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From the author of Should You Buy a Chromebook?

Should You Buy a Chromebook?

So these are the pros and cons of using a Chromebook, at least for me at this early stage of the game. Are any of these issues deal killers?

Maybe, depending on your computer use. If you don’t have a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection (there’s no Ethernet port built-in), then you’re out of luck; there’s no such thing as offline mode with a Chromebook. And if you absolutely positively have to use any given traditional software program, there’s no way a Chromebook will work for you.

Most users, however, have a good Wi-Fi connection and don’t use a lot of desktop software anymore. If all you do is watch YouTube videos and browse Facebook, a Chromebook will do those things as well as any traditional computer.

That said, I’m not sure what niche the Chromebook serves. If you use a computer to create things, then you still need a Windows or Mac PC. If you use a computer merely to read things, then an iPad or other tablet may be the better solution. I’m not sure there’s a place in the middle where the Chromebook makes sense – especially given the current pricing. Maybe if Chromebooks were selling for $250 instead of $429, I’d think different. Maybe not.

In any case, I’m not sure I’d recommend a Chromebook as a full-time workhorse machine. Maybe as a lightweight Internet browser and email reader, but even there you run into limitations – and doesn’t an iPad do it better?

I don’t know. I would have been a lot more enthusiastic about my Chromebook if I got it two years ago. In today’s post-iPad market, it makes less sense to me.

But these are just my first impressions which may change with use, and reasonable minds may always disagree. Let’s see what I think six months from now.

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