Trade in Your Windows 7 Netbook for a Chromebook?


Google has been touting its Chrome operating system for a while, and now the

first computers running that OS, made by Samsung and Acer, are available for


These Chromebooks are being advertised as an alternative to Windows or Linux

based netbooks, but what are the advantages and disadvantages? The Chrome OS is

based on Linux but it’s basically a web browser. Therefore, it runs only web-

based applications. You can’t install other Linux applications on it. The only

“real” (locally installed) application on it is the browser, which looks

(unsurprisingly) like the Chrome browser that you can install on Windows or Mac.

It’s a very minimalist approach and that makes it lightweight and efficient in

terms of system resources. It makes for a quick boot-up process. It also limits

what you can do with it.

Don’t confuse Chrome OS with Google’s popular mobile operating system, Android.

They are very different. You can’t run Android apps on Chromebooks. Chrome (like

Android) will run on ARM processors and will also (like Windows) run on x86

machines, but it’s designed for low powered, “secondary” computers – not for the

desktop or to be used as your primary/only computer. There is no “desktop” on a

Chromebook – everything happens in the browser. And because they rely on the web

for their applications, Chromebooks are very dependent on Internet connectivity.

Some Chrome apps (games, Google Docs) can be used offline but in general, you

need to be connected. Your data is stored “in the cloud.”

As with tablets (and some notebooks), Chromebooks come in both 3G/wi-fi and wi-

fi only models. Interestingly, the 3G models come with 100 MB of free data per

month through Verizon Wireless. If you want/need more, you pay for it. The good

news is that you don’t have to sign a contract; the data plan is “pay as you

go.” Interestingly, I saw nothing about an Ethernet port in the specs. For a

device that’s so dependent on having an Internet connection, that seems odd to


The cost of the currently available Chromebooks ranges from $349 (the Acer wi-fi

only model) to $$499 (the Samsung 3G model). Now let’s compare that to a typical

netbook or notebook running Windows 7. First of all, you can find a Windows 7

netbook for at least $100 less. Best Buy offers an HP Mini netbook with a gig of

RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, running Windows 7 Starter Edition, for $249. In

fact, for the same price as the lowest-priced Chromebook, you can get a full-

fledged HP notebook computer with an AMD processor, 3 GB of memory and a 320 GB

hard drive. It runs Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. Of course, you can probably

find sales and online deals to get an even better price.

Article Continued Here

This excerpt is shared with permission from

666 total views, 2 views today

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

3 thoughts on “ Trade in Your Windows 7 Netbook for a Chromebook?

  1. No temptation to buy a Chromebook in the slightest. What happens if you don’t have an internet connection where you are, or if their server addresses are off-lined or they take them down? You have a very expensive doorstop, I imagine. I’d much rather have a netbook that can do anything *I* want for the same money, instead of something that only does what they allow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.