This article has nothing to do with genealogy. Instead, it is about one of my other interests: low-cost computer hardware. If you are looking for true genealogy articles, you might want to skip this article.
UPDATE: This was obviously a very popular sale! Most BestBuy stores are reporting they have now sold out of this model. However, you still might check with a BestBuy store near you to see if that store is one of the exceptions and still has a few left.
If not, keep your eyes open. Similar sales on other models of Chromebooks do happen, often in the $100 to $150 price range.
I have written many times about the advantages of Chromebooks, low-cost laptop computers that are web-oriented. I have a Chromebook and love it. The cheap laptop has become my preferred laptop for traveling. I know that laptops are frequently stolen from airports, train stations, bus stations, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, and other public places. While I would hate to have my Chromebook stolen, I would feel much worse if my much more expensive Macintosh laptop was stolen! That is one of the reasons why I travel with a Chromebook: reducing the risk of financial loss. The other reason is the Chromebook accomplishes everything I need to do when traveling.
I also use the Chromebook frequently at home when watching TV. Chromebooks are designed to run applications “in the cloud” although they are also capable of running a few programs internally.
To find my past articles about Chromebooks, start at: http://bit.ly/2m3fGXz.
Now BestBuy is offering a basic Chromebook laptop for $99 US. That’s not a refurb nor a product by some manufacturer you never heard of. Instead, it is for a brand-new Samsung model XE500C13-S03US Chromebook with a one-year parts and labor warranty. To see the Black Friday sale, go to http://bit.ly/2AjZS4W.
To be sure, this is a rather basic Chromebook with 2 gigabytes of memory, an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, and an internal “disk drive” of 16 gigabytes. I doubt if any Chromebook user will ever fill that internal “disk drive” simply because the default of Chromebooks is to save data in the cloud. Very little information needs to be stored internally in the Chromebook. However, should you wish to do so, you can also read and write data on flash drives and on many external hard drives that have a USB connector.
NOTE: It isn’t really an “internal “disk drive.” It is eMMC memory that functions as a solid state disk drive. There are no moving parts and it is much faster than an old-fashioned disk drive as well.
The Samsung model XE500C13-S03US Chromebook features an 11.6-inch screen that displays 1366 x 768 pixels, 2 USB ports, an HDMI port (display the video on the television set in your living room), built-in wi-fi networking and more. It weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and the battery should last for about 11 hours of use before needing to be recharged.
This low-powered computer isn’t for everyone. If you have a need for high-powered computing, you need to spend a lot more money for a Windows or Macintosh laptop. However, this $99 dollar Chromebook is more than powerful enough enough to read and write email, surf the web, play all sorts of online games, read and write on Facebook, trace your family tree on MyHeritage.com, FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, and thousands of other web sites.
While Chromebooks cannot run Windows programs or Macintosh programs, a Chromebook user can find thousands of Chrome programs and most of them are available FREE of charge. The applications include: Microsoft Office Online (Chromebook-specific versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote), VLC for Chrome (a video and music player), Evernote, Polarr (a photo editing program), Inbox by Gmail, PaperPile (allows you to save article references, PDFs, and published papers to Google Drive and auto-cite them in Google Docs), WeatherBug, LastPass (password manager), and more.
You can find all the Chromebook apps by starting at: https://chrome.google.com/webstore.
Do you want a Chromebook for yourself for use as a second computer when you leave home? How about as a gift for a child or grandchild or for an elderly relative or other adult who is not computer literate? A Chromebook my be more than enough for such uses.
Again, the BestBuy Black Friday ad is available at: http://bit.ly/2AjZS4W.
NOTE: I am not compensated in any way for publishing this article. I don’t receive a commission on any sales. I am simply a satisfied Chromebook user who enjoys “spreading the word.”