chromebook vs laptop

We have reviewed the Chromebook Vs Laptop guide on this page for your satisfaction. You can browse the page for chromebook vs laptop pros and cons. If you want the chromebook vs laptop for college guide, then this post is most suited for you.

Chromebooks are laptops and two-in-ones running on Google’s Chrome operating system. The hardware might look like any other laptop, but the minimalistic, web-browser-based Chrome OS is a different experience from the Windows and MacOS laptops you’re likely used to. Whether you’re considering switching to one from a Windows laptop or MacBook, your kid received one from their school or you’re simply Chrome OS curious, here’s everything you need to know. 

chromebook vs laptop pros and cons

Chromebook Vs Laptop

google-pixelbook-1394
Google PixelBook Go delivers a premium Chromebook experience.James Martin/CNET

When Chromebooks first arrived in 2011 they were routinely derided — and rightfully so — for their limited functionality and reliance on a consistent internet connection. Today’s Chromebooks 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. Also, if you don’t feel like reading this and would just rather experience Chrome OS, here’s how to temporarily run it on any laptop using an inexpensive USB flash drive you probably already have laying around. 

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HP’s Chromebook x2 is an excellent detachable two-in-one. Sarah Tew/CNET

The software situation

When Chrome OS launched it was essentially Google’s Chrome web browser. For those used to an operating system like WIndows and Mac, it made the average Chromebook seem like little more than a laptop that runs a web browser and that’s all. 

Even if the Chrome OS never matured beyond that, the fact is quite a lot can be done entirely on the web these days. Take stock of everything you do on a daily basis and you may find there’s nothing you can’t accomplish with Chrome at its most basic level. 

That said, a Windows laptop or MacBook can run the Chrome browser as well as other software supported by those operating systems. Even if you don’t immediately need a particular piece of software, it’s nice to have the option. Plus, if you’re shopping for a Chromebook for remote learning with Google Classroom, a Mac or Windows PC will work as well.  

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Samsung’s Chromebook Plus can do a lot, but it can’t natively run Windows or Mac software.Sarah Tew/CNET

Along those lines, Chromebooks are not natively compatible with Windows or Mac software. You can use VMware on Chromebooks to run Windows applications, and there’s support for Linux software, too. Plus, current models can run Android apps and there are also web apps that are available through Google’s Chrome Web Store

Read more: Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2020  

One of the big hurdles here for many people is access to Microsoft Office. You can’t install the full Office software on a Chromebook, but Microsoft makes both web-based and Android versions available in the Chrome and Google Play stores, respectively. But generally speaking, if you need or want a specific Windows or Mac application — and there’s no suitable web or Android app substitute and you don’t want to use VMware — don’t get a Chromebook.

Also, if you need advanced photo- and video-editing capabilities, you’ll want a regular laptop. Basic photo and video editing is fine, but Chromebooks typically don’t offer the graphics performance you need for demanding tasks or, again, the option to install Windows or Mac games and software. On the other hand, with streaming-game services like Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now, Chromebooks can now be used for more than Android and browser-based games. 

18-dell-g5-15-gaming-laptop
Gamers will want at least an entry-level laptop like the Dell G5 15.Sarah Tew/CNET

A diverse range of devices

A few years ago, all Chromebooks were pretty much the same regardless of what company made them. Now, there’s a far greater variety of laptops and two-in-ones — convertibles and tablets — to take advantage of Chrome OS’s current capabilities. You’ll still find more sizes and styles when it comes to Windows laptops, especially if you need top processing and graphics performance, but the variety of options is much better than in the past. 

If you’re just after a good, basic experience with a Chromebook, the small, lightweight OS has minimal hardware requirements and the same goes for web apps. Having a higher-end processor and more memory will help keep demanding multitaskers moving along, but otherwise here’s what I recommend when I’m asked what specs to get:

  • Intel Celeron, Core m- or Core i-series processor
  • 4GB of memory or more
  • 32GB of storage
  • Full HD (1,920×1,080-pixel) display

There is flexibility with these recommendations. You can get a 1,366×768-resolution display, for example, but the cheap ones used in low-end Chromebooks look particularly soft next to full-HD models. And you can get by with 16GB of onboard storage as long as there’s a microSD card slot to supplement it. Unlike a regular laptop, a Chromebook relies more on cloud storage for files rather than local storage. It’s also worth noting that many times storage and memory are soldered on and can’t be upgraded after the fact. 

