Look, I’m not trying to start a war here, but hear me out: Chromebooks are awesome. In fact, I prefer mine to my Windows PC for nearly every use. Why? Because I think it’s a better system. Let’s talk about why.
Chromebooks Start Up (and Update) Instantly
When it comes down to it, no one likes to wait. And I’d argue that most users become even more impatient when it comes to using their computers—that 30 second wait for your computer to start up seems like an eternity.
With Chromebooks, that’s not really an issue. They wake from sleep within seconds—I’m talking like two or three seconds here—and even power up from nothing within 15 seconds or so. They start up crazy fast, which means you’re doing what you want to do quicker. My main Chromebook—an ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 with a Core m3 processor and 4GB of RAM—always boots significantly faster than my Windows laptop, which packs an core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM.
It’s also worth mentioning the update system: Chromebooks seamlessly update in the background and apply said update to a second partition, then switch the two upon reboot—for a longer explanation, check out this post on Android Nougat’s update system, as it’s exactly like the Chrome OS update system.
Without getting overly technical, this really means one thing for you: even when the system applies an update, you don’t have to wait any longer for it to restart. We’re talking 15-20 seconds and you’re back at it. Windows PCs take forever to install updates.
Setting Up a New Machine Is a Snap Thanks to Synced Settings
You know when you get a new computer and have to take hours to set everything up to your liking? With Chromebooks, that doesn’t happen—all your settings are synced across devices, so once you’ve set up one Chromebook, you’re good. Hell, even your settings (including extensions and apps) are synced from the Chrome browser on Windows or Mac.
So, for example, I’ve had six or so different Chromebooks and I use Chrome on my Windows desktop. When I log into a new Chromebook for the first time, I usually leave it alone for about 15 minutes or so—all of the settings from my previous Chromebook and Windows Chrome install are synced to the new ‘Book. That includes installed apps, extensions, icons in the shelf, and even the wallpaper. It’s literally a seamless transition.
And if I find a killer new extension while I’m on my Windows machine, it will sync to my Chromebook as soon as I install it. The whole thing is easily the most seamless transition between devices I’ve ever used. Everything is automatic, happens in the background, and takes place instantly.
But, if you don’t like that much data syncing between devices, it’s all granular—you can control what gets synced and what doesn’t. I’m so into that.
Instant, Always-On Security (and No Viruses)
This is arguably the biggest reason to switch to a Chromebook: fewer security woes. The reason for this is multi-fold.
For starters, all third-party software goes through Google first. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get a virus, not only because you’re using Linux but because if it’s not in the Chrome Web Store (or Play Store for devices with Android apps), then it’s not getting installed. Browser extensions do have their own privacy issues, but overall, Chromebooks are a lot safer than Windows machines.
In addition, every webpage runs in a virtual sandbox—this means it’s kept away from the rest of the system. If a threat exists on a page, it only exists on that page. It can’t access the rest of the system.
Beyond that, every Chromebook out there has what’s called Verified Boot. This essentially verifies the integrity of the operating system every time the computer boots up. If something is detected as corrupted or otherwise awry, it will automatically repair the system. Sometimes this might mean powerwashing the system—the term used for a factory reset on a Chromebook—but you’ll be back up and running in no time thanks to the device sync I mentioned earlier.
Now, all that said, I get that Chromebooks aren’t for every use. Am I going to suggest a Chromebook for a graphic designer, audio engineer, or video editor? No. Not even close. But what about a college student, general user, or even your mom? Absolutely. In fact, I’d argue there’s no better choice for that group.