Speak to the geek

2 min read
07 Jan 2018
2 min read
562 words
Our resident geek answers if you should get a chromebook

My Dell laptop, which was running Windows 8, recently died, and I’m looking to invest in a new laptop. I am a writer by profession, so I don’t do anything graphically intensive. I also happen to be on a budget. My friend suggested that I get what he called a Chromebook, but I think I’m a bit too used to Windows. What should I do?— Mareesha Tuladhar

In my book, you should get what your friend called a Chromebook. He, and everyone else, calls it so because it runs Chrome OS, Google’s very own web-based operating system for personal computers. And it’s the ‘web-based’ part of the previous sentence that usually discourages buyers from purchasing a Chromebook, because they assume that the Chromebook will only be as good as a bathroom tile without an internet connection. That was the case in 2011, when Chromebooks had just hit the market. But it’s 2018 right now, and Chromebooks have come a long way since then.

Let’s first dispel the notion that you can’t perform word-processing tasks on a Chromebook when it isn’t connected to the internet: you can! All you need to do is go to the Google Drive app, go to the Settings tab, and check the box beside the ‘Offline’ option (you can find even more detailed instructions on Google Support), and you can view, create, and edit documents, spreadsheets, or slides using the Google Drive app. All your offline work is immediately synced to the cloud once you’re re-connected to the internet. And keep in mind that Google provides you with 100 GB of free cloud storage when you purchase a Chromebook, which I think should suffice. But you can obviously purchase more storage as you see fit.  

Now, the fact that you can work offline should alone convince you, a writer who doesn’t do graphics-intensive work, to purchase the Chromebook, but I’ll give you some more reasons for investing in one: you can access emails you’ve received and even type drafts; you can catch up on your reading (simply go to the Play Store and download Pocket, an app that allows you to save articles for offline reading); you can edit photos; and lastly, you can play movies and music that are saved on your local storage. And about your concern regarding getting used to the Chromebook: yes, the Chromebook may feel a bit foreign at first, but “I’m too used to Windows” is hardly a good enough reason to forgo a machine that boots three times faster, weighs considerably lighter and costs significantly cheaper than the average Windows laptop.

Now there are a lot of Chromebooks in the market, mostly manufactured by Samsung and Acer, but it shouldn’t be difficult to navigate through the choices available as long as you keep your budget and needs in mind. Happy Chromebook hunting!