Chromebook was definitely the top selling laptop last year due to its cheap and affordable price. Chromebook is becoming more and more popular especially in the US where it has been reported to have captured about 10% of all desktop, notebook and tablet sales last year.
Chromebook is a personal computer running a Google Chrome operating system. Chromebook is designed give you a quick access to the internet without the complications of native operating system or viruses, no startup programs or processes to slow down your PC.
With a Chromebook you do not need to worry about antivirus programs or other system utility software, you do not have to worry about installing third-party software programs or updating such software from time to time. You don’t need to wait for minutes for your PC to complete booting as the boot time is within 10 seconds.
Chromebook is cheap and affordable as it is sold around N40,000 ($250), way cheaper than Windows or Mac PCs. It is simple with a basic login screen, desktop shell, and Chrome settings tab for system settings such as connecting to Wi-Fi etc.
In summary, Chromebook is amazing but at least not really to those of us in Nigeria and other parts of Africa and Asia. I titled this article ‘The frustrating truth about using Chromebook in Nigeria’ because in spite of all the amazing features of the Chromebook; a lot of factors makes it quite frustrating using them here.
I will list and explain the basic challenges of using a Chromebook in Nigeria below so you will understand my angle on this. I am not saying that the Chromebook is not an amazing piece of hardware, this article is only highlighting the challenges of using a Chromebook in Nigeria and other parts of African and Asia and why the Chromebook may not be for us yet.
Almost all Chromebook’s operations depend on an internet network to be carried out. Unlike ordinary Windows PC or Mac where you can use your PC without an internet connection, Chromebook rely on your internet connection for almost everything.
Here in Nigeria and other parts of Africa and Asia, the cost of internet is very exorbitant. 6GB worth of data cost almost $50 and Chromebook can burn such amount of data just within few hours. The cost of internet is the first limitation to using Chromebook in Nigeria.
Absence of Optical Disk:
Optical drives are absent in Chromebooks. External optical disks are also not supported. So for anyone who is still using CD/DVD’s Chromebook is not for them. This is yet another frustrating aspect of using the Chromebook as you cannot transfer data from CD/DVD’s to your Chromebook device.
Another limitation to using the Chromebook in Nigeria is absence of direct printing option in its OS. To print with Chromebook you will have to use “Cloud Print” which means you will have to buy a “Cloud Printer” ready printer.
Chromebook comes with 16GB SSD with the Chrome OS consuming about 6GB and the remaining 10GB usable to save your files, documents, pictures and videos. Though Google is giving 100GB of cloud storage free for purchase of Chromebook for the first two years, the truth is that 100GB is not enough.
Here in Nigeria and Africa, we love to keep lots of random stuffs that we have sentimental values for, such as family photos, relative wedding pictures and videos, software and programs we don’t want to purchase again etc and you’ll see that the Chromebook memory won’t even last long before we begin to look for memory spaces.
Though you could upgrade your cloud storage spaces, the price is also something else to consider. So why don’t I just buy a regular PC instead of buying a Chromebook and spend extra money someday purchasing memory space?
Third-Party Programs & Gaming:
Chromebook is not ideal for gaming though it supports browser-based games which is no match for a real PC gaming. So if you are a serious gamer, then the Chromebook is not for you since you can’t install or run PC games on them.
We love to play PC games and run other third-party programs on our PC and Chromebook cannot offer us this feature. I can’t imagine not running my favorite apps on my PC just because it’s a Chromebook.
Though Chromebook supports working offline just as I mentioned earlier, it still requires an internet connection to store and access your files. That means if you do not have an internet connection you may not have access to your stored files which is something we don’t really like around here.
Like I said earlier, Chromebook is an awesome piece of device but you will agree with me that most Nigerians and Africans won’t find it much fun to use due to its limitations as compared to ordinary PCs. In this article “The frustrating truth about using Chromebook in Nigeria”, I have explained what a Chromebook is, its amazing features and limitations explaining why it will be frustrating for a Nigerian to use a Chromebook.
