Since they have only recently entered the PC market, Chromebooks have been around for more than a decade. Although the best Chromebooks have some impressive features and briefly gained popularity during the 2020 pandemic, many people are still unsure of what a Chromebook is. Google’s response to the Windows PC and the Mac computer is a Chromebook. Usually, ChromeOS-powered devices are laptops or tablets. There are also all-in-one ChromeOS desktops known as Chromebases.
Android and web apps are supported by ChromeOS. It distinguishes itself from Google’s mobile-focused Android operating system with a user interface that is comparable to either Microsoft Windows or macOS. A Chromebook’s design places a lot of emphasis on the keyboard and mouse. Multiple windows can be moved, resized, and minimised, and the OS has a launcher and shelf that look similar to the Windows taskbar and Start menu.
What is a Chromebook?
A Chromebook is a computer designed exclusively for Google products. To sign in, you must have a Google account. Your Google account and the device’s settings are synchronised. In order to share files, sync chat notifications, send text messages, and make use of the same phone network, it can connect to an Android phone.
By saying “Hey Google,” the Google Assistant included into the OS allows voice instructions to be given. The Launcher menu by default includes a number of other Google-made apps and services in addition to Google’s web-based productivity tools. Google Chrome and the Google Play Store are prominently displayed on the shelf at the bottom of the screen.
Although a Chromebook is mostly used for the web, all current Chromebooks may be utilised offline. Cloud-based applications like Google Docs and Google Sheets offer offline options. Chromebooks that are not connected to the internet can modify files that have been saved on the device, and these files sync with the online version the next time you are online.
With practically every major laptop maker producing their own models, chromebooks have a wide range of hardware. There are numerous affordable Chromebooks available, even the most basic models occasionally go on sale for less than $100. Higher-end Chromebooks with lightning-fast hardware are also available. In order to support cloud gaming, several manufacturers are making gaming Chromebooks with faster refresh rates, quicker Wi-Fi, and better gaming keyboards.
Can Chromebooks run Android apps?
Most Android apps are accessible on a Chromebook through the Play Store. You can probably use an app that you downloaded or bought on an Android phone or tablet on a Chromebook.
While the majority of apps are usable, not all of them were created with Chromebooks in mind. For instance, the parental controls app for Chromebooks and Android devices, Google Family Link, was created for mobile devices. It consequently defaults to a vertical, phone-sized format.
Similar problems with the phone- or tablet-centric design plague many Android apps. However, not every Chromebook has a touchscreen, which can be annoying for apps that rely on swipes and multitouch capabilities. Google is testing a system that allows you to replace touch events with keyboard presses.
Can Chromebooks install Linux?
A Linux development environment, specifically the Debian 10 GNU/Linux distribution, can be installed on modern Chromebooks. On their Chromebooks, users can now install Linux applications, IDEs, and other tools. Additionally, you may use the APT package management, modify your shell, and execute Linux commands by opening the terminal.
Users of Linux have access to a variety of open source, free programmes. There are Linux-compatible versions of many programmes that are accessible on Windows.
This feature, nevertheless, is still rather new and has some restrictions. Notably, Linux does not support GPU hardware acceleration or access to the camera on Chromebooks. On an Android-compatible device, it’s also not possible to utilise Linux-based Android emulators, though this is not a big concern.
What can’t a Chromebook do?
A Chromebook probably has the ability to perform any task you want it to given that it has access to Linux, the Google Play Store, and the internet. However, it is still limited in several ways. For instance, Chromebooks are unable to run any applications designed exclusively for Windows or Mac computers. Additionally, numerous Android apps, including the majority of the Microsoft Office suite, have been made unavailable for Chromebooks (though all the Microsoft Office web-based apps are fully functional).
Android apps that need the aforementioned features (or anything else on Google’s Incompatible manifest items) won’t be able to be installed.
Additionally, you are unable to add files or shortcuts to your desktop. Chromebook users will always get a clear view of their selected wallpaper while all windows are closed. Everything that you can use is restricted to the launcher and shelf. Although it doesn’t significantly affect functionality, this is an unusual design decision.
Should you buy a Chromebook?
It’s worth getting a Chromebook for your family if you don’t need to use any Windows or Mac programmes. The typical user typically utilises their computer for social media, email, web browsing, and workplace software. tasks that even a cheap Chromebook can complete with ease. Since Chromebooks are made to be more secure than Windows PCs, users are also less likely to receive a virus on their machine or damage the hardware.
A higher-end Chromebook can help you multitask if you launch several hardware-demanding programmes at once. If you want to fully explore a Chromebook’s Linux capabilities or try out any games on Steam, these potent Chromebooks are also a necessity. A Chromebook’s value is increased by additional capabilities like its ability to sync with Android devices and its app compatibility with nearly all of the Google Play Store’s offerings.
Please read our comprehensive essay on the advantages and disadvantages of Chromebooks if you’re interested in learning more about their benefits and drawbacks.
Chromebooks are more powerful than you think
The capabilities of a Chromebook are not covered in detail in this quick overview. For instance, a Chromebook can quickly integrate with smart home devices, take handwritten notes, and detect your head movements during video conversations. Even Steam can be run on Chromebooks with more power.
Look at our regularly updated list of the top Chromebooks if you think one might be a good choice for you. You may download Chrome OS Flex and install it on whatever machine you have accessible, even an old Chromebook, if you’re not in the market for a new computer but still want to experience everything a Chromebook has to offer.2022-11-11 11:04:56