Chromebook vs Windows Laptops: Which Should You Buy?

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Are you looking to buy a new laptop?

Struggling to decide between Chromebook and Windows?

Chromebooks are lightweight and easy to use. They are centered around Google’s Chrome web browser where most of the action takes place. Windows machines are more versatile and come with a range of hardware options.

So when it comes to Chromebook vs Windows, which laptop comes out on top? That’s not an easy question to answer. Keep reading to find out how each machine performs with regards to software, hardware, security, price, and more.

What Is a Chromebook?

A Chromebook is a simple, well-optimized computer that runs on Google’s Chrome operating system.

Chromebooks don’t have sophisticated file management systems like Windows laptops, instead, they opt for a lightweight design while maintaining optimum functionality.

The focus of a Chromebook is the Chrome web browser where you can access web-based applications. Although this has begun to change with recent Chromebooks supporting Android apps as well.

Chromebooks now come in a variety of forms from the traditional ‘clamshell’ style to the 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid. Chromebooks are gaining popularity among those who need a simple, portable machine for school or work.

Many people decide to buy Chromebooks because they are lightweight and cheaper compared to Windows laptops. However, if you’re an avid gamer or you need to use high-end software, sticking with a Windows computer is the better option.

Hardware and Performance

When it comes to hardware, most Chromebooks offer 4GB of RAM. This is fine for doing basic tasks and browsing the internet but it’s much lower than the standard 8-16GB offered with many Windows laptops.

As for storage, windows laptops usually offer ample disk space in the range of 500GB to 1TB. However, even the best Chromebooks have smaller disk drives (32-64GB) and depend mostly on cloud storage. Storage can be upgraded with an external USB drive or SD card if necessary.

With regards to ports, Chromebooks and laptops both contain the regular USB-A, USB-C, and headphone jack.

Windows laptops can range in hardware and performance. Many Windows gaming machines come with fast processors like the Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia graphics chip. If you want a super-fast machine with high-end specs then stick with Windows.

Laptops with these specs aren’t cheap but you won’t find this kind of hardware in a Chromebook.

However, there is a downside to having high-end specs – these machines tend to be bulkier and less portable. Chromebooks are lightweight and slim, making them easy to carry around if you’re traveling a lot.

When it comes to battery life, Chromebooks are ahead. It’s not hard to see why – laptops with lower hardware requirements tend to consume less power. For many Chromebook models, 10-12 hours of battery life is standard.

A windows gaming machine with high-end specs won’t have a good battery life but the regular machines are slowly catching up to Chromebooks in that regard.

Overall, Windows laptops offer a much wider selection of hardware, but Chromebooks are working to catch up.

Operating Systems

The next thing to compare is the software of both machines. The operating system is the core of any computer. It allows you to run programs, store files, and interact with your machine in a visual way.

Chrome OS

The Chrome OS is lightweight compared to Windows 10. It is based on the Chrome browser app. Instead of local, desktop apps like on Windows, Chromebooks feature web-based applications that are accessed through your browser.

The downside to this is that you cannot run third-party apps, like Adobe Photoshop for example, on a Chromebook. So if you need specific software for work, a Windows laptop might be your best bet.

The advantage of such a lightweight operating system is that it’s super fast! Chrome OS does not need to run a bunch of processes in the background like Windows. This is another one of the many benefits of Chromebooks.

The Chrome OS is easy to navigate, with an intuitive interface. It includes a taskbar with shortcuts to essential apps such as YouTube or Drive. Working in side-by-side windows is also easy on a Chromebook.

Windows 10

A well-designed and good-looking operating system, Windows 10 is still the most popular operating system in the world.

Windows 10 is fast on startup and features a rich selection of software and apps. It includes photo and video tools as well as support for touch screens. One of the benefits of Windows is its flexibility.

Windows 10 is easier to navigate and more seamless than previous versions. The new start menu is filled with your most-used apps and new programs. The taskbar has also been upgraded to include a search bar and Cortana voice assistance.

Voice Assistants

Both Windows laptops and Chromebooks have voice assistants. Windows has Cortana while Chrome OS features Google Now. In fact, the two are rather similar.

On Windows 10 all you have to do to talk to Cortana is enable “Hey, Cortana” and you can talk to her any time you want. You can ask her questions like “What’s the weather like today?” and she’ll provide you with the answer.

On Chrome OS, you can access Google Now by enabling the “OK, Google” setting. This lets you speak to Google Now when your browser or launcher is open.

Cortana can do more than Google now. For example, you can use Cortana to search for files on your computer, dictate emails, and schedule appointments.

So, if voice assistance is important to you, then Windows comes out on top. Although Google Now is solid, Cortana is more versatile.

Apps

Most people use a range of apps on a day-to-day basis for things like opening PDFs, taking notes, editing photos, and watching videos. Chromebooks and Windows laptops both have access to a range of apps, but Windows has a more impressive selection.

When it comes to apps (including games) Windows supports almost everything. Chromebooks, on the other hand, are more limited.

Chromebooks support web-based apps accessible through the Chrome browser and later models also support Android (Google Play Store) applications.

If you’re looking to run high-end software like Adobe Photoshop or Sony Vegas, then you’ll need a Windows machine.

Browsing the Web

With a Chromebook, you won’t have another choice of web browser, so you better like Chrome! Chrome is by far the most popular web browser in the world. It’s a fast, sleek browser with a clean and simple interface.

Windows 10 can also run Chrome, along with any other browser. This added flexibility is why many people prefer Windows for browsing the internet.

Windows 10 also comes with Microsoft Edge, which has some interesting features not found in Chrome. This includes Cortana voice search and the ability to write notes and scribbles on web pages.

Gaming

If you’re a hardcore gamer then choosing the right laptop is important. When it comes to gaming, performance is key as most new games require serious specs to run smoothly.

High-end Windows laptops offer powerful processors, plenty of RAM, and standalone Nvidia or AMD graphics cards. This makes gaming a breeze.

Chromebooks are not built for gaming. In fact, many popular games are not compatible with the Chrome OS. There are a number of fun games available on the Google Play Store but nothing like what you can run on a Windows machine.

Furthermore, Chrome OS does not support gaming portals like Uplay, Steam, or EA’s Origin.

Security

The Windows operating system has long been susceptible to viruses, malware, and cyber-attacks. Although security has improved in leaps and bounds, it’s still not perfect.

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender built-in which can help but it’s still not enough. Before using a Windows laptop, you should always install antivirus software.

Windows Defender runs in the background and will notify you when you’re under threat or need to take action against malware.

Chromebooks tend to be more secure and less prone to hacks. In fact, security is one of the key selling points of the Chrome OS. A Chromebook will automatically apply security updates while you’re browsing the net.

Price

Chromebooks used to be a much more affordable option compared to Windows computers, but Microsoft has made an effort to reduce the cost of their laptops and this has helped to reduce the gap.

Whatever your needs, chances are you can find an affordable machine. Spend time doing some research and be sure to take advantage of the best deals available for Windows laptops and Chromebooks alike.

Chromebook vs Windows: Which Is Right For You?

So when it comes to Chromebook vs Windows, which one should you buy? The truth is, it’s difficult to say.

Windows laptops provide the flexibility and versatility that many people are after including access to a wide range of apps and games. Chromebooks, however, are simpler in their design and ultra-portable. They are also very secure and come with a lower price tag.

At the end of the day, choosing between a Chromebook and a Windows machine depends on your needs. If you enjoyed this post, check out more content on our website.