If you have gone to a Best Buy any time in the last six years, you would know that there are two sections.  A section for Windows computers and a section for Apple computers.  Recently there has been a new section containing Chromebooks.  What are these devices?  Why do they have their own section?

What Are Chromebooks?

Google built one of the most popular internet browsers in the world, Chrome.  When the browser took off Google got the idea that it would make an easy to use operating system that wouldn’t have extreme demands.  Thus Chromebooks were born.  A lightweight alternative to a traditional computer that is based entirely on a browser.  Not something that most people would have predicted or expected.

Chromebooks are small laptops that run with the Chrome browser as the focal point.  Apps and extensions take the place of programs.  Despite the fact that the whole operating system revolves around a web browser, there is very little that you can’t do on one of these devices.  Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and more are all available.

What Hardware Is Inside A Chromebook

The original Chromebooks were powered with Android tablet like hardware.  That meant that they were severely limited in what they could do.  More modern technology has eliminated this concern.  Plus, more and more computer companies are taking Chrome OS seriously and developing devices that run the specs of a normal computer.  And they are available for less, unlike Google’s original attempt to develop a full computer powered by Chrome OS.  The Google version cost around $1,299, depending on what seller you purchased from.

With a browser based operating system you don’t need the fastest processor or a whole boat load of RAM.  The demands of such a system are simply less.  With less demands and less power there is another benefit.  The batteries on Chromebooks also tend to last longer.  Some Chromebooks can see 10+ hours’ worth of battery life.  That is amazing for a laptop.

Are Chromebooks Only Available As Laptops?

When the Chrome OS by Google originally launched it was only available on laptops, hence the common name Chromebook.  However, they are available on several different devices now.  There are still plenty of standard, light weight laptop option available with the Chrome OS on them.  If you want something a little more versatile, there are also convertible designs available that can transform into tablets.

You can also get all in one Chrome OS computers that are similar to Mac or Windows all in ones.  Another common trend has hit the Chrome OS world.  You can also get a Chrome Stick which is a stick that plugs into an HDMI port and only requires a keyboard and mouse.  These are a great option for those who desire portability on a larger screen.

What Apps Are Available?

Most Chromebooks are capable of running any app that you can get on the Chrome browser when you are using a PC.  This means you can get Grammarly, AdBlock, and many other popular options.  Many people have asked why you can’t use Android Apps on a Google made operating system.  It turns out that Google has taken head of that question and the first line of Chrome OS devices that can use Android Apps has come out.  The Samsung Chromebook Plus was the first device able to do this natively.

Android Apps give users access to even more versatility, including an offline version of Microsoft Office.  In other words, the dependence on an internet connection has been almost completely removed.  It also ads the ability for a whole new range of developers to work on what is essential no longer an app and now a program.

If you are looking for an affordable computer and don’t want to run computer games or programs like Photoshop, chances are that a Chromebook would work for you.  Chromebooks tend to also have much less of a learning curve because most programs look similar and there are far less confusing applications.  The chance of getting a virus is also reduced simply because there are less programmers aiming to take control of a Chrome based computer.