Best Argument: Yes
Audience Favored: Yes (61%)
Chromebooks are a no-brainer
Thanks to Larry for the lively debate and to Jason for hosting the event. If I put on my enterprise hat, then I agree with much of what Larry stated and still carry my Surface Pro as a way to work on the go without any real compromise.
That said, I find Chromebook usage to be refreshing and energizing. I don't worry about viruses or malware, never think about updates, and am able to just open up the display and enjoy the pure Chrome experience. I know it may sound strange, but when I use a Chromebook my thoughts seem to flow more freely and it seems easier to write.
The Chromebook special offers personally appeal to me and make purchasing a Chromebook almost a no-brainer for those who would have purchased these services without a Chromebook.
I fly at least once a month and purchase GoGo WiFi so getting 12 passes with a Chromebook is awesome. I also prefer Google Drive for my cloud storage solution and Chromebooks come with at least 100GB of storage for a couple of years (Pixel owners get 1TB for 3 years). I am a Google Play All Access Music subscriber and with a Chromebook you get two free months. That's a total of about $290 in services when you pay $199 to $350 for a Chromebook.
In short, hassle-free web experiences and value-added services make them a no-brainer.
All the value is in novelty
Like a lot of new technologies, Chromebooks have novelty value. It's kind of cool that a browser could be the whole device. That doesn't make it a good buy.
The kindest thing I can say about Chromebooks is that it may be too soon to tell on them. Perhaps Google will convince enough developers to write packaged apps, especially ones that work offline, that it will be a more useful system. Perhaps some way will develop to support hardware and software that is currently unavailable. Perhaps.
This debate has forced me to think a lot about the value proposition for Chromebooks, and I feel more strongly than ever that they're a bad deal. If you compare Chromebooks to what you can get in a *real* computer today at today's prices, there's just no reason to settle for less.
Some limitations but plenty of positives
The Chromebook issue boils down to capability versus simplicity. If you still rely on any installed apps--that don't have online equivalents--to get your work done then you're going to need a Windows laptop. Or, in some cases, you can get away with a Mac. End of story. However, if you're already spending 99% of your time in a web browser, then using a Chromebook can save you some headaches. It doesn't have all the virus and malware worries of a Windows machine. It isn't constantly updating apps. And, it doesn't slow down over time because of bit rot. It also automatically transitions between Wi-Fi and LTE Mobile Broadband far better than Mac or Windows, which still use clunky connection managers.