If you’re looking for a new laptop, you might see the word ‘Chromebook’ pop up every now and then. We’ve found that most people want a laptop that lets you shop online, stream, work and game, but they don’t know that the mighty Chromebook can tick those boxes. In this guide we’ll take you through all the pros of having a Chromebook and everything they’re good for, so you can decide if one is right for you.
Chromebooks are fast, simple and secure laptops. The reason they’re slightly different is because they run on Chrome OS (Google’s very own operating system), whereas others use Windows or Mac. The rest of the hardware that powers Chromebooks comes from some of the best brands, like Samsung, HP, Acer, Asus and Lenovo – and Google have a few of their own too. You’ll have easy access to your favourite apps too, using the Google Play Store or via the web. That puts all your docs, movies, music, books and games in one place. And when it comes to saving files, instead of blocking up the hard drive, you can store everything online in the Cloud. Simple.
Because the Chrome operating system boots up in seconds, it’ll always be ready when you are. So, you’ll be first in line for pre-sale event tickets or to shop the online sales. Or, when you’re trying to meet a deadline, the built-in Google Assistant helps you multitask by answering any questions as you type out an essay. Plus, the Everything Button finds your files quickly.
* An Internet connection is required to enable the Google Assistant.
When you first get a Chromebook, setting it up is easy. By just logging in with your existing Google account, you’ll already have access to your photos, files and any saved bookmarks on your browser. Lots of Chromebooks have a long-lasting battery life too (some have up to 12 hours). This means that when you’re out, you don’t need to worry about plug sockets, and they’re great for keeping you entertained on your travels.
Buying a Chromebook means you won’t have to fork out extra to stay safe online. It comes with layers of security to keep you and your data safe while you’re scrolling your feeds and watching videos. And it updates automatically, saving you any faff or worry.
With a Chromebook, you’ll find an app to do almost anything. Whether you’re in the mood for gaming or reading, there’s loads of choice on the Google Play Store, as well as the likes of Netflix and Disney+ for streaming films. Or, if you’re finally ready to tackle your school work, you’ll be able to access apps such as Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® by logging into your online Microsoft® Office account. The Family Link app lets you keep an eye on your child’s browsing activity too, for peace of mind.
*Additional functionality available with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Microsoft® Word, Excel®, and PowerPoint® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
When it comes to everyday jobs, Chromebooks have no problem running a bunch of apps at once. So, you’ll be able to message your friends about plans in town, while mapping your journey and listening to music.
Chromebooks are usually quite small and compact, making them great for taking to lectures, setting up in a café, or just carrying around the house.
From the online food shop to your kids’ homework, Chromebooks are well-suited for busy families. Because they’re so easy to use, even Granddad will be able to join in the fun. Not only that, but you can all have your own account, so you won’t see anyone else’s bookmarks or files. And to make sure everyone’s safe, the Family Link app lets you set screen time limits and block certain websites.
Because they’re so simple and secure, they’re great for students. Whether you’re in school or off to Uni, their light design is great for slipping in your bag and carrying to class. And with lots of apps at your fingertips, not only will there be something to help you write that essay, but you’ll be able to download Netflix and Disney+ to watch your favourite films
Whether you’re in the office or working from home, Chromebooks are a great desk staple. Because you save all your files on an online account in the Cloud, you can share links with other members of your team, so you can all work on a project together, in real time. They even come with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides for any projects or presentations. Or if you’d prefer to work with what you know, you can use Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® by logging in to your online Microsoft® Office account.
Simple and speedy, this Asus Chromebook is a great little gadget for uni. It’ll start up in the blink of an eye, and comes with built-in antivirus software to keep you safe online. The Intel® Pentium® Silver processor and 4GB of RAM mean everything will tick along smoothly when you’re smashing through assignments, and there’s a whole year of free online storage – no more adding up file sizes to see what’ll fit. All this is packed into a lightweight, portable design that’s perfect for carrying around campus. It’s got an 11-hour battery life too – great for when you’ve left the charger back in your halls! It also has:
Play all your videos and music, ad-free for 3 months.
Get a one-year subscription to Google One storage. Here you’ll have 100GB of space, and you’ll be able to sign-in on different devices to view and edit your docs.
From Canva to Tayasui Sketches, there’s different art and design apps that you can trial or download.
*Terms and Conditions apply. For more information go to https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/chromebook/perks/.
A Chromebook is a laptop - it just runs on Google’s Chrome operating system, whereas other laptops use Windows or Mac. Because the operating system is so simple, it’s easy to use and Chromebooks can boot up in seconds. Chromebooks also update their operating systems automatically and come with built-in virus protection.
Absolutely – Chromebooks can do all kinds of things. The Google Play store is filled with lots of apps for both work and play, making it great for families, students and work. Or, if you’re more of a creative at heart, there’s lots of design and editing apps to explore, such as KineMaster, Photopea and Canva.
No, Chromebooks don’t support Windows.
Yes! They’re really portable, making them great for carrying around Uni, and the online storage means you can save a doc on the Chromebook and go back and edit it from your phone.
Yes, Chromebooks work great with Microsoft® Office. You can access apps like Word, PowerPoint® and Excel® by logging into your Microsoft 365 account online.
Switching over is really simple. Grab your old laptop, click on Chrome and make sure you’re signed into your Google account. Then, you’ll need to back up any photos and files on the Google Drive. When you get your Chromebook, sign-in using the same account. Once you’re up and running, not only will you have access to all your photos and files, but all your bookmarks and passwords will be there too.
Yes, you can edit any documents when you’re offline, and they’ll update when you’re connected to the WiFi again.
Yes, your Chromebook can sync up to your phone to do all kinds of things. You can log into your Chromebook using the same account as your Android phone, so you’ll have access to any music, photos and more. Plus, if the WiFi drops, it can link up to your phone’s data, or connect automatically to other networks that you use on your mobile.
We’ve got loads of Chromebooks that cost anywhere between £149 and £1299. They range from basic models for everyday jobs, to powerful laptops that can handle professional apps on the go.