What Can't I Do on a Samsung Chromebook That I Can Do on a Computer?
By Aaron Parson
Samsung's Chromebook laptops run Google's Chrome operating system in place of traditional systems such as Windows or Mac OS X. Unlike other computers, a Samsung Chromebook relies on the Web browser and online Web apps for all its features, including only 16GB of internal storage for files. Google and third parties develop online apps such as Google Docs to replace traditional programs such as Microsoft Office, but the Chromebook still comes with a number of limitations.
Unlike traditional computers, Chromebooks do not support installing programs other than Web apps sold through Google. Software you already own for your computer, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suite, will not work on a Chromebook. As a workaround, Web apps such as Google Docs replicate the functions of regularly installed programs, but primarily access data through the Internet instead of from an internal hard drive.
In general, the Chromebook requires a constant Internet connection to work properly. Some Chromebook apps, including many parts of Google Docs, have an offline mode so you can keep working without an Internet connection. While in offline mode, however, you will have access to fewer features and documents, since the computer stores most your files online instead of on a disk. Samsung's Chromebooks have a small 16GB drive which can hold some of your files while working offline, but will not fit large libraries of photos, music or videos. Some apps on the Chromebook will not work at all without an Internet connection.
Most computer games only support the Windows operating system. Lacking this system, the Chromebook cannot play the majority of computer games. The Chromebook does support Adobe Flash, so it can still run browser-based games. The Chrome Web store also sells games designed for the Chromebook, but games from other sources such as Steam or those sold in retail stores will not work on the system.
Connecting to Devices
The Chromebook natively supports some mice and keyboards, but most other peripherals will not work with the system. In order to print from the Chromebook, you either need to buy a printer that supports Google's Cloud Print service or run the Cloud Print app on a regular computer alongside your Chromebook. The Chromebook also lacks support for devices such as the iPhone and the iPod, both due to lack of driver support and the inability to install iTunes.
Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.