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.

In Pictures: Google Chromebook Buyer's Guide prev next

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The Drawbacks of Chromebooks To be productive on the go, Chromebooks require you to think ahead. For example, if you're on a long flight without Wi-Fi, you may be stuck without access to needed files unless you: (1) previously stored the files in Google Drive; (2) have enabled Drive's offline mode; and (3) performed an "offline sync" before you boarded the flight. Alternatively, you can copy files to an SD card, then pop the card into your Chromebook's SD slot and open the files.

Also, if you work with specialized software you will most likely be out of luck with a Chromebook. Example: Though there are several image-editing Chrome Web apps, if you're a heavy Photoshop user you will quickly become frustrated using a Chromebook.

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In Pictures: Google Chromebook Buyer's Guide

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