I have written often about Chromebooks. (See https://goo.gl/AAaOZr for a list of my past articles about Chromebooks.) One of the most common questions asked by readers after those articles is, “Will a Chromebook run my favorite genealogy program?” In most cases, the answer is “No.”
Chromebooks will run a lot of programs when offline (see http://goo.gl/8pr4dd for Everything You Can Do Offline With a Chromebook by David Nield). However, all Chromebooks are really intended for use when connected to the Internet. A Chromebook will run applications hosted on web sites, including MyHeritage.com, FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, Werelate.org, WikiTree.com, The Next Generation of Genealogy Site Building, WebTrees, as well as non-genealogy apps such as FaceBook, LinkedIn, Google Docs, Zoho Writer, thousands of online games, and most email services.
Jerry Hildenbrand has published Should You Buy a Chromebook at http://www.androidcentral.com/should-you-buy-chromebook. He writes:
“Whenever we talk about Chromebooks, this is one of the questions that always pops up. It’s understandable — you’ve got about half the internet telling you that Chromebooks are great and most folks can do everything they want to do on a laptop with Chrome, and most of the other half claiming that they are useless and you shouldn’t spend your money on ‘just a browser.’
“As usual, I think the real wisdom comes from the people in the middle. Folks who will come forward and say a Chromebook is their only computer or the one they use all or most of the time, and why it works for them. I may be biased because I’m one of those people, but I really do think that for a good many of us, a Chromebook is the best computer you can buy.”
If you are thinking of purchasing a Chromebook for yourself or for a family member, you might want to read Jerry Hildenbrand’s article at http://www.androidcentral.com/should-you-buy-chromebook.
By the way, I love my Chromebook and take it with me on all my trips. I also use it frequently when sitting on the couch and watching television.
Since I recently moved my genealogy database to an online service (MyHeritage.com), I also do most of my genealogy database additions and updates with the Chromebook when traveling. Admittedly, I do like the big 27-inch screen on the iMac so I still use that to update the genealogy data on MyHeritage.com most of the time when I am at home. However, I use the Chromebook to do the same thing when in libraries, archives, or in hotel rooms. I love the idea of having my genealogy information available with me wherever I go and from any computer that happens to be available, including from the cell phone, the tablet computer, a Windows or Macintosh laptop, or from a Chromebook.