Chromebook vs Laptop

Which Computer Should You Purchase: A Chromebook or a Laptop?

The following information will assist you in making the critical decision between a Chromebook, a Windows laptop, and an Apple MacBook

When comparing Chromebooks to Mac and Windows laptops, Chromebooks offer a distinct set of features. On the surface, they might not seem as appealing, especially for professionals and businesses needing robust devices. They come with limited storage and software capabilities, falling short of the functionalities of Windows laptops. This can be disappointing, particularly for demanding tasks required by professionals and businesses, especially now with the rise of hybrid work due to the pandemic, where home devices must handle substantial projects.

However, Chromebooks have their own advantages. They tend to be quite affordable, boast impressive battery life that can last throughout the day, start up quickly, and have user-friendly interfaces. These qualities make them a great choice for enhancing work-from-home setups without straining budgets. Additionally, Chromebooks are known for their strong security features, which is a significant benefit for businesses seeking to prevent data breaches.

  • Get a Chromebook if you only want to do web browsing, email, and video streaming, and you don’t want to spend much money.
  • If you need to run dedicated programs and collaborate with other Windows users, consider purchasing a Windows laptop.
  • If you want a powerful, user-friendly laptop with a high-resolution screen, a MacBook is the way to go.

In this guide, we will compare Chromebooks to Windows laptops and MacBooks, and we will tell you when it is appropriate to purchase a Chromebook and when it is appropriate to purchase a more traditional laptop.

Chromebook vs Laptop

  Acer Chromebook 14 ASUS Chromebook 11.6 Google Pixelbook i7
Model Acer Chromebook 14 ASUS Chromebook 11.6 Google Pixelbook i7
Features Great value large screen laptop with a metal finish – well suited to work and school tasks, though the screen lacks detail A small screen, adaptable Chromebook that can double as a tablet – with a great cheap price point A true MacBook rival when it comes to looks and build quality. It’s arguably overkill for a Chromebook though, especially at such a high price point.
Screen Size 14″ 11.6″ 12.3″
Screen Resolution 1366 x 768 1366 x 768 2400 x 1600
Battery Life 10 hrs 10 hrs 10 hrs
Operating System Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS
Processor Intel Quad Core Atom x5 E8000 Intel Celeron N3060 Intel i5 7th-gen
Storage 32GB 32GB 512GB
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  Samsung 11.6″ Chromebook Google Pixelbook Go HP Chromebook 15-inch Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1
Model Samsung 11.6″ Chromebook Google Pixelbook Go HP Chromebook 15-inch Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1
Features An exceptionally cheap and portable Chromebook that’s great value, provided you’re happy with a small screen size. A slick, stylish Chromebook, though less powerful than the older Pixelbook. Pick the i5 model for the best balance of power and cost A large, detailed screen, quality finish and decent power make this an excellent laptop for work or play Just one inch thick, with a neat 360-degree hinge touchscreen for tablet mode or watching videos
Screen Size 11.6″ 13.3″ 15″ 11.6″
Screen Resolution 1366 x 768 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1366 x 768
Battery Life 11 hrs 13 hrs 13 hrs 10 hrs
Operating System Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS
Processor Intel Celeron Processor N3060
  • M3
  • Intel i5 8th-gen
  • Intel i7 8th-gen
Intel Pentium gold 4417U MediaTek MT8173C
Storage 32GB
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
  • 256GB
64GB 64GB
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
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Buying a Chromebook or a Laptop: Which is Better?

Purchasing a computer used to be a fairly straightforward process. It came down to a choice between a Windows laptop and a MacBook, with each having a strong sense of tribal loyalty to it. Today, the two are arguably more closely aligned than they have ever been, and a new challenger has entered the fray: the Chromebook, which is gaining popularity.

Chromebooks are becoming a more cost-effective alternative to traditional laptops, thanks to their lower prices and straightforward design. In fact, unless you need to run a specific program that is only available on Windows (or Mac), we believe a Chromebook is the most cost-effective option available. They’re also fairly secure, which will help to ensure that you don’t become a victim of a security breach in the future.

