Should You Consider Buying a Google Chromebook Instead of Windows?
Google launched its first Chrome OS-based notebook back in 2013.
Google launched its first Chrome OS-based notebook back in 2013.(Photo: The Quint)

Should You Consider Buying a Google Chromebook Instead of Windows?

Google’s making phones, smart speakers and even laptops, but that last one has been curiously missing from the Indian market for quite some time.

However, that has changed over the past few months, and Google is now pushing its Chrome OS-based notebooks in the country, via its partner brands like HP and Dell among others. Chrome OS has been created by the team at Google which is headed by Sundar Pichai.

This laptop, unlike the traditional ones, will only work if you are connected to the internet. However, compared to how Chrome OS was operating a few years back, things have become a lot more manageable.

We decided to use one of these for a few weeks and see if a Chromebook costing below Rs 40,000 in the Indian market is worth putting on the buying list for daily users.

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Size Matters

Chromebooks are sold with a 14-inch screen, and compared to other affordable notebooks in the segment, the ones you can buy now come with a full-HD resolution display, that even supports touch inputs like the Windows systems.

The new HP Chromebook sports a 2-in-1 design.
The new HP Chromebook sports a 2-in-1 design.
(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read : HP expands its ultra-thin Chromebook portfolio in India

This form factor also makes the Chromebook compact and lightweight, which is easy to carry on a day-to-day basis. Having said that, the keyboard has large keys, but they’re crammed too close to each other, which might not be ideal for all users.

The size of this Chromebook will remind you of the netbooks.
The size of this Chromebook will remind you of the netbooks.
(Photo: The Quint)

So in many ways, this Chromebook from HP will appeal to basic users, who aren’t looking for a lot of power from their machine.

Chrome OS With Support for Android Apps

Google Play Store can be accessed from the system.
Google Play Store can be accessed from the system.
(Photo: The Quint)

The other big advantage of using a Chromebook in 2020 is it supports Android apps. So you can just download apps to the machine and the catalogue is similar to what you get on smartphones.

This way, you can download Microsoft’s Office suite for document creation (in case Google Docs isn’t working out for you), and even use the Netflix app, instead of using it via the Web browser.

Also Read : Windows 10 Can Control Your Phone Via PC But You Can’t Make Calls

You can use this Chromebook either like a laptop or a tablet.
You can use this Chromebook either like a laptop or a tablet.
(Photo: The Quint)

One of the reasons why Chromebook failed to take off in India before, is the lack of internet infrastructure, making it expensive because of data consumption. But with the launch of Jio, things have changed dramatically as there is internet at far more affordable rates than before.

What Else Can You Do?

You have to sign in to a Chromebook using your Google ID.
You have to sign in to a Chromebook using your Google ID.
(Photo: The Quint)

You sign in to the Chromebook via your Gmail ID, so make sure you have an active internet connection available, whenever you’re planning to work on it.

Chromebook gets a built-in Files folder, from where you can access all the content.
Chromebook gets a built-in Files folder, from where you can access all the content.
(Photo: The Quint)

The device offers a Files folder, wherein you can access all the content stored in your Google Cloud account, which includes photos, documents and other elements that you have. In addition to this, you can connect external storage devices like the hard disk and USB drive, and open content from there as well.

You can connect external storage drive and open the content on the Chromebook.
You can connect external storage drive and open the content on the Chromebook.
(Photo: The Quint)

This feature support will make sure you don’t miss the lack of hardware storage on the Chromebook. Having said that, you do get a display with touch support, offering users the flexibility to use the Chromebook like a laptop, or even a tablet.

Worth Going for a Chromebook?

If you’ve read through the piece, it must have become clear that a Chromebook in 2020 is not a bad option to buy. Yes, unlike a Windows or Apple’s Mac OS, it operates within the Google ecosystem, which even includes Android apps.

But that can’t be a deal-breaker for most us, especially when Google, at least in India, has a large user base signed up for its products.

So, long story short, if you want to experience a new PC ecosystem and don’t want to spend over Rs 50,000 a Chromebook is definitely worth considering as long as you are hooked up to the internet 24x7.

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