Chromebooks are quite attractive laptops that have gained a lot of popularity in the market. However, you may have some doubts when choosing, as it has some points against it.
The main disadvantages of a Chromebook are associated with the difficulty of adapting to the new operating system. Additionally, they don’t perform well for heavy-duty tasks, their hardware is limited, and there is poor compatibility with Windows and Mac applications.
Of course, each of these disadvantages is linked to some nuances that are important to analyze. Here, we will talk about each of these aspects in detail.
Is it a bad idea to buy a Chromebook?
Laptops that use the Chrome operating system are very popular because they have many benefits. For example, its price is very accessible, ChromeOS is a secure and stable platform, Android applications can be installed and its portability is absolute.
There are also several designs to choose from, being very elegant and easy-to-use laptops. However, they are not the laptops that most users are used to, and that can play against when making the choice. Likewise, there are other criteria that need to be considered before making a purchase.
Top disadvantages of a Chromebook
First of all, we want to clarify that these disadvantages of a Chromebook are not intended to discredit this device. Nor do we want to say that it is a bad option, but it is important that our readers have a complete idea of what they are going to buy. This will help users identify if it is the most appropriate for them.
All that said, we start with the most relevant drawbacks of a Chromebook:
1. OS adaptation time
Most users are used to working with laptops with Windows operating systems. In addition to that, there are those who prefer Macs and other Unix-based systems.
On the other hand, Chromebooks have a totally different operating system, which is developed with Chrome. It is a combination of Linux with Android that is quite versatile, attractive, and generally easy to use.
The problem is that getting used to this new system can take a long time because it is a new environment for most users. In fact, there are people who decide to directly abandon a Chromebook because they do not have time to learn how to take advantage of this OS.
Nevertheless, it is not such an obvious disadvantage, as it can be solved by spending a little time learning about this system. Still, it may not appeal to you.
2. Very limited hardware
Even high-end Chromebooks have hardware that falls short for running demanding applications. In this aspect, it has to be taken into account one of the most important characteristics of these laptops: they work with very low specifications.
These devices are offered to the user that works mostly with simple tasks, office programs, or for surfing the Internet. On the contrary, there are some laptops with Chrome that are powerful, but their price is exorbitant.
The budget ratio between low-end and high-end models is too lopsided.
3. Low performance for heavy tasks
In keeping with the previous point, you can’t expect top-notch performance if you are using a Chromebook. For simple tasks such as surfing the internet, watching videos, checking email, or creating text documents, there will be no problem.
It is also possible that you can play some old video games, although of course, only those that are compatible with Android or run in the browser. But when it comes to really heavy tasks, such as programming, designing, or multitasking, a Chromebook is not outstanding at all.
4. It is not for gaming
If you want to buy a laptop for gaming and move from one place to another, Chromebooks are not the best alternatives. Of course, it is possible to install Android games, but probably you prefer to run these titles directly from your smartphone.
Remember that most of the most popular video games on the market are designed to run on Windows. And although there are emulators that work on Android, and could theoretically be used on ChromeOS, the laptop will not be powerful enough to run these apps.
5. Little support for Windows and Mac apps
As attractive as the Chrome operating system is, most users opt for Windows applications. After all, to use Android or iOS apps, there are mobile phones and tablets.
In this sense, you might have thought of using the same programs for Microsoft and Mac laptops, but on your Chromebook. There are some apps that are available, but most of them do not have support for ChromeOS.
This implies that you have to look for new programs that fulfill the same function, but which are not familiar to you. As a result, you will again have to spend time learning to familiarize yourself with the user interface.
In this aspect, there are a couple of applications that are notably missed in this operating system:
If you buy a Chromebook, forget about using Skype as a communication method. Skype is one of the most powerful international calling and video conferencing tools on the market. It is essential to chat with people anywhere in the world, especially when it comes to business.
Its inclusion on a Chromebook is missing, and although you can use Google Hangouts, it is not as comprehensive a resource as its Microsoft competitor.
The most widely used office suite in the world has become a necessity for most people. Everyone uses Office, or at least Word and Excel. A Chromebook is capable of opening Microsoft Office documents, but up to here, since it is not possible to edit them, much less create new ones.
In contrast, it offers users the Open Office software, which is quite similar, but with many limitations.
6. Keyboard distribution
Although you may think that keyboards are universal, this is not strictly the case, at least not with Chromebooks. Their keyboards are designed for the English language exclusively. Therefore, users who need it for additional languages, have this disadvantage.
They still have the QWERTY format, and are quite comfortable keyboards, but with this limitation. Although it may not seem relevant, if you plan to use this notebook for typing in other languages, it will be against you.
7. Low storage capacity
With the purchase of a Chromebook, Google offers you about 100GB of free cloud storage via Drive. Now, most laptop users prefer physical storage on their computers, especially for relatively large files.
For example, a good storage drive is required to store photos, videos, songs, and more. There are Chromebooks with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB of storage, which leave a lot to be desired for the most demanding users.
8. Somewhat fragile structure
All that elegance and attractive design that a Chromebook has are in contrast to its structure. These laptops are a bit more delicate, especially compared to laptops from top-notch manufacturers.
Therefore, you must be very careful when transporting these devices, because if they fall, the damage could be irreparable.
9. Difficulty of maintenance and repair
As such it is not an exclusive disadvantage of Chromebooks, because it is a common problem in most laptops. Despite this, it is a little more evident in these models, because their components are designed exclusively for these devices.
Should you need to replace one of the components, it will be more difficult to find and possibly will have an increased price. In addition, sometimes it is not even possible to carry out the repair, because there are parts that are soldered on the motherboard.
Finally, in the case of maintenance, opening and cleaning the Chromebook requires the help of a technician.
Is it worth buying a Chromebook?
With all the disadvantages that we have analyzed, we do not want to say that a Chromebook is not a good option. If you need a laptop that is light, beautiful, and offers versatility for everyday use, it is a very good alternative. As if that were not enough, their operating system is safe and stable.
However, it is not very suitable for multitasking, video games, or demanding programs. Assess what your needs are and determine if a Chromebook is the best option for you.