In the market for a new laptop, but not sure whether to go with a tried-and-true model or something newer and shinier? The choice between a laptop and Chromebook can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, I’ll try to make the decision a little easier for you by comparing the two devices and highlighting the pros and cons of each.
What is a Chromebook?
Before we get into Chromebook vs laptop comparisons, let us start with some definitions. Since the laptop is the mainstream device, let’s get into what a Chromebook is.
A Chromebook is a laptop which runs on Chrome OS. Chromebooks don t have an operating system like Windows or macOS. Instead, they run Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system designed to make it easy for users to access their favourite websites, apps and files on the go. The use of cloud-based applications rather than traditional applications is the core feature of Chromebook. Initially launched in 2011, the budget-friendly nature of Chromebooks has changed but it still retains its valuable features.
The brands that deal with Chromebooks are HP, Asus, Acer, Dell, Samsung and Lenovo ranging from the traditional laptop design to 2-in-1 hybrid to ultrabook design. In terms of usage, the high-end Chromebooks are powerful enough for video editing and casual gaming while the low-end Chromebooks are suitable for casual users and school work.
Pros of Chromebooks
One of the most significant advantages of a Chromebook is its price. Chromebooks are much cheaper than traditional laptops, making them a great option for budget-minded shoppers. Another benefit is that Chromebooks tend to have better battery life than laptops. This is due to their lower power requirements and use of energy-efficient components. A $500 Chromebook has good value, while a Windows 10 laptop at the same price range is bulky and has sluggish performance.
2. On-the-go apps
Most apps on Chromebook are web-based and require no additional downloads or installation. The increase of web-based versions for popular apps has given weight to the pros of Chromebooks. Media streaming apps like Netflix and Spotify and utility apps like Evernote have web-based versions that offer the same functionality as their original applications. With the implementation of the Google Play Store, Chromebook users can download Android apps for added software functionality.
3. Support of Linux
Chromebook offers its users the option to install Linux which adds extra functionality for setting up desktop applications. While the default apps are web-based, users can use the original desktop applications through Linux. Also, Google’s Android operating system is based on a modified version of Linux and users can use this to their advantage in their Chromebooks to tweak Android apps and create modified Android functions. Various versions of Linux are available for installation but its best to check the developer’s website for the app’s functionality on Linux.
4. Gaming on Chromebook
Google offers Chromebook users its Stadia gaming service and steam can be installed via Linux but the amount of games you can download and play is limited. However, the latest Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer offer Intel’s latest 10th generation processors giving the performance boost for Chromebooks. All in all, Chromebook is not a gaming laptop but casual gamers can spend a good amount of time enjoying their favourite games on the high-end Chromebooks.
Cons of Chromebook
1. Software Limitations
Software limitations are a notable drawback for Chromebooks as most applications are only compatible with Windows and macOS. For example, the range of Adobe applications is confined to macOS and Windows. In any case, if you stumble upon an app’s version for Chromebook, it needs to be installed via Linux, which is a hectic and time-consuming process.
2. Limited Performance
Chromebook’s performance in general is also limited due to its lightweight nature and ChromeOS extending minimal services compared to macOS and Windows. Multitasking on low-end Chromebooks should be avoided if you are someone who gets irritated easily. On the other hand, higher-end Chromebooks like Pixelbook and HP Chromebook X2 offer enough performance juice courtesy of its i5 8th Gen processors. The latest Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer offer Intel’s latest 10th-generation processors raising the performance bar for Chromebooks.
3. Limited Ports
Chromebooks have a lot to offer users in terms of portability, price, and features. However, one downside to Chromebooks is the limited number of ports. This can be a problem if you need to connect to external devices or transfer files. Here’s what you need to know about the port situation on Chromebooks. Most Chromebooks have just two USB ports, a USB-A, and USB-C and a headphone jack. This can be limiting if you want to connect more than one device at a time. Some models do have more ports, but they tend to be more expensive. If you need to connect multiple devices or transfer large files, you’ll need to get a Chromebook with an SD card reader or USB-C port. These are becoming more common on Chromebooks, but they’re still not as widely available as on laptops.
Is Chromebook The Right Device For You?
Chromebooks are a type of laptop that has been gaining popularity in recent years. They are known for being lightweight and having a long battery life which is preferable for students and people working on the go. Chromebooks tend to have a sturdy build quality backed up with a number of security benefits. The higher-end options like the Google Pixelbook, Google Pixelbook Go and Asus Chromebook Flip C436 is a great option for professionals and college students as they offer greater functionality in terms of utility features. So If your work style revolves around web-based applications and web utilities, Chromebook is a good choice and the best choice for students and school administrators.
There are a few key factors to consider when trying to decide between a laptop and Chromebook. The first is price. Laptops tend to be more expensive than Chromebooks, but there are a variety of prices for both types of devices. The second factor is the type of operating system that you prefer. Chromebooks use Google’s Chrome OS, while laptops can use a variety of different operating systems such as Windows, macOS, or Linux. The third factor is the type of apps that you want to use. Chromebooks are limited to web apps and the Google Play Store, while laptops can run a wide variety of apps.
Finally, you should consider the portability and battery life of the device. Chromebooks tend to be more portable and have better battery life than laptops. A $500 Chromebook has good value, while Windows 10 laptop of the same price range are bulky and has sluggish performance. When choosing between a laptop and Chromebook, consider what you’ll use it for most. If you need a powerful computer for gaming, video editing, or other resource-intensive tasks, opt for a laptop. If you want something lightweight and portable for browsing the web, checking email, and other basic tasks, go with a Chromebook. Find your Chromebook in a store near you or by visiting our laptop centres located across major gathering hotspots in Singapore.