Chromebook vs. Laptop: A Comparison of Computers

Chromebooks were subjected to routine ridicule when they first arrived in 2011. Limited functionalities and an over-reliance on internet connection were sour dealbreakers. Back then, they instantly became expensive paperweights without an internet connection. 

But that’s all changed now. 

Chromebooks are becoming mainstream and giving traditional laptops a run for their money. Dig in as we explore the differences between Chromebooks and laptops and how they stack against each other.

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebook VS Laptop

Chromebooks are simple but powerful laptops that run Google’s Chrome OS instead of Windows, macOS, or Linux. Chrome OS is an ultralight weight, browser-based operating system with simple hardware requirements. As a result, Chromebooks deliver exemplary performance without expensive processors. 

Google teamed up with Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung to build Chromebooks. This partnership resulted in a diverse range of Chromebooks with different specs, sizes, and capabilities. 

Chromebooks prioritize speed, ease of use, and functionality over specs and hardware. They have limited storage space, are small-sized, and have exceptional battery life. 

The typical Chromebook screen size ranges from 11.6 to 13.3 inches, while the screen resolution starts from 1366 x 768 to 2400 x 1600. Stock models will pair a 32GB storage space with 4GB RAM. High-end models such as Google Pixelbook Go and i7 have up to 256GB and 512GB storage space, respectively. 

Chromebooks have the best laptop battery life on the market. They deliver 10 to 15 hours of battery life, just enough to cover an entire workday without recharging. The lightweight Chrome OS and lack of power-hungry internal drive help to conserve battery life.

Chromebooks deliver a different experience than regular laptops since every operation is web-based. They run exclusively on Google’s suite of applications, including Google Docs, Google Sheets, Chrome, and more. You cannot install regular software such as MS Office and Photoshop on a Chromebook. Instead, the laptop uses web apps exclusively available from Google’s Play Store. 

Chromebook vs. Laptop

So, what’s the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop? Let’s break down the main spec differences between Chromebooks and Windows and macOS laptops. 

Operating System

Chromebooks runChrome OS, an operating system by Google, which is based on the popular Chrome browser. Operating a Chromebook feels natural if you’re familiar with Chrome as everything happens through the browser. 

With a Windows laptop, you have the flexibility to install and run any software you wish to use and do complex tasks. Windows laptops are slower to load, have shorter battery life, need regular updates, and slow down with age. MacOS laptops strike a balance between both – they’re dependable, fast, have long battery life, and run most programs. 

Battery Life 

A 10 to 12-hour battery life is standard in Chromebooks, a feat previously reserved for high-end MacBook laptops. Stock Windows laptops deliver up to 5 hours, but it shoots up to 10 hours in high-end models.


So how much is a Chromebook, and how does it stack against regular laptops? Chromebooks are budget laptop models within the $200 to $1,500 price range. Windows laptops fall in the $300 to $2,500 range, while MacBooks are the priciest in the $999 to $2,888 range.


Chromebooks are ultimately more secure than Windows and MacBook laptops because their security features are baked into their design. You can set up your Chromebooks to store nothing on the device. Using Google Drive as your storage space safeguards your data from theft and loss. You’ll never succumb to viruses when using a Chromebook as opposed to using a Windows laptop. MacBooks are relatively secure since they’re less susceptible to viruses and malware. 

Software and Programs 

With a Chromebook, you’re limited to the Google Web Apps Store and Google Play Store apps. Since you can’t install third-party software, Chromebooks have limited functionality. You can still browse the web, edit documents and spreadsheets, stream videos, edit images, and more. However, if you need to use specific software such as CorelDraw or Skype, you’re better off with a regular laptop. 


Chromebooks deliver the performance of high-end Windows and MacBook laptops without breaking the bank. However, these laptops have limited functionality and don’t support third-party software and programs. Chromebooks are suitable for casual users who like to surf the web, stream music and movies, and edit documents. Get a traditional laptop if you run heavy software or need computing versatility in your line of work.