After reading some comments by a blogger who made the [uninformed] claim that Chromebooks are “restricted to surfing the web,” I thought I’d offer a different viewpoint, as a Windows 7 and Snow Leopard user.
Chromebooks are designed for users who mainly want really fast, anywhere access to surf the web, without all the problems that come with maintaining a processor-heavy, constantly-asking-for-your-attention operating system like the Windows OS we all know. The Chromebook user is someone who just wants to flip open their laptop and instantly be able to surf the web, without worrying about system errors, constant virus threats and malware scares.
Chromebooks won’t bother you with annoying dialog boxes asking for User Account Control input, or balloons continually demanding your attention from the bottom-right corner of the screen. Likewise, no more trying to watch movies or play games, and have them start stuttering and locking up when Windows starts running its own update checks or background anti-virus scans.
Being optimized for internet browsing doesn’t mean Chromebooks can only browse the internet. Here are a few of their other uses, off the top of my head:
Chrome Media Player, a lightweight music and video viewer built into every copy of Chrome OS, allows you to watch movies, listen to your music library, and more, with or without an internet connection. This is in addition to talk of improved pipeline performance for streaming video services like YouTube and Hulu. In addition, there are dozens of free Chrome apps like MixCloud and Vimeo’s “Couch Mode” app that can provide unique viewing experiences beyond the integrated media player.
You can use full-featured apps like Microsoft Office and Google Docs to create, view, and edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations, and more. In addition to Quickbooks for Chrome, there are free apps like Wave Accounting and CashBase that can be used for accounting and managing business and personal finances. Artistic Chromebook users will find many powerful art and design apps like Pixlr Editor, a free image editing app meant to replace Photoshop.For businessmen and businesswomen on the go, the Chromebook, with its power-on time of 8 seconds and instant resume, is preferred over notoriously sluggish netbooks (and apps like Hipmunk will help you get the right business flight).
Chromebooks are perfect for students. Free apps help students take notes, write reports, keep track of grades, and much more. With over 475 educational apps from GRE Touch to Grade Guru, a Chromebook will be a great asset to a college student at any level. In addition, there are free apps that turn Chromebooks into a safe computer for kids to play on, with no worries about access to inappropriate material on the internet or children accidentally deleting critical files.
Secure Cloud Storage Access
Keeping files in the cloud means no more forgetting important files on external disks or losing important things like family photos in random hard drive crashes — everything is safe and backed up automatically. And, keeping your personal documents and preferences stored in the cloud rather than on a vulnerable physical disk means you can use any Chromebook as your computer — including a friend’s. If a Chromebook is lost or stolen, don’t worry — you can just replace it with another, sign in with your credentials, and pick up exactly where you left off.
On top of these other 5 uses, Chromebooks can be used to play browser games and app games like Angry Birds and Dead Frontier, make music with powerful production apps like AudioTool, and do web video editing with JayCut. Most of the 4,400 apps currently available for Chrome are free, and the app store is projected to grow with even more free apps as time goes on.