Chromebook Chronicles – Choices, Choices

If there is one good thing about getting a Chromebook today, it’s that there are lots of choices. Today, there are many different manufacturers, sizes and price points. This wasn’t always the case, though, and the lack of options was one of the real setbacks in my opinion. It used to be that all Chromebooks had 11.6″ screens at 1366×768 resolution. A more typical laptop has a 13″ screen and a higher resolution. One of the hallmarks of the Chromebooks is the incredibly affordable price with most coming in at around $199, far below a typical laptop. As usual, you get what you pay for, so the megar Chromebook specs are not out of line at that price.

But there was always room for a mid-range Chromebook with a larger screen and higher resolution. Finally it came this year when Toshiba entered the fray with a 13″ Chromebook. The Toshiba is also nice because it’s one of the first Chromebooks to use the new Haswell processor from Intel. Unfortunately, although it’s 13″, the screen resolution on the Toshiba stays at 1366×768.

Samsung has announced their new lineup to ship soon and they also feature a 13″ model. The new Samsung stands apart, though, because it is the first Chromebook to have a full HD display. I would be lying if I didn’t say this new Samsung is top on my list at the moment. These new 13″ Chromebooks do come in at around $349 because of their larger screen sizes and improved processors. This is the mid-range and they are still half an expensive as a typical 13″ Windows or Mac laptop.

To make my choice even harder, Intel and Google this week announced new Chromebooks from a variety of companies including Lenovo, Acer, and Asus. There are new 11.6″ and 13″ versions and some have an Intel i3 processor which is a step up from the Haswell featured in the Toshiba. The Chromebook world is moving fast now and adoption of the Chromebook in the market overall is rising. Especially with Windows 8 falling out of favor with many people, these are great lower cost alternatives, especially for people like students who are on a limited budget and do most everything on the web anyway.

So I will bide my time and be patient as most of the new crop will be out by late summer. Since I am going to be using the Chromebook as my primary laptop, I am shopping in the mid-range for sure and I’d like to get both a faster processor and full HD screen if possible. Other people may have different parameters and thus have different choices. I am walking you through my particular scenario in this series. If you have gotten a chance to use any of the new Chromebooks or have an opinion, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.