ChromeOS first made landfall in 2011, a time that traces back to more than a decade ago from where we’re standing now. The journey this operating system has embarked on has been ambitious, going through constant evolution and hoarding new features every year.
So, how does a Chromebook shape up in 2022? Is it still offering the same barebones experience as it was during its initial release, or has it grown so far beyond the ordinary that the operating system has seemingly left its robust founding principles behind? Here’s our definitive Chromebook review in 2022, along with all this device’s major pros and cons.
Let’s dive right into the write-up with no further ado.
- In the meantime: How to maintain your Chromebook and extend its life.
The definitive Chromebook review 2022
Starting off this review is the “pros” section that will walk you through all the positive traits of a Chromebook and what benefits these devices pack for users on a day-to-day basis. Once we’re done with the pros, we’ll follow up with the cons so that you can acknowledge both sides of the coin and not just one.
What are the pros of buying a Chromebook in 2022?
Here are some of the best upsides of getting yourself a new Chromebook. These devices don’t come without packing a ton of punching power.
ChromeOS is famous for its speed, which makes it a stand-out operating system. It boots up a Chromebook within 5-10 seconds and makes sure this level of fluidity remains constant throughout the years. Think of the boost in your productivity levels when the device you work on doesn’t take more than mere seconds to start up and get ready for you.
Besides that, ChromeOS is through-and-through in terms of the rest of the facets of its user interface. You’ll point out what it takes for the device to get from point A to B—which is no more than seconds at best. If you’re a workaholic who does not want any performance stutters, Chromebooks certainly seem to be the way forward.
Chromebooks are exceptionally popular for their security standard alone. As fate has it, these devices have never been hit with ransomware, and this alone speaks volumes about the operating system’s robust protective measures. There are several security-centric measures that every Chromebook employs to keep users safe from impending threats and malware.
First, it incorporates what Google calls “Verified Boot,” allowing the device to perform a system-wide check and analyze the device for any present anomalies. It’s a highly effective solution to cybercrimes that are increasing daily, and it brings the best of convenience and functionality in an equal measure.
Moreover, Chromebooks make their applications operate in a sandbox environment, making it possible to contain viruses in case they ever latch onto the mainframe of your device. It’s pretty simple to understand; think of it as a scenario where any malicious program cannot migrate to other parts of your operating system.
The reason for that is timely containment. It will do you better by taking our complete guide on “Does Chromebook need antivirus software?” to acquaint yourself with the bigger picture.
- Recommended read in tandem with the topic at hand: Can Chromebooks get viruses? Are they secure?
ChromeOS is an operating system that’s as simple as they come. Forget about a convoluted graphical user interface that crowds you with many needless processes; ChromeOS is exempt from all that and takes pride in it too. Although some may see it as a con, you cannot fill up the desktop with app icons.
For this purpose, you have the Chromebook launcher at your disposal and the shelf that you can seemingly switch up to make it more useful, although the latter is speaking on a side note. For simple-minded people whose work revolves around the Chrome browser, Chromebooks hit home in terms of being the perfect solution to your cause.
ChromeOS combines speed, security, and simplicity and mixes them up in one success story, thereby striking the perfect trifecta and empowering millions of users around the spectrum to be more productive than ever before. If nothing else, we deem the user interface of Chromebooks utterly soothing.
We’re a long way out from being done just yet. One of the major pros of getting your hands on a trusty Chromebook in these times is the availability of the Google Play Store. Some time back, you might have needed to look at a list of Chromebooks that run Android applications, but that is not the case anymore.
All modern-day Chromebooks come with Google Play pre-installed, so users can go about their day while sporting the best Play Store apps in the business. Having the world of such utilities and tools available at your disposal means a great deal in the grand scheme of things. Due to the courtesy of the world of Android apps, ChromeOS users can get a lot done in 2022.
To get you up to speed with some of the apps prevalent on the ChromeOS Google Play Store, check out the following list of curated guides. Do note that what the following entails is just the tip of a colossal iceberg. Feel free to scour the Play Store for additional programs.
- Top 10 back-to-school apps for students using Chromebook.
- Top 10 education apps for kids using Chromebooks.
- Top 10 shopping apps in the USA for Chromebook.
- Top 10 entertainment apps for Chromebook.
- Top 6 streaming apps for Chromebook.
- Top 10 writing apps on Chromebook.
