Chromebooks may look like laptops at a glance but there is where the similarity ends. These two devices are worlds apart, whether it is in terms of specs, performance, features or functionality. Here is a short comparison between these two gadgets to help you decide which one would be more suitable for you.
Price is one of the biggest factors that divide these two devices. Chromebooks costs less than half the price of a regular laptop and this, without doubt, has contributed to its success. You can be the proud owner of a Chromebook for less than $200. While they are generally cheaper devices, upon closer inspection, many would say that the Chromebook is not necessarily cheaper as it has much less features compared to a regular laptop. In terms of price-to-feature ratios, depending on how you look at it, some would say that regular laptops provide better value for your money (see the ‘Functionality’ section below).
Chromebooks are extremely sleek and lightweight. A regular laptop with this weight and slim profile can easily cost 4 to 5 times more. Despite their modest price tag, Chromebooks usually have a rather stylish and premium fell to them. There are currently only a handful of Chromebook models to choose from in the market and most of them sport chiclet-style keyboards with huge trackpads, not unlike those that you would usually find on Apple laptops. If design and aesthetics are high on your priority list, its hard to beat the Chromebook especially when you take into account on how much the cost.
Features & Functionality
This would definitely be the single most crucial deciding factor for many in deciding whether they want to buy a laptop or a Chromebook. There is a reason why Chromebooks are such much cheaper, slimmer and lighter than regular laptops. They are not as powerful, to say the least. In fact, many would consider that an understatement as many would note that Chromebook have specs found in laptops that are made 4 or 5 years ago.
Despite the lack in computing power, it doesn’t translate to slow and sluggish performance. This is because the Chromebook works very differently from regular laptops. For starters it doesn’t run on Windows OS. Instead it makes use of Google’s Chrome operating system that is extremely resource efficient especially when compared to memory hungry operating systems such as Windows or Apple’s OS. The feather light Chrome system boots up in just a matter of seconds (approximately 5 to 10 seconds depending on the model) and this in itself is an attractive feature. The incredibly resource efficient OS also allows the device to run smoothly and seamlessly even if it comes installed with a relatively less powerful processor.
Another important factor to note about Chromebooks is that they do really heavily on having an internet connection to operate fully. Many of the apps are web based and the limited storage (the average Chromebook has the storage capacity of a tablet PC or a high end smartphone) onboard means that you might need to resort to saving your files in cloud storages. The truth is, you can’t really use a Chromebook like how you would use a regular laptop.
With that said, you might ask why on earth then would anyone buy a Chromebook? Well, they do perform several essential PC functions very well. The most common computing tasks that we perform on our PC today are surfing the net, checking emails, running Microsoft Office files, watching movies and listening to music. The Chromebook scores an A+ in all these 5 functions as that is what they were primarily designed to do. The truth is, many laptops in the market today (even the mainstream ones) contain more computing power that most of us will ever use. The Chromebook strips away all the other non-essentials and packaged this new, streamlined functionality with a slim, stylish design and a rock bottom price tag. Many consumers have found this combo to be irresistible. With that said, if you need to run heavy non-web-based softwares on a regular basis (such as intense 3D games or heavy photo editing softwares), you might want to stick to regular laptops.
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