Web connection (mostly) required

When Chromebooks first launched they basically became paperweights when they were offline — a real issue if you were in the middle of editing an important document you suddenly couldn’t save because your web connection dropped. Things have thankfully gotten better as Google improved offline capabilities and common apps like Netflix, YouTube and Spotify have offline options as well. 

Read: The best VPN services for 2020

For a regular laptop, being offline is a little less of a problem since you’re using installed software that saves to internal storage. While neither experience is great offline these days, Chromebooks are not a great choice if you’re not willing and able to be online most of the time.  

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Price positive

Because of the low hardware requirements of Chrome OS, not only can Chromebooks be lighter and smaller than the average laptop, they’re generally less expensive, too.

New Windows laptops for $200 are few and far between and, frankly, are rarely worth buying. Finding a good $200 Chromebook, on the other hand, is pretty easy to do (or at least it was prior to COVID). And while spending more will get you better build quality, more features or faster performance, even these premium Chromebooks typically start between $400 and $500, but can easily run more than over $1,000 depending on your needs. 

With Windows laptops, you typically need to spend $700 or more to get a thin, lightweight model with decent performance and battery life that will hold its performance for years to come. Chromebooks

Sarah Tew/CNET

The simplicity of a Chromebook can’t be beat. If everything you do can be done in a web browser or with web or Android apps, there’s little reason not to go with a Chrome device. Although with Linux and VMware support, you can do much more today than when they first arrived in 2011. 

Read our Acer Chromebook 715 review.$540 AT WALMARTLaptops

Joshua Goldman/CNET

With a broad range of designs, sizes and styles that can be configured with all kinds of components and available with prices going from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, a Windows or Mac laptop offers greater variety in performance and use, especially if you want to easily use software or play games only available on those operating systems. 

chromebook vs laptop for college

What Is The Difference Between Server OS And Everyday OS?

Understanding how to differentiate a server OS from an everyday one is vital to our discussion. The differences are very specific.

An everyday OS will be able to run programs like MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. including running one of your favorite video games. It enables applications that make browsing the web and checking emails easy. It uses LAN and Bluetooth connections and is cheaper than a server OS.

Server OS, on the other hand, are expensive and rightfully so. These platforms enable unlimited user connections, a greater memory capacity, and act as universal servers for web, emails, and databases.

A server OS can handle multiple desktops as it is optimized for a network instead of catering to a single user.

What Is An Operating System?

An operating system in its most general definition is the software that allows a user to run crucial applications on his/her computing device. It helps to manage a computer’s hardware resources. It helps to support basic functions like scheduling tasks, and controlling peripherals.

Which OS Is Best For Personal Use?

When it comes to home use, traditional Windows and MAC OS are great options. At home, you don’t need powerful OS especially for simple tasks like writing or browsing the web. For gaming, the Windows operating system is well optimized than that of MAC.

Which Is The Fastest OS?

While discussing the fastest OS, there is no argument that Linux based OS is the lightest and fastest OS in the market right now. It doesn’t need a powerful processor unlike Windows to operate at an optimal level.

Linux based OS like Ubuntu Server, CentOS server, Fedora is great options especially for running business enterprises where substantial computing power is mandatory.

Free Operating System Alternatives

We understand that not everyone has enough dollars to afford a high-grade operating system for their computers. However, that’s not all the bad news as there are free OS alternatives which ensure that your computer keeps running. All the below options are available for download, hence you can simply install it today.

