One-month check: Can a Chromebook substitute my most important pc?

Ever since Chromebooks began popping out, the commonest query has been, can they actually substitute your most important pc? Many customers have already finished it, particularly those that don’t want far more than one thing for checking emails, going by social media, and doing mild searching. However utilizing a Chromebook full time in knowledgeable setting, that’s one other query.

I’ve tried earlier than to completely substitute my PC with iPads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks. It’s by no means labored, largely as a result of I would like an honest technique to edit images and movies for work, but additionally due to the numerous kinks these kind of merchandise are inclined to deliver to a bigger display. Nevertheless I’ve felt that if one in every of these platforms was to get it proper, it will be Chrome OS.

I believed operating the identical experiment once more could be a waste of time, however issues have modified and this time I took on the month-long check with far more enthusiasm. Is that this the yr I can lastly dump my PC?

I feel so.

Experiment dynamics

Take a look at gadget: Google Pixel Slate

If you wish to substitute a PC, you want a tool that’s highly effective sufficient to compete with an excellent laptop computer. The Pixel Slate I used is the $999 model with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of inner storage. Different specs embody a 12.Three-inch Three,000 x 2,000 show, twin audio system, twin microphones, an 8MP digital camera, a fingerprint sensor, and as much as 12 hours of battery life.


Experiment length: 1 month

I used the Google Pixel Slate as my solely work pc for one month. I put my Home windows and Mac OS machines away and didn’t contact them during the experiment. No matter I needed to do, whether or not private or work-related, it was finished with the Google Pixel Slate (or my smartphone).

What we’re specializing in

Placing a Chromebook in opposition to a standard pc could be a little bit of an unfair competitors. There are Home windows, Mac OS, and Linux computer systems in each worth vary, and the identical will be mentioned about Chromebooks.

Placing a Chromebook in opposition to a standard pc could be a little bit of an unfair competitors.

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There are many variations from pc to pc. Subsequently, we gained’t be focusing a lot on specs like display decision, sound high quality, accessible ports, and so forth. This experiment is usually about Chrome OS’ capabilities as an working system. Different specifics you’ll have to analysis by yourself.


Similar to with every other pc, you primarily get what you pay for with Chromebooks. Certain, a $999 Pixel Slate appears costly, however in the event you put the identical specs on a Home windows or Mac OS machine, the value seems to be far more affordable. It’s a matter of perspective.

What’s true is that a Chrome OS gadget will all the time offer you extra bang on your buck when it comes to common efficiency.

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A Chrome OS gadget will all the time offer you extra bang on your buck when it comes to common efficiency. That’s as a result of the working system continues to be just about a glorified browser, and a really fast one at that.

Chrome OS can boot in underneath eight seconds. The working system is so mild, you’ll not often come throughout slow-downs or hiccups. This wasn’t solely as a result of I used the costly Google Pixel Slate. Chrome OS typically is mild and quick, and requires a lot much less energy to run effectively in comparison with different platforms. Typically, $200 Chromebooks can really feel quicker (performing common duties) than $600 Home windows machines.

Typically, $200 Chromebooks really feel quicker (performing common duties) than $600 Home windows machines.

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You solely begin feeling a giant distinction if you transfer to Android apps and video games that require a bit extra energy to function. It’s not that the Slate can’t deal with intensive cellular apps (this Pixel Slate runs on an Intel Core i5, in any case), it’s simply the expertise will be buggy. Android apps and video games should not all optimized for a Chrome OS gadget with an enormous display.

Nevertheless, utilizing the Google Pixel Slate for searching was a breeze. Pair it with a secure web connection and it is best to run throughout only a few slowdowns or hiccups. Apps definitely had their points on occasion, however I used to be utilizing the browser more often than not in any case.

I solely used Android apps for very specialised duties like picture enhancing, and although there are some design discrepancies between Android and desktop apps, they labored amazingly when it comes to efficiency. Lightroom CC really labored higher on the Pixel Slate than on my Home windows and Mac OS computer systems.

Lightroom CC labored higher on the Pixel Slate than on my Home windows and Mac OS computer systems.

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Software program & apps

I’m positively a fan of the Chrome OS consumer interface. It’s easy and to the purpose. You’ll be able to pin your favourite apps to the dock, or just press the search button at any level and begin typing what you want. Press the motion button within the lower-left nook and you will see that a search field, in addition to choices to see your latest apps or all apps. Settings and notifications might be accessible from the lower-right nook.

How one can run Android apps in your Chromebook

This text was initially revealed on our sister web site Now not will you be complaining in regards to the lack of apps Chromebooks have entry to. Google has introduced Android apps (over one million of them) are coming …

That’s about it with regards to the pc’s UI! It operates very similar to a desktop PC interface, however it’s less complicated and cleaner.

Now, let’s discuss in regards to the software program matter that issues: apps. Chromebooks used to lack software program, however now that Chrome OS helps Android apps it could do much more. It’s allowed me to do all of the issues I couldn’t do earlier than.

Not solely did Chromebooks get the power to run Android purposes, however Android began getting apps that really competed with their desktop counterparts.

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Most of my work will be finished on-line, for which the Chrome browser labored seamlessly. I did have to switch a pair offline purposes with cloud companies. For music I went with Google Play Music, versus enjoying it domestically with iTunes. For paperwork I used Google Drive as a substitute of the same old Microsoft Workplace.