Next up, another highly enticing reason is that one should pick up a Chromebook in 2022, and it all pertains to the Crostini Linux terminal built right into ChromeOS. One of the top reasons you should run Linux on a Chromebook is all about the freedom you feel with being able to download and install top-quality software such as OpenShot Video Editor.
One of the things you can do with the ChromeOS Linux feature is to develop software and write code. It’s very much possible to download the likes of Microsoft Visual Studio Code, indulge in Java programming, and even code using a school Chromebook.
Our master program guide goes in-depth about the matter, so you should check it out for an extensive tutorial if you plan on writing code on your Chromebooks. It’s just an all-around top-grade functionality to have on the device. Not worth missing out on in the grand scheme of things.
In relatively recent times, Chromebooks have been blessed with the presence of the Steam launcher. Contrary to popular belief, Steam has been available on ChromeOS for a considerable time now, but only with the help of a workaround method. It involves using the Linux terminal to download Steam as a native application.
Doing so can yield favorable results only 50% of the time, and it’s pretty understandable why. All Chromebooks aren’t ready yet to host the ever-popular Steam platform on their mainframe, but the good news is that work has begun on the project, and early adopters benefit during the process.
That is to say, Steam has arrived officially on Chromebooks since early this year, but only a select number of Chromebooks can enjoy what the platform has to offer. Take a look at these devices and see whether you’re lucky enough to have one of them.
- Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1W)
- Acer Chromebook 515 (CB515-1W)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500)
- ASUS Chromebook CX9 (CX9400)
- HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook
- Lenovo 5i-14 Chromebook
Moreover, it varies from game to game what specific configuration of these devices is required to run Steam games properly. We highly recommend keeping pace with the official Steam on the ChromeOS Alpha page for more developments and further updates.
Prolonged battery runtimes
Another significant benefit of buying a Chromebook is its prolonged battery runtime. If we were to ignore the Chromebooks with the best battery life for a moment and talk about regular, budget-friendly Chromebooks, it might delight you to acknowledge that the average battery timing of these devices clocks in at about 8-10 hours.
These figures are sure to keep you content daily, regardless of the field you’re in. Therefore, school-going students, office workers, or business professionals can all rely on the brilliance of ChromeOS to last them their whole working day without having to plug them in.
- Related read: How to know if your Chromebook needs a new battery.
Cheap Chromebooks are such a steal, and there’s just no denying that. These devices are meant to be affordable, so the masses can easily purchase one and get about their working day with maximum speed and efficiency. We have a bundle of convenience and reliability here, and these traits are packed into a singular winning formula.
These top 5 budget Chromebooks to look into will make your day as you browse through their hardware specifications and determine their workability. Moreover, Chromebooks are famous for featuring exceptional discounts, deals, and saving across the USA’s most noteworthy retailers, including Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon.
When you can purchase one of these for around $200-$300 and expect utter reliable performance, it’s commonplace for the prospect to thrive, which is what ChromeOS has done in the education space. So let’s discuss that in the following subsection as it happens to be another glaring pro of a Chromebook in 2022.
Chromebooks are a colossal hit when it boils down to the education system. According to Google’s research alone posted in this blog from 2020, over 40 million Chromebooks are a proponent of education worldwide. Now, mind the year 2020 here. The article is from two years back. Ever since then, the developers have made efforts to manufacture new Chromebooks.
Given the exponential growth of these minimalistic devices, that 40 million figure is bound to be bumped up significantly by now. The reason for the success of ChromeOS in this particular department isn’t just one. Instead, there’s a lot that snowballs up and makes a Chromebook the device of choice for many schools and colleges.
One of them is the presence of the best education apps for kids using Chromebook, allowing children to boost their learning and get a lot more done than conventional methods. The same can be said about the side of the teaching workforce. Teachers now have a mutually blended software to work with that makes life easier for them.
We’re talking about Google Classroom. It allows pedagogs to create, access, and assess assignments without resorting to the old, ho-hum methods. The Classroom app is a work of art, allowing teachers and students to help each other while progressing with their daily routines just as efficiently.
- An intriguing read to follow up on: Google’s new Chromebook Repair Program for education.
Easy to manage for administrators
Another significant benefit of owning a Chromebook is its painless mass-deployment aspect. The developers have outdone themselves in terms of creating an operating system that is not just easy to use but is effortless to manage from an admin’s perspective.