  • Linux: Linux is absolutely free and will literally run on anything.
  • Chrome OS: Chrome OS is available on a number of Low cost and some high-end laptops, like chrome books.
  • Free BSD: With its roots connected to Linux, it is the modern-day version of the Berkeley Software Distribution.
  • Syllable: Syllable is yet another free alternative for home and small business users only.
  • ReactOS: Initially launched as a Windows 95 clone, this OS has come a long way since then.

Notable mentions go to OS like Haiku, MorphOS, Android.

OS Market Share

OS_Market_Share

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Also read =>> 10 Best Laptops For Coders

Android: 39.19%, Windows: 35.12, iOS: 13.85%, MAC OS: 5 %, Linux: 0.77% are some numbers for the market share of these companies.

As of July 2019, Android’s pervasiveness through portable smartphones has made it an undisputed leader in the Operating Systems domain.

It is followed closely by Windows whose familiarity crosses boundaries beyond the United States. Apple iOS and Mac OS are understandably behind because of their exclusiveness to the Apple brand.Pro Tip: Before deciding on your operating system, try to identify what your requirements are. If you have a budget and want the best gaming and application experience then maybe you won’t mind spending a few bucks on the Windows Pro Version. For entrepreneurs, who might be looking for more than just an application running system, opt for a Linux based system for optimal results.

The below list aims at making your decision-making process simpler, hence you don’t need to waste time on pondering over what is best.=>> Contact us to suggest a listing here.

10 Best Operating Systems In Market

Get ready to explore the top operating systems that are used worldwide.

  1. MS-Windows
  2. Ubuntu
  3. Mac OS
  4. Fedora
  5. Solaris
  6. Free BSD
  7. Chrome OS
  8. CentOS
  9. Debian
  10. Deepin

Comparison Of The Top Operating Systems

OS NameComputer Architecture SupportedTarget System DefaultSecurity ThreatBest ForPriceWebsite
WindowsX86,
x86-64,
Workstation, Personal ComputerHugeApps, Gaming, Browsing$119 – $199Windows
Mac OS68k,
Power PC
Workstation, Personal ComputerNegligibleApple Exclusive AppsFreeMac OS
UbuntuX86,
X86-64,
Power PC,
SPARC,
Alpha.
Desktop/serverNegligibleOpen Source Downloading, APPSFreeUbuntu
FedoraX86,
X86-64,
Power PC,
SPARC,
Alpha.
Desktop/serverNegligibleCoding, Corporate UseFreeFedora
FreeBSDX86,
X86-64,
PC 98,
SPARC,
others.
Server, Workstation, NAS, embeddedNegligibleNetworkingFreeFreeBSD

#1) MS-Windows

Best For Apps, Browsing, Personal Use, Gaming, etc.
Price: $119 – $199$ (Pro)

MS Windows

Windows is the most popular and familiar operating system on this list. From Windows 95, all the way to the Windows 10, it has been the go-to operating software that is fueling the computing systems worldwide.

It is user-friendly, and starts up & resumes operations fast. The latest versions have more built-in security to keep you and your data safe.

Features

  • A robust User Interface which helps in easier navigation, with a start menu on the left side by listing out options and representing applications.
  • The Task View feature lets the users switch between multiple workspaces at once, by displaying all the open Windows.
  • Two separate user interfaces, one for mouse and keyboard, and the ‘Tablet Mode’ designed for touchscreens.
  • Multifactor authentication technology for higher security like BIN, PIN, Fingerprint recognition, etc.
  • Automatically compress system files to reduce the storage footprint.

Verdict: The Windows software is simply best because of how it has evolved with time. Its security system is state-of-the-art, its user interface allows convenient usage irrespective of the device that you are using it on. The only thing that will pinch some is its price.

Website: Microsoft


#2) Ubuntu

Best for Open Source Downloading, Running Apps, Browsers, and Gaming.
Price: Free

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Linux based OS that comes with everything that you are looking for in an operating system. It is perfect for organizations, schools, and home use. It is free to download, use, and share and that alone should be worth checking this app out.

Suggested reading =>> Windows Vs Ubuntu- Which is a better OS?

