How Do You Use a Chrombook?


Quick Answer

Chromebooks are laptops running Chrome OS, an operating system designed and maintained by Google mostly for Web- and cloud-based applications. Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel and is similar in functionality to Windows and Mac OS X. Although many applications require an Internet connection to run, offline applications are available for download.

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Full Answer

Chromebooks are available directly from Google and from other laptop retailers, and all Chromebooks run the same operating system, Chrome OS. Originally, almost all applications depended on a working Internet connection. However, in 2014, Google started allowing developer-created packaged applications that work and run offline. In late 2014, Chrome OS also gained support for running Android applications.

Although Chromebooks have limited functionality and processing power, they are lighter and cheaper and boot faster than traditional Windows or Mac laptops. Because of their reduced processing and number of running applications, they often have extended battery capabilities.

Chrome OS supports both Web and packaged applications, which are essentially Web applications that users can run locally. Packaged applications feature built-in Web languages such as HTML5, Javascript and CSS, but they load locally and don't depend on the browser. The development and maintenance of packaged applications is comparable to that of Web-based applications.

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