The aforementioned Google Classroom app, along with the working interface of ChromeOS, makes it a cakewalk for IT specialists to get started with the initial setup process. In addition, Chromebooks are cloud-first, meaning they rely on remote servers’ capabilities to handle data storage and other likewise processes.
This exhibits the characteristic of a disposable asset just as well as ChromeOS, although the operating system is nothing but valuable. We’re referring to the worst-case scenario where if your particular school Chromebook were to get lost or stolen, you’d still have your important files stored on the cloud.
To stay ahead of the curve, you must delve into the best Chromebook cloud-based storage solutions beforehand. Lastly, the Google Admin web tool is designed with the same ease of use as the rest of a Chromebook’s interface. Expect unparalleled management features and one-click policy implementation across devices.
What are the cons of buying a Chromebook in 2022?
Although few, the cons of Chromebooks are still worth looking into. Let’s proceed with an overview of the other side of the coin in the subsections below.
All that simplicity and speed isn’t coming from an operating system that packs a lot of horsepower under the hood. Most Chromebooks — apart from the high-end ones that are shifting the paradigm now — come equipped with reasonably average hardware.
ChromeOS is a lightweight operating system that is accompanied by easy-going technical specifications. Most Chromebooks have 32 GB or 64 GB of storage to offer their users, with the higher-priced ones rocking 128 GB, 256 GB, and even more north of those figures.
Moreover, Chromebooks cannot natively run Windows apps, although there are certain alternatives to make that prospect work. Therefore, if your work revolves around heavy-duty projects and software such as full-blown Adobe Photoshop, Chromebooks may not be the right pick.
- Related write-up: How to upgrade the storage on your Chromebook.
Less gaming potential compared to typical laptops
Sure, Chromebooks are preferable machines to enjoy the best of the mobile gaming space. However, anyone looking to venture beyond Genshin Impact, Tower of Fantasy, and PUBG will either have to wait until the ChromeOS Steam alpha becomes more widespread or simply opt for a different device.
Chromebooks lack the software capability to run the vast portion of AAA games. Other popular game launchers, such as the Epic Games Launcher and Battle.net, are not currently supported on ChromeOS. The latter, in specific, is home to Blizzard’s most high-quality games, encompassing the likes of Diablo and World of Warcraft.
Therefore, you will miss out on quite a lot if you intend to purchase Chromebooks for gaming solely. We recommend evaluating the type of games you’d be playing on ChromeOS before going forth with your purchase.
Inadequate local storage
Most Chromebooks come with a pair of 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. However, multiple configurations of Chromebooks are present in the market, with each Chromebook manufacturer slapping on its preference of technical specifications.
However, when it boils down to the average parameters, you will almost always need to opt for cloud-based storage like pCloud, or Google Drive or get an external hard drive to suit your requirements better. Other than that, it’s highly unlikely for a Chromebook to be enough for an individual who likes to have files present locally on their system.
An inevitable Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date
All Chromebooks come with an end-of-life period in time. When a device crosses this date, that particular Chromebook does not receive official updates from Google. The developers call this Auto Update Expiration (AUE) for ChromeOS.
A dedicated page on the Google support website enlists all official Chromebooks and their Auto Update Expiration date alongside them. You have to make your purchase by this date not to make the wrong decision and buy a Chromebook that has only a year or two left until its official expiry.
Although there are ways to use your Chromebook beyond its end of life, it’s safe to say that things do not feel the same once you’re past that point. Security checks and updates keep things ever-efficient for ChromeOS, so you’ll be sitting ducks with a Chromebook in the absence of that functionality.
Looking at the whole scenario from a broad perspective, it’s no secret that Chromebooks have surged in popularity in 2022, thanks to the swath of features and benefits they come with. Not everyone out and about needs the internet requires a computer that can run heavy-duty software and likewise programs.
If you are one of those individuals, you can seriously benefit from a high-quality Chromebook by your side. These are fast, simple, secure, allow you to multitask like a pro, and even come loaded with the Google Play Store and Linux terminal to up the ante whenever you need.
We wager on ChromeOS outweighing its cons, given the quality of staggering pros it has. Affordability? Check. Portability? Check. A terrific battery runtime? Check. If your work revolves around the Chrome browser, delve into Chromebooks without a second thought and enter a world of convenience with no more delay.
- Before you go: Top 10 Chromebooks for best performance.