So are Chromebooks good for college or not? The short answer is yes.
Why? Well, let us find out.
When we talk about college students, we generally refer to the people who need a decent laptop at the best price possible. Students have budget considerations and at the same time, their work demands power and reliability.
With so many options to choose from, it does get confusing to find the right product for yourself.
Google Chromebooks aren’t as famous as conventional laptops; however, they are quickly gaining pace especially with students.
What is a Chromebook Anyway?
For those who don’t know what Chromebooks are, it is a super-rapid small version of a laptop.
Instead of Windows 10 or Mac OS X, Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS, which is designed to work typically while connected to the internet, either by Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
It’s documents and applications mostly reside on the cloud. Therefore, in order to utilize the full functionality of the Chromebooks, you must make sure you have stable internet connections.
However, most of the software or Chrome web applications and extensions do run offline. The best thing is that they will sync all your information back to the cloud when you get connected again. Therefore, saying Chromebooks don’t work without the internet is just a rumor.
How are they Designed?
Chromebooks are lightweight laptops planned for people who devote most of their time connected to the internet. And that is one of the greatest benefits of it.
These laptops are very thin and light. They can measure at about 0.7″ or less in thickness and weigh only less than 2.5 pounds generally.
Since they do not use a power hungry hardware, they also have a very long battery. They can typically last for 8 hours easily.
Just for the portability itself, they are a great pick for college students. Therefore, if your primary requirement for a laptop is to be thin, light and highly mobile, there isn’t a better option than Chromebooks.
Many Chromebooks have an 11.6” screen, but can be found also in 13.3”, 14” or even 15.6” versions. Most of the major brands like HP, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Dell manufacture Chromebooks.
What are the Best Chromebooks for College?
Although there are many amazing Chromebooks out there, you can have a look at three of them below. These are the latest and highly praised Google Chromebooks in the market.
They should also give you a good idea about what they are in general.
Why are Chromebooks Good for College?
If you are still asking are Chromebooks good for college, here are few positive points that you can take into consideration.
Chromebooks are Inexpensive
They can be purchased at as little as $150,00 up to $400,00 and that is significantly less than an average laptop. This makes them a very attractive proposition for some people.
An extra cost incentive for Chromebooks is the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) services which is a free suite of education apps for students.
Most of the applications on the Google Web Store are free. Since everything is done on the cloud, you don’t need a powerful hardware on board. All the tasks are done on the cloud. Students can collaborate on a single project with multiple people working at the same time.
You can access all of your work on the internet through any machine. You can access it via a conventional laptop, smartphone, desktop or another Chromebook.
Battery life of a Chromebook
Most of the Chromebooks have an expected six hours or more battery life. However, some Chromebooks can even go up to 13 hours. This can give you a lot of mobility as a student. The fact that you can stay away from a power socket for almost half a day means a for students who are always on the go.
Compared to a conventional laptop of the same price range, this is at least twice as more battery life.
Chromebooks are 100% Secure
They are cloud-based, which means that they are constructed to run by a browser. Also, it is not required for any other program to be installed. The servers on which the web applications reside have the best security possible. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about security yourself.
Chromebooks are very easy to use
The Chromebooks are automatically updated in the background. Everything that you install is just a click away. There is no complicated installation process.
This means that as a student, you will spend less time beating your head with installing new software and actually using that time on something more productive.
Chromebooks are designed to be highly responsive. You do not have to download large software either so you don’t need a huge disk space. The simplicity of usage is what separate Chromebooks from the conventional laptops.
Limitless Users and Usage in Education
There is no limit on the number of users that can be included on Google Apps for Education (GAFE), and given that the applications are devoted to user profiles, Chromebooks can be used by another student.
Each student has their own specified profile when they log into their applications, settings, books, etc. Chromebooks can be with no trouble shared with other students, family or friends, and since they have built-in security, there is no danger of unwanted software installations or malware.
Guest users can also use Chromebooks, but they are not capable of entering any information on the Chromebook or save their work when done.
Chromebooks Make Teamwork Possible
Chromebooks increase students’ interaction and collaboration. Shared calendars, Gmail, Google Docs and video conferencing make students able to connect with others and keep abreast of obligations.
Chromebooks allow students to work together while finishing group assignments. Access to work can be reached during school areas or at home.
Google Docs, Sheets, Slide are the Chrome alternatives to Microsoft Office. To many, the Google variants are much more streamlined. However, two things that really set Google’s variants apart are first they are free and secondly, multiple users can work on the same document at the same time.
This makes group assignments a social interaction instead of work.
Chromebooks are fast. Like super-fast
They can power on in around seven seconds. That is possible because of their SSD hard drives and Googles’ Chrome operating system.
Since most of the Chromebooks do not have any mechanical component, they are much faster and less prone damage over time.
Trivial Limitations of Chromebook
Everybody knows that there is no such thing as a perfect laptop. Even Chromebooks have some imperfections. I wouldn’t call them deal breakers for college students as these limitations can easily be overcome.
Let us have a look at them:
If you have a lot of data that require a big HDD, then you may want to invest in an external HDD along with this laptop.
Actually, this limitation helps keep the price low.Buyers get
In all reality, you don’t really need much space with Chromebooks. All of your information is stored on the cloud. That is why when purchasing Chromebook, Google provides 100 GB of free cloud storage.
No Optical Drive
Someone wouldn’t even call this a “limitation” because CD/DVD drives are becoming a thing of the past.
There is no Photoshop or Professional Video Editing
If you are a student with special designing skills and a knack for using Photoshop, you will be disappointed to find out that Chromebooks lack it. Unfortunately, there is no professional cloud-based Adobe Photoshop either; however, work is in progress to make that true.
Furthermore, since most Chromebooks are weak, you cannot install stand alone Photoshop on them either.
Fortunately, there are alternatives for editing casual family photos or videos such as Pixlr or Photoshop Express Editor for pictures and WeVideo for video editing.
Microsoft Office is Incompatible
Google inspires users to use its own free online collection of Office-like services. Lots of these services are similar to components of Microsoft Office, but they do lack characteristics that you may have come to rely on.
Even though you can use the Android version of Office applications, they also lack some of the full functionality.
Gaming is out of the Question
Unfortunately, that is a tough reality if you are remotely a gamer. Unless you enjoy the likes of Candy Crush or Clash of Clans, there is nothing else that you can play on Chromebooks.
Gaming requires a very powerful internal hardware. Chromebooks are the opposite of that.
There are few hallmark features of Google Chromebooks that are catered specifically for students. They are light, mobile, and most importantly, highly budget-friendly.
They are cheaper than even the cheapest conventional laptop. Since most of the work is done on the cloud, they are also a lot for streamlined and response. Needless to say, they are much simple to use. Most of the applications just need a click to install and need you to register a free account.
So coming back to the question: are Chromebooks good for college? I would say in the end it depends on your use. For an average student, they are perfect; however, for a student with special skills or a need for gaming, they are less than ideal.