Cheap Cloud Computers

Models that run Google’s Web-based operating system cost as little as $200.

The Chromebook reflects how we use laptops today. We open a browser to read e-mail, check news sites, watch videos, post Facebook updates and shop at online retailers. So, a few years ago, Google set out to ditch the bloated operating software that takes minutes to boot up (that’s you, Windows and Mac) and reinvent the personal computer as a Web-only device that stores most of your files online.

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Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance