 2014 with exception to laser printers which are being phased out are Google Cloud Ready Printers. . Can it run bluetooth file transfers? Yes it can. Does it come with any offline-compatible software to edit any of these file types: .txt .jpg .png .bmp .docx .js .html or .json? Yes it does, it is called Google Drive, you set it to work in offline mode. Can it run video files out of the box? yes. Can it access windows network shares? Yes. Can you record your screen or webcam without extensions that hide extensive recording behind a paywall? Yes, use chrome-extension://mmeijimgabbpbgpdklnllpncmdofkcpn/app.html#/getting-started
      Now, can Windows, Linux or OS X do these things? Yes, they can, but slower than Chrome OS which is by far the fastest OS.

    • photohounds

      It connects to my cheap Brother Wireless printer (about thirty quid in your money) with no issues at all.
      It can easily and quickly do what 90% of users actually DO with their computers, and leaves most tablets in the dust for speed, usability and value.
      We have 2 and a lot of other gear. Want something quickly? Grab a ChromeBook – that’s how it rolls here and there’s no lack of choice.
      My desktop choice? Fedora on a 5280 with 64Gb. (It’s the big screen, really)
      I hope the wages at MS or Apple are to your liking.

  • Oliver Smith

    I have a Windows computer with i7 processor, Nvidia graphics card, 8gb ram, and 120gb SSD, it cost about £800+ £150 on software like Office and much needed antivirus. My Windows computer oftentimes can take up to an hour to fill my hard drive with more essential security updates etc, but I find the whole process slow and frustrating. The computer is quick, it turns on in under 15 seconds, but even after all that, I find my one year old Chromebook quicker, my chromebook boots in about 7 seconds, stores all my documents, videos, music, and photos online to my account, basically as long as it remains a Google file in Drive, you can create unlimited documents, spreadsheets and presentations for free, which can be saved in either a MS format, PDF, or CSV or HTML. Chrome OS never hassles me about updates, it just does the updates when I turn it off in seconds, not minutes or hours, and Chrome OS was built for speed, simplicity, and security, it ticks all those boxes and does a whole lot more. Chromebooks are perfect for pretty much everything except playing high end online multiplayer games like COD, but it will play all the Facebook games no problem. I paid £149 for my Chromebook, which is £1 cheaper than what it cost just for the Windows software. Chromebooks are by far the faster and better computer for everyone!

  • Michael Shoots

    I’ve been a hardcore fan of ChromeOS until recently. Now that I need to do ‘real’ work and need software that only works on Windows or ‘real’ Linux ChromeOS just feels all around deficient. Even the best iteration of Google’s speech recognition is hidden behind a well crafted Windows program– And I hate Windows. I just started dual booting GalliumOS which is a slick looking XFCE rendition that is designed to perfectly work with Chromebook hardware and it is just amazing. I find that Gallium solves all the limitations of Chromebooks, save for the low end specs on cheaper models like the one I have. If you install REAL Chrome on it and then add shortcuts to all your Chrome Apps on your toolbar, you aren’t missing anything that ChromeOS provides. Everything also looks better on GalliumOS.

    I now want a Laptop with better specs just to put GalliumOS on it. I might get a used Pixel just to do this.

    Just too many limitations that real Linux solves, also Chrome solves the issues that Linux has such as running simply things like netflix….

  • Barry Turner-Newall

    Can you actually log on if you are offline?