An enormous a part of my job right here at Android Authority is overseeing pictures. I’ve to control photographs on a regular basis. I pay for Adobe’s Artistic Cloud, which will get me entry to Lightroom CC. I want the traditional model of Lightroom, however the lighter iteration actually doesn’t lack a lot. I had little to no points creating pro-level images utilizing Lightroom CC on a Chromebook. Listed here are a number of samples of photographs solely edited by the Google Pixel Slate.

For many who would quite not pay to make use of Lightroom CC, there’s a plethora of choices on the market. My favourite free different is Snapseed.

I don’t edit a lot video, and didn’t should throughout the month of December, however I’ve used PowerDirector previously and it really works like a attraction.

What I’ll say is that I’ll all the time go for the online model of a service if accessible.

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There are additionally thousands and thousands of different apps on the Google Play Retailer. Since most Android apps nonetheless aren’t optimized for Chrome OS, I normally go for the online model if it’s accessible. Throw an unoptimized app on a big pc display and they’re certain to have a look at least a bit wonky. There’s usually numerous lifeless house, or textual content just isn’t proportionate to pictures. It may be a little bit of a large number, relying on the app, which additionally ends in an inconsistent expertise.

Nevertheless, the apps are all there, even when they aren’t good. I can now comfortably do each single a part of my job utilizing Chrome OS. I by no means felt like I wanted to go to my Home windows or Mac OS machines to get one thing finished.

Learn: The perfect Android apps that work nice on a Chromebook

Are you a gamer?

Android has loads of nice video games, however everyone knows the intense gaming scene is on Home windows. Microsoft’s OS has the widest portfolio of obtainable titles and Chrome OS will seemingly by no means beat it (until Google integrates its cool recreation streaming service into it).

I discovered a workaround to do some severe gaming from the Google Pixel Slate.

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In reality, avid gamers in all probability wouldn’t even hassle to learn this text. If by some motive you made it this far, although, let me let you know I discovered a workaround to do some severe gaming from the Google Pixel Slate.

I’ve a subscription for Shadow, which presents a digital Home windows 10 pc you possibly can entry remotely over the web. This machine can be utilized with Home windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android apps. The distant machine has some severe specs too, together with an Intel Xeon CPU, 12GB of RAM, a GTX 1080 GPU, and 256GB of devoted storage. All for $35 a month.

That is in all probability an expense you’ll quite not should cope with, however if you’re severe about gaming and nonetheless need the advantages of Chrome OS, it is a means.

Shadow presents a full Home windows machine, which implies you may technically run any Home windows program from it!

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Naturally, the expertise is best domestically on a robust Home windows machine. The Android app can get a bit buggy, and it froze and slowed down on me about 5 – 6 instances throughout the month-long check. In any other case, it was really fairly enjoyable.

The truth that you get to play any Home windows recreation means you could have the widest portfolio at your disposal. I acquired to play Remaining Fantasy VII, Batman: Arkham Metropolis, Murderer’s Creed: Odyssey, and The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt with no points. I acquired a 1080p@60fps expertise, so you possibly can’t actually beat that. And don’t neglect Shadow presents a full Home windows machine, which implies you may technically run any Home windows program from it!

After all, Shadow does have some suggestions for an optimum expertise. They are saying it is best to have a 30Mbps connection, a robust 5GHz Wi-Fi connection (or wired connection), and extra. I’ll have extra to say in regards to the service within the assessment I’m engaged on.

Fairly quickly, you gained’t want Shadow to play high-end video games in your Chromebook, as Google Stadia is simply across the nook.

Battery life

We gained’t delve an excessive amount of into this matter, as it’s technically one thing that can fluctuate from machine to machine. I ended up getting about 9 hours of battery life, which is widespread to see in Chromebooks. These merchandise should not as energy hungry as most conventional laptops. Processors and software program are getting higher at managing power, and a few laptops will beat sure Chromebooks on this division, however the common consensus is that Chrome OS items will last more.

Must you use a Chromebook as a most important pc?

Home windows, Mac OS, and Linux nonetheless provide advantages like a extra refined UI, higher optimized apps, and general extra streamlined experiences. Apps and video games are additionally extra available for them, particularly when you’ve got extra demanding software program wants.


Getting by the month took some compromising. I now not had the complete model of Photoshop or Lightroom Basic, although Lightroom CC and different suitable enhancing apps are nice. I couldn’t actually use Adobe Premiere, however PowerDirector is a lot highly effective. No severe gaming is obtainable for Chrome OS, however cloud companies can compensate.

Whereas my earlier makes an attempt to go together with a Chrome OS laptop computer for an prolonged period of time resulted in an elongated hair-pulling session, this time I used to be capable of finding a worthy answer for all my wants.

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Whereas my earlier makes an attempt to go together with a Chrome OS laptop computer for an prolonged interval amounted to elongated hair-pulling periods, this time I might discover worthy options for all my wants. I don’t assume it is best to drop your full desktop OS and bounce into the Chrome OS platform with each ft — I do know I in all probability gained’t be doing that anytime quickly. Nevertheless, now it’s really doable to do it, and with out an excessive amount of hassle at that. That’s saying so much from somebody who works fully on-line.

Editor’s notice: This publish was initially revealed in January 2019.

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