A $129 Chromebook

I have written several times about the advantages of using a low-priced Chromebook laptop computer. (See my previous articles about Chromebooks by starting at https://www.google.com/#q=site:eogn.com+chromebook.) I have also stated a number of times that the “prices keep dropping.” That is certainly true today as BestBuy is now selling an Acer 11.6-inch Chromebook for $129.

This isn’t a refurbished or otherwise used laptop. It is brand-new, still sealed in the box from the factory. You can purchase it in a BestBuy store or order it online with free shipping. Where else will you find a full-sized laptop capable of running tens of thousands of programs for $129?

Admittedly, Chromebooks aren’t for everyone. First, it doesn’t run Windows or Macintosh or Linux programs. It runs the Chrome operating system and can only run any of the 10,000+ apps written for Chrome as well as anything that runs in a web browser. It works well with Facebook and almost all other web sites as well as has apps for word processing, spreadsheets, and hundreds of games. Yes, even Angry Birds has a version for Chromebooks. The list of all Chrome apps may be found at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps.

Next, if you are already comfortable with Windows or Macintosh systems and are happy with what you already own, you probably won’t want a Chromebook that has less capability than what you already have. Instead, Chromebooks are designed for three primary audiences:

  1. Anyone who wants a laptop computer but is not computer literate with Windows, Macintosh, or other operating systems and has no interest in learning about these complex systems. Most anyone can simply turn on a Chromebook and start using it immediately. There is no need to learn about folders, file formats, viruses, or other technical mumbo-jumbo.
  2. Schools and corporations that need to supply a large number of identically-configured computers for use by students or employees at low costs and without incurring large support costs. More Chromebooks are sold to school systems than to any other group.
  3. Even computer gurus might appreciate a cheap but effective laptop for use as a second computer while traveling.

I suspect the Acer 11.6-inch Chromebook will sell out soon. You can learn more on the BestBuy web site at http://goo.gl/YTtv0R.


can you run genealogy programmes on one-such as Ancestral Quest -Family Tree Maker Etc if you keep the main data base on drop.box or similar ?



    Ancestral Quest is a Windows program so it will not operate on the Chrome operating system nor on Macintosh or Linux. Family Tree Maker is available in two versions: one for Windows and One for macintosh. However, there is no Family Tree Maker for Chrome.

    There are more than 10,000 programs available for Chrome but none of them are Windows programs (although many of them are available in multiple versions, one for Chrome, one for Windows, one for Macintosh, etc.)


My sister wants a computer simply to do Facebook and maybe some e-mail. Would this adequately work for her? If so, I’ll print this out and mail it to her.


Hi Dick,
Have you seen that you can now use Android apps and Skype on Chromebooks?
Definitely the way to go now for oldies and beginners getting started on the Internet. At these prices simple to add some external memory and DVD units etc. plus CBs being simpler and less trouble.
All the best,


    —> Have you seen that you can now use Android apps and Skype on Chromebooks?

    Yes. However, that does require some technical knowledge to add Android apps. I suspect most Chromebook users will not do that unless they have a techie friend or family member to install the software for them.


So since I have drop box and evernote can I put those on chromebook and use it for traveling and update my home computer that way?


Went to Best Buy & the $129 price was with a 2 yr contract with some carrier company like Verizon or something. Without the contract the normal price is $229. I left it. I’m saving for a desktop. But thank you so much for making me more aware of what Google Chrome does! Amazing things. My XP won’t run it that’s why I can’t wait to get a new computer. I have an old iPad that’s dying & would love a Chromebook for my genealogy trips. It is extremely lightweight! I want to stop taking piles of paper with me. You’ve opened up a whole new world for me. Thank you!


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