Opinion: Is Shifting From Windows To Chrome OS Worth It?.
Even before I started using Chrome OS, it impressed me with its browser-based features and interface. Despite its limited functionality, Chrome OS does a great job of handling what I expect from a Windows laptop, namely a browser, a few casual games, and loads of YouTube. So I tried and used it for over 1 month, leaving Windows completely and using only my Chromebook as my primary laptop. Here are my thoughts.
After I started using it, I noticed two things: first, it is really fast. Faster than I expected, and second, it is really intuitive, almost too easy to understand. If you’re used to the Chrome browser, then with a Chromebook, you almost feel at home. In fact, all you have to do is sign in to your Google account and that’s it. All extensions, bookmarks, browsing history, and more are automatically synced to your device and available at your fingertips, just as you would expect from a web browser.
But there are even a few things that I hated from the very beginning. I really missed the Alt + F4 keyboard shortcut for closing applications. In fact, there is no other shortcut in Chrome OS to close. You have to use the trackpad every time, which is very annoying. Either way, a touchscreen (if your Chromebook has one) always comes in handy to hit the X button at the top. This would be a hindrance for me if Chrome OS didn’t have a touchscreen.
The Chromebook I used (ASUS Chromebook Flip C101PA) has a 10.1-inch screen, which I find too compact. Anyway, this is a hardware thing, not Chrome OS.
Daily grind with Chrome OS
My day-to-day job is something like writing articles, browsing the web, watching videos, replying to messages in Slack, and so on. As said, Chrome OS is extremely good at what I wanted. It’s so efficient that I can even open 20-30 tabs on chrome without worrying. For the price of this Chromebook, that’s more than what I actually asked for. While many features are missing, I will vote for efficiency more than additional features.
After a few days of using, I really wanted to thank Google for not allowing anyone to use custom skins on Chrome OS like Android. Otherwise, all my opinions on this matter would be completely opposite. What’s more, Google officially announced that they were going to support software updates for 8 years, and the Chromebook also had a good name for a longer lifespan. These are extremely important points to consider when purchasing.
I really don’t understand why most people don’t talk about the Chromebook keyboard, but I really love it. Replacing less useful function keys with hotkeys like adjusting volume and brightness, and replacing a capital letter with a search option is really good. There is not a single key that can be considered useless. Thumbs up for that.
Chrome + Android = the best of both worlds
Since the Chromebook can now run Android and Linux apps, I can’t just walk away without mentioning it. I agree that these apps have really improved the functionality of Chrome OS and I can easily find an Android app for any type of work. But it feels more like using an Android tablet with a keyboard than a Chromebook when using multiple apps.
Some are not quite optimized to work with the desktop layout, and some of them don’t even work properly with the touchpad. And it’s impossible to know which app is working and which is not until you download it yourself. Be that as it may, Google offers you apps to download from the Play Store homepage. These apps are fully optimized and work great.
A little tip: – If you are going to download an app that also has a web version, you can turn this website into an app using Appcationize. It actually works much better than the Android app you are about to download. Slack, Twitter, Google Keep, and Docs are some of the apps I can recommend for you based on my personal experience.
This doesn’t mean that Android apps aren’t good enough, they’re just great and can even add additional benefits that aren’t even possible on Windows. In fact, I can now save movies and TV shows for offline viewing on Netflix and Prime, which is not possible on Windows.
Dear ChromeBook Manufacturers,
When there are smartphones with more than 512GB of internal storage, most Chromebooks don’t even have the good-spec 256GB combined. Don’t get me wrong, I know the Chromebook is not designed for this. But after all the updates and support for Android and Linux apps, they definitely deserve more.
Since I use both Android and Google Chromebooks, I expected seamless syncing between both devices, sometimes also referred to as the “ecosystem.” While there are a few features, I think Google can improve a lot in this section. I love that I can unlock my Chromebook using the fingerprint sensor on my phone and can also browse by switching devices. But apart from that, there is nothing else you can do. I hope Google Nearby Share can help take this one step further.
As more powerful Chromebooks have emerged lately and streaming services such as Netflix and Stadia become popular. I think the future of Chromebooks is safe. If all you need is something like writing, watching videos, messaging, checking email, and more, the Chromebook is a good deal, even better than Windows in some cases. At this price, it is much faster, and we don’t have to run into problems with drivers, etc. But in any case, Chrome OS cannot replace your Windows.
For me, if the Chromebook has a little more storage space and support for Adobe Creative Cloud services like Photoshop, I’m completely sold out to them. And what about you? Let me know in the comments below.