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(22,445 posts)
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 05:04 PM Jun 2

I expect to need a new laptop within 6 to 9 months. Need opinions on Chromebooks vs WIndows

The Chromebooks seem to be lower in price, so I am wondering how users like the OS. Chromebooks seem to weight less too.

I don't do anything very complex and the last time we loaded WIndows on this one I did not get the Office stuff; I just use all Google Drive features.

The current laptop is getting old and cranky, especially the keyboard. In fact, we bought a wireless keyboard because I kept getting more and more stuck keys. The A and S are pretty much dead. I actually like this one better than the one built into the computer; it has great touch and the keys are larger.

The speakers are also dead, so if I want audio I have to use earbuds.

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(13,054 posts)
1. I've always been a Mac person because I'm lazy.
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 05:12 PM
Jun 2

I'd probably never keep up with security updates for Windows units.
Also, I dont really like change so once I Got the Mac I dont want to learn the differences of a Windows unit.


(535 posts)
2. The approach I have used for 2 decades
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 05:16 PM
Jun 2

Is to buy a lower end laptop, then, immediately wipe Windoze off of it, load one of the Linux variant OS packages, and then have a fully functioning laptop without the malarky and added expense of Windoze being on the system.


(22,445 posts)
7. are you secretly Mr YD? LOL he is totally Open Source (which is why I had it for a while)
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 11:27 PM
Jun 2

I replaced that computer with this one because it died.


(27,235 posts)
3. I'm on my second Chromebook. They do have an expiration date. I believe the lifecycle is about four years.
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 05:36 PM
Jun 2

Check the expiration date of the product before purchasing.

That said, they are very light and very portable. I was able to do zoom on this one. My home was being remodeled last year, so I went with what was most portable. My first Chromebook had expired.

I purchased this one in February 2023. It was $185.



(27,235 posts)
12. My Chomebook isn't going to expire until 2029!
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 11:41 PM
Jun 2

Chromebook 4 Jun 2029


I use mine primarily for running lists in VAN (Voter Activation Network) and the Google Docs/Sheets etc. I'm constantly taking it to meetings for the same purpose. YouTube isn't the best quality, however.


(38,571 posts)
5. I'm posting this from a Chromebook I bought "refurbished" for around $100
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 06:45 PM
Jun 2

I absolutely loathe traveling with expensive laptops. I'm too good at breaking or losing things.

The batteries last the ten hours claimed for the sorts of web browsing and writing I do. That's mostly what I use it for.

Pay careful attention to privacy settings. I use u-block origin mostly as a safety precaution, not as an ad blocker. I simply don't visit sites with obnoxious advertising. If the option is available I'll subscribe to sites I regularly visit to make the ads go away.

My home desktop computers run Linux.

The only real trouble I've had with Chromebooks is setting up inexpensive printers. Some of these printers insist on Windows or cell phone setup utilities, probably so they can spy on you and try to sell you expensive ink and other services.

I haven't had any trouble with my own printers. They just worked.


(38,571 posts)
13. If it's already set up it probably won't be a problem.
Mon Jun 3, 2024, 12:44 AM
Jun 3

But new printers out of the box will insist on the use of special Windows or smartphone setup utilities, no exceptions. Linux, Chromebook, and even Mac users are out of luck.

Part of it, I believe, is so they can geolocate which country the printer is operating in so they can get the user to accept the license agreements and wifi settings for that nation. Part of it is for marketing.

The last printer I had trouble with was an HP. The user couldn't set it up from his Chromebook and had to use his smartphone, which he only used as a phone. He didn't seem to know (or care...) that phones had "apps," much less where to find them.


(22,445 posts)
9. Very lightweight stuff: surfing the net, correspondence, occassional spreadsheets / documents
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 11:38 PM
Jun 2

for which I use Google Drive.

I use the Kindle App, and the games that came on this computer


(13,919 posts)
14. So you are using google's office tools.
Mon Jun 3, 2024, 02:22 AM
Jun 3

I don’t think you can make a wrong choice. The games that came with windows obviously won’t be on chrome or Linux.
I don’t know about kindle, but I’m guessing chrome and Linux support is available- you should research that.


