Chromebook vs Laptop: Which Is Best for Me?

Did you know that more people bought Chromebooks than Macs in 2020? While everyone has their preferences, you should compare a Chromebook vs. laptop from Mac and Windows before buying your next computer.

Chromebooks are a type of laptop, and they’re gaining a lot of traction. So consider how they differ from other laptops to decide which is best for you.

Read on to learn more.

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Operating System

One of the most important factors to consider when looking at a Chromebook vs. laptop is the operating system. Chrome OS is the operating system for Chromebooks, and it has more features than you may expect.

However, it’s not quite as robust as Windows or macOS. You can use a Chromebook for basic tasks, but the operating system may not handle heavy-duty computer use as easily as, say, a gaming laptop.

Consider if you use any programs that you can’t give up. Figure out if you can use them on Chrome OS to decide if you can even make the switch.

 

Software

Chrome OS also has a different app store than Windows and Mac laptops. For example, some specialty apps are only available for Windows, Mac, or both. But Chrome OS is much newer and may not have as many available apps.

You can use the Google Play store to find apps for your Chromebook, so you may find an alternative. However, that can also be hard if you need to collaborate with others.

Many people may use a Windows or Mac laptop, so they may use a program that you can’t access and vice versa. Consider if you need to use specific software yourself or with others before you get a Chromebook.

Storage

While the exact options vary between models, Chromebooks usually don’t have as much onboard storage as other laptops. If you need to keep things offline, you may fill up your storage quickly.

A Chromebook can have as little as 16GB of offline storage, which is less than a lot of tablets these days. If you need more than 32GB, you may have a hard time finding a Chromebook to fit your needs.

However, many traditional laptops offer at least 128GB of onboard storage. Some models can go up to 1TB of storage, depending on the company making the computer.

Performance

Another difference between a Chromebook vs. laptop is that a laptop typically performs better. The initial purpose of a Chromebook is to rely on the internet to do most tasks.

Because of that, the computer doesn’t need to have a ton of memory or run many programs at once. Even if you can download different apps and run complex tasks, the computer can run slowly.

If you need to use a computer for more complex tasks, you should choose a Windows or Mac laptop. That way, you won’t have to deal with as many limitations on what you can do.

Limitations

Now, a Chromebook can be great for certain tasks. You can use it to check your email, go on social media, or watch your favorite shows and movies on streaming websites.

However, the laptop isn’t as powerful for things that don’t use an internet browser. Regardless of computer performance, you may struggle to get your work done.

You can test out some of the Google Play apps for your Chromebook. But they may not be as powerful or helpful as the apps and programs you can download on a different operating system.

Security

One area where a Lenovo Chromebook or any other brand can succeed is with security. Because they aren’t as common, Chromebooks aren’t as much of a target for cyber attackers as Windows or even Mac computers.

When you get a Chromebook, it comes with excellent security features, such as:

  • Automatic updates
  • Power washes/data resets
  • Verified boot (only boots the intended system)
  • Sandboxing to kill viruses quickly

While security can still be a risk, it’s not as big of an issue with a Chromebook. So if you don’t need something super powerful, using a Chromebook may be a safer option than other laptops.

Portability

Portability is another aspect of computers where a Chromebook stands out. These computers tend to be thinner than other laptops, so they’re easier to take on the go for a trip or even around the house.

If you want to use your computer at work, school, or at a coffee shop, you can use a Chromebook. You can put it in any bag that’s big enough, and it won’t weigh you down like some laptops.

Then, you can still check your email or go on social media without having to use your small smartphone screen. And you can enjoy the multi-tasking features of a bigger screen.

Battery Life

Sometimes, the lightweight nature of Chrome OS can be its downfall. However, it can be a huge benefit when it comes to your laptop’s battery life.

If you struggle to keep your laptop up and running all day, you may want to switch to a Chromebook. Depending on the model, you may not need to charge your new computer each day.

