Chrome OS started as little more than a browser, but Google has added Android and Linux app support to give Chromebooks a somewhat respectable software library. You know what's still missing, though? Photoshop. While you can't get Adobe's dominant photo editing tool, there are a number of apps that can do at least part of what Photoshop does. Here are five options you might be able to use in place of Photoshop on a Chromebook.
Back in January, we exclusively reported that Google wants to add Steam to Chrome OS and introduce more powerful Chromebooks, possibly running on AMD silicon. Now further details have emerged. 9to5Google found a new Linux emulator in the Google's Chromium Gerrit codenamed "Borealis" that includes a pre-installed copy of Steam. It might even replace the current Linux implementation in the long term.
Chromebooks weren't originally designed to run traditional PC software, but Google is slowly attempting to fill that gap. Chrome OS already has an optional Linux container for running some desktop software (albeit with poor graphical performance), but now Windows applications will soon appear on the platform in some capacity
The first Chromebooks were budget laptops, which made sense for a stripped-down OS. Over time, Chrome OS has gotten (somewhat) more capable, and OEMs have paired it with premium hardware. The Pixelbooks and Galaxy Chromebooks of the world have their fans, but most Chromebooks are much more modest. However, few are as modest as Lenovo's $250 Ideapad 3 14-inch Chromebook. It sports a Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 14-inch 1366 x 768 LCD. This Chromebook gets the job done—the performance is acceptable though not impressive, and it has a passable keyboard. The fuzzy, dim screen is the biggest problem, but even that I can partially forgive at this price point.
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Many Chromebooks, especially cheaper ones, have microSD card slots to augment relatively puny internal storage. However, because that microSD card slot is configured by default just to act as a piece of ejectable media by Chrome OS, it's not accessible to a key storage use case: Android apps. When you're rapidly filling up your Chromebook's remaining space with downloaded episodes from apps like Netflix or music from Spotify, it can start to become painfully obvious just how limited your laptop's internal storage is. Fortunately, there is a workaround.
The Pixelbook Go is a very pleasant little laptop, but starting at $649, it's also pricey for a Chromebook. But right now at Best Buy (or Best Buy's eBay storefront, if you'd prefer), you can nab a refurbished model for significantly less — $520, which represents a savings of $129.
Samsung surprised us at CES this year with the Galaxy Chromebook, a high-end convertible Chrome OS laptop whose thin, angular body is awfully reminiscent the original Pixelbook. It's on sale today. But Google's got its own new laptop bearing the Pixel family name in the Pixelbook Go, which you can spec all the way up to a 4K display and Intel Core i7 processor. If you're on the hunt for a premium Chrome device, these two should be high on your list, but which should you buy? Let's discuss.
Chromebooks generally work with a wide array of keyboards, mice, touchpads, gamepads, flash drives, and other accessories, thanks to the Linux kernel at the core of Chrome OS. However, there are still cases where it's not clear if a certain adapter or other accessory will work with Chromebooks, and that's what Google aims to address.
Printers are terrible, but in many circumstances, they are a necessary evil — especially in the offices and schools where Chromebooks have a stronghold. Chrome OS has been slowly expanding its support for printing over the past few years, as native printing (without Google Cloud Print) arrived in mid-2017, and last year's Chrome OS 78 update made further improvements. Now Google is preparing another key update: a print manager.