Chromebooks: Desktop You can trust to be there

I’ve been a Chromebook believer for over a decade now. One week ago, I mentioned a basic reason to use them: When a Chromebook fails, you can buy a new one and get back to work in a few minutes.

I was on half-vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC – that is, I worked only six hours a day – when my old Chromebook failed. I hoped it didn’t die. I thought maybe he was resting or maybe he was shocked. So, I tried everything: move a USB drive, do a hard reset, beat it and shout, “‘Elo Poly !!!!! Experimental! Experimental! Experimental! Experimental! It’s your nine alarm call!”


It was a dead parrot; I mean Chromebook. It was good to kick the bucket.

Now, if it was running a Windows laptop or even my favorite Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Linux 20.04 I would get into real trouble. Not only do I need to buy a new replacement, I need to reinstall my applications and recover all my documents.

It’s not fun.

Not only was it a big job, but I was away from my office, where I kept my backups. To avoid damage from ransomware attacks, I keep my main backup on a QNAP TS-453BT3 network-connected storage (NAS) device. In my home office, it is available on a Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) that is not accessible from the Internet.

Many people who are now working from home do not have a local backup.

If their Windows, Linux desktop or Mac stops working, they too are out of luck. Yes, Mac makes it easy to create local backups with Time Machine. But do you have an external drive or NAS? Unfortunately, most of the time, home workers only have their main machine without any backup drive.

The result? You get hours – even days – to get back to work. It’s bad in a word.

But if you have a Chromebook, that’s another story.

As it happened, I had another Chromebook with me: an Acer Chromebook 515 CB515. It was a review unit – spoiler alert, it’s a good machine – which I haven’t unboxed yet. So, I took it out, plugged it in, connected it to my Condo Wi-Fi, and I was back to work in five minutes.

Besides, I just didn’t come back to work. I literally came back to the same line in my document. I don’t miss a word.

I recommend Chromebooks for small businesses, especially for those who have a lot of remote staff.

If you have a standard Chromebook, you don’t have to worry about backups. Unless you save work locally, which very few people do, everything your people do is automatically saved in their Google Drive.

If you have more than a handful of employees, you can subscribe to a Google Workspace account, and at a cost as low as ব্যবহার 6 per user per month, their work is saved even if their Chromebook goes by truck.

Yes, there are many more desktop-on-service (DaaS) offers. However, most of them are more complex to set up. If something happens on a Windows machine using a Windows 365 Cloud PC, for example, your users still need to install and set up their Windows desktop client on their new PC.

It’s not a big deal, but it will take some time.

With a Chromebook, there is no remote installation or setup You turn it on, connect to the internet, log in to your account and get back to business – no fuss, no hassle.

Now, you can say that with a Chromebook, you can work only when you are connected to the Internet

That hasn’t been true for years.

Google Docs works locally. You can also install Linux on your Chromebook. I always do.

Also, this approach misses a fundamental truth of computing in 2022. There is almost no work for any of us in an operating system that does not require internet.

If you don’t have a net, you’re not going to get much work done, period.

So, for many small businesses, or any business with employees working from home, a Chromebook makes a lot of sense.

Now, if you will forgive me, I am going on a business trip and need to pack my Pixelbook Go.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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