Many people consider the Chromebook to be sleeker, faster, and even simpler than the traditional laptop. But how are these very similar devices different?
If Google services and regular web apps are enough for you, then a Chromebook can be a good cheap alternative to classic laptops.
What is a Chromebook?
When Chromebooks first appeared in 2011, they were lightweight, inexpensive laptops based on the new Google Chrome OS platform. These laptops mostly relied on cloud-based applications rather than traditional software. Their more affordable nature has changed over the years, but the value is still at the heart of what a Chromebook offers.
Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung sell Chromebooks in a variety of sizes, from ultrabooks to 2-in-1 hybrids and as a traditional laptops. Cheaper models tend to be larger and weaker than thinner and sleeker premium models. These inexpensive Chromebooks are most often seen in schools or as the first personal laptops. More expensive Chromebooks like Google’s Pixelbook have premium aluminum chassis, fast Intel Core processors, and in some cases, 4K screens.
How is a Chromebook different from a laptop?
The Chromebook comes with its own operating system, Chrome OS, which is based on Linux and uses the Chrome browser as its interface. It has basic computing elements like a file manager and app launcher, but most of what’s available on this device are web apps that don’t require downloading.
This may seem like a limitation at first, but many popular apps already offer web versions such as Spotify, Netflix, Slack, and Evernote. Due to the ubiquity of web applications, many people still spend most of their time in the browser. If your typical workflow is similar to this scenario, the transition to a Chromebook will be relatively smooth. Just connect to Wi-Fi and continue browsing as usual.
Chrome OS limitations mean you can’t install some important software that you might need. Examples include some Adobe applications or any other proprietary software that is released for Windows or macOS. If you rely on apps like this, you need to either find a Linux-based alternative or stop buying a Chromebook altogether.
Limitations apply to performance in general. Chromebooks tend to be fast, but that’s because Chrome OS is a relatively lightweight operating system and doesn’t require as much background maintenance as Windows does.
However, in some cases, you will be limited in functions due to the filling. Cheaper Chromebooks tend to use older or inexpensive processors that can’t compete with Windows and Mac devices, especially in terms of multitasking. On the other hand, if you want to buy an inexpensive laptop, then Chromebooks are ideal for this.