I have to disagree with what makes Chromebooks “so popular”.
1) Education and enterprise sales, similar to fleet sales in the auto industry, artificially inflate the perceived popularity of Chromebooks. Just because they’re widely used doesn’t mean that people love them. They’re just the tools they’ve been given or pointed towards.
2) The people that do use and love Chromebooks usually don’t have the NEED for anything more. Does it do Facebook and Netflix and Spotify? Good enough. This is similar to your reasoning, except you attribute it to the users not having enough comprehension, whereas I’m attributing to the users’ use-case scenarios. They just don’t need more, whether or not they know how to use more or not.
3) PRICE. PRICE. PRICE. PRICE. PRICE. PRICE. PRICE. PRICE. Chromebooks are appealing as birthday/Christmas/graduation gifts. They’re cheap enough for a broke twenty-something to pick up without having to max out their credit or miss rent.
Point being, Chromebooks may sell well, but the question should be ‘does selling well make a product popular?’ MacBooks, for better or worse, are deeply beloved by their owners. That is a better measure of popularity in my mind. Chromebooks are like routers. If it works and fits your budget, great. But very few people have strong feelings about them.