This week, we’ve been exploring your operations for an operating system. for laptops and desktops.

Our final entry, the Chrome operating system. is reserved for laptops.

To read about Windows, click here.

To learn about Mac, click here.

To discover more about Linux systems, click here.

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Using a Chromebook requires adjusting your way of thinking. Though they look like laptops, they really operate more like a tablet. Chromebooks are designed to be used as a web appliance. Let’s look at what they have going for them and what might make you think twice about buying.

Pros

Cost! You can pick up a brand-new Chromebook for less than $200. That’s pretty affordable. No wonder so many schools issue Chromebooks for students. You can get six of them for the cost of one Apple laptop.

You have Google’s Chrome browser, Google Drive’s office suite and Gmail already available right there on your device. Surfing the web, sending email, and composing documents is simple.

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They’re pretty hard to mess up. You’re limited to only the apps available in the Chrome web store so it’s difficult to goof up settings or install malware.

These are lightweight devices and very portable. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more for a better model you can get a truly beautiful display.

Google, Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Samsung, and other manufacturers make models ranging from just over $150 to over $1000 depending on how fast the machine is.

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Cons

You’ll need a strong Internet connection as this is designed to be a web appliance and a lot of what happens, happens in Google’s cloud.

You’re limited to what’s offered in the Chrome store. There are many familiar programs like Office or Photoshop that you can’t run on these devices. There are alternatives available, but you’ll want to make sure they meet your needs before switching.

Limited hard drive space. These devices are designed to use Google Drive’s cloud storage.

In many ways, Chromebooks are like Kindle. Kindles are designed to access Amazon product and Chromebooks are designed to work with Google products. This can be perfectly fine if you like Google’s office suite and Gmail, and if you use a lot of web apps as opposed to installing programs.