If you’re in the market for a portable netbook and are trying to decide whether to stick with Windows or make the jump to Chrome OS, here is a short — but important — list of reasons we think you should go with the latter.
1. Boot Time – The boot/startup time of a Chromebook is 8 seconds. The average startup time of a netbook ranges from 45 seconds to over a minute.
2. The Cloud – All your programs, documents, and settings are stored in the cloud, so you can essentially use any Chromebook as your Chromebook and get to work or play right anyway.
3. No viruses, Hank. – The Chromebook hardware combined with the Chrome operating system guards against malware or viruses, meaning no third-party virus protection is needed.
4. Solid State Drive (SSD) – Both the Acer and Samsung Chromebook models come with lightning-fast SSDs installed. Besides the well-known speed benefit, the lack of moving parts in an SSD makes them much more resilient to damage or data loss from bumps and drops than the much slower, spinning hard drives in netbooks.
5. Much More Secure – When was the last time you felt ultra-secure on a PC? Chromebooks employ multiple layers of protection including “sandboxing” and data encryption (called “defense in depth”) to protect your privacy.
6. 2GB RAM is more than 1GB RAM – Almost all netbooks (at least those under $450) come built with just 1 gig of RAM. Upgrading requires purchase of specific aftermarket memory modules, and the useless 1GB stick gets tossed. With a Chromebook, the memory comes maxed to capacity.
7. Chrome OS is not Windows 7 Starter – The operating system that comes installed on almost all netbooks is Windows 7 “Starter Edition,” a version so stripped down you can’t even change your own background wallpaper without using a hack. And yet, its performance on netbook hardware leaves something to be desired. Chrome OS has a faster, more responsive feel — speeding up the tasks 99% of people use netbooks for in the first place.
If you’re thinking about getting a tablet, see my Chromebook vs iPad article. While it’s mainly intended to discuss the iPad 2, many of the points apply to all tablets.