Now, that can further help regarding portability. But it can be a good benefit on its own. If you want to work somewhere, you don’t have to worry about being near an outlet.

Cost

If you’re looking for a cheap computer, the Chromebook may be the best option for you. In general, Chromebooks cost much less than some Windows and Mac laptops.

While you can find good laptop deals for Windows computers, some of them can be costly. Whether you need a new computer or can’t afford to save up for one, a Chromebook may be for you.

You can still do most things you would do on a computer, but you don’t have to shell out a thousand dollars to do it.

Chromebook vs. Laptop: How to Choose

While you should consider the differences between a Chromebook vs. laptop, you may still wonder which option is right for you. Both have unique pros and cons, and neither is right for everyone.

Here are a few things to consider before you decide on your next computer.

If You Have a Desktop

You may want to go with a Chromebook if you own a desktop or some other heavy-duty laptop. If you need to do more complex tasks, you can use that other computer to save on time and frustration.

But you can use your Chromebook when you just want to watch Netflix or Hulu. The Chromebook can do a lot of things, and it can be more portable than other computers.

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If you don’t mind switching between two computers, it can be a good addition to your home. Then, you don’t have to worry about selling your old laptop.

If You Create Content

If you create a lot of content, especially visual or audio content, a Chromebook may not be enough. You might need a Windows or Mac laptop that can handle photo and video editing or audio recording.

While you can use an online photo editor on a Chromebook, it’s probably not as powerful. And if you want to do that stuff professionally, you should use a tool like Adobe Photoshop.

However, if you don’t create content or if you stick to creating written content, a Chromebook can probably handle your needs. You may struggle at times, but it shouldn’t be a huge issue.

If You Travel a Lot

Because of its size and battery life, a Chromebook is the perfect laptop to use when traveling a lot. You don’t have to worry about the battery dying halfway through your day.

Then, you can have more flexibility regarding when and where you use your computer. If you have trouble finding outlets, you can avoid that issue with a Chromebook.

Now, some other laptops have long battery lives and are portable. However, some laptops can be very heavy, and they may not keep the same battery life for very long.

If You Have a Budget

Sometimes, you can wait to save up for the perfect computer. But other times, you may need something to get you through until you can afford a better one.

If your old computer just died or won’t hold a charge and you don’t have much money, you may want a Chromebook. It can be a good option when you don’t have much money to spend.

If You Prefer One

When shopping for laptops or Chromebooks, you should try both types of computers. Try as many models as you can to see what they can do.

If you like one option better than the other, go with it. It doesn’t matter how bad the battery life is or how little storage the computer has. You should go with the one that you enjoy using.

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Conclusion

Which Computer Is for You?

When shopping for a new portable computer, you should compare a Chromebook vs. laptop. Think about the capabilities, limitations, and other factors.

Then, you can make sure you like and can use your new laptop. Don’t be afraid to try both to see which is a better fit for you.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out our Buyers Guide section for more.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What can be the cost of a decent laptop?

Suppose you want to buy a long-lasting, lightweight laptop with high speed, decent features, and the best performance. So, it can cost you around $1000, such as Dell and MacBook Air, etc. Besides, these kinds of laptops can perform for up to 10 years which is an extended period. In some cases, you can also get a high-end performing Laptop for less than $1000.

What is the speed range of an exemplary processor?

A Processor which speed lies between 2.0 GHz to 3.0 GHz is assumed a high-speed processor for a daily usage laptop.

Should I Buy a Fanless Laptop?

Yes, it depends on your need; a fanless laptop is a good option if you primarily work outdoors. In this way, people will avoid from irrigation surrounding you. But it will produce more heat if you use it extensively. Even they have heat pipes to keep it cool.

Which is better: Chrome-Powered Laptops or Windows?

Well, it depends on your personal choice. According to the performance, Chromebooks are much faster as compared to Windows counterparts. Plus, they also provide a similar productivity ecosystem. Besides, in Chromebooks, updates can be done more rapidly than in Windows.

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