For some businesses, you probably can. That saves you reading the whole article, doesn’t it!
Should you wish to read a little more though, I’ll explain how I reached that conclusion…
I’m sat typing this article out on a £90 Chromebook (Asus C202S if you’re that interested), which I snapped up as a Grade A refurbished unit via Argos’s eBay outlet. I know, the horror of an IT Professional (Lucid Towers team insert witty comment here) using a £90 device to do work, I’m sure that has been met with scoffs in many circles. The simple fact here is that bashing out a Google Doc, which is what I use to draft my articles is a dream on this little device. I open the lid, and it’s ready for me to use almost instantly – no Windows Updates, no waking from sleep mode like the morning after a night on the Tequilla’s – it just works and is ready to go. And this was £90. Oh, and it’s good to go for ten hours use without the panic to locate a power source. Ten hours!
Now, don’t get me wrong here, a £90 device will always have its flaws. With this device, it’s obvious once you get ‘tab crazy’ or are using a media website which is very intensive on the local processing power of your device. You do notice the odd performance issue or slow load time. I think anyone who says, just go out and replace all your business machines with Chromebooks of any specification is wrong. I couldn’t use this device all day, every day for my core work. I know, should have said ‘spoiler alert’. Realistically if I was rolling out Chromebooks across a business, I would still go for devices with at least a ‘proper’ i3 processor, and ideally an i5. But for your everyday home user, light business user or someone who only needs a few of the Google ecosystem products you can go for the cheap and cheerful devices like mine.
I can do most of my work without issue on the Chromebook, given my business is ‘Cloud-based’ most things I need to do are directly via the web browser itself, or there are Apps available for some of the more ‘techie’ things I need to do from time to time. For me, I could probably get away with using a higher spec Chromebook for all my business needs, but that’s because of what I need to be doing. Would I replace my support teams Windows-based devices with Chromebooks? Not a chance. Not enough grunt and for what they do, it just wouldn’t work.
I used my Chromebook for a good while at work, to see what I could do, what I couldn’t do and to find out what I found frustrating. I think it does 80% of what I need to do, but the remaining 20% of frustrations means it hasn’t replaced my trusty Lenovo ThinkPad running Windows 10 Pro just yet.
The Chromebook now lives at home with me and the family, and here it’s simply wonderful. I’m referring to the Chromebook. At home, my thinking is the complete opposite, in that I can’t think why I would use a Windows device here. The Chromebook is quick, responsive (as long as I don’t overload it as per the above) and just works at a moments notice.
With its ten-hour battery life, it’s also my travel companion of choice, given it’s so small and light as well, it makes working on the move a dream. Well done Asus/Google – good boy, pat on the back for you.
So to conclude – Chromebooks can become the device of choice for many businesses, but it all depends on what your business requirements are for your employees and specifically what it is they need to be doing. Clearly, these devices aren’t going to be doing much in the way of video or photo editing, so for you hardcore Adobe fans, I know, I get it.
I think that perhaps in a couple of years this article could well be updated, and will simply have one word. Yes.
Gavin Moorhouse is the owner of Lucid Computer Solutions, based in Worcestershire, they provide IT Services and carry out IT Consultancy to businesses and local charities. His Chromebook makes him smile.