It’s easy to be skeptical about a $299 laptop, but if you are in the market for a computer to stream video, surf the web, and edit documents — I challenge you to find a better deal.

Acer Chromebook 14

The Acer Chromebook 14, has continuously exceeded my expectations, at a price point that is a fraction of its competitors. Seeing as how MacBooks start at around $1,000, and we all know that we get what we pay for, I was doubtful that this would be a quality machine — but boy was I wrong. 

Greasy Fast Lightning Speed

The Chromebook is incredibly fast. The first thing that you’ll notice about your Chromebook is that when you hit the power button, it boots up in just seconds. 

As long as you have a strong internet connection, your apps and programs will load with lightning speed. 

Battery Life

One of our favorite features of the Chromebook is the battery that can go up to 12 hours! Additionally, the battery does not give off the same amount of battery heat as other laptops. 

Virus Protection

Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS which has built in virus protection that updates automatically. While this isn’t necessarily a “bullet proof vest” as far as malware and privacy protection is concerned, but this operating system is designed in such a way that is very resistant to viruses. 

Microsoft Office Compatibility

One of the common misconceptions I hear about Chrome OS is that you are unable to read or edit Microsoft Office documents. That is completely false! 

You can seamlessly use Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides in place of Word, Excel, or Power Point. 

Display

The Acer Chromebook 14 comes with a full HD display, and easily plugs into your television with an HDMI cable.

The Drawbacks

Skype

For all the great benefits of the Chromebook, there are some limitations. The most glaring issue for us is the inability to use Skype’s video call function. There have been multiple times that I’ve needed to use a different machine in order to take a skype video call for business or personal reasons. 

While you can still use Google Hangouts for your video conferencing needs, it’s undeniably inconvenient to be without Skype capability. 

Photoshop and Adobe Creative Suite

If you are a designer and need access to Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. the Chromebook is not for you. 

Not having access to Photoshop was another big drawback for us. However we found a solution that works for our purposes. Photopea.com is a free website that has all of the basic functions of Photoshop — and a very similar feel. 

WIFI only

It’s important to note that Chromebooks are reliant on an internet connection in order to function. You are able to access some of your files without an internet connection, and there is a limited amount of offline apps you can use, but you should plan to have an internet connection in order to use a Chromebook.