Common Chrome OS Questions

We strongly believe that there is no such thing as a "dumb" question.

Everyone starts out as a beginner, and Chrome OS devices can be very different from traditional Windows, Mac, or Linux computers. The questions below have been selected as the most common questions to be asked on Google+, Twitter, and around the web. This page is a good place to start if you're new to Chrome OS.

(#) What is Chrome OS?

Chrome Operating System is the software that runs on Chrome devices (Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebases). It is an alternative to Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems that you may use on other devices. Chrome OS is owned and maintained by Google, Inc., and shares a lot of the interface in common with their Chrome browser.

(#) What is a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are laptops that run Chrome OS. Much like how Macintosh software is only available on Macbooks, Chrome OS is only available on official Chrome devices, which include Chromebooks (laptops), Chromeboxes (desktops), and Chromebases (all-in-one's).

Chromebooks are available from many computer manufactures, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, and Toshiba.

(#) What types of apps are available?

Chrome OS will not run applications designed for Windows, Mac, or Linux computers. They will also not run applications designed for Android (Google Play) or iOS (App Store). Instead, Chrome OS has its own web store aptly named the Chrome Web Store. These apps can sometimes be full applications that act like traditional programs, or sometimes just act as links to web apps, programs hosted on a website with limited offline capabilities. Please be sure to check our Alternative Apps guide to see if your favorite programs are available, or if you will need to find a comparable app.

(#) What are the best features of Chrome OS?

Chrome OS is different from many traditional operating systems, which means it excels in some areas and lacks in others.

Many users enjoy the 8-second start up time, the instant resume from sleep, and the wide selection of available models (including a few without fans, some with 8.5 hour battery life, and more). Another selling point of Chrome OS is the powerful sync system, which makes sure your data doesn't disappear if your device does. Any files you place in Google Drive will automatically be available to you when you log into a new Chrome OS device, as well as most of your user data (profile photo, bookmarks, history, and even your apps).

(#) What are the largest limitations of Chrome OS?

Chrome OS doesn't have as many available applications or programs as many other operating systems at this point in time. Additionally, Chrome OS is very cloud-centric software, so a slow connection may disqualify you as a good candidate for one of these computers. It is our opinion that Chrome OS is suitable for the average user, but everyone has different specific needs, so please use our Pre-Sale Checklist to make sure you're prepared to make the jump to Chrome OS.