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What’s The Difference Between Chromebook And Laptop

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What Can A Chromebook Do

Chromebook vs Laptop – What Is The Difference? [Simple]

Chromebooks ship with their own operating system called Chrome OS, which is based on Linux and uses the Chrome browser as an interface. It has basic computing elements, such as a file manager and an app launcher, but most of what you use are web-based apps that require no downloading.

That might sound limiting at first, but many popular apps already offer web-based versions like Spotify, Netflix, Slack, and Evernote. Due to the prevalence of web applications, many people spend most of their time in a web browser anyway. If your typical workflow resembles this scenario, transitioning to a Chromebook will be relatively smooth. Just connect to Wi-Fi and proceed with your browsing as normal.

However, with the addition of the Google Play Store, you can also download Android apps to fill in any software gaps. Their implementation in a laptop setting might be a little funky in some cases some expand full-screen while others remain locked in smartphone screen mode but Android apps are available if you really need them.

Chromebooks also support Linux software. If you absolutely need desktop applications, setting up Linux is certainly an option. There are Linux versions of Audacity, Firefox, GIMP, OBS Studio, Steam, VirtualBox, and many more, but your favorite application may not offer a Linux-based variant. Check the developers website first before ruling out a Chromebook.

Which Lasts Longer A Chromebook Or A Pc

The longevity of a PC is basically determined by how demanding Windows is, compared to the hardware powering it. The willingness of the PC maker and component makers to provide drivers also plays a role. Hardware failures will eventually occur. Every processor that Intel launches is accompanied by statements comparing the new chip to a 5-year-old PC, with performance improvements in the 30 to 40 percent range. Otherwise, a PCs lifespan could go on for years, even decades, as long as the operating system is kept up to date.

Or we thought so, anyway. As the previous section noted, Windows 11 suddenly cut off millions of PCs from an upgrade to Windows 11, because of new hardware restrictions. Older PCs, even Surface devices made by Microsoft, are being cut off. Could Microsoft do this again in the future? We dont know.

A Chromebook lasts as long as Google is willing to support it, and thats much easier to determine: . In the beginning, it was just five years after the original production date for any Chromebook . More recently, Googles begun extending the time it supports Chromebooks by about six months to a year, and even up to a total of eight years in some cases. Beginning with Chrome OS 80, in February 2020, it appears youll be able to dive into the Settings menu and discover exactly when your device will lose support.

Internet Use: Chromebooks Are Fully Capable

  • Access to all web based apps.

  • Include high-end Wi-Fi adapters.

  • Typically include Ethernet port.

  • Supports installed apps.

Since Chromebooks depend on internet connectivity, you’ll typically find the best Wi-Fi installed on these devices. However, there’s no built-in Ethernet port if you ever want to plug directly into your internet router.

With that said, ChromeOS does support USB Ethernet adapters, but you’ll need to purchase the adapter separately.

If you lose your internet connection, a Windows laptop remains usable thanks to the locally installed applications. You can continue writing a Microsoft Word doc without any internet connection. With Chromebook, you won’t be able to access that Google Doc file stored on your Google Drive account.

With that said, Google and other cloud services have improved offline capabilities that let you continue working on documents offline, but you need to enable those services and ensure sync is enabled with your Chromebook’s local drive or SSD card.

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Chromebook Vs Laptop: What Can And Can’t I Do With A Chromebook

Sure, a laptop has more functionality, but maybe you don’t need all that.

Joshua Goldman

Senior Editor / Reviews

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

Chromebooks are a tempting option for the budget-conscious, especially if you’re looking for a new computer that you can easily take on the go. The main thing to keep in mind when comparing a laptop to a Chromebook is that it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. The main difference, besides price, is the operating system. If you’re used to using Windows or MacOS, Google’s minimalist Chrome operating system may not have all the functionality you need. But then again, maybe it does, and with some Chromebooks even dipping below $300, maybe you stand to save a bundle of cash by nixing the features you don’t use anyway.

Read more: Best Laptop Under $500 for 2022

When Chromebooks first arrived in 2011 they were routinely derided — and rightfully so — for their limited functionality and reliance on a consistent internet connection. The operating system turned 10 years old last year and today’s Chromebooks, which come in both laptop and two-in-one designs, are far from where they started, but some things haven’t changed, and you might not be willing to work with the limitations they do have.

Figure Out What Kind Of Laptop You Need

Whats The Difference Between A Laptop A

So what if the Chromebook doesnt cut it? There are a variety of laptops you can look into. Heres what you should know:

1. Think About the Purpose of the Laptop

If youre going to purchase a laptop, start by figuring out how youre going to use it most. This lets you know which laptop options to explore.

For instance, a college student will need a different laptop than a software programmer or a hardcore gamer.

