Chromebooks are inexpensive laptops, and some people even go as far as calling them network appliances. They fit the bill for the most part — they are designed to use remote servers for file storage (think Google Drive) and are a great interface to a computer network (the internet). But they also can run local programs, and with Android apps and the Play store coming to Chromebooks, they'll be running even more of those local apps.
The Chromebook Flip's 16GB of storage is going to become an issue.
We've been saying for a while that your next Chromebook should have a touch screen, and we can add another must-have to that list — the model with the biggest "hard drive". Yes, the word hard drive is in quotes. That's because most Chromebooks use internal flash memory and not a spinning disk, but we want to make sure everyone knows what we're talking about here — you want as much space as you can get for Chrome apps, Android apps and files you download or create. The ASUS Chromebook Flip (which has Android apps and Google Play for testing on the Chrome Dev channel) is a great little laptop to run both Chrome and Android apps. But the 16GB of storage will prove to be a pain-point for a lot of us.
Google says new Chromebooks that are better suited to run Android apps are coming. We hope that means models with more storage! Just like your Android phone or iPhone, 16GB just isn't enough once you deduct the space taken by the system and start adding some apps. A 16GB (and maybe even a 32GB) Chromebook isn't going to be any different. It already takes a bit of file management for some of us, and that's before we add Google Play apps into the mix.
We know the folks who make laptops like to charge more for premium features like high-capacity drives, but this is one time where we need to bite the bullet and pay up. If you're in the market for a Chromebook — whether it's your first or you're just shopping for an upgrade — storage space is important. Buy as big as you can afford once Chromebooks with more storage become available.
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