Why Chromebooks Are Still the First Choice for the Classroom
If you ask a student what kind of device they’d like to buy this back to school, they’ll mention a Chromebook, MacBook, or Windows laptop. Each of these types of laptops has their own advantages, but there’s a good chance most students will choose a Chromebook over something else.
After a year of distance learning, Chromebooks are on the rise. An investigation of the Canalys company recently found Chromebooks to be the best performing in the PC market, with Chromebook shipments increasing 275% year over year. There are a lot of things that go into this popularity, and it has to do with price, simplicity, and collaboration.
Price remains the main selling point
The main reason Chromebooks are a must-have choice for college students is the price. It always has been, and it certainly still is today. If you walk into an electronics retail store or buy Chromebooks online, you see Chromebooks in all price ranges. When parents, students, or school districts are on a budget, spending too much money on a laptop isn’t ideal.
For example, you can find budget Chromebooks like the HP Chromebook 11 for $ 229. There are even Chromebooks with touchscreens and stylus support for almost $ 200 like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. Then, mid-range devices hitting the $ 500 like the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook. And for college students with a higher budget, premium Chromebooks can be purchased for over $ 600, like the Google Pixelbook Go.
No matter what a student’s budget, there is a Chromebook they can buy. This was also the case with Windows laptops. You can undoubtedly find Windows laptops for under $ 500, but these laptops will come with slower processors and reduced features like low-res screens or slower storage. Take the $ 350 ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 or even the base model $ 400 Surface Go 2 as examples. These aren’t bad choices, but Windows is more performance hungry than Chrome OS, so they have some serious drawbacks.
It’s really hard to beat the selection available for Chromebooks under $ 500, and it’s a market that will only continue to grow.
Simplicity is the key
Simplicity is another key area of why students, parents, and school administrators love Chromebooks. This is how Google announced Chromebooks when devices first entered the scene, and that’s quite true even 10 years later.
Chromebooks can boot in seconds, are fast, efficient, and don’t need as much service as Windows 10 laptops. It’s all thanks to the work Google has done in the Chrome OS operating system. Many Chrome operating systems evolve on the web and using the Google Chrome web browser.
This means that Chrome OS performs better on low-end hardware compared to Windows 10. That’s why there are so many Chromebooks under $ 500. Unlike Windows laptops. There’s no need for driver updates, firmware updates, or even security updates with Chromebooks.
Of course, there are limits to what Chromebooks can do. This will work for students interested in learning the Adobe Creative Suite, for example. Not being able to download and install an app from the web might seem like a downside, but for parents and schools it’s a clear positive. Locking down systems for security, protection from certain content, and even just to limit distractions – these are all reasons Chromebooks have become the first choice for the classroom.
The icing on the cake? Even IT admins can easily manage hundreds of Chromebooks with its cloud-based admin console.
Collaboration, the last piece of the puzzle
Finally, we enter into collaboration. With many schools using Google’s Classroom suite and Google products, Chromebooks are a natural choice for students. Chromebooks have become a big collaboration center, which is already a big advantage of other Google software products, such as Google Docs or Google Sheets.
The addition of the Google Play Store opens up Chromebooks to fill software gaps that could be important for student collaboration and work, especially when used remotely. Available on all modern Chromebooks, it’s home to the same number of Android apps you’ll find on Android phones and tablets. Yes, students can download apps from social media like Snapchat, Instagram, and even TikTok. But there are also important apps for education and schooling like OneNote, Evernote, Canvas, Kahoot! and more.
Google should, however, maintain this strength as long as it can. Microsoft is working on improving Windows with the next generation Windows 11 operating system and it could help make Windows laptops more exciting. Windows 11 is taking notes from Chrome OS with its plans for offer support for Android apps through the Amazon App Store, integration with Microsoft Teams, and more. Microsoft is certainly interested in reclaiming some of the share they lost to Google, but for now, Chromebooks remain the champion of the class.