A Chromebook is a laptop, but it runs Google's Chrome OS, not Windows or Mac OS X. As such, you cannot install Windows software on it like Microsoft Word, Excel or the like, although you can use Microsoft Office Online, the cloud version of Office. Google also has look-a-like software apps. The Chromebook is not designed to be a performance laptop, but rather for the person that uses mostly the internet with most applications and data residing in the cloud since there is limited storage on the laptop itself. Since the Chromebook is designed for use on the internet, many apps just won't work if you're not connected via WiFi. However, there are more than 200 offline Chrome apps that can work without internet connectivity, including Gmail, Pocket and Google Drive, and tons of the Android apps coming soon will also work offline. Chromebook benefits include low prices and long battery life. You can find lots of information on the Chromebook here and Chromebook buying advice/information here.
I love technology and how it enhances our lives! Just think, without the Apollo moon missions, we might not have calculators! Imagine!!