Google Chromebook: The Perfect Solution for Online Students

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Fancy a brand spanking new laptop for the rather attractive price of just $249? Of course you do! The latest version of Google Chromebook has just hit the shops and if early indications are anything to go by, it really does seem to be third time lucky for Google when it comes to home computing. Despite its low price point, the new Chromebook is perfect for everyday use (whether you want to learn, explore, create, or play).

The main difference between a Chromebook and a regular laptop is that there’s no hard drive to speak of. Internal storage capacity is limited to just 16GB, which in the modern data-hungry world is not too much at all – you probably have more storage space on your phone. The Chromebook runs on Google’s proprietary operating system – Chrome OS, which essentially means it runs in the Chrome browser window and requires a WiFi connection to perform as it’s intended. In fact if you don’t have a WiFi connection, you might be forgiven for mistaking the Chromebook for a rather stylish paperweight. Is that a problem? When we consider how “connected” we are these days, it probably won’t bother many users all that much. You won’t be able to install any software, but when you take a look at the functionality, apps, and extensions that are available via Google+ and Google Web Store, that won’t cause too many issues either. Sure, you might come across something you can’t use – iTunes, Adobe Photoshop et al – basically anything you have to install, but you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be an alternative app.

Signing up for a Google account is a must. In the first instance, this will allow you to access Google’s productivity suite – Google Docs. It’s pretty much fully featured and offers everything you would expect from Office (but for free). You’ll get access to a word processor, presentations, spreadsheets, and more – all of which are just perfect for online students. You can even adjust your settings to be able to access most of your documents offline – so maybe it’s not a paperweight when it’s offline after all. You’ll also enjoy a personal Google+ profile page, maps, a calendar, and of course gmail – pretty much everything you could access from a standard laptop.

When you’ve familiarized yourself with Google+ and Google Drive, you can customize your browser with various apps and extensions that make the Chromebook really come into its own. There are literally thousands of these to choose from, but let’s take a look at some of the must-haves for students.

Stay Focusd: This productivity extension is perfect if you just can’t stop yourself from checking Facebook every 15 minutes. It allows you to restrict the time you spend on sites of your choosing.

StudyStack: This app is a great study aid as it helps you to memorize pretty much anything you need to. Take advantage of millions of user created flashcards or create your own.

Evernote: This extension is ideal for those students who are working on their dissertation. It allows you to save everything from a url to an entire web page. No more searching your history for that interesting article you came across sometime last week.

These are just a few of the many plus points of the Google Chromebook for students. Check it out. You can’t fail to see its potential.

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