Chromebooks – a thought on why I recommend them

People often say to me “Yeah but you’re into Google” when I recommend Google products or Chromebooks. My answer is always the same, I’m not, I’m into what works.

When I first got into iPhones and iPads people told me I was into Apple. Again, I wasn’t, at the time I felt they were the best devices in their market. I think that’s changed now.

In terms of Chromebooks and Google Drive, in particular, I often find that people’s arguments against them are about what they can’t do in comparison to Microsoft products.

  • Firstly I think that a lot of the features that Microsoft products have that are missing from Google Drive are unnecessary for most people’s basic needs, and also Google is constantly updating and adding to their products so that bracket of what’s missing is becoming smaller and smaller. Actually these days I would say that Microsoft is just as equally missing things that Google Drive can do.
  • Secondly, I think that if you’d never owned any computer and started with a Chrome device and did all of your work in Google Drive, you’d never know what you were missing. You’d find yourself able to do everything you needed to do in Google Drive anyway.

Those aside, here are some of the main reasons I would recommend most users to use a Chromebook and Google Drive. (I know that there is some software that only works on Windows, and hence some people as a result have no choice. That’s a result of it being embedded for so long, not an indicator that it’s better. Equally there’s software that only works on Mac. I do think we are in an age now where you shouldn’t be tied to a platform to use a particular type of software and it is something I look for in software when I’m choosing an app to use. )

  • Boot and reboot times on a Chromebook as so fast. In my experience, it has been a maximum of ten seconds
  • They look after themselves. Every windows computer I ever owned needed some kind of care or attention, often having to rebuild the OS from scratch. Chrome OS takes care of itself in that regard and I never need to do any maintenance on it.
  • Updates take an instant and in every case where I’ve updated my Chromebook it has brought about improvements and increased speed
  • Constant backups. Almost everything I use on the Chromebook, including Google Drive, is being backed up. I never need to worry about saving in most cases because (especially in Google Drive) as soon as I start working, the app starts saving. For new users and users who find file management difficult, this is amazing. I’ve noticed that a lot of users create a file, work in it until it’s finished, and then save it. A bad practice I know and this has lead to a lot of lost work for people. This is never an issue with Google Drive.
  • Search is so fast.
  • Battery life. My first Chromebook, the ACER CB3 431 lasted about 10 hours, basically all day without plugging it in. My new Chromebook, the ASUS Flip C302 doesn’t last as long, about 7 hours (because it’s more powerful) but it’s still a great comfort to not have to depend on needing a plug socket close by when I’m working. I hear that the C434 (replacement for the C302) lasts 10 hours.
  • Once in my time since I owned a Chromebook, I needed to rebuild my Chromebook. This was because of a virus and Google, being proactive, wanted to update the firmware to protect my device from the virus. A rebuild was the only way. I gave Google permission to proceed and then went downstairs to make a cup of tea. By the time I came back, it had completely wiped my device, reinstalled the OS, reinstalled all of my apps and restored my files. I’ve performed that operation many times on my windows device and it took at minimum a day to get everything back up and running the way I had it.

Based on all of that I always ask, why wouldn’t you use it?