Mother’s Day is Sunday, and most of you are about to run out and buy flowers and chocolates. However, I believe that there is a gift that your mother will be more grateful for: a Chromebook. Your mom has probably been using the same Windows computer for years, so it is outdated and extremely slow. She has needed a new computer for years, but is stubborn and will not go purchase a new one. That leaves your mother’s computing happiness and comfortability up to you.
The easy, yet thoughtful, Mother’s Day Gift
You first option would be to go over and install Linux on the computer for free, but then you would have the headache of her calling you every time she gets on the computer. Your other option is to purchase a new Windows computer for her, but that could get very pricey, with most good Windows PCs coming in at $400 to $500 (unless you go bargain hunting, which could take even more time and effort than necessary). Instead, give her a mothers day gift that will simplify her life and requires little to no technical support from you.
Chromebooks are an easy switch for Moms
If your mother has already been using the Google Chrome browser, then the switch will be simple and painless. If your mother is not using the Chrome browser, then there has never been a better time to have her switch. Many mothers day gifts are thoughtless and common: flowers, chocolates, gift cards. These are gifts every mom gets. Giving your mom a Chromebook will not only single her out of the crowd as important enough to have thought put into her gift, but also it will give her something to brag about when she gets with her friends on what their children got them. When she explains what you got her, compared to every other mom that got flowers, she will feel like a queen.
Now, after going over the common sense reasons why your mom would want a Chromebook for her day, here are the technical reasons why she would love a Chromebook. Many of you probably found this article looking for ‘mothers day ideas’ or ‘gifts for mom.’ The reason why a Chromebook is the best of all mothers day gift ideas is because they are the perfect combination of a tablet and a PC. Currently, the tablet market is booming, and everyone is buying one. However, past generations do not like the idea of touchscreens and using tablets as their PC, like the current generation does. These people, like your mom, prefer using traditional PCs because they are familiar, and there is no touch screen that will confuse them and perform the wrong function.
Android and iOS can be disorienting to a person who is used to the point and click set-up of Windows. Chromebooks meet in the middle, being fast and simple like a tablet, but in the familiar setup of a laptop. Since Chrome OS is a browser, your mom already knows how to use it. She probably already has used online applications that would work on a Chromebook, especially if she is already using the Chrome browser.
Simple and Speedy
Chrome OS was built around a Linux kernel, meaning that it is a Linux based OS (operating system). This makes the system lightweight and speeding, only needing Intel’s Celeron chip. Majority of the Chromebooks available now run on an Intel processor, the most popular one being a dual-core Celeron processor. Although these processors have created bad names for themselves on Windows machines, they are great for Chromebooks. I use an HP Chromebook 14 as my personal computer, and I find it to be faster than my Intel Core i3 Windows desktop.
In addition, Chromebooks only need 2GB of memory, though many would agree that 4GB leads to a smoother experience. However, I believe that your mother probably would not need more than 2GB of memory, since she will only be using the computer to get on Facebook and look up recipes. However, if you want to future proof the Chromebook, and just get your mom the extra 2GB of memory, manufacturers do offer Chromebooks with 4GB of memory.
Another reason why a Chromebook would be the best gift for your mother is that everything is saved in the cloud. If she takes her Chromebook to the beach, and drops in the water some how, all of her data and settings are saved in the cloud, ready for her when she signs into her replacement Chromebook. With a Windows computer, if they get destroyed, then everything is gone, unless your mother does regular backups (which I doubt). In addition, she can access all of her data on any computer with internet access, since most of her files are saved to Google Drive. All she has to do is log in to her Google Drive through a web browser, and she instantly has access to all of her files.
Since Chrome OS is Linux based, the possibility of your mother getting a virus, malware, or any thing else that destroys computers, is almost nonexistent. In addition, Google has built an anti-virus into the OS, and Google updates it every time they find new bugs or security holes. Lastly, Google designed Chrome OS to only install programs that are downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. These include all of the apps, extensions and themes available for the Chrome browser. This prevents your mom from being able to download something that is actually a virus or anything else that could damage her computer. Although she may not be able to use her favorite print shop program, the Chrome Web Store will more than likely offer an alternative that has everything she needs.
The last reason why you should get your mom a Chromebook is their value. Currently, the most expensive Chromebook available for purchase is the HP Chromebook 14 at $299 or $349, depending on which version you get. This is the one I purchased, since it has the largest screen for a Chromebook, and has Intel’s new Haswell Celeron processors. (For more on my thoughts of the HP Chromebook 14, click here). Most other Chromebooks only cost $199 to $299, and that is if you purchase it new. Chromebooks can be purchased used, and still seem like a brand new laptop, as long as they look new cosmetically.
This may seem expensive as a mother’s day gift, but do not think about it as a one time gift, but as a long term investment. Your mother will never have to purchase a new computer again, since Chromebooks are built to last forever and come with free updates. She will never have to purchase antivirus again, nor any other software, since most of the apps on the Chrome Web Store are free. (For a guide on the Chrome Web Store, click here). By purchasing your mom a Chromebook, you save her from ever having to worry about her computer again. This saves both your mom and you time and money.