Chromebooks VS Laptops

Kyle Champeau

The Chromebooks were a controversial new addition to the 2020 school year, with many students and teachers alike arguing about the removal of our old HP laptops. In plenty of my classes I’ve heard students complain about how the Chromebooks don’t save when closed, or take forever to start if the Wi-Fi is being used heavily by all the other Chromebook wielding students.

As well as the complaints of the Chromebooks being slow, they are essentially a giant parental block, with none able to show their own individualism by even changing their wallpaper. With nearly all the students having to learn the new Chrome OS, instead of the Windows 10 OS we were far more well accompanied by countless hours of school and home use. Many of which agree that the District should keep using HP’s laptops instead of the Chromebooks.

The hard truth is that the new operation of the school day with Chromebooks isn’t as successful as the district hoped. In our 7 hours of the day, the students have to use their resources a lot. One of which this year is our school assigned Chromebooks. These new Chromebooks didn’t transition easily though, with many preferring the windows 10 interface they have gotten used to, and the larger size physically. The Chromebooks starting based on one’s internet connection, with even the reduced amount of people students sometimes struggle to obtain a connection, or don’t get a very fast connection within the school, making the Chromebooks rarely boot up nearly as fast as the old HP’s. 

Schoolwork this year took a very different turn with the Chromebooks, with all your tabs closing every time you close the device, and the much smaller screen are common complaints within the classroom. With so much delay on start up, I personally experienced many delays of the start of class so we could all wait for the Chromebooks to boot up, as many teachers already know how slow to start they are, when multiple users are logging in at a time. The HP laptops have Solid State Drives to boot up, which is much faster than a connection. 

When asked about the benefit of the Chromebooks, Brian Casey (The Director of technology for the district) replied “They are 1/3rd the price of the laptops” and with the districts warranty expiring for the HP’s happening last year it definitely saved them a lot more money then basically asking a bunch of teenagers to hold a thousand dollars for them until the end of the school year. As well as being more fragile, the HP laptops most definitely cost more to replace, and would you trust a bunch of teenagers with uninsured thousand dollar laptops?

I was also informed that the Chromebooks have no risk of malware or ransomware, as well as have the capabilities to connect to external more powerful computers, and run off of those for things like 3D Modeling and other intensive school programs. The connection works well on a sustained internet connection, but isn’t the same as having the hardware there.

Even with all the benefits for the school, the students were not happy with the change, with many stating they rather have the old faster laptops that we already knew and teachers could make plans for. The frustration with the Chromebooks has arguably made students not use them as often, possibly skipping out on schoolwork because of which. The use of Chromebooks, especially with e-learning has no doubt been a thorn in the side for this school year, with the benefits for the district also having hardship for the students.