Nam is debating whether to get a Chromebook or a laptop. Leo says that you can pretty much do anything on a Chromebook that he could do on a laptop, within reason. There are some higher-end professional uses, like video editing and gaming, that are better on a Windows computer. But most other activities can be done in ChromeOS through a browser.
Is it possible to connect an external hard drive to it? Leo says maybe. How about a DVD burner? Probably not. Chromebooks are designed for loading stuff into the cloud. For photos, Google Photos is sharable, searchable, and it's what the cloud is all about. There's just no need for optical media anymore.