What is the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop?

What is the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop? Many tech enthusiasts consider Chromebooks to be cooler, faster, and sleeker-designed compared to laptops.

Chromebooks are totally dependent on an internet connection to be used. Laptops and tablets, on the other hand, can be used without the internet. They operate on Windows, Android, or MAC operating systems.

Generally, Chromebooks are cheaper compared to laptops. For this reason, it can be difficult to conclude how they compare to laptops in terms of functionality.

Are Chromebooks a more affordable and better alternative to laptops? How different are they compared to laptops? In this article, I will help answer these questions and more for you.

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are basically laptops that run on Chrome’s ChromeOS platform. Unlike conventional laptops, they rely on cloud applications and are only operated when connected to the internet.

When they were first released in 2011, what stood out was their affordability and unique usage model.

With improvements over the years, the prices have been gradually increasing, but their lightweight build and purpose have remained as they were from the onset.

Just like laptops, they come in different brands, such as Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung. However, there are two variations of Chromebooks available. There is the modern 2-in-1 laptop-like option and the older, foldable tablet-like look.

Thick-built, larger-sized, and lighter-weight Chromebooks tend to be cheaper in comparison to their slimmer, more compact alternatives.

These premium options feature a durable full-aluminum body and powerful processors. Additionally, the display is very impressive, with up to 4K resolution on some of them.

HP’s Elite Chromebook C1030 and Google Pixelbook Go are some of the best Chromebooks available. If you want a cheaper beginner-level option, we recommend the Lenovo Chromebook 3.

Difference between Chromebook and a laptop?

Laptops operate on regular offline operating systems like Windows and MACOS. They support many software programs that are installed on the laptop’s hard drive to use when offline from the laptop.

Chromebooks, on the other hand, only run on the lightweight online Chrome OS developed by Google. It is browser-based, relatively faster, and more secure.

Additionally, applications are online-based and installed on the cloud instead of the device’s hard drive. For Chromebooks, you will have to get applications only from the Chrome Store. They have some offline functionality but are best used when online.

Laptops use traditional software and applications. They can be installed from offline sources without having to go online.

Chromebooks rely on online cloud storage to save files. This means that they generally come with less storage space. Laptops, on the other hand, come with large and diverse storage spaces. Some come with HDD and SSD hard drive options.

Laptops come in a wider range of options with better, more reliable functionality. This makes them relatively costly compared to Chromebooks.

Chromebooks are not very powerful and have a more affordable price tag. They target users who use online-based applications for their work.

Chromebook vs laptop: pros and cons

Whether to choose a Chromebook or laptop for your projects comes down to personal preference and the nature of the projects you intend to undertake. Below are some pros and cons of Chromebooks and laptops.

Chromebook and a laptop

Advantages of Chromebooks

Chromebooks are generally more budget-friendly than traditional laptops. Their Chrome OS is lightweight, resulting in fast boot times and overall system performance.

They are known for their security features, such as automatic updates and sandboxing, which reduce the risk of viruses and malware.

Chromebooks seamlessly integrate with Google’s ecosystem, including Google Drive for cloud storage. Additionally, their user interface is simple and straightforward, making it easy for users to primarily engage in web-based tasks.

High-end Chromebooks offer better, longer-lasting battery life compared to laptops.

Disadvantages of Chromebooks

Incompatibility with certain software, particularly proprietary applications designed for Windows or MACOS.

Lower-end Chromebooks may have limited processing power, impacting multitasking capabilities.

Limited support for some accessories is due to potential driver issues.

Limited local storage (16 GB to 64 GB) is available on most Chromebooks, which may require users to rely on cloud storage or external options.

Rely on subscription-based cloud services for extended storage needs.

What can a Chromebook be used for?

  1. Streaming Videos and Movies
  2. Cloud file saving on Google Drive
  3. Playing games
  4. Edit videos online
  5. Device Security
  6. Reading and Education
  7. Online Communication

HP’s Elite Chromebook C1030

Related: How to shutdown and turn off Chromebook

  1. Which one is better, between a Chromebook and a laptop?

    If you need a device for basic tasks such as casual streaming or movie watching, a Chromebook is perfect because of its perfect internet connectivity and ChromeOS. If you however need a powerful device for complex tasks, then a laptop is the better and more powerful option.