When you think about a Chromebook you tend to think about a traditional type of laptop. By that, I mean a laptop with a 14-inch display. This is by far the most common display size for laptops we’ve seen over the past ten years. You do get Chromebooks with smaller displays than this, which are also very popular. The 11.6-inch range is one, but tend to offer budget specs. A lot of new medium-spec devices now come with a display size of around 13-inches. These are the display sizes I prefer most for a laptop.
I was a little surprised to hear Asus will soon be launching a Chromebook with a display size of 17.3-inches. That is huge when you consider we’re talking about a laptop here. In fact, it will be the largest display ever seen on a Chromebook to date. The question is who would want a laptop with such a huge display? I can’t imagine this is going to be popular with everyone because it isn’t very practical.
So before I instantly dismiss this as a crazy idea let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages. I’m sure Asus has done their homework here, so they must be under the impression there will be high demand. In fact, they are not the only manufacturer because Acer has also launched a Chromebook with a 17.3-inch display. You can find out more about the Acer 17.3-inch Chromebook at About Chromebooks.
Benefits of a large display on a laptop
Looking at this particular Chromebook. One of the benefits I can see immediately is the amount of space available for the keyboard. Providing such a large display means you’ve got plenty of space for the keyboard. The extra space has been used wisely by offering a separate number pad. This is really important for anyone who needs to do a lot of number crunching. If spreadsheets are your thing. Then you’ll definitely be happier typing in those numbers on a separate number pad than using the numbers at the top of the keyboard.
Sticking to the use of spreadsheets or any other program where display space is important. Having all that extra space available is perfect for anyone who wants to display a lot of information on their screen. The Asus Chromebook will come with Full HD resolution, so even on a display size of 17.3-inches. The text and images on the screen should still look very crisp.
It will be great for gaming. Whenever I game on Chrome OS I tend to use my Chromebox. This is because I prefer playing games on a larger display. The Asus with its huge 17.3-inch display will make playing games very engaging. This also means you’ll not need to worry about buying a separate monitor to hook up to your laptop. The 17.3-inch will be big enough not to feel the need of adding a separate monitor.
Perfect if space is an issue
If you live in a small property or don’t like the idea of having a desk with an additional monitor. Then a laptop offering a larger display is a great benefit. It will mean you can use the laptop for all types of tasks without ever having to worry about hooking up an extra monitor. As soon as you go down that route you’ll need a dedicated desk. A laptop with a display of this size removes that issue.
It will also be an attractive proposition for anyone who feels a 14-inch display is just too small. Not everyone has perfect eyesight and may find smaller laptop displays hard to read. The 17.3-inch display should make it much easier for anyone who struggles with a more traditional sized laptop.
It’s hardly portable
Now let’s take a look at some of the negatives. One of the main advantages of a laptop over a desktop computer is portability. Having the ability to take your laptop out with you or move from room to room is a big advantage. You should be find moving from room to room, but you’d struggle to take this laptop out and about with you.
Not only would you need a lot of space when travelling on a train or plane. It would take up so much space in your bag. I doubt very much many people would be buying this laptop with portability in mind. If that’s the case then you’ve got to ask the question why bother buying a laptop? Chromebooks are just one type of Chrome OS computer. If you need a large display then you may decide a Chromebox is a much better option. Check out the difference between the Chromebook and Chromebox.
Although I can’t see myself buying a laptop with a 17.3-inch display anytime soon. I can see why this would be a good choice for some. As I said, I think a Chromebox is a better option if you want a large display. However, using a Chromebox does require more desktop space for your monitor and a separate mouse and keyboard.
If you like the idea of a larger display, but don’t want to clutter up your home with a Chromebox and desk needed to house it. Then I can understand why this will be a great laptop for some. Either way, having the choice is never a bad thing. We’ve seen plenty of 11.6 to 14-inch Chromebooks. Who knows, if the Asus 17.3-inch Chromebook is successful. Perhaps we’ll start seeing more of these in the future. Find out more about the Asus 17.3-inch Chromebook at Chrome Unboxed.