(10,952 posts)
11. I second the notion of "what do you use it for?"
Sun Jun 2, 2024, 11:39 PM
Jun 2

Without addressing actual needs, you could buy a V8 pickup truck for commuting, ot a Fiat for hauling furniture.

Most people do little more than get email and messages and browse.
Unless you're a serious photographer, phones do a better job of taking photos (obviously).
And you might compose a few documents.
One more thing, later on.

A Chromebook is a display and keyboard hooked to Google's computer farm. It does basically nothing else.

Windows computers are increasingly driving you to use Microsoft's computers, as in online office, mail, and the same for photoshop from Adobe.

Windows, Mac and Linux laptops all do the standard jobs, if you let them.
I use the Libre Office suite on computers intead of "Office Online" or 365, or whatever they call it, and CIMP instead of photoshop (plus some raw photo editing apps). I do serious photography.

Now, for those 80% or 90% of tasks that people do, a tablet with a decent keybaord does all you need, and is portable as heck.
I use one mainly to hold musical scores (on the piano) and show off photos to friends. I use as few "cloud" thingys as possible because they all warp, modify, change terms and start collecting subscription fees over time. Some just go away, or kick you off. Case in point, Google or someone else identified a story on Chris Paul as porn, because his initials are CP, and kicked someone off.

My brother, the least techie person on earth, got so fed up with every windows update breaking his keybooard, mouse and printer that he switched to Linux (sold and supported by Dell, online only) and no gripes or even calls for help.

They all do the basic things, and tablets do a bit more; they let you draw nicely with a pencil, important to artists.

(and yes, there are office apps for tablets that dont lock you in to Google or Microsoft) You can back them up to computers or various cloud backup services if you want that.

I long ago got an ipad 1 (that's one ) that still shows musical scores and holds countless books to read. Not being updateable, it won't do the browsing (might still do mail, I guess), and it holds and shows off photos.

List what you do, and then check what each system will do for you, keeping in mind that some options really tie you to someone's online services constantly, and I prefer to own my devices and storage rather than rent them. YMMV.

P.S. I mostly use a mac mini ($600) and large display and separate full size keyboard, and an ipad pro for the music and photo display. An old iMac display quit, so the whole unit needs repairs, pointing out the virtue of keeping things separate, so they can be swapped in and out seamlessly when something quits or jams, as things do.


(38,571 posts)
15. Except for the browser all my Chromebook apps work offline, not in the "cloud."
Mon Jun 3, 2024, 02:27 AM
Jun 3

I store my documents offline. The machine has a slot for a micro-SD card and works with usb memory too.

You pick your poison with Microsoft, Apple, or Google. The only fully featured non-intrusive operating systems left are some of the geekier versions of Linux and BSD.

Susan Calvin

(1,759 posts)
16. I recently bought
Mon Jun 3, 2024, 05:51 AM
Jun 3

A refurbished business Dell off ebay. Don't remember the exact details, but it has a high-end processor and a terabyte solid state drive. And a bunch of memory. It's fast. The guy was selling it with linux, but I asked him if he could do a dual boot with Windows 11 and he could, for no extra charge. If I recall correctly it was either around $400 or around $500 and I couldn't be more pleased with it. If you are interested, I can supply more details in the morning. Let me know. This is the second refurbished business Dell I've had. The first one is still going strong, it's just that I wanted to leave Windows 7 on that one and I was worried that the tax software would stop running on it.


(20,907 posts)
17. W540 Thinkpad
Mon Jun 3, 2024, 11:28 AM
Jun 3

I've had a few of these.

It has everything I want and need including a CDRW and a 15" screen.

It has 32 RAM on it and I bought it on ebay for about $500.00 a couple of years ago.

It had Windows 7 on it at some point but has Windows 10 on it now.

Happy enough!


(32,657 posts)
18. I recently bought a used Chromebook for $50.
Mon Jun 3, 2024, 02:39 PM
Jun 3

It is just for backup. Didn't know about the update thing. Just checked - it will be updated until August of 2027.

Seems good to me.

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