Chromebooks A Hot Seller This Season

All right – so the holidays are over, and all that’s left now is to pick pine needles out of our hair, clothes, and upholstery for weeks to come while checking out some nifty after-Christmas sales. After all, those gift cards and cash tucked in Christmas cards won’t spend themselves, you know!

Chromebooks stood out as an enormously popular purchase last year. For example, for the second year in a row, Chromebooks were the top-selling computers on Amazon. Last August, InformationWeek reported that Chromebook sales surged; and according to Gartner, a leading IT research and advisory company, their sales would hit 5.2 million units by the end of 2014.

Could a Chromebook be one of your important purchases of early 2015? Let’s take a closer look at them and see if this kind of system is right for you.

What Constitutes A Chromebook?

Consider a Chromebook to be a stripped-down version of a laptop. The Chromebook runs with the Chrome OS operating system, which is good for users who want a reliable system for lightweight, low-demand tasks such as web browsing. The Chrome OS has similarities to both the PC and Mac operating systems, but it sits atop a Linux platform.

Most Chromebooks employ an 11.6-inch screen, although there are some out there with a 13 or 14-inch display (which of course will cost more). They provide about six hours of battery life and come with minimal on-board storage(usually between 16 and 32GB), and depend on the Google Drive cloud for purposes of file storage. Chromebooks have no optical drive, which means they can’t read DVDs or CDs.

Why Were They Such Good Sellers?

Aside from the evidence of the above mentioned examples, a simple Google search using the terms “Chromebook sales 2014” reveals link after link to stories about Chromebook sales surging, threatening the PC market, and giving Microsoft nightmares. Why is this?

First of all, this is a fantastic starter computer, especially for the younger set. It comes with a robust set of parental controls that allow adults to oversee user accounts, limit online activities and access, and stop adult-related content from ever appearing on search results. It’s a great system for a kid to “graduate” from mobile phones without the parent having to sink money into a laptop.

Speaking of money, you get what you pay for; and since a Chromebook is like a laptop without the bells, whistles, and even some standard components, you’re looking at a very affordable price tag. You can get your hands on a really good Chromebook without breaking the $200 mark, which is about half of what you’d pay for a good laptop if that laptop were on sale!

Chromebooks are lightweight, fast-starting, and very easy to use. Those are some simple yet compelling reasons for their success right there.

What Are They Good For?

A Chromebook is the kind of system you get if you want something with more versatility and better interface than a smart phone or tablet; but you don’t want to sink good money into a full-blown laptop, especially if you already own one.

This is the kind of system you use for web-surfing, checking email, and updating your Facebook pages. It’s not a system for complex operations such as running apps like Microsoft Office, or editing videos and images.

Do They Have Any Drawbacks?

If you want to have anything approaching decent storage for your files, you need to avail yourself of the cloud storage that most of these systems offer. This may be a problem if you’re worried about security. There have been enough high-profile stories of hackers getting into people’s personal files (celebrities in particular) and publishing the stuff they found to give the average person pause about trusting online storage.

And again, they’re limited in their scope. If you’re a tech geek that likes to rule the online gaming world or do amazing things with sound and video editing, you really need to look elsewhere.

Bottom Line

The Chromebook is a simple-yet-enormously popular computer whose main reason to exist boils down to “above-average Internet access for the average person”. The sales figures bear out the system’s popularity. If you want a good Internet access experience and you’re sick and tired of trying to type on a smart phone’s keypad, get a Chromebook. Heck, it’s even cheaper than many smart phones out there!

About Author: John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. Had he known about Chromebooks a while back, he could have saved a lot of money instead of buying a second laptop. Learn from his mistake!

John Terra

John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. As a computer operator in the 80's, he made more than his share of mistakes.

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