Computing is increasingly taking place online rather than on your computer itself these days. What is the address of your email account? Synced with the cloud on a regular basis. What are your documents? Backups have been made to Google Drive or Dropbox. What about your music and videos? It is being streamed rather than downloaded. Chromebooks are ideal for this “always-online” approach, and they are significantly less expensive than the equivalent Mac or Windows devices.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using Chromebooks, MacBooks, and Windows laptops, and there are some tasks that each can perform better than the others on different devices. In terms of functionality, they are all essentially laptops, with the ability to browse the web, stream video, and handle documents.

In the table below, we’ve broken down what you can expect from each operating system on a regular basis:

  Chromebook Windows Laptop Macbook
Screen Size 10-15 inches 11-17 inches 12-15 inches
Battery Life 10+ hours 3-12 hours 10-12 hours
Operating System ChromeOS Windows 11 MacOS
Processor Mobile chip Intel core Intel core or M1 chip
Storage 32GB+ 128GB – 1TB 128 – 500 GB
Microsoft Office Web apps Windows Office Mac Office
Price $200 – $1,400 $300 – $2,500 $999 – $2,888


Explanation of the Most Important Characteristics

Let’s take a look at some of the specifications that differentiate Chromebooks from Windows laptops and MacBooks.

Operating system is a software program that allows you to run a program.

The most significant point of distinction. Chromebooks are powered by ChromeOS, which is a Google-created operating system. If you’ve ever used the Google Chrome browser, you’ll recognize the interface right away. Essentially, this browser is responsible for all of your day-to-day computing needs. Chromebooks run web applications rather than programs that must be downloaded and installed. Windows 10 is a significantly larger operating system than its predecessors – which is both a blessing and a curse.

It provides you with significantly greater flexibility when running programs or performing complex tasks; however, it is time-consuming, tends to load slowly, and necessitates regular updates. MacOS is almost the best of both worlds – it is fast and dependable, but it is also capable of running the vast majority of programs.


Samsung Chromebook Plus (Samsung Chromebook Plus)

On a Chromebook, you can run software.

As previously stated, Chromebooks do not actually run software; instead, they make use of web-based applications. However, you are not restricted in any way by this. Do you need to type a document? You can use Google Docs, which automatically backs up all of your work to the cloud after it is completed. It has the same feel as using Microsoft Word, but it does not require the purchase of a license. A wide range of tasks can be accomplished using Chromebook web apps. These include creating spreadsheets, managing calendars and inboxes, and streaming videos.


Processors for Chromebooks

While Chromebooks may have less impressive processors on paper, their performance in practice can be surprising. This is due to the lightweight nature of the ChromeOS operating system. Even basic computers can handle it well. Chromebooks remain quick to start up and operate smoothly, thanks to processors that help keep the overall cost of the device down.

In comparison, Windows laptops and Macs often require more powerful processors to achieve similar speed. Macs generally come with good chips, and you have the option to pay for even better ones. On the other hand, lower-cost Windows PCs often suffer from slower processors, leading to sluggish system performance.

In essence, Chromebooks manage to maintain speed and efficiency despite their seemingly less powerful processors, thanks to the efficiency of the ChromeOS and the optimization of their components. Windows laptops and Macs, while often having stronger processors, can be affected by the quality of the processor in lower-priced models, resulting in slower overall performance.


Storage on a Chromebook

A big one to get used to is as follows: Chromebooks have almost no built-in storage space, if any at all. It is not necessary for you to keep files on the device. Instead, you back them up to Google Drive, which is accessible from anywhere. This is actually a lot more secure than the alternative. In the event that your laptop is damaged or stolen, all of your files will remain safe and secure. You can still connect an external hard drive to your computer in order to access other backups.


The quality of the screen

This can differ significantly between the extremely inexpensive Chromebooks and the high-end (Google-made) Pixelbook. However, the same cannot be said for Windows laptops. Apple is the only company that offers consistently high-quality screen performance across its entire laptop lineup. Furthermore, you must pay a premium for those displays.


Battery life on a Chromebook

Chromebooks have a long battery life, with a typical battery life of 10 or 12 hours. Normally, you’d have to pay high-end Mac prices for such long-term durability. Windows laptops have a battery life ranging from 5 to more than 10 hours, depending on how much you spend. A Chromebook’s low-impact Chrome operating system, combined with the fact that there is no battery-draining internal hard drive, is the key to its success once again.


