The Good News About Chromebooks

I have good news! The good news about Chromebooks. Consider me John the Baptist, a voice crying out in the Best Buy.

Dramatic? Maybe, but there are parallels. The world wasn’t ready for the message of John the Baptist, (it made him end up as the origin of the phrase, “head on a platter” as an idiom for harsh consequences). And the world isn’t ready for Chromebooks. There are a lot of Chromebook haters out there, and Chromebook sales are chronically lagging. With the exception of 2020, when there was a worldwide run on work-from-home equipment, the sales performance headlines are dreary, and lead to conclusions that most people just don’t want this product.

It’s frustrating, to me, that Chromebooks are such an also-ran in the laptop market. I really shouldn’t care. I don’t sell or manufacture Chromebooks. I have no vested interest in the success or failure of Chromebooks. If nobody else wants to buy them, then more for me — and at lower prices! As a matter of fact, I personally dislike Google, as a corporation, and find the social and moral ideologies they gratuitously promote, reprehensible, and their harvesting of data, creepy. Part of me cheers any public failure from that villainous monstrosity of a corporation.

And yet, oddly, I do care about Chromebooks. I have a sentimental attachment to Google products. I do like their style. And particularly, I like the Chromebooks, even those not built by Google. I make occasional trips to Best Buy, to take a look, in person, at the latest Chromebooks. Inevitably, there’s another customer there, asking a Best Buy associate about what a Chromebook is and whether or not to buy one. My curiosity is piqued and I listen in to hear the conversation. To my shame, I have the urge to jump in and correct the Best Buy associate to make a better sales pitch. Why do I feel even any need to do that?

Partly because I’m nerd, I suppose. And also, I just want what’s best for people, and I think Chromebooks are the best laptops. And that’s also my hot take for this article. There’s my clickbait. Chromebooks are the best — full stop, no qualifiers, and no apologies.

On too many articles that you’ll find about Chromebooks, the authors are very apologetic. They come from a losing perspective of, “Is a Chromebook Right for You” or “What You Need to Know Before Buying a Chromebook,” or, at best, “Why Chromebooks are Surprisingly Good Now.”

That’s dumb. Chromebooks should be the default. Maybe there can be articles on specialized websites, describing the technical edge cases where a MacBook or PC might be right for you instead. For all practical, real-world purposes though, if you’re asking yourself whether or not to get a Chromebook, then the answer is that you should get a Chromebook. 

If you need a Macbook or PC, you already know it. There are obvious reasons why some people require those (which I’ll got into, as part of a later installment in this series). But, again, if you don’t know for sure whether you need a MacBook or a PC, that means you’ll definitely be happiest with a Chromebook. 

As you may have sensed, I have many thoughts on Chromebooks. 8 years ago, I converted from Windows to Chrome OS, and I’ve never had a day that I regretted the switch. I clearly spend an irrational amount of head space on this topic. But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and when life gives you a pathological obsession with a niche consumer electronic device, make a series of blog posts.

And so, rather than stew on my Chromebook thoughts in solitude, I have embarked on a mission to publish my lengthy and nuanced opinions online, for the world to see. Over the coming weeks, as we head into the holiday, electronics-buying, “Black Friday” deals season, I’ll release articles on the following topics:

  • What is a Chromebook (or What is a Computer, for that matter)
  • Exactly Why Chromebooks Are Objectively Superior to Alternatives
  • The Chromebook PR Problem (Answering the Stupid Critics)
  • What Chromebook Should You Buy Today (Fall 2022 Edition)

So feel free to unsubscribe. If you’re interested though, keep coming back to check in on this blog, to get more of this nonsense from me, and come along for the whole ride, as I unload my obsessive thoughts on this subject. On the way, I really hope that someone is at least amused by this series. Possibly someone even finds it useful. 


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