What is your view of using Chromebook in Nigeria or other parts of Africa and even Asia where internet connections are costly and poor? Share your experience of using the Chromebook with me; use the comment section below to share. What are the challenges you are facing as a Chromebook user?
As soon as I saw the header, the first problem which came in mind had to do with internet connection. Having a stable internet connection in Africa is a great issue.
The Chromebook isn’t all that popular in Ghana though!
Nwosu Mavtrevor says
Yes the internet connection issues will always limit the use of Chromebook in Africa.
emmanuel ekainu says
nwosu. glad you share this. i was planning to go for this device due to it portability while i never know its disadvantages are more that it advantages here in nigeria. still gat to rethink over it.
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Well I’m not from nigeria but seems like this Chromebook is troubling with some issues. I guess India also we face internet connection issues.
Jackson Nwachukwu says
Chromebook is such a portable device that every Nigeria would have love to own, but the very one thing which most Nigerian internet entrepreneurs have as a challenge is actually what makes it useless. I am talking about “Internet Connection.”
As you rightly pointed the cost of internet connection in Nigeria and most African countries is too way high that if you do not have passion for what you do online, owning even a Windows or Mac PC would have almost been hard.
Thanks for sharing yet another awesome post. Cheers!
Nwosu Mavtrevor says
Thanks Jackson for dropping by and leaving an awesome comment as this. Yes the limitation of internet connection will make it very difficult for people to buy and use Chromebook in Nigeria and other African countries.
Indeed these are frustrating realities. The issue of unstable and expensive Internet connectivity is the worst of the pack.
Perhaps Google and its partners should consider creating a version that would be compatible with the African and some other third world countries’ challenges.
I cannot imagine myself working with device that forces me to access the Internet when I want to just work offline!
This comment was shared in kingged.com – the social bookmarking website for Internet marketers where this post was found.
Sunday – kingged.com contributor
Glenn David says
Hey Nwosu, how much speed you get from your internet connection there? Isn’t it into GBPS? If it isn’t then it was a bad decision of buying Chromebook!
Nwosu Mavtrevor says
The speed is good because we use 3G networks but the issue is the cost of internet and reliability. Sometimes the network experience downtime and it affect internet activities, i don’t think it will be a nice decision to buy a PC that is based on an internet connection for its operation here yet.
Sylviane Nuccio says
I can only imaging the frustration you are going through in Nigeria with this. At times we forget how easy it is in the US and Europe to use whatever device we want, but there are still places on earth where it’s not the case.
Thanks for sharing this.
Nwosu Mavtrevor says
Thanks Sylviane, its peculiar to developing nations and i hope that someday we can also enjoy such devices.
Tomi Adewole says
I am sure that reliable internet connectivity is only a matter of time in Nigeria. Perhaps there is something an aspiring student can do to convince Google to start setting up data centers nearby, with wireless networks to follow. As Nigerians, we have to make it lucrative (and safe) for them to do so.
Nwosu Mavtrevor says
You are definitely right about Google coming in to rescue the situation. If they really want to make an impact to Africa, they should start by providing reliable and cheap internet connectivity.
Actually I feel that Africans ( Here I can only speak confidently about Nigeria) should actually start considering Chromebooks and I am about to get one . And the reason is simple. The internet is getting better everyday, the total cost of ownership of a chromebook is lower, it answers the issue of available electricity with battery power lasting up to 9 hours. is an excellent companion to android phones which is getting quite popular here.
You have to realise that not all Nigerians are gamers. Who uses optical disks anymore (flash drives are now ubiquitous) ?, you can save offline on a chromebook and a lot of student users dont even have a printer, They save to flash drive and print at print shops.
I believe the advent of Chrome book and heir problems could be mitigated to the very least. How about we all brainstorm on how to solve the problem rather than talking about it and not doing anything. In as much the issues are from our leadership but we can still do something. Let start to solve the problems rather than talking about a problem and not the solution. I respect all of our comment and I do i’m one of the people to be blamed. Where are the prblems solvers in AFRICA