I get it. Chromebooks aren’t for everyone. This much is quite clear. Just the other day in a business I won’t mention (because the work they did for me was fantastic in the end), I had a conversation with a younger person who is clearly a tech-minded individual. The work they were doing for me was of a pretty technical nature, and when I was asked by this person what I do for a living, their response was, “Oh, I’m sorry.”
Ah, young folks in the workforce, am I right? I sidestepped the thinly-veiled insult with the grace that 44 years of life on this planet provides and simply replied, “They’re not for everyone, sure, but for many people out there, a Chromebook is the absolute best computing tool for their needs.” Thankfully, that stopped further discussion and it was pretty clear in short order that this was a Windows guy that thinks Chromebooks are garbage. It’s not a unique take and if you’ve only ever used one of the educational facility-provided models, I can’t say that I’d argue with the opinion too much. Many of those devices are simply crap.
But the truth of the situation is vastly different if people take the time to explore a bit and be a tad more open-minded. There are great Chromebooks out there for really great prices, and for the absolute vast majority of people, they do all you need in a laptop. Among the tech elites, however, that has been a tough sell, and it has made the message difficult to pass on over the past 10 years. What we’ve needed is a few more tech nerds on our side, realizing it’s OK to say Chromebooks are quietly awesome. And that’s exactly what has happened this weekend.
LTT (Linus Tech Tips) is now on the Chromebook train
In case you aren’t aware, LTT is one of the biggest, most-successful tech YouTube brands out there. With over 15 million subscribers on their main channel (countless more on their podcast and spin-off channels), LTT has become a go-to source for tech-minded people that are looking for a bit more in-the-weeds coverage on computing. On their channel, you’ll find all sorts of content about CPUs, GPUs, custom PC builds and more. Not exactly the kind of place you’d expect a positive message on Chromebooks.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Linus has been tough on Chromebooks in the past. And to be honest, it wasn’t unexpected at all on my end. Again, those that really get into the depths of what is possible with a Windows device usually don’t tend to appreciate the subtle simplicity you get with a Chromebook. And up until recently, I would have put LTT firmly in the Chromebook haters camp.
Turning over a new leaf
But this new video is a breath of fresh air. Instead of deriding Chromebooks, Linus actually points out many of the things we’ve been saying here for years, and it’s nice to see. Truthfully, if he’d never been hard on Chromebooks and ChromeOS, this wouldn’t be such a cool moment. But he was, and because of that, this is.
You really need to watch his video (embedded above) and perhaps some of his other not-so-nice videos about Chromebooks to understand the change in tenor with this latest post. He isn’t saying that Chromebooks are the end-all-be-all of computing, but he does point out the fact that these devices 100% have a place in the consumer computing market. As kids who know and are familiar with ChromeOS graduate and buy devices, new Chromebook Plus models await to give them all they need on a modest budget.
As he states in the video, it’s the sort of computing option I truly wish I’d had as I left high school and entered college. For a modest budget, you can get a really nice Chromebook Plus that does far more than a similarly-priced Windows device, and LTT does a great job at making this point in the video. And just as I’d spent my K-12 years on Windows (well, the last 5-6 years, anyway) and shopped for that sort of device after school, I think many graduates will start looking to Chromebooks in the same way.
At the end of it all, Linus isn’t making any points that we haven’t made 100 times here at Chrome Unboxed over the years, but it is nice to see such a prominent tech YouTube unafraid to say out loud that Chromebooks aren’t trash. They are pretty amazing devices for the money, and the more people that understand and explore this fact, the better. A bit of help from such an influencing tech brand could be a pretty big tipping point to get a lot of naysayers to at least open up to the possibility for sure.