Last updated: August 16, 2021

Chrome OS is an expanded version of the Chrome browser. This operating system has applications instead of software, saves all files in the cloud and is an excellent option for those who want a fast, practical and functional system. You need have no doubts: the Chromebook is very good! If you are thinking about buying one of these, see some tips on how to choose the ideal model, learn what features change from one model to another and check our suggestions for purchase.




Summary

  • To access the Chromebook, the user must enter the login and password of the Google account. This feature is interesting because it allows each user to have an exclusive area, ensuring privacy to data and files.
  • One of the great things about Chrome OS operating system is that it stores all your files in the cloud. This makes the computer faster, since it does not have to process several files every time it is started.
  • Several brands have Chromebook models. This is the case of giants Asus, Samsung, HP and Lenovo. These models can have different screen sizes, display colours, thickness and technical apparatuses.

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The best Chromebook: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Google Chrome is the most used browser in the world and is present in almost 70% of the machines. The popularity is justified by its compatibility with most web pages, high processing speed and browsing stability. The excellent performance of the browser made Google develop an operating system based on it: Chrome OS, operating on Chromebooks, an interesting alternative to Microsoft Windows. Are you thinking about buying a chromebook, but have doubts about this kind of laptop? Keep reading our Buying Guide and, in a moment, they will disappear!

Imagem de uma mulher usando um chromebook.

The chromebook is an excellent option for a portable computer. (Source: Anete Lusina / Unsplash)

What is a Chromebook and where to use it?

A chromebook is a type of notebook that is compact, light, fast (it starts in just eight seconds), with an operating system created by Google (Chrome OS) and excellent battery autonomy, which works for up to twelve hours. Although the operation of this machine is based on the internet, it is possible to use most of the tools offline. The synchronization is done when the computer is connected to the network, but there is no risk of data loss.

Imagem de uma mulher usando um chromebook em um bosque.

You can use most chromebook applications offline. (Source: Nathan Dulao / Unsplash)

These programs, data and files are stored in the "cloud", that is, in expansive memory programs such as Google Docs, Google Drive and Dropbox, occupying less memory in the computer storage. The advantage of this type of storage is that you can access, edit and save these files on any computer by simply entering your login and password. Check out the main advantages and disadvantages of Chromebook:

Advantages
  • Compact, light and safe model
  • Google's exclusive operating system
  • Battery life of up to 12 hours
  • Cheaper
Disadvantages
  • It is limited in resources
  • RAM has from 2 to 4 GB only
  • The storage of most models is from 16 to 32 GB
  • The screen is smaller: 11.6 or 12.2 inches

Chromebook or conventional notebook: which one is better?

Before buying a chromebook, it is important that you know the different features of Google's model compared to conventional notebooks. The Chromebook uses the Chrome OS operating system, which is focused on cloud services, that is, it stores all your files online and runs programs over the web (some work offline). This feature makes the chromebook much faster than a conventional notebook, because it doesn't need to read all the files when it is booted, as computers with Linux or Windows operating systems do. On the other hand, you need to have a good quality broadband internet connection at home. If you're going to use the computer on the street, it will depend on the Wi-Fi connection of the establishment. Another difference is that the chromebook doesn't have programs like the Windows office package. The software is replaced by web applications, which can be purchased for free from the Chrome Web Store and are saved in the cloud. It is worth pointing out that the Chromebook does not have an internal hard drive like a conventional notebook. On the contrary, this model uses flash memory (similar to a pen drive), which despite being fast, may not be the ideal type for everyone. In short: the chromebook is a device suitable for those who use the computer to surf the internet, run programs and online applications and have the habit of storing everything in the cloud.

Chromebook Conventional notebook
Operating system Chrome OS (cannot be changed) Windows, Mac OS or Linux
Storage Flash memory (SSD card) Hard drive, internal HD
Main advantage It is very fast both when starting up and in use It is very complete in resources
Disadvantages It is limited in resources, RAM and storage are inferior It is more expensive, bigger and heavier
Screen From 11.6 to 12.2 inches Up to 18 inches

Purchase criteria: Factors to compare different chromebook models

If you are interested in buying a chromebook, this section will help you a lot. We have listed the main purchase criteria, i.e. the most important features you should take into consideration when looking for a model:

  • Processor
  • RAM memory
  • Storage
  • Video card
  • Screen size
  • Extra Features

Now we will detail item by item so that you are not left with any doubts and get it right when choosing your chromebook.

Processor

The processor is one of the most important parts of a computer, because it receives and sends information to all the other systems. The processor is formed by cores and cache memory and has an update frequency measured in Gigahertz. The processor of most chromebook models is the Intel Celeron, the most basic model of the brand. This type of processor works with two or four cores, 2 MB cache memory and a frequency rate of 1.50 to 2.48 GHz. The cores run programs without crashing. For those who work with simple programs and applications and concentrate on internet use, a computer with only two cores will be satisfactory. The cache memory saves which programs, applications and sites you access more frequently to open them more quickly. A model with 2 MB is very basic, but already fulfills its function. Finally, the frequency is the speed at which the computer processes all this information. In a chromebook, it varies between 1.50 and 2.48 GHz, which is lower than the minimum frequency of a basic notebook.

RAM memory

RAM memory is used whenever you open applications on your computer and access websites. RAM memory can make your computer slower or faster, it depends on the capacity. You can find chromebooks with 2 or 4 GB of RAM memory. Although both options are low, the memory will work just fine if you know how to manage it, i.e. accessing only the apps and web pages needed for what you are doing.

Storage

Storage is on an SSD card, a flash memory device, and can have a capacity of 16, 32 or 64 GB, with the first two options being the most common and 64 GB models being real finds. But rest assured, because this computer has 100 GB of expandable memory in Google Drive. If you prefer you can use external devices like Pen Drive and HD offboard (external).

Video card

The quality of the video card is directly linked to the speed of the computer and tied to the use you will make of the machine. If it is to run simple applications, the Chromebook graphic card is very good. The HD Graphics (400 or 615) is built into the Intel Celeron processor. It is this component that controls everything that appears on the computer screen and allows you to watch videos in high resolution.

  • HD Graphics 400: delivers 16 performance units
  • HD Graphics 615: delivers 24 execution units and speeds up to 1050 MHz

Screen Size

Another differential is the screen size. You'll find models with 11, 11.6 or 12.2 inches, a little smaller than traditional laptops, which can be 13 to 18 inches. And it's not just the screen size that makes this model compact. It's also thinner and lighter in design, making it an excellent choice if you're using it away from home.

Imagem de uma mulher colocando um chromebook dentro da bolsa.

Because of its size and thickness, the chromebook can be carried easily in a bag. (Source: Anete Lusina / Unsplash)

Extra features

The chromebook can have some extra features like:

  • Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0 inputs
  • HDMI output
  • SD card reader

When choosing yours, realise which of these features will make a difference in using the chromebook and choose a model that meets your needs. (Featured image source: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash)

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