In Pictures: Google Chromebook Buyer's Guide

Chromebooks are Web-centric alternatives to laptops that, while not for everyone, are coming into their own. To help you decide if one is right for you, CIO.com answers common Chromebooks questions and takes a look at the current lineup.

The Benefits of Chromebooks Compared to traditional laptops, Chromebooks offer several advantages. Except for Google's high-end Chromebook Pixel ($1,299 to $1,449), they're mostly inexpensive. The lowest-cost models are currently Acer's C7 Chromebook and C720 Chromebook, both $199. And Chromebooks are often light, a quality hard to find in inexpensive laptops.

Chromebooks automatically update regularly. Google claims the Chrome OS's multi-layer security eliminates the need for antivirus software. Chromebooks power on in under 10 seconds. They have full-sized, laptop-style keyboards as well as built-in video chat cameras. Chromebooks support many USB devices. Some have HDMI output as well as Secure Digital (SD) slots to expand storage. Others can use your Chromebook without seeing your stuff by signing into their Google accounts.

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