What Things can’t a Chromebook Do?

A Chromebook is a cheaper alternative to laptops with a Mac or Windows operating systems because of its equal (almost) capability against them but with a cheaper price. Though a Chromebook is a very good alternative laptop, it is not actually a direct replacement for a laptop with a Windows or a Mac operating system. There are only limited things that a Chromebook can do while a Windows or a Mac PC can do more. Here are some of the things that a Chromebook cannot do:

Chromebooks cannot work offline

The most essential requirement of the Chromebook is you have to be connected to the Internet in order to fully utilize the Chromebook. Without the Internet connection, you will only be limited to performing simple tasks such as playing some games or using a limited number of apps such as the New York Times. You cannot work on your files in Google docs as it requires internet connection to fully access it. On a side note though, you can boot up, connect to the Internet (if it is available) and work on your docs in less than a minute!

Chromebooks cannot share an Internet connection

USB tethering on a smartphone’s data connection is easily done on a laptop with a Windows or Mac operating system. On the other hand, you cannot do it on a Chromebook. There can be a work-around on this though as Google claims to have a data connection with an Android Smartphone being used as a Wi-Fi network.

Chromebooks have limited allowable application / programs

If you are used to a Windows laptop wherein you can download anything that comes off the Internet, you will be frustrated with a Chromebook as it is only limited to a certain number of file types that it can open such as .doc, .pdf, .html and a number of image formats. All others are just a bunch of space eaters on the Chromebook and can never be opened.

Chromebooks are not friendly in managing storage devices and / or smartphones

Some of us have a thing towards our laptops being used to organize files on our storage devices or even on our smartphones. If you will be using a Chromebook for this purpose, be prepared to experience the cold shoulder as it will not help you organize those files to your devices.

You cannot watch a high quality streaming video

Watching videos in YouTube is a piece of cake with Chromebook. But you will have problems if you want to watch streaming videos in high quality. With its limited hardware and connection capabilities, high quality streaming videos tend to adjust to the Chromebook’s capabilities thus causing major quality issues on watching video streaming.

You cannot fully utilize a Chromebook without a Google account

It is more of an exclusivity concern rather than a handicap. Chromebooks need a Google account sign in order to have full use / access. This is not actually a drawback but rather a slight change from the normal sign-in / access requirements of a laptop with a Windows or a Mac OS.

Chromebooks are not actually a big downgrade or a negative product against a Windows or Mac laptop. If one can work with some things that Chromebook cannot do, or make a work-around on some of its equivalent apps, then Chromebook can be a nice alternate.

What Should I Do if I Need my Chromebook Fixed?

Chromebooks are much like other netbooks that run a Windows or a Mac OS in which there are set ways in order to troubleshoot if there are things that are not running normally. Here are some problems that may be encountered during the use of a Chromebook:

Problems connecting to wired networks

  • Please check the internet router if it is connected to a working Ethernet Cable or a USB adapter.
  • The status area will show your account picture and indicates if it is connected on a wired connection or not.
  • If it is connected, try checking the router connection on another computer, if it connects to the Internet, you might need to use another cable/adapter.

Battery won’t charge

  • Check if the charger and adapter cables are securely connected on the Chromebook.
  • Check if the power outlet is working by using another device for plugging.
  • Once done, plug the Chromebook and try to charge for 30 minutes.
  • If problems persist, restart the Chromebook.

Cannot connect with a Bluetooth device

  • Check if the Bluetooth device that you want to connect with Chromebook is fully charged or has enough battery.
  • Make sure that the PIN you have input corresponds to the one shown on the Bluetooth device.
  • If there is an intermittent Bluetooth connection, try to move the Bluetooth device closer to the Chromebook or move away from other wireless devices or appliances.

Camera is not working properly

  • Try to turn off the camera, then turn it on.
  • If you are using the camera on an app, try to use it on another app and check if it works. If it works, re-install the app where the camera is not working.

