9 reasons your next PC should be a Chromebook

An affordable price and access to millions of Android apps is just the start

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Credit: Swapnil
Why to buy a Chromebook

It's back-to-school time, and for many of you that means running out to buy a new PC. Here's why you should save yourself some money and buy a Chromebook instead of a Macbook or Windows PC.

And if you can wait until the winter holidays to make your purchase, so much the better as Google Play support is coming to more Chromebooks, and that means millions of Android apps will be at your disposal.

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#1 Inexpensive vs cheap

Chromebooks are extremely inexpensive without any adverse affect on performance, thanks to the lightweight operating system. You can get a decent Chromebook for under $200. I have 3 Chromebooks, none cost over $280, and I love them. I can even play resource-intensive games on them. In comparison Microsoft is selling ‘cheap’ Windows laptops that struggle the moment you open more than one app. There is no Macbook that you can buy under $900.

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#2 Hardcore hardware

You don’t have to settle for just a 'decent' Chromebook. If you are looking for really powerful hardware, especially now that Android apps are coming, you can shell out over $1299 to get the latest Chromebook Pixel. Although, personally, I wouldn't spend that much money on a Chrome OS device unless or until I am able to run Adobe Lightroom and ‘desktop’ apps natively on it.

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Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya
#3 Millions of apps

All the applications you need for work are already available for Chromebook, including Microsoft Word, OneDrive, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, etc. And in May Google announced it would be rolling out Google Play support to Chromebooks. This means that millions of Android apps will be available to Chromebook users.

The list of Chromebooks with Google Play support is here. (I can already install and run my favorite Android apps on my Chromebook Flip, including Skype.)

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Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya
#4 Thousands of games

Chrome OS had many web games, including Cut the Rope and Angry Birds, but with the arrival of Android, I can now play everything from resource-intensive Asphalt to Beach Buggy. My Chromebook Flip is plenty powerful enough to run those games.

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#5 Automatic OS updates

Chrome OS is a rolling release operating system. All you need to do is reboot the system and Chrome OS will automatically boot into the latest version of the operating system without any user interference or delay.

This will be a breath of fresh air for macOS, iOS or Windows users accustomed to frequent nagging to update their operating systems.

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#6 Virtually virus-free

Thanks to its Linux base (though even Linux is not immune to bugs) and extremely aggressive update cycle, Chrome OS is extremely secure. Even if you run Android apps on your Chromebook, you can rest easy that a virus won't infect your machine. That's because the apps run inside a container, which means that even if they are compromised the rest of the system will remain secure.

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#7 It's very cloudy

ChromeOS is primarily a cloud-centric OS where Google cloud is used for data storage and app syncing. But all Google services are either accessible via web and across platforms, including macOS, iOS and Windows. Yes, you're in Google's ecosystem, but you can access your data from anywhere at any time.

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#8 Work offline

A majority of native Chrome OS apps support offline mode, which means you can use them even if you are not connected to the internet. And with the arrival of Android apps, you will have millions of apps that work in offline mode. I use my Chromebook Flip with a 64GB microSD card and work on files offline. I use Google Docs only when I need to share my documents with others. I can also mount my local or remote file server and save files directly to my own storage without using Google cloud.

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Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya
#9 Work-life balance

Google has an entire suite of applications for enterprise customers. And you can access all of those apps and services from your Chromebook. Chromebooks also allow multiple users, so there is no worry about kids getting access to work email. When you're done working, just let them log in and maintain your work-life balance.