When you’re looking to purchase a new laptop, the terminology used can be really confusing.
This is certainly true when it comes to “Books” – between Ultrabooks, Macbooks, Notebooks, Netbooks and the rest, it’s no surprise that some people get confused.
Another one that often bamboozles people is Chromebook. What exactly is a Chromebook, and how does it differ from your standard laptop?
Well, we’re going to take a quick look at how Chromebooks and laptops are the same, but also different.
Which is better, Laptop or Chromebook?
The key difference between the two is that whilst a laptop isn’t always a Chromebook, a Chromebook is always a laptop.
It’s a type of laptop that’s made specifically to run the Chrome OS, as opposed to running Windows, MacOS or Linux.
Chromebooks are unique. Though they’re not the right choice for everyone, they can be particularly useful for aspiring professionals and growing businesses.
Here’s a few of the good and bad things you need to consider when buying a new laptop/Chromebook.
Responsive OS – Good
If you run Chrome OS, you’ll probably be surprised at just how fast it is. The Chrome Operating system is a lightweight OS that’s designed specifically to be as responsive as possible.
This is especially true in models like the Acer Spin series. Newer Chromebooks typically are excellent choices for students, some business users and those who need something for word processing (if you’re happy using Google Docs).
Chromebook users will benefit from a lightweight operating system that doesn’t need any technical knowledge to use.
Linux users may point towards that as a better alternative to a Windows based laptops, however generally the average person will find running Google’s Chrome OS much easier.
Storage – Bad
It’s no secret that Chromebooks don’t have a lot of storage space. They’re specifically designed for in-browser use, and though there are some Google Apps you may want to download, they aren’t built for storage.
If you use Google Docs heavily and are happy to stay with Cloud storage as opposed to a hard drive of storage space, then it may make sense for you to go with a Chromebook.
But if you like local storage space in-built into your laptop, you’re probably not going to find that with a Chromebook.
Battery Life – Good
Another one of the key differences between many Chromebooks and laptops is battery life.
Until you start to spend more money on a Microsoft Windows laptop at the higher end of your price point, you may get an average battery life at best.
This is common for Windows users that have a traditional laptop, as Windows machines may only have a battery life of 10 hours if you’re lucky.
However, it’s not uncommon for premium Chromebooks to have a long battery life of more than 12-14 hours.
The lack of additional software is a key factor in this – and actually it’s one reason why a Windows device could actually be better.
Programs – Bad
This is probably the dealbreaker for many users. Most programs are made for Windows laptops, and the vast majority are also available on Apple’s ecosystem of devices too.
This makes sense – they’re extremely common. It’s the same with mobile phones – apps are designed for Android and iOS, but not many think about making them for other operating systems.
And it’s the same for ChromeOS – you can’t download software options like you can with Windows laptops.
There are some alternatives – for example, the Google Play Store has an alternative version of Photoshop that you can download.
But, it’s a poor shadow of the real thing. Actual designers will likely need to a full suite of tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom and more – and you can’t download these on a Chromebook, as they’re not compatible with the system.
Being restricted to the Chrome OS is the biggest drawback of a Chromebook, and it’s the main reason people opt for an Apple or Windows laptop instead.
Pricing – Good
Now, if you don’t need access to a wide variety of different softwares, then you could still opt for a Chromebook.
They tend to provide excellent value for money – the average Chromebook will be cheaper than a Windows laptop, and much cheaper than a Macbook.
You’ll still be able to use the Google Chrome browser for standard web browsing, and they’re usually the more powerful laptop when it comes to equal pricing.
This can get you a faster laptop for your money, which is great for basic productivity. You’ll just need to make a few sacrifices to get there.
Choosing the best laptop can be very difficult.
A Chromebook can be a great choice if for everyday activities and office use, and they are generally thought to be cheaper, faster and safer.
If you use Google Drive and Chrome extensions, are okay with being limited to web apps and are on a tight budget, then Google’s chrome operating system may be a good fit for you.
However, if you need to download a lot of third party software, and want local storage to download to, traditional laptops may be a better fit.
Chromebooks offer a convenient way to do everyday computing tasks, but they’re not for everyone.