Do You Need 2gb or 4gb of RAM On a Chromebook?
One of the things that spill out from the lips of a Chrombeook user is the amount of Chromebook RAM that the current devices ship with and whether the manufacturers should or should not add more to it than the default 2GB or 4GB RAM.
So, you want a Chromebook because you need something lighter than a laptop, faster than a netbook and something a lot more suited for writing than a tablet. Because, let’s face it, writing is awkward without a keyboard…
Chromebooks give you that by putting one foot in those three lands while still being lightweight and inexpensive. But all good things come with its perks and its drawbacks these devices are no exception to that.
As the Digital Age evolves every year with all sorts of innovations, one thing never changes: bigger is always better when it comes to memory.
Currently, Chromebooks come with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM. However, users keep up the age-old plea of needing more RAM.
Is it really necessary though?
If you’re just surfing the web with a couple of tabs open, listening to music in the background and typing up a word document, then you might not really need that much RAM. The only job a Chromebook has to be great at is its speed and its connectivity to the internet and everything else that branches down from that. That typically means no Adobe Photoshops, Sony Vegases, Microsoft Offices, or extreme heavy duty gaming to name a few. Leave all that to a laptop with a full OS.
Chromebooks are simplicity objectified and it’s not really down for the nitty gritty programs that use heavy processing like a demented black hole. But if you have another PC with all those programs, with the help of an ingenious application (bless you, Google!), you could access its desktop securely and enjoy its features on your Chromebook as long as both devices have internet connection. And others say a Chromebook isn’t a real laptop… hah! Plus, in case you haven’t noticed, web-based applications are on the rise and software companies are riding that wave.
Without much further ado, let’s do a short breakdown to the who’s who of the World Wide Web to further understand if you really do need more RAM — or not.
The Many Faces of the Internet (And Their RAM Usage Level)
Type A – The Lurkers
RAM Usage Level: Light
Also known as the Quiet Ones. They roam across every kind of website such as blogs, forums and social networking sites. They don’t exactly interact with anyone but you know they’re there… liking and hearting in the shadows.
Type B – The Socialites
RAM Usage Level: Moderate
Basically, these are the people who use the internet mainly for its social network services and everything in between. Unlike the Lurkers who’re practically nomadic presences in the web, a socialite’s natural habitat is Facebook. To them, Facebook probably is the internet. Their focus is to connect with friends, family, and fans via the different kinds of social media platforms.
Type C – The Multi-Taskers
RAM Usage Level: High
Schools that have incorporated Chromebooks into their learning system as an educational tool, falls into this category. College students who are looking for a compact computing device that could hold out to 8-9 hours while taking notes and browsing the web also belong here. These are the people who have a load of tabs open in their browsers such as Wikipedia, Youtube, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Slides, to name a few.
Type D – The Visuals
RAM Usage Level: Intense
These are the users who are incredibly into HQ, HD and 720p (or more!) quality whether it be photos, videos or music. They browse and stream different kinds of media on Flickr, Youtube, Netflix, and Google Play with the sharpest resolution in mind. Gamers also belong to this type.
Although, there are a lot who are a combination of 2 types or possibly even all of the types. So, classify yourself and think of your wallet. Your RAM usage depends on the way you use your Chromebook overall. Everything boils down to one question whether the user is one stereotype or another: isn’t 4GB of RAM in a Chromebook already enough for all your online needs?
2GB RAM vs. 4GB RAM: The Battle of the GBs
For the first two types, 2GB RAM is enough for the user while for the last two types a 4GB RAM is more appropriate. Any more than that and you are already looking for a laptop running on a full OS. Not a Chromebook.
In thewirecutter.com’s test, with 15 open tabs simultaneously, they pitted a 2GB HP Chromebook 14 and a Toshiba Chromebook against a 4GB Acer Chromebook. The results were that 2GB Chromebooks took 15 seconds longer to switch tabs and 45 seconds longer to reload older tabs than the 4GB Chromebook. On the 4GB Acer, there was no delay in switching between tabs at all.
There were also slight faults in 2GB Chromebooks such as the jerky scrolling in a loaded tab while trying to load a new tab as well as video stuttering when switching between full screen and windowed Youtube and Netflix videos. The 4GB Acer is crowned as the only Chromebook that could smoothly and quickly run a research session with multiple tabs AND stream video without issues.
4GB Chromebooks should really help if you’re in the habit of opening a lot of tabs on your browser and watching a lot of videos. 2GB models tend to be a bit sluggish if you run multiple tabs especially those who use Chromebooks for video streaming purposes which inadvertently need more processing power. Though, if you’re using a Chromebook just for some casual browsing, a 2GB Chromebook is the choice for you as it costs a little less than its 4GB sibling.
So, if a manufacturer gave you the privilege of having a custom made Chromebook with more RAM, how much RAM would you want? And what do you think you could do with it that you couldn’t do with a 4GB RAM Chromebook? Share your thoughts below.