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Why Are Chromebooks So Cheap – Pros and Cons

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This article can answer your question about how Chromebooks are so cheap & affordable.

If you’re looking for a new computer that you can easily take on the go and are on a tight budget, Chromebooks are a tempting option. It’s important to remember that a laptop and a Chromebook cannot be directly compared on an apples-to-apples basis. The operating system is the main distinction, excluding price. Google’s stripped-down Chrome operating system might not have all the features you require if you’re used to Windows or MacOS. However, it’s also possible that it doesn’t, and given that some Chromebooks are even available for under $300, you might be able to save a ton of money by forgoing the features you won’t ever use.

Perhaps you noticed while shopping that some Chromebooks were significantly less expensive than their Windows (or, dare I say, Mac) equivalents. One under $200 is simple to find, and on occasion one is even on sale for under $100!

It prompts you to question their caliber. Their physical characteristics and abilities. Whatever you pay for, you get.

Why Are Chromebooks So Cheap?

Therefore, the main query is how a laptop can be so ridiculously cheap. It’s because of two primary reasons:

ChromeOS is the free operating system (OS) that is used. When compared to Windows or macOS, which are both for-profit operating systems, this one is free. Making ChromeOS free immediately cuts several hundred dollars off the final cost.

Because of the cost savings obtained from this, manufacturers can sell Chromebooks in bulk at a lower cost.

Retailers will purchase them in bulk and then give the consumer (you) the savings from a free OS.

It adds cost to the manufacturer, which raises the price, especially when compared to something like Windows that needs a license to use it. At the time of writing, a single Windows 11 license costs more than $139.

The components are affordable, and you can check our guide for the best 6 affordable Chromebooks. You certainly do get what you pay for. A powerful, high-end system won’t be yours for several hundred dollars. The essential elements (RAM, CPU, motherboard, etc.) are generally lower-tier models which are cheap to build.

Dedicated GPUs, excellent webcams, and responsible touchpads and keyboards are also absent from Chromebooks. 99% of Since Chromebooks are made of plastic, the posh aluminum finish is not an additional cost.

However, it also makes them more robust and long-lasting.

Furthermore, replacing it if it breaks won’t be a big deal. Even as a beater laptop, you can use it without worrying about bumping it off the edge of the table when you take it to the coffee shop. (By the way, Chromebook cases are inexpensive.)

What Can and Can’t I Do With a Chromebook?

Google’s Chrome web browser was essentially Chrome OS at its inception. It made the typical Chromebook seem like little more than a laptop that runs a web browser and that’s it to those who are used to an operating system like Windows or Mac.

Even if that’s all the Chrome OS ever developed to be, quite a bit can now be accomplished entirely online. If you take stock of everything you do on a daily basis, you might discover that Chrome, even at its most basic, can help you with everything.

However, the Chrome browser and other programs compatible with Windows or Mac OS X can run on a laptop running Windows or a MacBook. Even if you don’t immediately require a certain piece of software, having the option is convenient. Additionally, a Mac or Windows PC will function just as well if you’re looking for a Chromebook for online learning with Google Classroom.

In a similar vein, Windows and Mac software are not natively compatible with Chromebooks. Although VMware can be used by businesses to run Windows applications on Chromebooks, most Chromebook owners don’t find that to be an easy option. In addition, modern models can run Android apps, and there are web apps that are accessible through Google’s Chrome Web Store. However, Linux software is supported. Additionally, Chrome’s Remote Desktop feature allows you to use Windows or Mac software on a Chromebook and does so quite effectively if you’re thinking about getting one as a secondary device.

The inability of many people to use Microsoft Office is a significant barrier. On a Chromebook, you can use Office 365 online and install the Office progressive web apps but not the full Windows or MacOS desktop versions of the Office productivity suite. PWAs function exactly like mobile apps, allowing you to use them offline, receive notifications, and pin them to the taskbar. In general, though, avoid purchasing a Chromebook if you require or desire a specific Windows or Mac application and there isn’t a web or Android app substitute that works just as well or VMware isn’t an option.

A Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop is also necessary if you require sophisticated photo and video editing features. Basic photo and video editing is fine, but Chromebooks usually don’t offer the graphics power you need for taxing tasks or, once more, the ability to install Windows or Mac software and games. On the other hand, Chromebooks can now be used for more than just Android and browser-based games thanks to streaming-game services like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Linux games can also be installed and played, but you’ll need a more expensive Chromebook to do so. Additionally, a number of Android editing apps, including Adobe choices, are also available.

Are They Made from Cheap Materials?