It is backed by Canonical which is a global software company, and now by the leading Ubuntu service providers.

Features

  • Ubuntu is an Open Source software, which allows it to be freely downloaded, used and shared by its users.
  • It comes with a built-in firewall and virus protection software, by making it the most secure OS around.
  • You get five years of security patches and updates.
  • Ubuntu is fully translated into 50 different languages.
  • It works and is compatible with all the latest laptops, desktops and touch screen devices.

Verdict: Ubuntu is a great option for those with holes for pockets. Its open-source feature is enticing enough to attract many users. But, it also makes up in quality by providing a robust interface, and security features that are too hard to pass on.

Website: Ubuntu


#3) Mac OS

Best For Apple-exclusive Apps, Dynamic Desktop, etc.
Price: Free with Apple Devices.

Mac OS

The Mac OS has been the staple of almost all Apple devices as we can remember. It has evolved with time to include the features that first and foremost define innovation.

In recent years, the MAC operating systems have been completely free with the occasional free upgrade by its developers. For Apple users, there is no other option except the MAC OS.

Features

  • The new dark mode gives your desktop interface a more dramatic look which is easier on the eyes.
  • A dynamic desktop which helps to automatically organize your desktop files by kind, date or tag.
  • Continuity camera that scans or photographs a document nearby your iPhone and automatically appears on your mac.
  • Discover handpicked apps with the MAC app store.
  • New iTunes that allows users to search for songs with few lyrics.
  • Prevent websites from tracking your Mac by making your profile more anonymous online.

Verdict: Mac’s biggest accomplishment is how dynamic the look and design of its interface appears. It is probably one of the best looking OS today. Now, Apple is allowing its users to get their hands on this OS and all its upgrades for free, and this has alleviated a lot of burden from Apple users who are already paying heftily for the Apple devices.

Website: Apple


#4) Fedora

Best For Open Source DevelopmentCorporate Use, etc.
Price: Free

Fedora

Fedora is another Linux based system which gives Ubuntu’s open-source features a run for the money. Fedora is reliable, user-friendly and makes for a powerful operating system for any laptop and desktop computer.

Fedora is the Operating system that is for casual users and caters to students, hobbyists, and professionals working in corporate environments.

Features

  • A sleek new user interface that allows the developers to focus on their code on Gnome 3 environment.
  • It offers a complete open-source toolbox with languages, tools, and utilities in all just a click or commands away.
  • Allows digging into powerful virtualization tools to get virtual machines up and running.
  • Containerize the own applications or deploy applications out of the box with OCI (Open Container Initiative) image support.

Verdict: Although also good for personal use, fedora works best for developers in the corporate environment. It has all the tools and utilities that a developer needs to work on in their projects and is free of cost!

Website: Fedora


#5) Solaris

Best for Large workload processing, managing multiple databases, etc.
Price: Free

Solaris

Solaris is a UNIX based operating system which was originally developed by Sun Microsystems in the mid-’90s. In 2010 it was renamed as Oracle Solaris after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. It is known for its scalability and several other features that made it possible such as Dtrace, ZFS and Time Slider.

Features

  • Provides the most advanced security features in the world such as process and user rights management, thereby allowing you to secure mission-critical data.
  • It offers indisputable performance advantages for web, database, and java-based services.
  • Delivers high-performance networking without any modification.
  • Unlimited capacity for helping in managing file system and databases.
  • Allows seamless inter-operability for solving hundreds of hardware and software problems.

Verdict: Oracle Solaris is considered as one of the best free open source OS in the industry by most of them. It allows for scalability, interoperability, data management and security that are all critical for businesses with the need for high-end operating software.

Website: Solaris


#6) Free BSD

Best For Networking, Internet and Intranet server compatibility.
Price: Free

Free BSD

FreeBSD, as the name suggests is a free UNIX based open-source software. It is compatible with a variety of platforms and mainly focuses on features such as speed, and stability. The most fascinating part about this software is its origin. It was built in the University of California by a large community.

