Whether you’re an undergraduate student working on your first degree or a seasoned academic, you’re going to need a computer. With the proliferation of the internet and mobile technology, your best bet is a laptop. This lightweight computing device is portable, ideal for use in a classroom, at home, in a lab, or wherever life carries you. Laptops come from various manufacturers with different features and price points. Stanford University professor Vincent Barletta thinks you should consider a Chromebook, and here’s why.
A Chromebook is a laptop or tablet that runs on Google’s Linux-based operating system, Chrome OS. They offer comparable finish, form, and feel to laptops that run Windows (PCs) or macOS (MacBooks). Initially, Chromebooks mostly ran web applications based on the Chrome browser while connected to the internet. Today, these devices can run Android and Linux apps and several popular Google apps while offline. Similar to PCs, Chromebooks are commercially available from several manufacturers such as Samsung, HP, Acer, and even Google. As of 2015, Chromebooks have overtaken Apple’s MacBooks as the second-most-purchased laptop in the United States.
As Vincent Barletta can tell you, when you’re browsing the Web, collaborating on documents, or sharing files with colleagues and students, the risk of a cyber-attack or other security breach increases. Chromebooks are noted for their security. These devices are immune to viruses, unlike their PC and Apple counterparts. The Chrome OS includes sandboxing, verified booting, data encryptions, automatic updates, and full operating system recovery. Chromebooks also start up instantly compared to other laptops. Keeping your Chromebook running as smoothly as possible is relatively low-effort and low-cost.
Keeping It Affordable
Chromebooks are also noted for their affordability. The Chrome OS has low hardware requirements, so there’s less demand regarding the size and cost of components. It’s not hard to find a premium Chromebook in the $400 to $500 price range. A comparable Windows laptop is usually over $700, and most MacBooks are over $1,000. Professors, teachers, and students often work with limited budgets, and the average Chromebook can perform the tasks needed by those in education.
Sharing Is Caring
Chromebooks come with Google Suite functionality built-in. Vincent Barletta loves using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to collaborate firsthand with students and colleagues. Popular applications such as Gmail and Google Drive are integrated directly with the operating system, providing a seamless, synced experience. Logging in with your Google account quickly syncs all your settings, so you’re up and running quickly.
When it comes to a laptop, you really can’t go wrong with a Chromebook. Academics like Dr. Barletta recommend these powerful, lightweight, and affordable devices for handling your college computing needs. They’re also very secure, making them an excellent choice for those who collaborate and share files with others.