Laptop vs. Chromebook: What’s the difference and which works better for you

Laptop vs. Chromebook: What's the difference and which works better for you

Laptop vs. Chromebook: What’s the difference and which works better for you

Acer’s updated Chromebook Spin 713 two-in-one is the first product to support Thunderbolt 4 and has been Intel Evo validated.

Josh Goldman / CNET

Chromebook Is Laptop And Two-in-one Running Google chromium operating system.The hardware may look like any other LaptopHowever, the minimal web browser-based Chrome OS offers a different experience than the familiar Windows and MacOS laptops. Whether you are considering switching from Windows Laptop Or if you’re interested in a MacBook, what your child received from school, or just Chrome OS, here’s everything you need to know.

read more: Best laptop inventory under $ 500 in 2020 from HP, Lenovo, Acer and more

For Chromebook First arrived in 2011 They were routinely laughed at because of their limited functionality and their reliance on a consistent internet connection. Operating system celebrates its 10th anniversary this year Also, while the current Chromebook is far from its original state, some haven’t changed and you may not want to accept the current Chromebook limits. Also, if you don’t like reading this and want to experience Chrome OS, click here. How to run temporarily on a laptop using an inexpensive USB flash drive Perhaps you are already lying down.

HP’s Chromebook x2 is a great removable 2 in 1.

Sarah Tu / CNET

What you can and cannot do with a Chromebook

When Chrome OS boots, it’s essentially Google Chrome web browserTo those familiar with operating systems such as Windows and Mac, the average Chromebook looks like a laptop running a web browser.

Even if Chrome OS doesn’t mature anymore, it’s quite often possible to run it completely on the web these days. If you look at everything you do on a daily basis, you may find that there is nothing you can’t achieve at the most basic levels of Chrome.

However, Windows laptops or MacBooks can run Chrome browsers and other software supported by their operating system. Options are useful even if you don’t need specific software right away. In addition, if you buy a Chromebook for remote learning in Google Classroom, you can also use a Mac or Windows PC.


Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a premium model with better performance than most products.

Josh Goldman / CNET

Along these lines, Chromebooks are not natively compatible with Windows or Mac software.Can be used VMware on Chromebook for running Windows applications And there is Linux software supportAlso. plus, Current model can run Android apps There is also a web app available from Google Chrome Web Store..

read more: The best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2020

One of the big hurdles for many here is access to Microsoft Office. You can’t install the full Office software on your Chromebook, but Microsoft makes both web-based and Android versions available. In chrome And Google Play Store,Respectively. However, generally speaking, if you need a particular Windows or Mac application, or if you need one, you don’t have a suitable web or Android app alternative, and you don’t want to use VMware, don’t get a Chromebook. Please give me.

Also, if you need advanced photo and video editing capabilities, you’ll need a Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop. While basic photo and video editing is fine, Chromebooks usually don’t provide the graphics performance required for demanding tasks or the option to install Windows or Mac software or games. On the other hand, in the following streaming game services, Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now And Xbox cloud gaming, Chromebooks can now be used for more than just Android and browser-based games. You can also install and play Linux games, but you’ll need a high-end Chromebook to do that. In addition, there are several Android apps that you can use to edit your photos and videos, such as Adobe options.


Gamers need at least an entry-level Windows gaming laptop like the Dell G5 15.

Sarah Tu / CNET

What is a good Chromebook?

A few years ago, all Chromebooks were about the same, no matter which company made them. Currently, there are a huge variety of laptops and 2-in-1s (convertibles and tablets) to take advantage of the current features of Chrome OS. You can find more sizes and styles for Windows laptops, especially if you need the best processing and graphics performance, but the variety of options is much better than before.

If you want a full experience of the basics on a Chromebook, a small, lightweight OS has minimal hardware requirements, and the same is true for web apps. A faster, higher-end processor, more memory, and more storage for files and apps will help keep you going for demanding multitasking, but what else is basic? When asked if I should look for a good specification, I recommend the following:

  • Intel Celeron or Core i series, or MediaTek processor
  • 4GB or more memory
  • 64GB storage
  • Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) display

These recommendations are flexible. For example, you can get a display with a resolution of 1,366×768, but the cheaper displays used on low-end Chromebooks look particularly soft next to the Full HD model. And unless you have a microSD card slot to make up for it or plan to download many Android apps, 32GB of onboard storage will suffice. Unlike regular laptops, Chromebooks store files in cloud storage rather than local storage. Also keep in mind that storage and memory are often soldered and cannot be upgraded later, so you need to plan ahead.

Regardless of the Chromebook you buy, before you buy the device Expiration date for automatic renewal Or AUE. Currently, non-Google hardware is only supported until it stops receiving Chrome OS and browser updates (including security). For models launched in 2020, it’s been about 7-8 years since the device was first released, but not always. Google keeps a list of AUE dates for all models Before you buy a Chromebook, make sure it’s new or used.

Does my Chromebook need an internet connection?

When the Chromebook was first released, it was basically a paperweight when offline. While editing an important document, it was a serious problem that the web connection was lost and suddenly could not be saved. Thankfully, the situation has improved as Google has improved its offline capabilities and popular apps such as Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify also have offline options.

read: Best VPN service of 2020

For regular laptops, offline isn’t a big deal because you’re using installed software that stores to internal storage. Neither experience is great offline these days, but if you’re not willing or unable to spend most of your time online, your Chromebook isn’t for you. On the positive side, Google has allowed Android users to turn their phones into instant mobile hotspots, Improved integration between Chromebooks and Android devices..

Is the Chromebook cheap?

Due to the low hardware requirements of Chrome OS, Chromebooks are not only lighter and smaller than the average laptop, but also generally cheaper.

Few new $ 200 Windows laptops and, frankly, aren’t worth the purchase. Find a Chromebook worth $ 200On the other hand, it’s very easy to do (or at least before COVID). Increasing costs will improve build quality, feature, and performance, but even these premium Chromebooks usually start between $ 400 and $ 500, but can easily be over $ 1,000 depending on your needs. You can do it.

For Windows laptops, you usually need to spend $ 700 or more to get a thin, lightweight model with the right performance and battery life that can sustain its performance for years to come.

Sarah Tu / CNET

The simplicity of a Chromebook is second to none. If you can do everything in your web browser, web app, or Android app, there’s little reason not to use a Chrome device. With support for Android, Linux, Parallels, and VMware, you can do much more than when it was first released in 2011.

Read the review of Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2021)..

Joshua Goldman / CNET

With a wide range of designs, sizes, and styles that can be configured with all kinds of components and are available for hundreds to thousands of dollars, Windows or Mac laptops offer a wider variety of performance and applications, especially when needed. Offers. You can easily use the software or play games that are only available on those operating systems.

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Laptop vs. Chromebook: What's the difference and which works better for you

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