Is it worth buying a Chromebook?
AIf you’re a regular T3 reader, you’ll know all about the tightness of the purse strings at Guru Towers; investing in something for which GaGu already has three alternate functioning examples is strictly forbidden. But Guru has, somehow, successfully argued for a Chromebook to join the laptop ranks, possibly because semi-decent examples like the Acer Chromebook 14 are available for less than $500 – there are options that are cheaper (don’t bother) and pricier (like the horrendously overpriced US$999 Google Pixelbook – again, don’t bother, and it’s probably not coming to Australia anyway).
Chromebooks are not, however much Google might like to sell them as much, proper laptops. They’re sit-on-your-bum and browse the internet machines, with heavy limitations on the number of tabs you can reasonably have grinding away thanks to the low-cost chipsets that power them. They’re working machines, with off- and on-line access to the functional if unspectacular Google Drive range of office software.
As of recently, they’re also pretty much phones: the majority of Chromebooks have access to the Google Play store, and can run Android apps, extending their functionality, at least as far as a computer without much of the requisite handset hardware that’s pretending to be a typical Android handset can be functional. Roll out your beard, and you might even be able to convince a Chromebook to run some form of nerd-OS Linux.
Okay, the key is that they’re cheap. There’s not much to shout about in terms of system specs and screens are usually rubbish. But battery life is generally strong for these low-powered machines, so if you just want a machine for light work and light browsing, a Chromebook is a great light option.
ABOVE Forget ebikes, it’s all about electric skateboards now.