Features

  • Advanced networking, compatibility, and security features which are still missing in many OS today.
  • Ideal for internet and intranet services and can handle large loads and manages memory efficiently to maintain good responses for multiple simultaneous users.
  • Advanced embedded platform catering to higher-end Intel-based appliances.
  • Easy to install using CD-ROM, DVD or directly over the network using FTP and NPS.

Verdict: Free BSD’s biggest appeal is its ability to deliver a robust operating system, given the fact that it was built by a large community of students. It is best for networking, and is compatible across multiple devices and is very simple to install. Hence, give it a try.

Website: Free BSD


#7) Chrome OS

Best For a Web application.
Price: Free

Chrome OS

Chrome OS is another Linux-kernel based operating software that is designed by Google. As it is derived from the free chromium OS, it uses the Google Chrome web browser as its principal user interface. This OS primarily supports web applications.

Features

  • An integrated media player that enables the users to play MP3’s, view JPEG’S and handle other multimedia files while offline.
  • Remote application access and virtual desktop access.
  • Chrome OS is designed to be compatible with all the Android applications.
  • With Chrome OS it is possible to run Linux applications.

Verdict: Chrome OS is an operating software that works fine, but there is still a lot of promise to what it might eventually become. For now, it is good for multi-media, Linux and Android applications. For the other features, we will have to just wait and watch.

Website: Chrome OS


#8) CentOS

Best for Coding, Personal, and Business Use.
Price: Free

Cent OS

The CentOS is another community-driven open source free software that allows robust platform management. It is best for developers who are looking for an operating system that simply helps them to perform their coding tasks. That’s not to say that it has nothing to offer those who simply want to use it for mundane purposes.

Features

  • Extensive resources for coders looking to build, test and release their codes.
  • Advanced networking, compatibility, and security features that are still missing in many OS today.
  • It allows for seamless interoperability by solving hundreds of hardware and software problems.
  • It provides the most advanced security features in the world such as process and user rights management, thereby allowing you to secure mission-critical data.

Verdict: We recommend CentOS to coders than for personal and home use. CentOS makes their coding work simpler and faster. Moreover, it is free.

Website: CentOS


#9) Debian

Best For Running Apps.
Price: Free

Debian

Debian is again a Linux kernel-based free open-source OS. It comes with over 59000 packages and is a pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format. It is easy to install and offers a user-friendly interface.

Features

  • Faster and lighter than the other OS, irrespective of the processor speed.
  • It comes with in-built security firewalls to protect valuable data.
  • Easy to install through any medium.
  • Advanced networking, compatibility, and security features which are still missing in many OS today.

Verdict: Debian might not be the most versatile of the Operating systems mentioned above, but its free open source feature makes it something that you should try if you are short on cash.

Website: Debian


#10) Deepin

Best For Running Application.
Price: Free

Deepin

Deepin is an open-source operating system based on Debian’s stable branch. It features DDE, (Deepin Desktop Environment built on QT. It has been praised for its beautiful aesthetics and very appealing interface.

Features

  • User-Friendly and Robust Aesthetics.
  • Advanced security features.
  • Simple Installation Procedure.
  • Home to custom-tailored Deepin apps like font installer, file manager, screenshot, Deepin screen recorder, voice recorder, image and movie viewer, etc.

Verdict: Deepin can very well qualify as its own little niche OS. It is free and improves upon many shortcomings of Debian. With more modifications, it will compete with the top operating systems like Windows and Mac in no time.

WebsiteDeepin


Conclusion

An operating system is a fuel that is required to run your computer at your convenience. There are many OS out there that make it possible. Choose the best operating system that suits your needs and comfort.

If you are looking for personal use like gaming and browsing, then Windows is perfect for you. If you have an Apple device then you have no other option than using the MAC OS.

For businesses, there is the option of Linux and UNIX based OS. Whatever you choose the above list will help you clarify any confusion and make the right decision.

The Best OS must be capable of:

  • Running critical computing applications.
  • Manage a device’s software and hardware.
  • Connect with the CPU for memory and storage allocation.

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