Laptops are essential for many office workers to get work done, whether we work in an official office setting or from home offices. However, laptops can certainly be costly. When I went about purchasing a laptop for my own home office, I purchased a Chromebook. At the time, I had no idea what a Chromebook was or how it was different from a traditional laptop. When it arrived, I was surprised it didn’t function like a traditional laptop or have all of the usual accessories or abilities I was used to. I had been looking to buy a laptop for a specific reason, and that was to use it for my home office needs as a writer and business owner. For those purposes, the Chromebook was perfect.
The main reason I purchased a Chromebook, was that it was cheaper than other laptops. For example, I would have normally spent $500 or more on a “cheap” laptop, and the Chromebook I picked was around $200. Let’s be honest, if you’re not making a small fortune, then spending $1,000 or more on a laptop isn’t in the budget. Now that I have been using my Chromebook for over six months, my opinion is that they are a wonderful, low-cost, alternative. I’ll give you both the pros and cons.
- Speed. The Chromebook doesn’t have extra programs running constantly, so it’s faster and more efficient than a traditional laptop.
- Quick accessibility. Chromebooks turn on quickly and easily without a lot of lag time. So if you need it right this second – no problem.
- Online work is a breeze. Emailing, social media access, surfing the web – all extremely easy.
- Portability. It is lightweight, which makes it easy to take with you wherever you need to go: to and from the office or at the coffee shop.
- Battery life. Chromebooks can last for 7-9 hours without a recharge. That means you can get a whole lot of work done without being connected to a cord.
- No Microsoft Office. If you love Microsoft Office programs, and can’t do without them, then this may not be the laptop for you. However, Google applications have many similar programs such as Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations.
- Software compatibility. You can’t download Scrivener without first installing Linux, so if you’re a writer using Scrivener, this makes it a bit more complicated.
- No physical media player. You can’t play DVDs or CDs, but new technology is phasing those out.
- Google Chrome exclusivity. You’re stuck using Chrome as a web browser, unless you know how to download other browsers as “apps.”
- Necessary internet access. You need to be connected to the internet to do nearly anything on a Chromebook. You can set up Google Docs to be able to access and edit your documents offline. Beyond that, there’s not a lot you can do if you’re not connected.
How to decide
- Happy with apps? The Chromebook uses an app system that you access via the launcher. Therefore you need apps for everything. For someone who isn’t used to apps on their laptop or computer, this can be a bit obnoxious. However, for someone who uses a tablet on a regular basis, it can be a lot simpler.
- Time for a change?If you’re used to a traditional laptop and you do not feel at all comfortable parting with it, then this could be a con. However, if you want a change from the traditional laptop or find the Chromebook appealing, then it can be very beneficial.
The best way to use a Chromebook for small office work is to get work done from any location, use the Google applications already available on the laptop, visit websites that allow you to schedule your social media posts, do research for your work projects or official papers, email coworkers and other business contacts, and so much more. What you use it for will depend on your specific needs. If you’re constantly connected to the internet, then this can be the best low-cost solution!
The greatest thing about the Chromebook in my opinion, is its versatility, allowing you to take it anywhere and get work done faster and easier than on a traditional laptop. So, if you don’t get all of your work done at the office, then you can take your Chromebook home or access your documents and files through the Google apps!
If you work from home full-time, then you can easily get a change of scenery while continuing your work. You will be able to sit on a park bench with your laptop, sit down in the quiet but bustling library, enjoy a delicious cup of coffee while you work, or even work while you eat lunch. Sometimes a change of scenery can make you so much more productive, as it helps your mind flow better instead of feeling stuffy in the same location. Your Chromebook can make this change of scenery easier to achieve, especially if you love having a laptop with a full-size keyboard and screen rather than a tablet.
Whether you decide to use a Chromebook as your laptop for small office work or not, there are undeniable pros and cons to using it. The question is, do the pros outweigh the cons?
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