Hmm, I have USB ports on my Chromebooks too, and USB drives, mice and the like work fine.
Is this just USB flash drives and hard drives or also USB optical drives?
I was referring to external cameras, so that you don't have to point your laptop at something to take a picture.
Printers aren't a problem either
For one thing, a PC supports more brands of printer than a Chromebook. If your printer isn't "Cloud Ready", you need to own a PC and have it turned on.
the stuff just runs through your local router, it's not like it bounces off a remote server.
Have you a source for that? This source states that you cannot print while offline.
I'm not sure what ISP you're on where you have a monthly limit
I'm on Comcast, which has a 300 GB/mo cap. My cousin's dad is on satellite because he lives out of the service area of cable and DSL, and satellite has a 10 GB/mo cap except for bulk downloads during the early morning.
but if you're in that boat a network based thin client isn't exactly a smart choice anyway.
The problem comes when companies stop making 10" laptops that aren't thin clients.
Most dads aren't looking for high end sound cards and state of the art games.
Even games that aren't "state of the art" can break the deal if they happen not to have been ported.
And if you really want Linux, run Crouton.
Does putting a Chromebook in developer mode void the warranty on the hardware? I don't want to have to buy a new Chromebook if it develops a broken hinge or an unusably loose charging port a week after I put it in developer mode.
About 90% of what you want is available on a Chromebook. If you need something in the 10%, well, buy a PC
The deal is that everybody has a different 10 percent: whether it be video editing, or web development, or playing games that use a joystick, or whatever.