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Is ChromeOS right for you? A 4-question quiz to find out

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Google’s ChromeOS is one of the world’s most misunderstood computing platforms. Chromebooks are foundationally different from traditional PCs, after all — and consequently, there are a lot of misconceptions about how they work and what they can and can’t do.

Since people are always asking me whether a Chromebook might be right for their needs, I thought I’d put together a quick guide to help any such wonderers figure it out. Whether it’s you or someone you know who’s curious, the following four questions should help shed some light on what the platform’s all about and for whom it makes sense.

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ChromeOS question No. 1: Do you spend most of your time using the web and web-centric services?

Think carefully here, as the answer might surprise you: What do you do most often on a computer?

If the majority of your time is spent in a web browser — whether it’s reading news stories, surfing social media, or using web-centric productivity services like Gmail and Google Docs — then ChromeOS would probably meet your needs just fine. In fact, there’s a good chance it’d actually make things easier than what you’re used to with a traditional PC setup (more on why in a minute).

Now, it’s important to note that just because something is “web-centric” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be online in order for it to work. One of the most common lingering misconceptions about Chromebooks is that they’re completely useless without an active internet connection. In reality, tons of modern web apps work both online and off, including things like Gmail and Google Docs as well as calculators, calendars, news readers, and even streaming services. (You can browse through the “Offline” section of Google’s Chrome Web Store for lots of examples.)

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