What Is The Difference Between A Chromebook And A Laptop?

Today, Chromebooks are more popular than ever. They offer the best bang for your buck when it comes to student-oriented laptops and they’re also easy on your wallet. But what is the difference between a Chromebook and laptop?

A laptop is a computer with a keyboard and screen, while a Chromebook is a laptop that runs on Google’s Chrome operating system. The difference between the two is that laptops have an operating system installed, while Chromebooks run on Chrome OS. Read more in detail here: what is the difference between a windows 10 laptop and a chromebook.

If you’re looking for a new laptop, you may have come across a chromebook, which is a relatively new kind of laptop. The two, however, are vastly different. So, what’s the difference between a laptop and a chromebook?

In this essay, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can make an informed decision about whether to buy a chromebook or a laptop. If you’ve been debating whether or not to get a chromebook, you’ve come to the right place. But if you’re not sure what a chromebook is, continue reading. Chromebooks aren’t for everyone, so be sure you’re a good match for this device before you buy one.

What Is A Chromebook And How Does It Work?

A chromebook is a low-cost laptop that runs Google’s Chrome operating system (OS) entirely, rather than another operating system such as Windows. Chromebooks are often meant to be ultra-portable, have a lightning-fast startup time (getting you to your web browser in under 10 seconds), and have long battery life. They’re designed to be utilized with an internet connection, with the majority of the storage space and programs/apps stored in the cloud (online servers, rather than the chromebook local storage drive).

Chromebooks Are Not the Same As Laptops

First and foremost, let’s get one thing straight: although chromebooks resemble laptops, they are a whole different breed of laptop. They’re often likened to iPads. We’ll go through the key differences and similarities, but keep in mind that comparing a laptop to a chromebook is like to comparing apples and oranges — they’re both fruits, but they’re quite different.

chromebook with logoThe Chrome logo on the cover distinguishes Chromebooks. BigEasySavings through Compfight cc, BigEasySavings, BigEasySavings, BigEasySa

Here’s a video Google made to illustrate the Chrome OS’s rationale and how it works:


You don’t have as many choices with a chromebook as you do with a laptop, but some individuals never utilize the extra capability that a laptop provides. As a result, chromebooks are an excellent choice for folks who are new to computers and just want to utilize simple programs and surf the web.

In a word, a chromebook is a stripped-down laptop that is optimized for quick internet surfing but still capable of handling things like streaming movies and running office software (google documents).

A Comparison between Chromebooks and Laptops

A chromebook and a standard laptop are compared in the following ways.

Cheaper a higher price
Chrome OS is the only operating system available. Ability to choose an operating system
Battery life is estimated to be between 7 and 13 hours. Battery life is between 4 and 9 hours.
There isn’t a CD/DVD drive. It’s possible to have a CD/DVD drive (depending on model)
Only the Google Chrome Store may be used to install applications. More flexibility in terms of application installation techniques
Low local storage capacity (e.g., 16GB flash memory/SSD) More local storage (e.g., 120GB or more)
Fast start-up times, but limited graphics and processing power Better graphics performance and more computing power
Designed mostly for online usage (strong need for an internet connection) Usually, it may be utilized both online and offline.
Allow only ‘google ready’ printers to print. Any printer may be used.
Program/application compatibility is limited. Increased program/application compatibility

The Most Significant Differences

Let’s look at the primary distinctions between a chromebook and a laptop in more detail.

System of Operation

The operating system is the most evident distinction (OS). Chromebooks are limited to Google’s Chrome OS, a linux-based operating system. Google has a reputation for producing well-thought-out goods, and the increased popularity of chromebooks seems to confirm that they’re back on track!google-chrome

Chrome OS is primarily focused on the Google Chrome web browser, with everything else being kept as basic as possible. Aside from the Chrome web browser, you get a task/status bar that shows the time, internet connection, and allows you to pin your favorite program shortcuts; and a desktop view (to which you can’t actually add extra files or folders). That’s all there is to it! Installing extra applications (known as apps) is done via the Chrome Web Store with a single click of the install button.

By minimizing the complexity of the operating system, you may create a machine that has less software bloat, can run on lower-end hardware, and is more energy efficient. As a result, many chromebooks are less expensive and have longer battery life than standard laptops.

Here’s a sneak peak of Chrome OS, which seems to have a Windows-like feel to it, so you can see for yourself:


Advantages of Chrome OS

Cons of Chrome OS

  • Customization choices are limited.
  • Requires access to the internet (not everything works well offline)
  • Only allows you to launch apps from the App Store.

Apps for Chromebooks

Let’s take a look at the Chrome Web Store’s apps (short for applications). Whether you require an application to do a certain operation or function, check the Chrome Web Store to see if one is available.

If you’re a Windows user, this means you won’t be able to use apps like Microsoft Office, and will instead have to switch to an online-based choice like Microsoft Office Online or Google Docs, which is Google’s version of Microsoft Office. It’s fairly comparable in terms of operation and feel (and you can save papers in common Microsoft office file types like.docx,.xlsx, and so on), so it shouldn’t be too tough.

google docsGoogle Docs is available in the Chrome Web Store.

You may download programs for common activities like video editing, picture editing, skype, and even casual games like angry birds. You’re out of luck if you wish to run apps like Photoshop, for example. There is no program available to open Photoshop files at the time of writing.

