Question Low power work computer...Chromebook?

Mr_Random_Guy

Prominent
Aug 14, 2019
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Tl;dr: I'm looking for a low spec, reasonably priced laptop for work only. Would a chromebook be a worthwile investment?

My son has a powerful desktop which he uses to game with his friends etc. However, he needs a laptop for schoolwork only (googling, microsoft office, etc.). It doesn't need to be able to run games or anything particularly intensive, though it should be able to, for example, display a 1080p video smoothly. Being quite out of the loop as far as new technologies go, i was surprised to stumble across Chromebooks. Essentially a thin(ish) client, with a lightweight OS, and all apps accessed through the browser? Sounds perfect! Low performance hardware should mean affordability, but an SSD and Chrome OS should mean still a very zippy experience for schoolwork. In addition, I believe chrome OS can remote access a windows pc (i.e his desktop) if the need arises. My questions are:
What is the general perception of chromebooks? Are they indeed fast at doing what they're intended for?
Are they good value for money? I could always buy a cheapo laptop off ebay, stick a lightweight linux distro on it and call it a day, but I think my son would appreciate a more user friendly enviornment.
I understand you can install some apps offline on the chromebook from the google play store (android apps?). Do these apps, which are intended for android, run well on Chrome OS?
What specs and storage space should i be looking for in a chromebook, bearing in mind the strict rule that this laptop is only for work, and that (i'm assuming) cloud storage solutions like google drive come as standard with chromebooks.
Are there any stand out recommendations?
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You could look towards any netbook, not just Chromebooks. The difference with a netbook is that you have the option for having Windows 10 on it and cross platform integration with apps/files is possible.

Budget, your location and your preferred site for purchase?
 

Mr_Random_Guy

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Aug 14, 2019
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but i believe netbooks generally have small screens (need 14" or above) and windows 10 (which will likely become slow on a low power machine?). In terms of budget, well i could buy a decently powered windows 10 laptop for £300 so definitely less than that. Based in England. Site makes no difference
 

Benjamin22044

Great
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Aug 17, 2020
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If you are looking for a device just for the light uses, I think a Chromebook can serve your purpose. A Chromebook has some really powerful features and would also not cost much. Besides, it is much easier and comfortable to carry a Chromebook while on the go. Laptops are good but Chromebooks are better for light usage.
 
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hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Correct me if I'm wrong, but i believe netbooks generally have small screens (need 14" or above) and windows 10 (which will likely become slow on a low power machine?). In terms of budget, well i could buy a decently powered windows 10 laptop for £300 so definitely less than that. Based in England. Site makes no difference
Get that Windows 10 system for 300, a large screen Chromebook is not cheap unless you get a used one.
 
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AndrewJohn

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Nov 30, 2020
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I think Chromebooks can be a pretty good device for the users who wish to perform light tasks only. My friend has this Lenovo Chromebook Duet powered by a MediaTek Helio P60T chipset and I find this pretty good because it serves the purpose of both tablet and Chromebook. Besides, even its battery backup is amazing.
 
Years ago I bought an HP netbook with a 15 inch screen and it was $250. That came with windows 10 and I just replace the hard drive with an SSD and doubled the ram and it is a very nice little workstation now. Perfect for work and you can load office and all the usual windows applications to it
 

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