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Internet Marketing and Web Development in Higher Education and other tidbits…

The 6 Ingenious Chromebook Characteristics You Can’t Afford to Overlook

24 Mar 2014

written by Drew Davis

The 6 Ingenious Chromebook Characteristics You Can’t Afford to Overlook

The Chromebook is still relatively new on the personal computing scene, and somewhat a divisive issue among prospective purchasers.  The first Chromebooks were announced at Google’s I/O Conference in May 2011 and were met with little fanfare, but lots of skepticism.  Fast forward to 2014 and things have not changed all that much, except the massive sales and command of the top two best-selling laptop spots on Amazon.

Not quite a laptop, and definitely not a tablet; the Chromebook utilizes Google’s Chrome OS which is basically Google’s famous browser, Chrome, with a hardware interface.  Oftentimes, Chromebooks don’t have much more under the hood than you would expect to see in a smartphone; and this is why many are hesitant to take the leap and own one for themselves.

The many criticisms leveled at the Chromebook are well founded, but it is important to recognize that even Microsoft is scared of these new devices and their skyrocketing popularity.  What scares the competition is often good for the consumer, and below are 6 reasons why Microsoft’s woes are justified, Chrome OS is great and you can’t afford to ignore the Chromebook.

1. Affordability

The chromebook offers buyers a range of remarkably affordable options from a number of great manufacturing companies such as: Samsung, Acer, Toshiba & HP. It has become taken for granted that there aren’t people who can afford the latest Macbook Pro Retina Displays one often sees littering the tabletops of a local Starbucks. Sure there are the cheaper Windows based laptops, but if you want to accomplish anything on those you will need to dish out extra for the appropriate software to accomplish anything. Which brings us to our next topic:

2. Accessibility

Chromebooks are not just low-budget hardware devices; they represent access. Unlike normal laptops with their traditionally large hard-drives and slow-to-learn OS’s; chromebooks are simple and easy to use. Their simplicity allows them to be fast, and many chromebooks promise a less than 7 seconds startup time so you can get online and be productive faster.
While Apple and Windows are constantly pushing their machines forward to push the limits of what’s possible; Google has made a series of devices for the everywoman/man to find what they need, learn what they want, and do what they must, without barriers!

3. Connectivity

With Chrome OS, Google has identified exactly what the majority of users need out of their computer and given it to them at a serious fraction of the competition. People, with noted exception, need their computer predominantly for the internet. Because of this, chromebooks are designed to work online and as such, many of them come with mobile data connectivity built-in, try buying that at the Apple Store.
Google has gone pretty much all-in with cloud storage on the chromebooks. Each chromebook purchased comes with 200gb cloud storage, and everything you create or save on them is backed up instantly, so you’ll never lose that all-night 15 page essay again.
Connectivity and affordability are two things that can not be stressed enough in a world where we have begun to realize that access to the internet is directly relatable to knowledge and success. This digital divide, the separation between the internet haves and have-nots, is not just a matter of geography or wifi; but rather the exorbitantly high costs for the hardware required to plug-in. And, the chromebook is the first device to ever directly address this problem in a holistic manner…

4. Education

… Which is exactly why Google has targeted schools, teachers and students with chromebooks. It can not be overstated how essential connectivity is to education in today’s world and the chromebook is made for everyone from the elementary classroom to the executive boardroom, and every university class in between.

With chromebooks, schools can now afford to give every student internet access, college students can purchase their own personal computer without needing an extra loan, and a homeless man can build his very own app.

5. Portability

With the average chromebook weighing less than 3 lbs. it is hard not to see the appeal when faced with the option of what to carry around in your backpack all day.  The materials used in chromebooks are not the fine brushed aluminium of the macbook pro, but they are extraordinarily light and easy to use on-the-go.

With most having a 16gb or 32gb solid-state hard drive, the option to work offline and a 5-7 second boot time; you can pretty much do what you want, when you want where you are.

6. Longevity

Chromebooks are definitely built to last. As long as you don’t drop it from the top of your dorm, or office building, a chromebook should last you multiple years. This is due in large part because Google is constantly refreshing and updating Chrome OS, and there are developers all over the world constantly releasing cool apps for it. Oh, and did I mention that chromebooks are virtually virus proof?

The original Samsung Chromebook announced in 2011 is still good to this day, and is in fact the number 2 best-selling laptop (today) on Amazon. In fact, Samsung just announced the release of their second chromebook, but will continue making the first because it’s still a justifiably great purchase, with strong demand.

The Takeaway and How This Changes Education

The chromebook is not for everyone to be sure; it’s not a great choice for gamers, dj’s, web developers or engineers. However, it may be the single most important invention of the new millenium for education. Chromebooks are revolutionizing the technology sector, not by pushing the boundaries of what a personal computer can do, but by pushing the boundaries of pushing the boundaries of who can do it.

Students, all over the world, are getting online [some for the first time] and are able to accomplish amazing things with chromebooks. Because of this, the internet audience is ever expanding which is exactly what Google aims to do, and as a result every industry involved with the internet is coming along for the ride.

The content of this post is licensed: The post is released under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license

About the author

Drew Davis

Drew Davis writes for SIP to help spread awareness for the importance of technology in education, and it's growing use.

This post was written by Drew Davis

  • Juan de Seven Wexford

    Agreed on pretty much all points. Chromebooks are very very cool and I hope to see lots more of them out and about.

  • Adam Greenblum

    Chromebooks may not be for everyone, but they do make sense for schools. They’re easy for students to use and easy for IT staff to manage. They boot up very fast, so students don’t have to wait half the class for their laptop to be ready at the start of class. And they’re inexpensive and easy to replace.

    On the other hand, many web-based education applications require Java, which Chromebooks do not support. And some schools may still be running Windows applications. One possible solution for such scenarios is a product like Ericom AccessNow, an HTML5 RDP solution that enables Chromebook users to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server and VDI virtual desktops, and run Windows applications or desktops in a browser tab. That means that you can open up an Internet Explorer session inside a Chrome browser tab, and then connect to the applications that require Java and run them on the Chromebook.

    For an online, interactive demo, open your Chrome browser and visit:

    Please note that I work for Ericom

  • Bill Gibson

    You can use the free “Chrome Remote Desktop” software to remotely connect to an Internet connected PC, and use the programs on it via your Chromebook. You can hook your Chromebook up via standard HDMI cable to a flat-screen TV and you have a dual monitor system. View videos (plays YouTube & Netflix well) on one screen and do web stuff (email, google, blog) on the other screen. Seems to work well for both Blackboard and Moodle LMSs. The full sized keyboard is essential to being productive.

  • hopy

    chormebooks oh yeah I know about it now, through this article I learn more about this new app, thank you for sharing.

  • Adibkarim

    points are essential & effective.Chromebooks are really useful.More books….alherabd

  • Adibkarim

    Fantastic website. Lots of helpful information here.
    I’m sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

  • Friv 3

    I am pleased to bring you information that it is useful, thanks

  • marianacarlos

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is also really and chocolate delivery mumbai

  • Aayushi thakur

    for sharing this is very helpful! I’ve only just started using word press for
    my blog and found Chromebooks are very cool and I hope different devices as
    they aren’t always compatible.

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