I am doubling down to make the Chromebook concept worth considering! It was my "Product of the Year for 2015.
My POY has always needed to fundamentally change the way I work or do things.
For example, a newer camera would not qualify, but my first digital camera did.
And as much as I liked an Android tablet, it is not fundamentally different from my old iPod Touch or an iPad.
What some first claimed was a dumbed-down laptop is increasing in popularity (and sales) while tablets are declining. This is not a direct relationship, as many "smart phones" have stolen the tablet thunder.
My Chromebook has radically altered what I choose for work and non-work. I even got a smaller "travel" unit for myself and one for my wife. My wife appreciates the ease of use. And trust me, she is no computer dummy. She lays out books professinally with Adobe Indesign and uses Photoshop on her "work" machine.
With the exception of my very serious audio editing and subsequent uploading to radio station broadcast computers, the Chomebook satisifies most of my needs. This includes basic writing (not layout), calendar, email, entertainment, news and web browsing. Oh yeah, buying stuff online, which is almost too easy! (I have not yet found a web page creator for Chrome that I like, but you never can tell!)
Like many, I assumed a Chromebook was only for online use, but that is wrong. There is a growing number of offline "apps" for many uses. For example, I now use the Chromebook for invoices to clients, something I never imagined doing. I even do very modest photo editing using Chome offline apps!
A Chromebook is not a Windows PC.
A laptop with the Chrome Operating System is uses a highly customized Linux O/S and the Google Chrome browser. While there are some "work with" Microsoft Office apps, it will NOT replace Office, so don't try. With good refurbished laptops on places like Woot and Meh (dot com), you can find a Windows laptop cheap.
PC enthusiasts tend to carp that a Chromebook does not have enough storage, memory or speed for their needs. They miss the point: it does not need it.
They want power for videoconferencing, streaming media through the house and, of course, modern video games.
All this power is great if you need it, if you don't need it the PC spends most of it's processer time waiting for you to do something.
A fan of the 1980's Tandy Portable 100 laptop once said there is a need for "simple computers for simple tasks." Today, our idea of what is simple would astound 1980's computer users, but the Chromebook still fits that description nicely.
Chromebooks turns on almost instantly, gets to email equally fast and play online movies with no trouble. Facebook is flawless, access to Dropbox and other storage schemes work just fine. Skype does not, but they are working on it.
Along with taking the wear and tear off my main money-making machine, Chromebooks resist viruses, as the bad guys are looking to infect operating system files that don't exist!
So, for a person who doesn't mind popping around $200 or a bit more, a Chromebook can be a welcome addition, if you come to terms with the so-called limitations. As they used to say in the Army, "Get the right tool for the job."
A final point: We all know people who want computers for "leisure services" and they don't want to learn how computers work and do NOT want to mess with device drivers, etc. You know the type!
While they still need to know where their files are going, a Chromebook may be the nearest thing to having their cake and eat it too. And the number of calls to you claiming, "My computer DOESN'T WORK" may drop considerably.
Chromebooks are everywhere from reputable companies. There are even a few desktop "Chrome Boxes" that plug into a desktop monitor or HD TV. I'm trying to justify owning one!
If you are a gamer, ethusiast, a person who makes a living with a computer, this all may seem silly. But the sales are moving up, and there is a reason for that. For many people (sorry Apple), these things "just work."
Chromebooks: Selling Well For A Reason.