Even though Chromebooks don’t have the most expensive components, they are still adequate for the average student or casual user.

The touchpad may not be the most responsive or the keyboard the most ergonomic, but they both work. The cost to the consumer is reduced through cost savings on parts. They are therefore affordable for their target market.

Chromebooks are mostly used by students. It doesn’t make sense to construct something that is expensive because the majority of them don’t have a lot of money (yet).

In addition, purchasing them in bulk makes them more affordable for school districts to purchase for their students to achieve that 1:1 ratio!

Strong and long-lasting materials are used. They are inexpensive to maintain a low price, but they are effective. I believe Chromebooks are designed to work for a wide range of users and usage scenarios.

The demographic is primarily composed of students, and not all of them take good care of their electronics. They therefore have some abuse resistance built into them. They would receive negative reviews right away if they didn’t.

8. Why Are Chromebooks So Cheap2

What is a Good Chromebook?

Prior to a few years ago, Chromebooks from all manufacturers essentially had the same features. Today, a much wider range of laptops and two-in-ones — convertibles and tablets — are available to benefit from Chrome OS’s current features. When it comes to Windows laptops, you’ll still find more sizes and designs, especially if you require the best processing and graphics performance, but the range of choices is much greater than in the past.

The small, light-weight Chromebook OS and web apps have low hardware requirements if all you want is a good, basic experience with it. Having a faster, higher-end processor, more memory, and more storage for files and apps will help keep demanding multitaskers moving along; an Intel Core i-series or AMD Ryzen processor, 8GB of memory, and a 128GB SSD for storage will take you far but undoubtedly raises the cost. Here’s what I recommend when I’m asked what basic Chromebook specs to look for:

  • Intel Celeron or Pentium, Qualcomm or MediaTek processors
  • 4GB of memory
  • 64GB of storage
  • Full HD (1,920×1,080-pixel) display

With these recommendations, there is some leeway. You can purchase displays with a 1,366×768 resolution, but when compared to full-HD models, the inexpensive ones found in low-end Chromebooks look especially soft. And as long as there is a microSD card slot to supplement it or you don’t intend to download a lot of Android apps, you can get by with 32GB of onboard storage. A Chromebook relies less on local storage of files than a typical laptop does and instead primarily uses cloud storage. It’s also important to note that storage and memory are frequently soldered on, which means they can’t usually be upgraded after the fact, so you might want to make preparations in advance.

Regardless of the Chromebook you choose, you should always research the AUE, or Auto Update Expiration date, before making a purchase. The Chrome OS and browser updates, including security updates, are currently only available for a limited time on non-Google hardware. However, that isn’t always the case. For models that have just been released, the date is roughly seven to eight years after the device was first made available. You should check Google’s list of AUE dates for each model before purchasing a Chromebook, whether it be new or used.

Do Chromebooks Need An Internet Connection?

When Chromebooks first came out, they essentially turned into paperweights when they were offline, which was a real problem if you were in the middle of editing a crucial document and suddenly found yourself unable to save it because your web connection dropped. Thankfully, things have improved as Google has improved offline support and popular apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify offer offline options.

Due to the installed software that saves to internal storage, being offline is a little less of an issue on a typical laptop. Chromebooks are a poor choice if you’re not willing and able to be online the majority of the time, even though neither experience is great offline these days. On the plus side, Google has made it very simple for Android users to instantly turn their phones into mobile hotspots and to improve compatibility between Chromebooks and Android devices.

Are Chromebooks Really Worth It?

Again, it depends on what you’re using it for, but I believe they are. They can be used as your main device, a helpful companion for quick research, or a post-work content consumption device. Or, if you purchase them for the incorrect purpose, they may be fairly useless.

Your device will probably stutter if you purchase one and attempt to emulate Steam games (such as DotA Underlords, Phasmophobia, or Unturned) or create music on it. Money was thus wasted.

Yes, they are significantly less expensive than Windows-based systems if you purchase one and use it as intended.

It’s significantly less expensive than Windows or MacBooks when you can find one easily brand new for between $100 and $200. Why pay more if all you’re doing is simple tasks?

Use it to get a cheap laptop that you can carry around and replace when necessary without having to pay a hefty fee.

able to update and repair itself. stable and quite quick. dependable and reasonably priced. What more could you want

People who purchase one and then complain about its lack of functionality are likely uneducated and haven’t done their research on what Chromebooks can and cannot do.

They might have had higher expectations, but it fell short.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Chromebook?

When used in accordance with their design, Chromebooks have no drawbacks. You won’t be able to complete anything that requires a lot of computing power.

