Can I use a Chromebook as my Main Computer?

For those of you out there that are Chromebook haters… The short is answer is yes, you can actually use a Chromebook as your main computer. But there are serious trade-offs…

What is Chrome OS

There are a few primary factors that you should consider if you plan on using  a Chromebook as your main computer. The first that comes to mind is that the primary operating system on a Chromebook is Chrome OS and is the only default and supported one and it is important to know that Google maintains it… I mention this because there are ways that you can install, say Ubuntu on a Chromebook…

Anyways, the main operating system on a Chromebook is Chrome OS. What is Chrome OS? Chrome OS in short terms, is a web based operating system meaning that most of the work that you will do on it, resides in the cloud. Another good mention of Chrome OS is that it is extremely light weight and requires very little system resources to run (We’re talking in the K’s).

The final thing you should know about Chrome OS is that it uses the Linux kernel. This means that you should be prepared for high standards in security and performance!!!

So can I actually use it as my Main?

The short response is yes,  but there are a few serious trade-offs… These trade-offs include the fact that Chrome OS in its natural state cant execute binaries, meaning that you cant run desktop applications or basically games. Google has built an alternative to this downside though. They

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built something called the Chrome Web Store, this is basically a place that you can install all the latest plugins and apps for your Chromebook. It’s basically like the Microsoft Store on Windows, but doesn’t offer heavy games such as World Of Warships….

Besides the fact that you cant execute binaries, there are many upsides to Chromebook Computing. Another advantage is its security. Since Chrome OS uses the Linux Kernel it already has excellent Security protocols and policies in place… In effect, normal virus’es cant even run on Chrome OS  and I’m not sure what they would actually do if they got on a Chromebook.

So far we covered that Chromebooks have a great app/extension store, and their security is amazing. But what about my data? If I choose, does it allow me to continue where I left off on another computer? To answer your question, Yes of course, syncing your data so it is always ready for you is one of the leading factors for you to chose a Chromebook. You can use any one of Google’s products (Docs, Sheets, Etc…), and it will always sync automatically  when your online so you can pick up where you left off anywhere in the world!!! On a side note, some newer Chromebooks come with free Google cloud storage  (100 GB free) allowing you to store up to 115 Gigabytes in the cloud for free!!!

A quick fact about Chromebooks is that they are almost always very light (weighing less than 1.25 lbs rough estimate), allowing for quick and easy travel!

Disadvantages

A few quick disadvantages I came up with are listed below:

  • Chromebooks are a closed off environment disallowing users to execute binaries, in effect you cant run heavy modern games or most older ones too
  • Heavy Word Processing along with all other document branches (powerpoint, excel…) are not native supported
  • Limited to configuration of Chrome OS

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is ultimately the computer users preference over their primary computer, but I will say that it is certainly feasible for using a Chromebook all the time though. Although Chromebooks could suit most people for their main devices… I cannot unfortunately use one , primarily because I like to program and doing so on a Chromebook is very tedious and more work than actually programming in the terminal on a non-Google computer :). But as a I mentioned, Chromebooks are not the right choice for everyone, but definitely will do more than adequate for the rest!

If you have more questions or concerns, please leave a comment below except if your name is NerdOfLinux :)!!!

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