Chromebooks: Oddity no more

Gone are the days when people deride Chromebooks, laptops running on a Google-developed operating system, Chrome, as “glorified browsers”. No one is asking now whether people want to work with web-based programs all the time. The numbers say they do: Five years since they were introduced in the market, Chromebooks outsold Macs, selling around 2 million units in the first quarter of 2016, against Mac’s 1.76 million. It has also been forecast that in 2017, sales of Chromebooks will reach up to 14.2 million units, triple the number in 2014.

What is it about Chromebooks that make people ditch their Windows laptops and Macs for a computer that works only when it is connected to the Internet?

It starts fast. The built-in apps are very light, so a Chromebook does not take long to boot. It also doesn’t slow down even when many apps are open at once.

Your files are backed up online You can back up your files in Google Drive, which is accessible from the Internet, so you don’t lose your files when your computer breaks down or gets lost. You can still store files locally, but most Chromebooks’ storage spaces aren’t big enough to keep huge volumes of files.

No need to update your apps yourself. Google updates the apps automatically, so you don’t need to schedule an update yourself.

Chromebooks are also among the most affordable computers today. You won’t shell out a thousand bucks for a serviceable yet sleek Chromebook. Here, we’ve selected 10 Chromebooks that fit anyone’s budget:

Price range: $150-$180

1. Acer Chromebook R11 If you are testing the waters, the Acer Chromebook R11 is the best place to start. It has everything you expect from a Chromebook: fast startup, web-based apps and cloud storage, a webcam, a USB port and an SD card slot. Though you might find the 11.6-inch-screen a bit small, you would like that it’s touchscreen and the monitor can be flipped, tablet-style. For a Chromebook with a flip design and 16 GB of SSD memory priced at $179.99, the Acer Chromebook R11 is a steal.

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Acer | Chromebook R11 – $179.99
International shipping weight – 5.50 kg
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2. Toshiba Chromebook 2 If you don’t care as much about the monitor’s flip ability as you do about screen quality, then the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is the one for you. At 13.3 inches, the screen is wider than that of Acer Chromebook R11, allowing you to watch content online in rich detail. It’s also cheaper, priced at $169.99. Its silver streamlined body screams everything but “cheap”.

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Toshiba | Chromebook 2 – $169.99
International shipping weight – 6 kg
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Price range: $190-$250

3. HP Chromebook 14 While a Chromebook’s memory is often too small to store volumes of movies, it lends well to streaming movies online. Chromebooks like the HP Chromebook 14 will be your trusty ally if you’re a Netflix junkie. Its 14-inch-wide, 1366-pixel-by-738-pixel screen makes for a quality viewing. Also, it has a long battery life (nine hours and 15 minutes) so you don’t have to worry about the battery running out in the middle of your second movie.

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4. Acer Chromebook 15 Now if HP Chromebook’S 14-inch-wide-screen is still too small for you (I know, you love those epic movies with sweeping shots of the battlefield), Acer Chromebook 15’s screen is wider by 1.6 inches and offers lusher visuals at a 1920-pixel-by-1080-pixel resolution. And it’s a touchscreen, too.

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Acer | Chromebook 15 – $219.99
International shipping weight – 7 kg
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5. Lenovo N22-20 Touch Chromebook This Chromebook may not be the best-looking but its specs are among the strongest. First off, its battery life: it lasts for 14 hours. This means you could do on it a whole bunch of work for a full day without stopping for a recharge. It also comes with a webcam that rotates 180 degrees; with it, you could go artsy with your videos with lots of pans. Its memory card reader is something to rave about, too: It fits not one nor two memory cards but four.

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Lenovo | N22-20 Touch Chromebook – $215.00
International shipping weight – 5.50 kg
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6. Dell Chromebook 11 The Dell Chromebook 11 is another one whose not-so-flashy-look belies its capabilities. It weighs 5.50 kilograms, one of the lightest in the list, but its hardware is far from flimsy. No other than the US Military has said so: this Chromebook has passed the US Military standards for durability, pressure, temperature, humidity, shock, and vibration. The rubberized trim that runs along the edges of the base and screen protects it from shocks. Though not a touchscreen or a flip design, the screen can be pushed all the way back until it lays flat on the floor.

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Dell | Chromebook 11 – $207.00
International shipping weight – 5.50 kg
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7. Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook quash the idea that Chromebooks are only for students and hobbyists. Like the Dell Chromebook 11, this has passed at least 12 US Military Specification tests for durability. This means it can endure stresses of both the classroom and the boardroom. It has a 13.3-inches-wide screen while its 720-pixel web camera supports wide-angle viewing and face-tracking.

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Lenovo | ThinkPad 13 Chromebook – $229.97
International shipping weight – 6 kg
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Price range: $260-$500

8. ASUS Chromebook Flip Are you the corporate executive who wants something reliable yet stylish? Then the ASUS Chromebook Flip is your best bet. The screen measures 13.3 inches wide and can be flipped up to 360 degrees like a tablet, great for client presentations over lunch. It has one of the largest storage spaces at 32 GB, while its battery life is a decent 10 hours.

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ASUS | Chromebook Flip – $499.00
International shipping weight – 5.50 kg
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9. HP Chromebook 13 The HP Chromebook 13 is for those who want the ease of a Chromebook’s web-based apps and the beauty of a Macbook. With a weight of 5.5 kg and a thickness of 0.5 inch, this Chromebook is one the lightest and thinnest in the market today. The HP Chromebook 13, however, is more than a pretty face. Its 13.3-inches screen has a resolution of 3200 pixels by 1800 pixels, among the highest in Chromebooks. So is its flash memory, which has a capacity of 32 GB. Battery life lasts up to 8 hours 25 minutes only, but hey, you can’t have it all.

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HP | Chromebook 13 – $478.99
International shipping weight – 6 kg
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10. CTL J5X Chromebook The CTL J5X Chromebook is designed to be a workhorse. Called “extra-rugged” by its manufacturer, its body is made to withstand shocks from dropping. Its surface resists slippage while its keyboard is sealed to keep spilled liquids from reaching the electronics inside. The screen is 11.6-inches-wide and can be flipped 360 degrees to resemble a tablet.

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CTL | J5X Chromebook – $289.00
International shipping weight – 5.50 kg
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Finally, the Chromebook has shed its curiosity image and has become a computer that truly responds to its users’ needs and adapts to their lifestyles.

Still haven’t got a U.S. Address? Get one now for free at comGateway.com and start shopping!