What makes Chromebooks so great is the fact that their lightweight operating systems can make even the budget ones run as fast as high-powered Mac and Windows laptops.

However, that great price to performance ratio comes at the cost of versatility.

Chromebooks are certainly limited when compared to traditional laptops but can they still do enough to be seriously considered as your main work-from-home device?

Are Chromebooks Good For Working From Home?

Chromebooks are good for working from home if you are primarily doing research, light office work, and light design work that you can complete online without having to use locally installed software like Adobe Photoshop or the fully-featured Microsoft Office Desktop apps.

However, if you need to do professional print graphic design or video editing with DaVinci Resolve then a Chromebook might not be the best choice, since the software options that you can install are more limited than on a Windows or Mac laptop.

What Type Of Work From Home Jobs Are Chromebooks Good For?

A woman working from home on a Chromebook

If you are a consultant, social media manager, data entry technician, online teacher, translator, blogger, writer/editor, event planner, affiliate marketer, etc, you won’t come up against any major limitations using a Chromebook as your main work from home computer.

For Writing, Editing, And Office-Type Work

With a Chromebook, you can use Google’s suite of office cloud-based apps to create and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online.

You won’t have the full feature set that the latest version of Microsoft Office will give you but you’ll have enough functionality to be able to do the vast amount of office-type tasks.

You can even use Google Docs offline on your Chromebook.

The only hiccups you might face are formatting and compatibility issues if someone sends you a Microsoft document that doesn’t open or display as it should in Google Docs.

However, these are usually not major problems and with a little editing, you should be able to get the document looking the way you want.

For Lightweight Photo Editing, Video Editing And Design Work

On newer Chromebooks that can run apps from the Google Play Store, you can install and use apps like Adobe Photoshop Express for basic photo editing and KineMaster for basic video editing; you can also use web-based graphic design platforms like Canva to design social media graphics, web graphics, business cards, posters, invitations and much more.

Chromebooks are great for people who need to do online research, light office work, and basic design tasks.

If you’re doing professional print graphic design or video editing then you might find your Chromebook coming up short.

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What Are The Advantages Of Working From Home On A Chromebook?

There are many advantages to working from home on a Chromebook including lower costs, a lightweight and responsive OS, longer battery life, better privacy, and security, and a quieter working environment with no noisy cooling fans blaring.

Chromebooks Are A Cheaper

Chromebooks are cheaper than their Windows and Mac equivalents, making them great for people who don’t want to spend much on their main device for working from home.

But what’s important is that because of the lightweight Chrome OS, even budget Chromebooks perform like fast and powerful machines.

Comparing a 32GB Chromebook for under $200 with a comparable Windows laptop would be like comparing a sports car with an old banger.

The Windows OS is just too big and clunky for this type of hardware.

I once owned such a Windows laptop and I used to regularly see it in my nightmares, stuttering along, freezing constantly, and downloading update after update without having the memory or resources to install most of them.

Chromebooks usually save you money on software too, with most apps you’ll need being free and web-based.

And because they usually don’t have any moving parts like fans, they are quieter and last longer before they fail, saving you even more money in the long run.

Chromebooks Are Fast

Because of their lightweight operating systems, Chromebooks are very fast and responsive.

You can work fast on them and you’ll never be playing catchup.

Menus, apps, and web pages all open and load up fast so you can continue to work efficiently.

A Chromebook also boots up in seconds and resumes almost instantly once it’s sleeping, which means that you’ll waste less time waiting around for your computer to load up.

They Have Better Battery Life

Because their processors don’t have to be as powerful or work as hard, Chromebooks usually last 3 times as long as laptops and come with 10-12 hours battery life as standard (as long as yours doesn’t feature an ultra HD screen).

This can allow you to get a lot more work done at home before having to move close to a wall socket.

They Are More Secure

Chromebooks have great built-in privacy and security features that can protect you from malware, viruses, hackers, and other online threats that plague Windows and Apple devices.

Because most of the software that your Chromebook utilizes is stored and run in a contained environment in the cloud, cybercriminals have a much harder time gaining access to your data or your machine.

And any information kept locally on your device is encrypted by Google to stop anyone from spying.

Chromebooks are also based on a Linux-based operating system which is nowhere near as popular as Windows or iOS so of less interest to hackers in general.

Chromebooks Are For The Cloud

Another great thing about Chromebooks is that they are built for the cloud.

With Google Drive storage, you’ll never run out of space again and you can access your files anytime from any device, anywhere in the world without fear of losing your work at home.

What Type Of Chromebook Do I Need For Working From Home?

For working from home, you should try and go for at least a midrange Chromebook with an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, not older than 8th generation, at least 8GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a bright (at least 250 nits), full HD, 1080p screen.

A midrange Chromebook with similar specs will have loads of power to future-proof your purchase so you won’t have to consider replacing it for years.

For midrange models, you’ll be looking at around $400 to $800.

A solid mid-range choice is the Acer Chromebook Spin 13.

However, if budget is your biggest concern and you want to pick up a device for $150 to $400 Chromebooks are still where you should be looking.

Probably the best value to be found in Chromebooks is at the very lowest end.

This is because they can still multitask and run quickly on low-powered hardware, something that the lowest-end Windows laptops can really struggle with.

Just bear in mind that you won’t be getting any bells or whistles on a Chromebook for under $300.

The screen will also be dim and dull, and not the nicest to work on from home.

A decent budget model is the HP Chromebook 11a or 14.

If your budget allows and if you’re sure that a Chromebook is everything you need in a machine for working from home, it might be worth considering a high-end model.

I’m writing this on a Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 that I picked up on sale from lenovo.com for around $800.

It has a 4K screen, an 8th gen Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB RAM, and 132GB internal storage.

And it’s honestly the fastest computer that I have ever used; I think it even loads apps and web pages faster than my smartphone.

I think this model has a cooling fan, too, but I’ve never even heard it come on.

The only drawback is that the 4K screen drastically reduces battery life, but personally, I can live with that for the sake of a superior screen.

Keep in mind that once your budget starts hitting the $1,000 range Chromebooks begin to look a lot less appealing.

And that’s because at this price range Chromebooks begin to lose their speed advantage and start coming up against some high-powered Windows and Mac laptops that have the advantage of being able to run powerful desktop apps like Microsoft Office and the Adobe software suite.

Also, note that Chromebooks are updated by Google for 8 years from their release.

You can check this list to see when each Chromebook model will stop receiving updates.

It’s something to keep an eye on because you might not want to get a fabulous deal on a Chromebook only to find out that it won’t be receiving any more Chrome OS updates.

It’s nice to receive those shiny new Chrome OS updates for at least 4 or 5 years after buying your new machine.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to work from home and can usually achieve what you need to in a web browser, then a Chromebook should be perfect for you.

They can do almost everything you could possibly want at home such as surfing the web, checking emails, using social media, watching videos and movies, doing basic design, creating documents and spreadsheets, etc.

And because of the simple interface and online-oriented nature of Chrome OS, you’ll be able to get on with your work fast without being distracted by unnecessary desktop applications.