If you have a Google account, the connectivity between your chromebook and your Google account will be almost seamless owing to built-in integration with Google services like email, calendar, and drive. If you’re unfamiliar with them, they’re simple to set up and are excellent productivity and file management tools.

Internet and Chromebook Connectivity

Keep in mind that chromebooks are intended to be used while you have access to the internet. Because Chromebooks feature a limited amount of local storage (usually a 16GB solid state drive), the majority of your data and documents will be kept on the cloud.

While certain applications may be used offline, the chromebook performs best while connected to the internet, so think about your internet access and how readily available a good connection will be where you want to use your chromebook.


One of the biggest advantages of the chromebook is that all of your information are stored in the cloud, which means that even if your chromebook is damaged or destroyed, all of your files are still secure — all you have to do is log back into your Google account. There’s no need to manually back up your data since Chrome OS takes care of it for you.

Keeping Files

Because the majority of your data will be saved on the cloud, you need think about how you’ll manage them. A two-year subscription to 100GB of free Google Drive storage space is included with every chromebook purchase.

chromebook google drive storage

Additionally, certain chromebook models, such as Toshiba’s CB35 Chromebook 2, can accept an SD card, allowing you to add an additional 64GB of internal storage capacity.

Specifications for Hardware

Comparing a chromebook to a laptop is tricky, as we’ve previously seen, since these are two quite different creatures. This is particularly true in terms of hardware; since Chrome OS is a much lighter, stripped-down operating system, the processor power, storage space, and graphics needs to enable seamless user operation are substantially different from what would be required on a standard Windows laptop.

Typical specs for a cheap chromebook are 2-4GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and CPUs from Intel’s Celeron series. These will usually work well with Chrome OS, however if you’re a big multitasker who likes to have numerous tabs open at once, you may want to spend a bit more since the lower-end chromebooks sometimes stutter under high stress.


Most chromebooks are meant to be ultra-portable, making them a viable low-cost alternative to ultrabooks, which are often more costly ultraportable computers. Chromebooks are immensely popular in education because of their mobility and simplicity, which makes them ideal for student usage.

They generally weigh approximately 3 pounds or less and have screens ranging from 11.6 to 15 inches in size.

Chromebooks’ battery life is often excellent, with some models lasting up to 13 hours. Battery life claims should typically be in the region of around 7 hours, with an average of approximately 9 hours – more than adequate for a full day of usage.battery life chromebook

This is noteworthy when compared to a standard Windows laptop, which uses more processing power, resulting in a reduced battery life of 4-7 hours, with only the most costly laptops able to give up to 9 hours of usage time.

Features Not Included

Chromebooks include a few unique features, such as the voice-activated ‘OK Google’ command, which summons the Google Assistant to assist you with your enquiry.

Many chromebooks also include touchscreen capabilities, such as the ability to identify handwriting on the screen and transform it to text.

You may also sync your browsers and videos to your Android smartphone (if available), enabling you to continue surfing from wherever you left off, regardless of whatever device you’re using.

Who Will Be Interested In Using A Chromebook?

Let’s take a deeper look at who a chromebook is for now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of what a chromebook is. To determine if you will like using a chromebook, consider the kind of activities you normally do on your computer.

A chromebook may be all you need if you solely use your computer for surfing the internet, participating on social media, generating and editing office files, viewing movies, webcam chatting, and the like.

1632875538_794_What-Is-The-Difference-Between-A-Chromebook-And-A-LaptopBecause of its mobility, Chromebooks are a popular option among students. Ekaroleski via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Chromebooks provide an easy method to get started on a relatively portable computer with no difficulties for the elder generation or younger kids who don’t want to bother about system files or configuring applications. Chromebooks are quite popular in schools, and even college students may choose them because of their low cost and mobility.


Who Doesn’t Need A Chromebook?

If you desire complete control over your computer and the ability to go deeper into system files and modify your operating system install, a regular laptop is generally a better choice than a chromebook. Chromebooks aren’t really for gamers, though, since the stripped-down hardware doesn’t support the high-demand graphics processing required by popular games, and they’re not actually accessible in the Chrome Web App Store.


Chromebooks and laptops are quite different, owing to the fact that all chromebooks come with the Chrome operating system preinstalled.

Chromebooks are all about simplicity, and if you simply use your computer for internet surfing and easy chores like viewing movies, basic picture and video editing, social networking, and video chat, they may provide a highly user-friendly experience. They’re great for mobility because of their compact size and extended battery life, and they appear to be popular among students and individuals who are often on the move.

A Chromebook is a laptop that runs on Google’s Chrome OS. They are lightweight and easy to carry around with you. A laptop is a computer with a keyboard, screen, and processor. It weighs more than a Chromebook and requires an outlet to be plugged in. Reference: samsung chromebook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better laptop or Chromebook?

A: Chromebooks are a type of laptop that run on the Chrome operating system. They have been increasingly popular over recent years, and they offer many benefits such as being able to save your work directly from your browser via Google Drive without needing to download any software or other files.

Can a Chromebook do the same thing as a laptop?

A: No, Chromebooks are designed to be used primarily in an internet browser environment. They do not have the power or resources that laptops typically have.

What are the disadvantages of a Chromebook?

A: One disadvantage of a Chromebook is that it is not as powerful or resource-intensive as many other laptops. For example, if you were to play games like Rocket League on your Chromebook, the game would be very slow and laggy because the CPU speed was not designed for high-end gaming.

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