Laptop or Chromebook: Which Is Right for You?

As we approach the year 2022, a large and growing contingent of our population falls into the category of “the digital native.” If you’re in the market for a laptop or Chromebook, this lack of fluency can make the decision seem much harder than it is in reality. These are individuals who have never known a world without the internet. They have learned the skills and the language spoken fluently in digital spaces, and thrive where technology blossoms.

For those of us who haven’t grown up with social media and access to the web, making tech decisions can be a little bit harder. The language of RAM and OS and CPUs still sounds a bit foreign.

Both machines are capable of a great deal, but each has its pros and cons. Read on to learn about the similarities and differences between laptops and Chromebooks. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly which device will be ideal when it comes to simplifying and improving your life!

Chromebook vs Laptop: What’s the Difference?

Imagine that you are shopping for a new pet. You’ll want to consider the size of your space, as well as your energy level. Are you looking for a fairly low-maintenance friend or a constant companion that can help you complete a variety of daily tasks?

Choosing between a Chromebook and a laptop is like choosing between an intelligent and capable dog and a very independent cat. Your laptop will have many capabilities but might require a little more know-how to get started. Your Chromebook will be a lot more user-friendly out of the box, but don’t expect it to fetch your slippers in the morning!

Both are capable of accomplishing what you need, but knowing what those needs are can help. If you are only looking to check your email and use a word processor, buying a Chromebook will save you money. If you’re hoping to play games, watch movies, or use heavy software applications, a more substantial laptop will help.

What Is a Chromebook?

What looks like a laptop and acts as a laptop but isn’t a laptop? This riddle has stumped more than one consumer shopping for their newest computer in recent years! The answer, of course, is a simple Chromebook.

Chromebooks share a name with Google’s web browser, Google Chrome. The browser helps Google users have the simplest, most cohesive web browsing experience. If you have a Gmail email account, you have probably experienced the user-friendly nature of the Gsuite of web products.

Simply put, a Chromebook is a simple laptop designed for those mostly looking to browse Google Chrome. They function best when hooked up to the internet, either via wifi or a wired connection. You will have access to all of the apps in the Google Play store, too.

Chromebooks are affordable because they are smaller and more lightweight. They don’t have the same hardware like laptops, or much internal storage. Because they lack moving parts, they are less finicky and less expensive to manufacture.

Pros of Buying a Chromebook

You can’t get much more user-friendly than a Chromebook! If you know how to use a Chrome browser and have a passing familiarity with the GSuite of products, then you will be ready to use your Chromebook out of the box! All you need to do is log into your Google account and the machine will be pre-populated with your Google apps, data, emails, and more.

Your Chromebook will be lightweight, portable, and unlikely to overheat. This is because it contains minimal moving parts. They come in a range of sizes, so you can find a Chromebook that won’t weigh you down, however you commute each day.

Chromebooks are also affordable compared to your average laptop. It may be the case that you get what you pay for, but why pay for more than you need? If you’re looking for a simple laptop for checking emails, watching Youtube videos, and browsing the web, you can save a lot of money by going with a Chromebook!

Surprisingly, a Chromebook might be the more secure option. The Chrome OS is far less prone to attack than others, including Windows. If you have your heart set on a laptop, however, you may want to look into what is Intel Evo for a secure alternative.

If you are deciding between a Chromebook and a tablet, one aspect might be the deciding factor: the keyboard. If you plan to do a lot of emails, word processing, or web searching, the attached keyboard will be a huge help.

Cons of Buying a Chromebook

A Chromebook does a lot, but it’s still fairly limited. Ultimately, your specs will plateau unless you want to pour an incredible amount of money into upgrading your machine. At that price point, you might be better off buying a laptop.

If you’re not a Google user, the out-of-the-box magic of logging into your first Chromebook may be less impressive. You will have to start from scratch building up your bookmarks and establishing a search history and profile. A Chromebook works best with Chrome, after all.

Chromebooks aren’t ideal if you are looking for crystal-clear graphics or speed. While you can play a few android games, you won’t be able to play the latest PC releases. Graphic designers will struggle with the limits of the average Chromebook.

What Is a Laptop? 

While a Chromebook excels with online tasks, a laptop is the surf and turf of the portable computer world. It has just as many offline functions as online ones so you get the best of both worlds. Because it does contain a lot more moving internal parts, it is capable of more speed and more function.

One of the biggest differences is that laptops often contain some amount of internal storage. You can download software and larger applications, play games, and download media such as movies, television shows, music, and photos. With a Chromebook, you’ll need to utilize the cloud (Google Drive or similar) to store anything.

Pros of Buying a Laptop

Laptops may look simple, but they are high-tech machines capable of incredible things. If you want to play games, watch movies, or design graphics, a laptop may be what you need. Modern laptops come with an incredible amount of space and speed and might be the thing to help you get the job done.

Because they contain internal storage you can use laptops online and off. You will be able to download software directly to your laptop and access it anywhere. You can also keep your favorite photos, videos, and other memories accessible during offline use by saving them to the laptop’s internal storage.

On average, a laptop is faster and easier to personalize. You can use your browser of choice, whether or not you prefer Google Chrome. It’s the better option if you like to multitask, as your laptop is unlikely to freeze if you try using multiple applications at once.

In essence, laptop advantages include speed, storage, functionality, and personalization. If you’re deciding between a laptop or desktop, a laptop is equal to a desktop in all but portability. Modern laptops come with convertible screens, touch screens, and other features that Chromebooks don’t.

Cons of Buying a Laptop

On average, laptops are larger and heavier than your average Chromebook. Their many moving parts mean they are prone to overheating and may be best used with a cooling pad. More moving parts also means more chances for something to fail or go wrong, as is always the risk with a more complex machine.

Laptops also have less battery power than a Chromebook. They do more, and therefore draw more power on average. While a Chromebook can go for eight hours straight, you’ll need to plug your laptop in much sooner.

Laptops are also just a little less user-friendly than a Chromebook. You’ll need to set your profile up from scratch. It may take more time to get the settings to your liking and get comfortable with the machine.

Many laptops are also slightly less secure than a Chromebook, with more vulnerabilities. You run the risk of downloading viruses or malware without the proper software. A laptop buying guide can help steer you in the direction of the most secure operating systems.

Your laptop will also be more expensive than a Chromebook. Granted, you will be paying for more features. You should ask yourself if you need all of the bells and whistles before you sell out for a more powerful computer.

Laptop or Chromebook? Only You Can Decide! 

Shopping for a new computer can feel a little bit like going out to an all-you-can-eat buffet – overwhelming, excessive, and often leading to regrets! Once you know what you’re in the mood for, however, choosing becomes a whole lot simpler! The same is true when deciding between a laptop or Chromebook – keep your appetite in mind and you’ll get what you need!

Still hungry for more great info about the latest tech available? Check out the rest of the blog for a series of satiating posts that can help make your decisions a whole lot easier!