The Chromebook was initially met with scorn and mockery.
That has changed.
Running on a foundation of Linux and selling at a price
point nearly anyone can afford, the Chromebook has finally hit its stride. As of this writing, the top two best-selling laptops on Amazon are:
- Acer C720 Chromebook
- Samsung 11.6 Chromebook
In fact, six of the top 20 best-selling laptops are
There’s a reason for this popularity. And there are plenty
of reasons Chromebooks are a good choice for many businesses. Let’s look at why
the Chromebook belongs in companies across the globe.
1: Cost effectiveness
You’d be hard-pressed to top the price point of the
Chromebook. Unless you’re looking at the Pixel (which is a stunning piece of
work), you’ll be dropping about $179 to $300 USD for one of these devices. At
the pace hardware is replaced these days, that’s a welcome prospect for
businesses — especially for a reliable mobile device. The Chromebook offers
outstanding ROI. As the years progress, usage won’t bog these babies down, so
(barring a hardware issue) they’ll work as well as they did when you first
2: Seamless integration with Google Apps
More and more small businesses are migrating onto Google
Apps, and they’ll want devices that integrate into that platform with ease.
That’s the Chromebook. On no other platform will you find such perfect
integration with Google Apps. And with Google Apps enjoying increasing success
within the world of business, the Chromebook will become an essential element
in Google’s toolkit.
No other device gives you this much speed for such a low
price. Because ChromeOS is a single-minded platform, it doesn’t suffer from
bloat like most other operating systems. A device featuring an Intel Celeron
2955U 1.4 GHz and 2 GB of RAM feels far more powerful than it should. And with
a boot time of between four and 10 seconds — and instant-on from sleep — you’ll
lose no work to laggy machines.
By its nature, the Chromebook lends itself to an efficient
experience. When you work with a Chromebook, you know what you’re getting into.
Although you can use the internet exactly as you would any other machine, you’ll
find fewer distractions than you would on a standard PC. You work, full screen
(for the most part), focused on the task at hand. And because there is
absolutely no learning curve, getting up to speed on the device is like hopping
from one web browser to another.
Remember, ChromeOS is based on Linux, so it already enjoys an
incomparable level of reliability. And because the users won’t be installing
the standard applications, there’s little to no concern for malware and virus
infections. These devices just work. That means an added cost savings for
businesses, very little downtime, and hardly any user training. Imagine not
having to spend resources removing viruses and malware on a daily basis.
Imagine not having to hand-hold users on how to use a PC.
6: Browser-based work
Most everything we do now is tackled through a web browser
— so much so that the software on a standard PC is slowly becoming waste. With
that in mind, why would most users even need a standard PC when they can do
everything they need with a web browser — and one of the best browsers on the
7: Apps and add-ons
If you think the Chromebook is nothing but an overhyped web
browser, think again. With an ever-growing app store, there are more tools than
you might expect. And as the Chromebook continues to rise in popularity, the
app store will continue to expand to include increasing numbers of business-focused
8: Cloud friendliness
Remember a few years back when no one knew what the cloud
was going to be? Now we know, and it’s become essential to doing business. The
Chromebook is the ideal cloud-centric tool on the market. But even without the
cloud, the Chromebook still functions (working in offline mode). If your work has
migrated to the cloud — or soon will — why not make use of the single best cloud platform available?
9: Outstanding hardware
I’ve compared the trackpads and keyboards of the low-end
Chromebooks to those of higher-end hardware. I have to say, the Chromebooks get
the nod on almost every instance — especially with the trackpads. Getting quality
builds for such a low cost is a huge plus for businesses that need machines that
users can use effectively. Even comparing the flagship Chromebook Pixel to a MacBook
Pro with Retina, the Chromebook hardware wins, hands down.
I’ve already mentioned the Pixel, but it deserves special
mention. If you’re looking for a piece of hardware to really and truly impress
clients, walk past the MacBook Pros and go directly to the Pixel. The Pixel is
without rival for screen, keyboard, and trackpad. Period. Once you’ve
experienced the Pixel, all else will pale in comparison. For CEOs looking to
get that special nod from clients and other executives, the Pixel is the Aston
Martin of laptops. It may seem shallow (and something few would admit to), but
a solid first impression can sometimes make or break a business deal. An ugly
truth made beautiful with the Chromebook Pixel.
Here to stay?
The Chromebook is here to stay. For those who say “nay,”
I would first ask they use it before they abuse it. The Chromebook is an ideal
tool for much of what users do on a day-to-day basis. With incredible cost
effectiveness, reliability, longevity, and seamless integration with Google
Apps, choosing a Chromebook for business is a no brainer.
What do you think? If you have yet to try a Chromebook, what’s
stopping you? If you have tried it, what did you love/hate about the device?
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- Chrome books find a cozy corner at CES (CNET)
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