These devices only have basic browsing, media consumption, and other functions that a Play Store app can’t handle as their capabilities.

Heavy tasks like gaming, editing, production, etc. are also difficult for them.

You cannot run.exe files, install programs, or use other common Windows-friendly software. Therefore, getting used to it takes some time.

How Long Does a Chromebook Last?

Some might argue that Chromebooks don’t last as long as conventional Windows or Mac computers, but I believe that depends on how you use them.

There are steps you can take to make the most of the battery, maintain its cooling, and keep it clear of debris. Your laptop won’t have any issues as long as you take care of it.

You are protected against defects thanks to the manufacturer’s basic warranty that comes with Chromebooks. The base warranty lasts exactly a year from the date of purchase.

Additionally, the retailer you purchase it from may offer an extended warranty; this is available at the majority of significant big-box stores. In addition, your credit card provider may be able to provide you with extended warranties.

They are, in any case, arguably well-built and QC-quality.

Why Are Chromebooks So Slow?

Given that they are less powerful than laptops with higher price tags, they may lag behind in speed.

Keeping this in mind, Chromebooks are designed to be inexpensive, reliable, and functional for daily tasks.

As a result, you cannot anticipate them to have a 5GHz octa-core CPU or 64 gigabytes of RAM.

They have no trouble handling the majority of tasks. However, it will slow down if you start to push it by running a lot of tabs, several apps, or unplayable games.

Therefore, you might not experience the same level of responsiveness from your Chromebook as you would from your M2 MacBook Pro. Chromebooks will excel when applied to their intended tasks.

They’ll slow down after that.

Like any other computer, keeping it in good working order requires proper maintenance, which includes routine cleaning of the inside and outside.

Over time, Chromebooks will become slower, but routine maintenance can increase their speed.

Can a Chromebook Replace a Laptop?

That entirely depends on what you plan to do with it, much like the other answers on this page. Yes, it can probably take its place for simple computing.

You’ll probably be happy with it if you’re at ease using Chrome web-based apps, Chrome extensions, and downloading apps from the Play Store.

However, problems arise when you need to set up specific applications that don’t have an online user interface or apps that are accessible through the Play Store.

It probably won’t be able to replace your laptop if this serves the purpose for which you intended it. Either use both, or do without the Chromebook.

The light workloads that these computers are made to handle. For the most part, imagine it as your phone. You don’t process or perform labor-intensive tasks with it.

You merely use it to communicate, gather information about whatever interests you, take pictures and videos, play games, etc. These kinds of fundamental tasks are where Chromebooks shine.

But you’re not going to use your phone to edit that 8K video. Additionally, you won’t employ a Chromebook.

Yes, it’s a pretty bad illustration. But I do hope you understand what I mean.

What is Better for a Student’s Laptop Or Chromebook?

A Chromebook should be capable of handling anything you can throw at it for students.

watching lectures, reading, researching, looking at PDFs, taking notes, going through slides, finishing online assignments, or participating in video conferences.

Consider the majority of online activity performed by the average user; Chrome. The Google Play Store apps can be used for anything else.

You can use the money you save by using Chromebooks to buy other things (like. books), so they’re very competitive for students compared to other laptops.

Is It Worth Buying An Expensive Chromebook?

According to your intended use, yes.

There aren’t many programs that are resource-hungry because ChromeOS has few capabilities. You can only use Google Play Store apps, browser-based programs, and Chrome extensions.

Most of those can be handled by entry-level Chromebooks, but the ones that demand more power might need a more potent Chromebook.

But for most people who use these laptops (students), a basic or moderately priced one should be “good enough.”

There’s no need for a pricey Chromebook if you’re just doing schoolwork, watching videos, social networking, or playing random games. There’s a good chance you don’t need all of that power and that your cost-to-performance ratio isn’t being maximized.

It’s like investing in a Lamborghini and then only using it to get to the grocery store.

A more powerful setup might be advantageous if you intend to dual-boot Linux on it.

Once Linux is installed, you’ll have access to a wide range of new features, including those for video editing, sideloading Windows, coding, word processing, audio production, playing Steam games, and even just using an alternative browser like Firefox.

This will call for more processing power, which only pricey Chromebooks can provide. If you plan to only watch TikTok on your Chromebook, then there is no point in paying that price.

In conclusion, it depends on your plans for it.

How Much Should You Spend on a Chromebook?

Spend only what you will actually use it for. Spending too much is not advisable. Do you require a Lamborghini to travel to the Walmart next door? What about a Hyundai Sonata instead?

