Laptop vs Chromebook | What is better?

Laptop vs Chromebook

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When you are out shopping for your next laptop, you must have come across Chromebooks that are significantly cheaper than your average laptop. These Chromebooks look quite similar to a typical windows laptop, but they are quite different.


But does that difference make them better or worse than a Windows laptop? Let’s take a deep dive and see what is better. Chromebooks or Laptops? We are going to discuss them both in detail, and by the end of this, you will be able to tell decide what is best for you.


How Chromebooks are just better

Cheap and Affordable

One thing you must have noticed while shopping for a new laptop is that Chromebooks are significantly cheap compared to traditional windows laptops.


You can get a decent Chromebook for around $300 that would do all the basic work. Whereas on the windows laptop side of things, you would need to spend at least $500. 


This makes Chromebooks better than traditional laptops as they are perfect for someone who is on a budget. So if you want an affordable Chromebook that can get basic tasks done like web browsing or office work, then you should be good to go.


Lightweight and Efficient

One way Chromebooks are better than laptops is in efficiency and body weight. Since Chrome OS is a lightweight OS, it doesn’t require powerful hardware.


 This means that manufacturers can get away by putting in cheap hardware that doesn’t require much cooling and sips power.


This allows Chromebooks not to overheat, and it gives an advantage to Chrome OS when it comes to battery life. 


As Chromebooks sip power and can easily last an entire day on a single charge, which may be hard to achieve on a cheap Windows laptop that tent to have a smaller battery.


Since Chromebooks do not have a lot going on under the hood, they also tend to be relatively lightweight compared to a windows laptop. So they are relatively easier to carry around and can be perfect for children.


Relatively safer

Since Chromebooks users are relatively smaller compared to Windows laptops, they are less likely to be targeted by hackers and malware. 


This allows Chromebooks to be much safer and more secure than Windows laptops which tend to be targeted highly by viruses and attacks.


 Furthermore, all the apps on the Play Store go through some checks by Google to ensure they don’t are malicious. 


Though some apps do manage to slip through the cracks, for the most part, Chromebooks are safer.


Chrome OS is simple and straightforward

Another way Chromebooks are just better is because of their straightforward nature and design. Using Chrome OS is as simple as using a phone. You can easily open your desired app just by clicking on it, and easily download them from the app store.


Windows on the other hand, is comparatively complex and has a more detailed user interface. This means a Chromebook is perfect for someone who is not well versed in technology like an elder or a small kid. And unlike a windows laptop, it’s hard to mess up or install something harmful on a Chromebook.


So if you want to buy a computer that is straightforward and relatively easy to use, then there is nothing better than a Chromebook.


Best for Kids

If you want to buy a computer for your kid but you are hesitant to spend too much money, as you fear they might break them, then Chromebooks are what you should choose.


As discussed earlier, the simple user interface makes it great for kids to use. Secondly, Chromebooks are quite cheap, so even if your child manages to damage them, you should be able to replace them without breaking the bank.


How Laptops are just better

Laptops have better Performance

If you want the best performance money can buy, there is no better option than a traditional laptop. Windows laptop comes equipped with multiple cores, powerful GPUs, and tons of RAM, which is nowhere to be found on Chrome OS.


And you can’t blame manufacturers for not making Chromebooks with beefy hardware. It’s just that there is no application on Chromebooks that requires that much power. 


Besides, Chromebooks themselves are quite efficient. Chromebooks are made with regular users in mind whose use cases mostly include web browsing and writing word documents.


A laptop will be perfect for you if your workflow is quite performance intensive such as doing video editing, coding, etc. 


A Chromebook, apart from the OS limitations, is not powerful enough to carry out such intensive and demanding tasks.


So if performance is all you care for, then you can’t go wrong with a traditional windows laptop.


Laptops have better Hardware Compatibility 

There is a chance that if you were to plug in a piece of hardware into your windows laptop that was nearly two decades old, it would just work. Or it would work with a few software tweaks.


Such support for legacy hardware is absent from Chromebooks. Since Windows existed long before Chrome OS was a thing, it has great support for legacy hardware. 


This means that an old 15-year-old printer would work just fine with a windows laptop. On the other hand, it might outright just not work on Chrome OS due to the lack of support.


Furthermore, Chrome OS lacks support for stuff like optical drives, which might come in handy when you are trying to retrieve an old document or trying to watch old home videos.


So if you have old hardware around you that you use often, then a Windows laptop is simply the better option here.


Laptops have better Software Compatibility 

Similar to the hardware compatibility we discussed earlier, Windows laptops have great support for old software. You can run old software from the Windows XP era with a compatibility era on modern Windows. Chrome OS lacks such support whatsoever.


This goes together with our legacy hardware point, meaning that you would need legacy software support in order to use legacy hardware with your laptop. 


This comes in handy if you have a perfectly working scanner that is more than a decade old and you don’t wanna replace it anytime soon. 


This is where Windows legacy support can jump in and help you use your older hardware for much longer.


Laptops tend to be relatively premium

Apart from the higher price tag, what makes laptops better is their premium quality of materials and parts. 


However, you may find sleek and nice-looking Chromebooks that may not look like a toy, but you still may be able to tell them apart from a $1000 windows laptop that uses expensive built materials that give the machine a premium feel. From the surface of the chassis to the feel of the hinges, everything feels premium. 


Apart from build quality, premium windows laptops also have nicer keyboards, beautiful displays, and other hardware improvements, such as a quality webcam and web speakers. Such good-quality components are hard to come by in a Chromebook.

Better Connectivity

No matter how much you spend on a Chromebook, they always have been conservative when it comes to providing good I/O. At best, the most you can get out of a Chromebook is a dual USB type A port with a couple of basic USB C ports. And if you are lucky, you might get a dedicated HDMI port.


On the windows laptop side of things, the I/O always has been better. Apart from typical I/O like USB Type-A ports, you can get a USB C port that supports not only power delivery but also a dedicated gigabit LAN port, full-size SD card slot, HDMI/ Displayport port, and Thunderbolt, which can come in handy when connecting high bandwidth devices such as multiple displays, external GPU or high-speed storage.


You can’t find such high bandwidth I/O even on the most expensive Chromebook. Windows laptop takes the win here when it comes to great I/O.



Do Chromebook need special printers?

No Chromebook doesn’t need special printers. Your Chromebook will work with most regular printers and scanners available on the market. 


This requires you to connect your laptop with wired or via WiFi. Printers with Bluetooth connectivity, along with printers that are more than a decade old, might not work.


Can you use Zoom on a Chromebook?

Yes, you can use the zoom on your Chromebook. You can download the app from the Google Play store.


Can Chromebook work without Internet?

Though Chromebooks were initially launched as web-only devices that were pretty much useless without the internet, much of that has changed. You can download apps that can work offline and use them when you don’t have internet connectivity.


You can work with your documents offline with ease as all the Google Workspace apps, including Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc, work offline with ease.


Are Chromebook safer than laptops?

Yes, Chromebooks tend to be safer than laptops. Since Chromebooks have a smaller user base, they are less likely to be targeted by hackers and malicious software. The reason laptops get more viruses is because of their larger user base.


Can you get Microsoft Office on a Chromebook?

No, you can’t use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook. Instead, you would have to use Google Workspace apps that pretty much offer the same functionality. You can use free Microsoft Office online, but that one is pretty lackluster. 


Can a Chromebook replace a Laptop?

No, Chromebook can’t replace a laptop. This is due to the reasons we discussed earlier, such as better performance, better software and hardware compatibility, and premium build quality.


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