The Chromebook is a strange beast. A web browser made physical, a piece of software that it is possible to touch and interact with in the physical world. In short, the ultimate realisation of the Google dream of the (online) world beginning and ending in Chrome.
Given how much you can achieve in a web browser it isn’t as crazy an idea as it first seems and with many apps providing an offline experience, the prejudice against a Chromebook being useful in a connected world only seems to be fading away.
Just how much could you get done in the browser? Well aside from some left-field tasks that fall well outside of the 80:20 rule I’d say you could do pretty much everything, to a reasonable degree. Office editors, photo editors, remote desktop apps, games, video editors, feed readers… I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
All this capability, added to Chromebook’s wide range of price and quality options, explains why Chromebooks now outsell Macs in the US. That you can pick one up for about a fifth of the entry-level MacBook Air price explains the concept’s popularity outside of the US too.
The natural place for the Chromebook is in education, but sales figures suggest that it is breaking out from its perceived natural habitat. When Google publishes the Android Play store to Chromebooks that process can only accelerate.
The ultimate vision of the lightweight, network computer is here and its powered by Google. Don’t dismiss it when planning your next purchase.