What Are Chromebooks?


Quick Answer

Chromebooks are laptops that run on the Chrome operating system and use a Chrome browser. These computers depend heavily on an Internet operating environment with cloud storage and have minimal local storage space.

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Full Answer

Chromebooks are lightweight and inexpensive compared to other laptop and notebook computers, but they still deliver good processing power. They boot quickly and cleanly, with updates handled automatically by the Chrome system. Security is built into the system, and an enormous number of applications are available free. Because all work is stored online, Chromebooks are essentially interchangeable with the exception of any files kept locally. Some users prefer the Chrome environment, because it's easy to use with little learning curve, and the computer is generally up and running right out of the box. Light users who already have Chrome-based phones or tablets are likely to feel right at home with a Chromebook.

On the other hand, a Chromebook is limited to applications based on the Chrome operating system, so if the user needs an Adobe product or Microsoft Office, Chromebooks are not the best choice. Many apps need a live connection to the Internet to function properly, and Chromebooks don't work well on local LANs. The user must depend on a third-party remote desktop application to access it from another computer. Google markets the Chromebook as a secondary portable device, not a replacement for a primary computer.

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