Is there a Chromebook user in your office? You shouldn’t be surprised if there is.
Chromebooks started as somewhat of a curiosity when Google introduced them to the laptop market in 2011. Voices in the tech community did not quite know what to make of the clamshell computer.
Back then, people seemed more concerned about what a Chromebook couldn’t do. It did not run Windows. It did not have a large storage drive. It did not have a powerful processor, or room for a lot of memory. Could it be of any use without a Wi-Fi connection? How could it be worth a $500 investment if it could not replace a MacBook or Windows laptop?
Still, there was no denying the Chromebook was a pretty neat idea. It was easy to use; if you could browse the web, you could master the computer. It booted quickly, and had a great app ecosystem. Its Chrome OS was relatively secure without having to run additional antivirus software.
When the price dropped to $249 for OEM Chromebooks in 2012, that’s when popularity really picked up. Schools were the early Chromebook adopters. The allure was the simplicity to use and manage, a robust educational app selection, a lightweight build that made it easy to tote around, and, of course, the price was right for budget-strapped school districts.
Additionally, unlike an iPad where you have to assign students individual devices tied to their Apple ID, students could share Chromebooks. With a Chromebook, a student simply can sign out, and another student can sign back in with his or her own account.
This single sign-on feature makes the Chromebook attractive in work environments where employees need a lightweight device to carry around the workspace. In 2015, Google released the Google for Work app suite, a cloud-based rival to Microsoft Office 365, giving businesses another reason to consider Chromebooks. Now we see them getting traction in professions like nursing, banking and finance, and on-floor customer service.
But as any Google representative will tell you, Chromebooks are not an either-or proposition in the workplace. That is a myth. They are deliberately designed for compatibility in OSX and Windows Server environments. Their scope and price point makes them an ideal complementary device for working on the go.
There are a few other Chromebook myths and misconceptions that deserve clarification as well. Let’s take a look.