Are super expensive Chromebooks worth the money? I’m not sure they are

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When it comes to buying a Chromebook there is one for every budget. A few years ago, apart from the occasional model, and usually by Google. Most Chromebooks were either budget or medium-spec.

Since then we’ve seen a few super-expensive Chromebooks released. Although we can safely say Chrome OS has advanced. I can’t help but wonder whether you’re truly getting value for money when you’re spending so much money.

The first issue is the cost of some of these models. You can now find a Chromebook that costs more than £1,000/$1,000. Unless they have something very special about them. I’m not really sure how they offer anything that you would not get from a medium-spec model. Just take a look at the cost of this Asus CX9 in the UK, that’s just crazy.

The lastest processors

I’m sure you’ve all watched videos and read articles about the latest Chromebooks coming with the latest processors. The problem I have is I’m not really sure how Chrome OS is going to take advantage of these amazingly fast processors.

As far as I’m concerned one of the best advantages of buying a Chromebook with the latest processor is the AUE date. Buying a Chromebook with the latest eleventh-generation processor will mean you’ll get Chrome OS updates way into the future.

I just bought an Asus CX5 quad-core Intel i5 Chromebook
My Asus CX5 Quad-Core Intel i5 Chromebook

However, I’m not convinced in the slightest we really need all the power and performance these processors bring to the table. Of course, it makes sense that newer generation processors will be faster than the previous generation. I’m just worried people are getting caught in the trap of thinking they need the latest and highest performing processors for performance reasons.

Chrome OS works fine with eight-generation processors

When it comes to using Chrome OS. You can still get the best that it offers from a Chromebook that has an eighth-generation processor. The processing power provided by the tenth and eleventh-generation, although great, is totally unnecessary.

We are not at a stage where Steam works well enough with Chromebooks for us to need the latest i5 and i7 processors. We’re also not at a stage where we have truly professional video editing software that can take advantage of all this power.

I love Linux Apps and have been using them a lot more recently. However, the way Chrome OS has been designed. At the moment, you can’t take full advantage of the processing power of your Chromebook when using Linux. Therefore, why would you need an Intel i5 or i7 eleventh-generation processor?

You might want to think twice before parting with your money

I’m not saying for one second that you should stop buying Chromebooks with the latest processors. However, you may want to think about whether you really need that latest i5 or i7 model.

If you’re considering buying a new Chromebook. Then a model with an Intel i3 processor will offer everything you need. Buying a Chromebook with a higher processor than this is totally unnecessary. Chrome OS simply isn’t at a stage where you’ll be able to take true advantage of all this extra processing power.

Asus CX5 Chromebook
An Intel i3 Chromebook offers all the performance you need

Sure, it may mean that your Chromebook is faster at opening lots of browsers at the same time. Really, is that what we really care about, and is that where we are at? An Intel i3 model will be able to cope with the same number of browsers, and just how many browsers do we really need open at the same time?

I just bough an Asus CX5 Intel i5 Chromebook

I’ve recently bought an Asus CX5 Chromebook. I opted for the Intel i5 model, which is amazingly fast. This is thanks to the super-high clock speeds and quad-core processing capability.

I didn’t buy this Chromebook thinking I’d need such processing power. I just wanted to see how it could possibly make my experience using Chrome OS any better. The answer is it can’t. Not yet anyhow.

I still can’t play games like Cities Skylines, even with the faster SSD storage that comes with the Asus CX5. In fact, I’m struggling to see how this extra processing power is going to make anything I can already do on an eight-generation processor better.

Cities Skylines does not play on my Asus CX5 Intel i5 Chromebook
One of my favourite games – Cities Skylines

Yes, maybe it will run faster, but Chrome OS computers already run fast. Until we get some major changes then the latest Intel i5 and i7 processors are a bit of a luxury.

If you like the fastest of everything, then fine, go and spend your money. If on the other hand, you just want a computer that can perform all the tasks Chrome OS is capable of. Save some money and opt for an Intel i3 model. What processor to look for when buying a Chromebook.

Summary

I hope you know me well enough to know I’m not attacking Chromebooks or Chrome OS. I love the Chromebook and have been using them from the very beginning. However, I also like to ensure people are not getting carried away and spending money they don’t need to spend.

If you’ve got lots of money and want the latest and fastest performing laptop. Then fine, of course, you’ll love owning an Intel i5 or i7 Chromebook. However, if you do like to keep on top of the amount of money you spend. Then do not think for one second you need to spend more than is necessary.

You’ll find a Chromebook with the latest generation processor is far too fast for what Chrome OS can offer. Save your money and opt for an Intel i3 model instead. You really don’t need all that extra processing power.

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2 thoughts on “Are super expensive Chromebooks worth the money? I’m not sure they are”

  1. I have an Asus CX5 with i3 processor, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage (and a 256 GB SD card). This was just north of $400 at Best Buy when it came out, and it has been lower off and on since then. So definitely not a premium price, but a premium performer.

    If you are gauging Linux on a Chromebook by what Crostini offers, you are missing so much. I am running Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal) under crouton. When you try to install it, crouton says that is is not supported, and you will probably run into some issues. For me, it installed and runs fine. I run Audacity for audio recording and editing, and OpenShot for video editing. LibreOffice for all my word processing and spreadsheets. And much more, the world of Linux programs is amazing. These program on my Chromebook CX5 are wonderful, better than my former MacBook Pro vintage 2012. So, for sure, a “mid-spec” Chromebook running Linux is all MOST anybody really needs.

    Reply
    • Yes, I love Linux Apps. I’ve bought this Chromebook to experiment a little, so perhaps I’ll try installing a version of Unbuntu. I’ve used it before on an old PC, but that was sometime ago.

      Reply

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