Chrome OS freezing / crashing

  • Try to close all windows of browsers and apps and re-check again.
  • If there is a specific tab in the browser causing the Chromebook to crash or freeze, try hard refresh by pressing Ctrl + Shift + R.
  • If there are new apps that you have installed recently, try to uninstall them and check the Chromebook’s behavior afterwards.

“Aw Snap!” page keeps on coming up on the browser

  • Close the browser windows that you are not using.
  • Turn off the Chromebook and turn it back on.
  • Open Task Manager (press Shift + Esc) and close any apps or processes that you are not using.
  • Turn off browser extensions by doing the following:
    1. Type chrome://extensions in the address bar then press Enter.
    2. Uncheck the Enabled tab on the extensions that you are not using.

Google Account Sign – in problems (“Sorry, your email or password could not be verified”)

  • Ensure the username and password you have typed is correct.
  • Ensure your Chromebook has a strong and constant Internet connection.
  • Make sure to type in your username together with @gmail.com.
  • Try signing with your old password if you have recently changed your password.

Activating your network (“Before signing in, please start a Guest session to activate the network”)

  • Sign out of your Chromebook and click Browse as Guest.
  • Check if you can sign in using your credentials, if not and you have forgotten your username or password or both, go to www.google.com/accounts/recovery.
  • If problem persists, browse the Google Accounts help Center for more help.

Which Chromebook Should a Beginner Buy?

Apart from the usual Windows or Mac operating systems (OS) for laptops, a new OS has been recently released, and that is the Google Chrome OS. These laptops that run with the Google Chrome OS are called “Chromebooks” and are mainly dependent on an Internet connection to utilize all its applications and use them fully.  In essence, Chromebooks can actually perform most, if not all of the things a laptop with a Mac or Windows OS can do, but with a considerable price reduction. Chromebooks now offering a large line of products, much like other laptops. This is causing confusion especially for those people who are planning to buy a Chromebook for the first time. This handy guide will provide a guideline to which Chromebook is appropriate for people that will be using it for the first time. Here are some of the Chromebooks that are friendly for beginners:

Asus Chromebook Flip

As one of the smallest Chromebooks around with a 10-inch flip screen, it is also one of the few Chromebooks with a 360-degree rotating touchscreen. The battery also has considerable life with a maximum life of 10.5 hours and is notable for being the lightest Chromebook on the market. It is also one of the cheapest with a suggested retail price of $249. The quality of the build is very good as it is made from sturdy materials compared to others. Additionally, it is quite lightweight and is perfect to bring along during travels and will not add much weight to the luggage. A small drawback on this Chromebook though, is that this is not friendly for people who have a hard time typing on cramped keyboards thus causing some disappointments.

Acer Chromebook R11

The Chromebook R11 made by Acer is a versatile 2-in-1 mode laptop that has an 11.6-inch touch screen that can also act as a tablet. The screen can also do a 360-degree flip making it more comfortable to use while in tablet mode. This feature is also useful for things such as watching streaming movies as well as showing presentations to others. With its small frame and light size, it is perfect to bring along to almost anywhere without worrying about added weight to luggage. Though the Chromebook R11 has limited space, it has provided ample space for the keyboard, making it comfortable to type on for most people, even those with large fingers! One small concern for this 2-in-1 laptop is that the lid flexes a little bit which can be worrying when it comes to its sturdiness.

Samsung Chromebook 3

This Chromebook also showcases an 11.6-inch LCD with touch screen options but doesn’t flip back to become more of a tablet like other Chromebooks can do. Its battery life is one of the longest in comparison with similar products, wherein it can have a life of up to 11 hours with a full charge. A small concern is that its micro SD slot restricts people in putting in their SD cards in transferring files. Much like other Chromebooks, its size and weight are negligible and it can be brought anywhere without any fuss.


The above Chromebooks are friendly to beginners and at the same time impressive to experienced Google Chrome OS users in which the key is its ease of use