Google Docs are a great way for any size team to get some work done, as is Microsoft Office — but they don't play together perfectly. Even Google doesn't try to make that claim, because for power-users — even part time power-users — they can't do it all. What I will say is that I will always opt for the web version of a service if available. Microsoft sees the value of bringing Office applications to Chromebooks. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I got to play Final Fantasy VII, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with no issues. Of course, plenty of us do more than surf the internet with a laptop. The Android app can get a bit buggy, and it froze and slowed down on me about five or six times during the month-long test. No serious gaming is available for Chrome OS, but cloud services can compensate. The operating system is so light, you will rarely come across slow-downs or hiccups. When you sign into your Google account, things like usernames and passwords, or credit card numbers and even your photos are stored where only you can have access to them. Otherwise, it was actually quite fun. I have to manipulate images all the time. I don’t edit much video, and didn’t have to during the month of December, but I have used PowerDirector in the past and it works like a charm. You can import a Microsoft Office document into Google Docs and chances are everything will work just fine, but when you're collaborating with other users of a shared file and they're using Office, things usually don't work nearly as well. It’s allowed me to do all the things I couldn’t do before. Editing something to share with your friends using apps from the Chrome Store or online services is easy enough, but none of them compare to expensive and powerful applications built for other platforms. Shadow offers a full Windows machine, which means you could technically run any Windows program from it! Again, it's a matter of software. Whatever I had to do, whether personal or work-related, it was done with the Google Pixel Slate (or my smartphone). Save big + get 3 months free! If getting on the internet easily and safely, while still having a great experience is what you're looking for, chances are a Chromebook is the best way to do it. It’s simple and to the point. There are also millions of other apps on the Google Play Store. Android has plenty of great games, but we all know the serious gaming scene is on Windows. Since most Android apps still aren’t optimized for Chrome OS, I usually opt for the web version if it’s available. It can be a bit of a mess, depending on the app, which also results in an inconsistent experience. Often, $200 Chromebooks can feel faster (performing general tasks) than $600 Windows machines. When it comes to getting online easily, browsing your favorite places to do things like chat with your friends or do some shopping, or even reading your favorite tech blogs, it's hard to beat a Chromebook. For those who would rather not pay to use Lightroom CC, there is a plethora of options out there. Not only did Chromebooks get the ability to run Android applications, but Android started getting apps that truly competed with their desktop counterparts. There are Chromebooks out there with the processing power to do all of this, but as of right now, there is no software available that's robust enough. Choosing the right Chromebook can be a difficult decision, because there are a lot to choose from. Maybe one day we can do all this stuff on a Chromebook, or maybe not. A huge part of my job here at Android Authority is overseeing photography. I would like to receive news and offers from other Future brands. Of course, you'll need to have a look at things in other browsers on a different machine to test against IE or Firefox, but the bulk of the work is easy to do from most any Chromebook. Apps certainly had their issues from time to time, but I was using the browser most of the time anyways. If you want to replace a PC, you need a device that is powerful enough to compete with a good laptop. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission. I put my Windows and Mac OS machines away and didn’t touch them for the duration of the experiment. Settings and notifications will be accessible from the lower-right corner. Sign up for ExpressVPN today. I prefer the classic version of Lightroom, but the lighter iteration honestly doesn’t lack much. Therefore, we won’t be focusing much on specs like screen resolution, sound quality, available ports, and so on. However I’ve felt that if one of these platforms was to get it right, it would be Chrome OS. What is true is that a Chrome OS device will always give you more bang for your buck in terms of general performance. I used the Google Pixel Slate as my only work computer for one month. But if you want to write code and compile it, your options are pretty slim. In fact, the Pixel makes one of the nicest Linux Ultrabooks you'll ever use. Most of my work can be done online, for which the Chrome browser worked seamlessly. Please enable Javascript and refresh the page to continue. You can sync files with Google Drive, and open the local copy in Chrome for debugging. I didn't forget you. While casual games can be a lot of fun to play, gamers should look elsewhere. This is something I hope Google is thinking about. Even your applications are tied to your Google account, and any local data they need to store is only accessible when you're securely signed in. That’s because the operating system is still pretty much a glorified browser, and a very quick one at that. I was able to find most of what I wanted; were you? The remote machine has some serious specs too, including an Intel Xeon CPU, 12GB of RAM, a GTX 1080 GPU, and 256GB of dedicated storage. The biggest issue for many is when it comes to gaming. You can import a good image — one that requires just a little adjustment to make it "pretty" — and won't have any issues, but if you need to process a big batch of pictures or do a lot of touch-up with RAW files you'll find there's no real offline substitute for Photoshop or Lightroom in the Chrome store, though Adobe has a program where Creative Cloud applications are streamed to qualified educators and students. I am definitely a fan of the Chrome OS user interface. I still think a Chromebook is the best computer for most of us, because most of us aren't doing the things it doesn't do well. In fact, gamers probably wouldn’t even bother to read this article. This year's sale is lasting longer than ever, and a number of early Black Friday deals are already live! Chromebooks used to lack software, but now that Chrome OS supports Android apps it can do a lot more. Lightroom CC actually worked better on the Pixel Slate than on my Windows and Mac OS computers. And the people making games would need to get on board, too — ask any Linux gamer about that. Of course, Shadow does have some recommendations for an optimal experience. The answer is easy, yet complicated. The important part is that the things we can do on a Chromebook are done well. Most mid-range Chromebooks will fill your needs once you visit the Crouton Git and start installing . Chromebooks are really good at a lot of things. I thought running the same experiment again would be a waste of time, but things have changed and this time I took on the month-long test with much more enthusiasm. But the experience falls short of what you'll get when you install Steam on a Windows or Apple laptop.
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