What do you think of Google’s Chromebook? [ASK MR. NOOBIE]

ChromebookQUESTION: What is your opinion of the Chromebook concept and also the Chrome OS? Do you think Google will support the concept for the long haul or will it be a “new idea” that eventually loses support? – Dorothy from New Whiteland, Indiana

ANSWER: In many ways, the Chromebook reminds me of the laptop version of an iPad. It’s designed to be lightweight, boot incredibly fast and have all of the security built-in. In this respect, I really like it.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt either that some versions of the Chromebooks are priced as low as $200-300, a price point proven to be attractive to buyers.

But it ultimately comes down to how you want to use your laptop. If you primarily check your email, browse the web and update your Facebook status, the Chromebook is a perfect solution. On the other hand, if you want to do graphics work, video editing or install Microsoft Office, you may to look elsewhere.

Remember, the Chromebook relies on most of your work being done on the Internet. So instead of Microsoft Office, Google wants you to use their cloud-based Google docs and store your documents on your Google Drive. There are a few benefits to this namely, document collaboration and the elimination of the need to back up your files since they are stored in the cloud.

Chromebook features

The downside to this is how much you can do when you don’t have an Internet connection but this is the same problem anyone with an iPad, Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire faces.

Future proof?

Do I think Google will support the concept for the long haul? Yes, I do. Right now, the market is prime for this type of device. That being said, Google has also shown us over the past few years that they are willing to cut their losses and not go down with a sinking ship if one of their products or services (ex: Google Wave) isn’t panning out the way they had hoped.

Google Suite Cheat Sheet

So while I can’t predict the future, I can tell you this. If someone walked into my office right now and handed me a brand-new Google Chromebook, I would be pretty darn excited.

Do you have a question for Mr. Noobie®? Submit your question here.




  1. asudduth

    I don’t really have any experience with a Chromebook, but someone asked me about printing the other day so I did a quick search. It appears you have to use cloud-based printing, and it requires one of two ways to obtain this:
    1) have a specific printer that is Google cloud print enabled
    2) use a current computer you have that you install a service on. So to print you actually print through another machine… Wouldnt work if you let that other computer go to sleep.

    This might be one thing you don’t think of… The person who asked me only has 1 computer – her chromebook. It may have been $250 but now she will need a new printer if she wants to print anything.

    • Patric Welch

      Good point. Printing is definitely something someone considering a Chromebook should consider. That being said, going back to my comparison to the iPad, I almost never have the need to print from my iPad. I’m not sure if I just no longer run into situations where I want to print or if I’ve learned that I can’t and have just adapted to not needing to print any more.

  2. asudduth

    My wife (who is a teacher) and I often have things we want to print from our phones… We end up emailing links, etc then running up a flight of stairs to print.

    • Patric Welch

      I think printing is a hang-around from old-schoolers like myself. I doubt I’ll ever see my sons print an email so they can “remember to do y an z later.”

  3. Dorothy

    Thanks for answering my question, Patric. What you have described is exactly what I need. [We’ve discussed the issues with my desktop which is old and not playing well with any browser.] I’ll be keeping and using my desktop but I want to get away from using it for browsing sites such as Facebook. Facebook is just way too busy for my desktop/browser issues to handle. Most other pages work better, but Facebook is where I spend a lot of my time so I spend a lot of it trying to recover from crashes—hence the Chromebook idea which seemed perfect for me. BTW, I do use just about every Google product from Calendar to Gmail so that makes it even better for me. Printing (if I even get my new wireless printer hooked up) wouldn’t be an issue at all.

    I’m looking at the HP Pavilion Chromebook which just came out for $330 because I want the bigger 14 inch screen size, but unfortunately they seem to be out of stock at the moment. At least when they are available I’ll know it isn’t a really dumb idea to buy it. Thanks for you help again!

    • Patric Welch

      Dorothy, glad I could help. Sounds like you are all set. Let me know sometime what you think of your Chromebook (once you get it).

  4. Dorothy

    I can’t find it in stock at HP or Google, but I haven’t searched elsewhere yet. I also sent an email to HP to see if they have a date for availbility. Now that I’ve decided I want it! Once I get it and use it I’ll let you know what I think.

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