Chromebook computers have become very popular for many reasons. The most obvious reason is because they are cheap. You can purchase a Chromebook for $140 from Amazon at https://amzn.to/2K57U6j. I have occasionally seen even lower prices during various sales. Admittedly, that is the price for a bottom-of-the-line barebones Chromebook but it will still perform most all of the functions that 90% of the computer users need. Many would-be Chromebook users will decide they want more memory or a better display screen or a better keyboard or perhaps all three. Even so, most Chromebooks sell for $200 to $400. You can even find a very few higher-priced Chromebooks but the high-priced systems appeal more to business users, not to individuals with modest computing needs and modest pocketbooks. Even the lowest-price Chromebook will run most of the apps that run on high-priced Chromebooks.
Nearly three out of every five machines used in schools run the Chrome operating system, according to researcher Futuresource Consulting at http://bit.ly/2LWHpS5.
A Chromebook is also super easy to use, making it very appealing for adolescents, teenagers, and adults who are not yet computer-literate, including your mom. Not only are Chromebook computers successful in schools but anecdotal reports I have heard indicate that they are undoubtedly the best computer for non-computer-literate senior citizens. In short, a Chromebook is probably the best computer for anyone with modest computing needs who is looking for a reasonably-priced computer. It is not a business-laptop replacement.
Many expert and non-expert users alike appreciate the facts that Chromebooks never get viruses, boot up in ten seconds or less, have very long battery lives on a single charge, and are easily carried in a backpack or other carrying case. (Most Chromebooks weigh less than three pounds.)
Even computer gurus frequently purchase Chromebooks for use as low-cost computers to be used mostly when traveling for checking email, Facebook, and other tasks that don’t require powerful computing capabilities. Do you really need an expensive (and easily stolen) laptop simply to check email from a coffee shop?
A Chromebook won’t perform heavy-duty processing, however, such as advanced mathematics or powerful image editing. Yes, it can perform simpler image editing but will never compete with Photoshop. Yet a Chromebook will perform all the functions that most people expect from their (more expensive) computers: read and write email, surf the web, use Facebook, use Skype for audio chats, meet the word processing and spreadsheet needs of most computer users, play dozens of computer games, and much, much more.
Chromebooks do not slow down over time and there are no long boot times — just flip it open and get busy doing anything other than waiting. There are no little annoying apps or virus checkers that pop up, no upgrade reminders, and the security is almost airtight. There are no anti-virus programs for Chromebooks simply because there is no need for them. Best of all, most Chromebook apps are available free of charge.
Chromebooks work best when connected to the internet by a wi-fi network connection. Chromebooks have more-or-less infinite storage space simply because they normally store their files in Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar cloud-based file storage services. While hundreds of Chromebook apps will optionally store data in the Chromebook’s internal disk drive, a Chromebook is designed to work best with an internet connection.
Anyone concerned with privacy will want to look closely at a Chromebook. The security of a Chromebook is much, much better than that of Windows and even better than that of a Macintosh. It probably is more-or-less as secure as a Linux system but does not come with Linux’s complexity and cryptic user interfaces.
Alfred Ng has published an article in the C|Net web site that describes the security advantages of using a Chromebook. If you are thinking of purchasing a new computer for yourself or for a family member, you will want to read How Chromebooks became the go-to laptops for security experts at https://www.cnet.com/news/how-google-chromebooks-became-the-go-to-laptop-for-security-experts.