In other words, the entry-level Chromebook will work fine if you don’t require a computer to complete the most difficult tasks (since Chromebooks aren’t designed to handle those, anyway). It completely depends on your usage situation:

If all you’re doing is basic web browsing, video watching, social networking, video calling, basic apps, etc. A Chromebook that is affordable will do in that case.

You can purchase a number of affordable Chromebooks for under $100. If you buy it used, it will be even less expensive. Ideally, a Celeron CPU with 2GB of RAM would work.

If you perform some professional work (editing photos, producing artwork, sketches, presentations, sheets, documents, etc.), you may.) or you just like to multitask with multiple apps running, then a middle-of-the-road Ideally, a Chromebook would work.

This is ideal for those who must use multiple tabs or applications at once. or want to draw while listening to music.

You could also work on something else while listening to Twitch in the background.

For that multitasking capacity, look for Chromebooks with at least 4GB of RAM. While a faster CPU will enable you to complete tasks more quickly, more simultaneous tasks can be completed thanks to RAM.

For students or workers, check out these excellent Chromebooks.

Then there are the high-end Chromebooks that are comparable in price to entry-level MacBooks. Since some of these models can cost hundreds of dollars, they are only for serious fans.

On the other hand, they’re really nice. You can view them right here. They are expensive and strong. They resemble the Lambo Flex in the ChromeOS universe.

What is a Chromebook Good For?

There are many uses for Chromebooks. You can accomplish a lot with these tools without spending a lot of money. Chromebooks might be the best option for you if the majority of your usage will be for routine, everyday tasks.

  • Everyday web browsing
  • Replying to/checking email
  • Doing research
  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Viewing, editing, signing PDFs
  • Basic photo touch-ups
  • Accessing files from Google Drive
  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Discord, Reddit, Twitter, etc.) is used.)
  • Using web-based collaboration tools (such as Slack, MS Teams, Google Hangouts, etc.)
  • Zoom, Slack, Duo, Hangouts, and other video calling services)
  • Playing light games (online or Play Store)
  • academic setting, homework, etc.
  • (Google Classroom, business meetings, etc.))
  • Remote work or virtual/distance learning
  • Typing documents, working with spreadsheets, or making slideshow presentations

These tasks are effortlessly accomplished by Chromebooks. For most people, this is “good enough” and accomplishes 99% of their usage situations (if The numbers I was pulling).

Chromebooks can handle the majority of what students need to do, who make up the bulk of the market.

Which Lasts Longer, a Chromebook Or a PC?

In essence, a PC’s lifespan is determined by how demanding Windows is in relation to the hardware supporting it. The availability of drivers from PC and component manufacturers is also important. Hardware malfunctions will eventually happen. Every new processor from Intel is accompanied by claims that it performs 30 to 40 percent better than a PC that is five years old, with similar specifications. If the operating system is kept current, a PC’s lifespan could otherwise last for many years or even decades.

That is, at least, what we believed. As was mentioned in the previous section, due to new hardware limitations, Windows 11 abruptly prevented millions of PCs from receiving an upgrade. Older computers, including Microsoft Surface devices, are being disconnected. In the future, could Microsoft repeat this? We don’t know.

It is much simpler to determine how long a Chromebook will last because Google will tell you. If you’re considering purchasing a used or older Chromebook, keep in mind that at first it was only five years after the Chromebook’s initial production date. Google has started extending the time it supports Chromebooks by about six months to a year, and in some cases up to a total of eight years, more recently.

To be clear, a Windows computer or Chromebook that has passed the end of its support period will no longer receive feature and security updates. This could make both platforms susceptible to previously undetected malware or other attacks, which could have a variety of negative effects.

Additionally, Google recently stated that it is attempting to separate the Chrome OS security features from new features. At the moment, nothing else happens when a Chromebook closes the support window, including any new features or security updates. Future Chrome OS features may be abruptly discontinued by Google’s support window, but security patches may continue to be added for a longer period of time.

Which is Better, a Chromebook Or Laptop?

While we can’t say for sure which platform you’ll prefer, here’s a tip: If you believe a Chromebook might be the right choice for you, get a Windows PC, download the Google Chrome browser, and then use it only for one day. Even though both platforms now support Android apps, Chrome OS continues to offer a wider, more well-liked selection from the Google Play Store.

It’s fair to say that Windows offers a more complete experience, but Chrome OS is typically a much easier, less expensive substitute. The buying decision usually works out to something like: “I can do almost everything in Windows with a Chromebook, but…” Printing, managing files, and other such tasks are that last little bit.— that will guide your decision. Good luck!

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