2. Comb Through the Specs Until Youre Satisfied

There are some specifications that will tell you a lot about the laptop that you are getting.

Things like RAM, CPU, GPU, and battery life will all play a role in whatever laptop model you decide on. Getting to know these specs lets you know how quickly you can expect the laptop to run and what level of effectiveness you should expect.

Be particularly mindful of the hardware specs if there are certain needs you have. For instance, someone looking into getting a gaming computer will need a quality graphics card, display, and other specs.

Go point by point until you narrow down your laptop options.

3. Know Your Price Range

Think about your price range when youd like to purchase a laptop. This investment can be as little as $300 and may cost you upward of $2,000 or so depending on the model that you need.

Since the possibilities are endless, you need to figure out a price range for yourself and make sure that you stick to it. From here you can start scoping out some stores to see who has the best prices.

Read Also: How To Get Wifi On The Go For Laptop

Are Chromebooks And Laptops The Same

Chromebooks are a specific kind of laptop that run Chrome OS instead of Windows or macOS. Compared to Mac or PC laptops, Chromebooks put heavy focus on Google apps and websites. In short, all Chromebooks are laptops, but not all laptops are Chromebooks. Visit Insiders Tech Reference library for more stories.

What’s The Difference Between A Chromebook And A Laptop

Both laptops and Chromebooks are portable PCs intended to be used anywhere a computer is needed: at a desk, on the couch, or while moving from place to place. But there are some important differences:

  • Laptop: Controlled by a PC operating system such as Microsoft Windows 10, with a “desktop” workspace from which the user launches previously loaded software programs. Internal storage is provided either by a spinning hard disk or a solid state drive. Typically has additional built-in features such as optical drives , multiple ports to attach external devices, etc.
  • Chromebook: Controlled by Google’s Chrome operating system, which uses the Chrome browser as the primary user interface. Relies mostly on internet-based applications and cloud storage . Additional built-in hardware features are intentionally omitted to keep system size to a minimum. Learn more at What is a Chromebook?

Some of the points mentioned above are not exclusive to one system or another. Laptops can make equal use of cloud storage and services, and Chromebooks have multiple external ports, just fewer of them . The essential difference will always be that Chromebooks run the Chrome OS.

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The Differences Between Chromebooks And Laptops

A Chromebook is a special kind of laptop, different from standard Macs and PCs.

Its operating system the software that decides how the computer works and what programs it can run is called Chrome OS. It’s made and updated by Google.

As you might expect, Chrome OS is primarily built to run Google apps like Google Drive, Docs, and YouTube, which are all installed on the Chromebook by default . You log into the device itself using your Google account and password, and will need an internet connection to use most of its features.

The keyboard also has keys you won’t recognize. Instead of a Caps Lock key, it’s got a button called “Search” or “Launcher” that lets you search your device or the internet for anything you type. And in place of the Windows or Command key, there’s a key that’ll bring up Google Assistant.

Finally, they’re not as powerful as most high-end MacBooks, and nowhere near as powerful as high-end PCs. If you want a computer for gaming, animation, or image and video editing, look elsewhere.

The chart below compares a top-of-the-line Chromebook with similarly priced PC and Mac models. The best of every category will be highlighted.

*Based on third-party benchmark tests, as Apple hasn’t released their own stats.

But when it comes down to it, a Chromebook is just another type of laptop. You can think of it like this: All Chromebooks are laptops, but not all laptops are Chromebooks.

Best Student Laptop 202: Buy A Windows Pc Macbook Or Chromebook For School College Or Uni

Chromebook vs Laptop: How They’re Different, How to Choose

From Apple and HP, to Asus and Dell, these are the top notebooks for the studious, creatives, gamers and more

If youre reading this, theres a good chance you googled something along the lines of best laptops for school or best student laptop. Or maybe you managed to slip past the SEO monsters far-reaching tendrils and came across this article organically. Either way, welcome. Youre precisely where you need to be.

Weve scoured countless laptops and spec sheets to come up with an easily digestible list of some of the best notebooks for students. And while there was a time when most students just needed something to churn out essays on, times have changed.

Today, a trusty laptop could be expected to do anything from writing dissertations, to photo and video editing, 3D modelling, CGI rendering, and much, much more. And thats all without mentioning non-work uses, like streaming, gaming, keeping in touch with family, and goodness knows what else.

Weve rounded up a list of different Windows, Mac and Chromebook laptops across various budgets to help ensure youll find one that best suits your needs. So without further delay, here are some of the best student laptops around:

Recommended Reading: What Makes A Gaming Laptop

Can A Chromebook Replace Your Windows Laptop Most Probably

Put the group that thinks Chromebooks are just expensive web browsers aside because it’s nonsense. There is a very good chance you can switch to a Chromebook and never miss a beat. Chrome OS has matured so much that it’s now a capable offline and online operating system to use on a laptop.

