Ever since I bought my first computer with my own money, I have always bought one that runs Windows. For the first time, after over 20 years, I bought a computer that isn't running Windows. Here's why. 

I have always been a Windows guy and never Apple. The only Apple product I ever owned was that first iPhone and that's just because there was nothing else like it at the time. As soon as other comparable phones showed up I switched. Why? I just don't like they way Apple insists on doing everything their own way rather than some sort of standard. But I digress.

I bought a Chromebook and so far I love it. Buying a Chromebook is a big step because it doesn't work like most computers. It has no DVD drive, the hard drive is only 16GB and you can't install any software on it. Want to use Microsoft Office? No. Install games? Nope. Photoshop? Sorry. You can print, but not easily.

No Windows logo here!
No Windows logo here!

Chromebook is made by Google and it let's you do just about anything you can do in a web browser. Up to 95% of what I do on my laptop I do in a web browser so it seemed like a good choice. I also use a lot of Google services too. Google Docs, Gmail, Google Voice, I have an Android phone which is made by Google and I even own a Chromecast which let's me watch Netflix and other streaming services online. So needless to say I'm Googlefied.

What do I like about the Chromebook? Thank for asking.

  • It has a 16GB solid state hard drive. That means no moving parts and it boots in seconds. No more waiting for the spinning icon that takes longer and longer with the more stuff you put on your computer.
  • It is light and thin. I got a Chromebook with a 14" screen so while it's bigger and heavier than a lot of Chromebooks it still weighs much less than my old laptop with the same screen size. There's no bulky hard drive and no DVD drive which helps keep it thin.
  • This Chromebook comes with free 4G service for the lifetime of the laptop. It cost an extra $50 for it, but $50 for wireless service for a laptop for life? That's a good deal! It has a 200MB per month limit, but in a pinch when I need to get something done and there's no wi-fi available, that will come in handy.
  • I can close the lid on the laptop and when I open it back up it starts back up instantly. This is one of the things I absolutely hated about Windows. Every version of Windows I've ever used has never been able to wake up from sleep mode well or quickly.
  • They're cheap. They start as low as $199. My version is a $349 model because I wanted a bigger screen and the free wireless was too good to pass up. If you don't mind a smaller screen then you can get one pretty cheap.
  • Built in virus protection.

For the programs that I use that I'm not able to install, there are alternatives. Google Docs will let me open and create any Microsoft Office compatible document and pixlr.com is a great Photoshop alternative for basic photo editing. I still have a desktop at home too so I if I can't get something done that's where I can turn to.

If you are willing to use Google products, do most things on the web and don't store a lot of things on your hard drive then a Chromebook might work for you.

More From Q97.9