I’m sat, on my sofa using this awesome bit of tech to write this blog post..
It might look like a tiny laptop, or a MacBook, but it’s not – it’s a CHROMEBOOK.
Chromebooks are laptops, made by a variety of manufacturers including Acer, Samsung, and HP, they aren’t ordinary laptops. They don’t have a massive hard-drives and flashy graphics processors, because they don’t need them , they are designed to be simple, lightweight and cheap. The awesome thing is, they are REALLY cheap, cheaper than a standard laptop, and they are smaller and lighter than most laptops too.
They don’t run Windows or OSX, they run a really slim Operating System called ‘Chromium’ which is made by Google. Chromium is a simple Windows / OSX style operating system that just runs the Chrome web broswer most of you will know and love. You can also get a wide selection of Apps that run in Chrome from the Chrome Web Store, these include Google Docs (Word Processing), Google Sheets (Spreadsheets), Google Slides (Presentations). A particular favourite of mine is Pixlr Editor, which is very similar to Photoshop and is great for quick image edits.
Most of the Chromebooks have really tiny Hard Drives (16Gb is standard), but you don’t really need masses of space, as Google encourage you to use ‘Google Drive’ their cloud based storage system for your files. When you purchase a Chromebook, you get 100Gb of free storage on Google Drive for 2 years included in the price. With your files synced to the cloud it means you can access them from pretty much any computer connected to the internet.
Chromebooks range in price, a brand new Acer C720 Chromebook (probably one of the best in this price range) is a steal at £199. It’s got an 11.6″ Screen and the battery lasts an INSANE 8.5 hours and it weighs a tiny 1.25kg. You can grab one from PC World here – don’t forget you can get a bit of cashback from Quidco.
If £199 is a bit too expensive, you can get a Chromebook for even less – the Acer C720’s younger brother the C710 (last year’s model) for a tiny £157 ! You can get one here from the Argos eBay outlet store – it’s new and fully guaranteed too. It’s pretty incredible you can get a laptop with an 11.6″ Screen, a 320Gb Hard Drive , weighing 1.37kg and 4 hours battery life for less than £160!
Just remember Chromebooks ARE limited to anything that runs in a Web Browser, you can’t install Microsoft Office on to it, or The Sims etc. But they are wonderful for blogging, and for the whole family – you can set up individual accounts for each member of the family too! All of them come with in built webcams so you can use Google Hangouts to make video calls to anyone with the Hangouts App (available for PC, Mac, Android and iOS) for free!
Chromebooks really need an internet connection to use them to the be most effective (I guess most laptops do!) – some of the Samsung Chromebooks will take a Sim Card so you can use 3G data! Something worth mentioning too is if you’re signed in to your Google Account , all your bookmarks, apps and passwords will be synced from Chrome on your computer / phone too! Clever eh?
I can’t recommend one enough! 🙂