Chromebook Safety is important.

Chromebooks are significantly more secure than their MacBook and Windows laptop counterparts, owing to the fact that the security features are built into the design of the device. Chromebooks can be configured to store virtually nothing on the device, and a company Google Drive would keep everything safe, so it’s safe to say that using this device is risk-free in almost any situation, no matter how extreme.

Is it possible to run Office on a Chromebook?

A MacBook or a ChromeBook might not be the best choice for someone who needs to work with Microsoft’s Office software. However, this is not the case. With the introduction of Office 365, Apple products are now fully compatible, and they can be used in the same way as they would on a Windows laptop.

Chromebook with Microsoft Office installed

In a similar vein, Word, Excel, and other Office applications are also available for the Chromebook. As a paid-for suite, Office is available for download on the Google Play Store, which helps to keep Microsoft’s profits in the black.

It’s important to note that not all Chromebooks have access to the full version of Microsoft Office, so make sure your device is compatible before purchasing.


Microsoft Office (formerly known as Microsoft Office 365)

Chromebooks are equipped with free Office Web Apps.

If your Chromebook is unable to install and run the full version of Office, you will only be able to access the free version, which is only available online. However, these aren’t traditional software versions, but rather nearly identical web apps that you can access through the Chromebook’s web browser instead. What’s the drawback? You must be connected to the internet in order to use them (and you need to create a Microsoft account to access them).


Google would prefer that you use its own office applications instead, and with a free alternative to most of Microsoft’s programs available, it’s not a bad idea to follow their lead. The apps automatically save your work and upload it to your Google Drive, assuming that you are connected to the internet, so that it is always accessible from any machine at any time, without your intervention. You can also save documents as Word documents, for example, if the file formats are compatible with Office programs, such as Microsoft Office.


Frequently Asked Questions – Chromebook vs Laptop.

Is it possible to watch Netflix on a Chromebook?

Yes! Chromebooks are excellent for using internet-based programs, and Netflix is one of these. Alternatively, you can watch your favorite shows and movies on the Netflix website, or you can use the Netflix app, which is available from the Google Play Store.

Is it possible to use a Chromebook without an internet connection?

Yes, but it is not an easy task. You’ll have to configure applications such as Google Docs and the like to work while you’re not connected to the internet, and even then, you’ll only have limited functionality.

The question is, which is better: a Chromebook or a laptop?

Everything is dependent on what you require it for. Chrombooks are significantly less expensive and more secure than their laptop counterparts, and they also have significantly longer battery life. Still, if you require a laptop for anything other than browsing the internet, Windows laptops and MacBooks are significantly more powerful and come with significantly more programs, but they are also significantly more expensive.

Why is a Chromebook preferable to a laptop in this situation?

A Chromebook is preferable to a laptop because of the lower cost, longer battery life, and improved security. Apart from that, laptops are typically much more powerful and come with a much greater selection of applications than Chromebooks.

What are some of the drawbacks of using a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are great for surfing the web, but that’s about it for them. Because some professionals require the ability to download heavy-duty programs, this feature is not available. In addition, because Chromebooks have limited storage, you should make sure they will work for you before purchasing one.

Is it possible to use a Chromebook in place of a laptop?

No, that is not entirely correct. Despite the fact that a Chromebook is excellent for accessing the internet and performing other basic functions, it lacks the processing power and storage necessary to run programs such as Photoshop. If, on the other hand, you don’t require it for anything too taxing, such as a large project, a Chromebook could easily take the place of a laptop.

What can’t you do with a Chromebook, you might wonder.

Chromebooks are typically much less powerful than a traditional laptop, which means they are unable to handle large projects or multiple tabs at the same time. You’ll also miss out on some of the more popular apps, such as Photoshop, so make sure you don’t require them before making the investment in a license.

Is it possible to use Word on a Chromebook?

Although you can do so, it is not through the actual program. Office programs such as Word and Excel are available through web apps, which have some limitations in terms of functionality, but it is absolutely possible. Overall, however, if you require Office, purchasing a genuine Microsoft laptop is likely your best bet for the time being.

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