So, M$ is competing on price for small cheap legacy computers these days. That’s OK, but at least you, the consumer, now have a choice you didn’t have a few years ago.“your account information is all stored in Google’s cloud, so you can immediately personalize any Chromebook to your profile simply by logging into your Google account. There’s also a guest account, so someone else can log in, use the Chromebook, and when they log out all that profile information simply vanishes.
This makes the Chromebook a maintenance dream. There are no updates. There are no antivirus programs. There is no maintenance whatsoever except power up and powering down once in a while.” David Gewirtz has a pretty good piece on the choices. Basically, he suggests, it comes down to what you want to do with your machine. If you absolutely must run applications that need that other OS, pity you, poor slave, then so be it but for everything else, there’s a ChromeBook and one option he omits, installing GNU/Linux on that ChromeBook. You can do that. ChromeOS is basically a browser running on GNU/Linux so it’s already there underneath and if you can write to the storage device or get root access some way, the machine is yours. You can also do that with the freebie small cheap computers bearing M$’s stuff although there’s no need, for the hardware isn’t terribly different. Both Intel and ARMed versions are available.
I would stick with the ChromeBooks lest M$ get any richer/more powerful/abusive. There’s a rumour that $149 ChromeBooks will soon be here. That might still be the deciding factor.