Chromebooks aren’t for everyone, but they probably are for you.

Android apps made a remarkable difference in what a Chromebook can do and, for most people they mean a Chromebook can do everything you currently do on your laptop running Windows. This might not apply if you use a laptop as a portable office or if you have a very expensive gaming laptop or have specific programs and tools you need to connect in a specialized environment.

But do you need a laptop to do any of these things, or are you using it for simple everyday tasks like shopping, communicating, finances, and all the other “normal” stuff we all do most every day?

If you are, a Chromebook will serve you well. You’ll spend less money, be more secure while connected, and enjoy a more simple experience that focuses on what you’re doing instead of all the software that keeps a laptop running so you can do it.

Chromebook Vs Laptop: Gaming

Windows laptops can run a lot of graphic intense games that require a lot of local storage. But it is not all bad news when it comes to Chromebooks. You can access many games with a Chromebook because the latest version of Chrome OS allows you to play Android games. All modern Chromebooks can do this.

What you cannot expect is the same gaming quality as you can get with a Windows laptop. Google is committed to cloud gaming, and this year, it included Stadia with all Chromebooks pre-installed.

You can do with a Chromebook that you cannot easily do with a laptop is play Xbox games via the cloud. There is an Android app specifically for this and despite the claims from Microsoft that you cannot use Xbox cloud gaming with a Chromebook, this is not the case.

To get the best out of gaming with either a Chromebook or a laptop, you will need a good graphics card, which is available for both devices. If you are happy to play good-quality games using apps or via the cloud, then a Chromebook is a good choice. For those that want to play games like Battlefield, a high spec Windows laptop is the best option.

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What Is The Difference Between Chromebook And Laptop

Last Updated on by David Wilson

Computers are revolutionizing from computer to laptop, laptop to Chromebook, and so on. You must have heard and used along with many other Google services. Chromebook is one of the latest additions to it. While Chromebooks fall under the broad category of laptops, there is actually a long list of differences between Chromebook and laptop. If you are about to buy a new device and not sure what to choose between a laptop and a Chromebook, then this article should be fruitful for you to take the right decision. Lets start with defining the two devices in the field of computer technology.

Chromebook: Play Store Apps

Cual Es La Diferencia Entre Una Laptop Y Una Chromebook

On a Chromebook, you use internet applications from the Chrome Web Store. These applications work from the Chrome web browser. Think of text editor Google Docs or Google Slides, an alternative to PowerPoint. You can also install Android applications from the Google Play Store. If you’re a Microsoft Office enthusiast, you can install the Office 365 Android application. As a gamer, you can now use Google Stadia, which allows you to play and stream the latest games on your Chromebook, even in 4K.

Recommended Reading: What Laptop Should I Buy For School

Chromebook Vs Laptop: Which Is Best For You

Now that you know the main differences between Chromebooks and laptops, which side are you picking?

In a nutshell, we would recommend Chromebooks to anyone who uses a computer for web purposes and can live on Android apps for more complex processes. Chrome OS is faster, more affordable, more secure, and much simpler to use. Windows, macOS, and other Linux-based operating systems can run more advanced programs and are more efficient offline. They also have a healthier selection of apps optimized for the laptop form factor.

Regardless of your preference, we have lists of the best laptops from each realm. Check out our favorite Chromebooks, Windows laptops, and Apple laptops.

Chromebook Vs Laptop: Apps And Software

To make the choice between purchasing a Chromebook or a conventional Windows or Mac laptop, you need to consider the applications and software that you want to use. Chromebooks have come on a lot when it comes to software, but they still lag behind laptops in this area.

It is not possible for you to fully install application suites such as Microsoft Office on a Chromebook. There are alternatives to this, of course, with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides as a good example.

There are also Android apps available for MS Office apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook but dont expect these to have all of the features of the computer versions. More people are using the Google Docs apps these days, and to do this, you will need to be online. You get a lot of features for free rather than having to pay for MS Office.

If you want to use MS Office on your Chromebook, you can sign up for a Microsoft account and then use the individual apps online for free.

There are limits to what you can do with some software on a Chromebook compared to a laptop. If you are a power user of software and applications, you will probably be better off with a Windows or Mac laptop.

Also Check: Where Can I Buy A Good Laptop For Cheap

Chromebook Vs Laptop: Which Is Right For Me

You’re looking for a thin and light PC and have decided to buy either a laptop or a Chromebook. So which system is best for you? Will the laptop’s overall versatility give it an edge? Or is a Chromebook’s minimalistic operating system and focus on cloud storage and services more suited to your needs?

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