Laptop

Chromebook or Laptop: Which one is best for Students?

So for your educational needs, what should you choose? A Chromebook or a Windows laptop. Both have their pros and cons. Sometimes it can be challenging to put your finger on one option.

The thing to keep in mind here is your requirement. If you’re a parent or a student, trying to find an affordable and appropriate option, you’re at the right place.

In this comparative article, we will take you through details of both devices and help you make the right choice.

Talking About Chromebooks

It is a laptop computer with a distinct OS known as the Chrome operating system.
Image source: CNET/ Hp

Chromebooks are not much different from a regular laptop or notebook. It is a laptop computer with a distinct OS known as the Chrome operating system.

So in a way, it works like a Google OS. You can customize it the same as your chrome web browser. It has all basic laptop features, same portability, and design in most cases.

The Highlight of a Chromebook is that you can just power-up the device and use it right away. You don’t need to worry about any setup or software complications.

But still, the question remains the same in our heads. Should you buy a Laptop or prefer a Chromebook. Let’s go more deeply into this topic and extensively compare both devices to get the verdict.

Comparison Between Chromebooks And Laptops

Comparison Between Chromebooks And Laptops
Image source: Techradar

As we have talked about, both devices have similar features in terms of looks. Both are in the form of a portable notebook and are designed like any other tablet or portable computer in the market. Some have convertible bodies turning them into a touchscreen or tablets. 

The main difference arises in the performance specs or precisely saying OS and processors. Windows Laptops, first of all, come with powerful chipsets like Intel, intel core, AMD, etc. 

Chromebooks, on the other hand, have less powerful and cheaper chipsets. This is due to Chrome OS being a light skin and lighter OS. However, most of the Chromebooks run on processors like Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium, or other lower range processors. But some premium variants in this segment have chips like Intel core and i7 processor.

Windows Laptops, as evident by name runs on Windows 10 OS, and apps are designed for that. This combination provides users better performance in gaming, media, and rendering areas. Laptops have intel had graphics, powerful GPU units, and graphic cards to support their performances. So a student can get more out of it, whether it is an assignment or binge gaming overnight. The Windows Laptops are most common to be seen, although the rare options from Linux OS are also available. Also, we can’t forget Apple and their Macbook and MacOS. But Macbooks are on the expensive side, and the price may not be appropriate for most students.

Taking a look at Chromebooks, you realize how simple and less complicated they are. First of all, their operating system is Chrome OS, and that means it is a Google OS. That means more customization and support for Android features and apps. So as a student, you have more than ever control over the interface of your device.

Another quite significant difference is in the storage field. Windows or most laptops have a higher storage capacity, even in their low-end variants. It starts at 128 or 256GB SSD or HDD and going up to 1TB and more. Chromebooks, on the other hand, have around 16 GB of storage. There are two main reasons for it: the first being the chrome os being an Android-like OS, so the apps need less space. Second, it is using Google drive as a substitute.

Surface Pro 6 is a higher-end device in Windows laptops, where Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is in top-tier among Chromebooks. You can compare both devices.

Which is better for studies: Chromebook or Laptop

Which is better for studies Chromebook or Laptop
Image source: HP

Let’s limit our premises to a student’s purposes. First of all, a student is not a working professional and therefore needs affordability. Keeping in mind the student life, a Chromebook would be an excellent option. Mostly a student who needs to do the searching, docs work, or media viewing can carry out these tasks with a Chromebook. You have Google drive as the storage options and google apps like Google docs, Google classroom, etc. for your studies. Also, you can easily connect an Sd-card or USB Pendrive to store additional data.

Now the essential bit, which is price efficiency. Chromebooks are much affordable with a Price-tag that goes down to USD 100 to 200 on discounts and deals. But this is at the entry-level, and there are some premium Chromebooks like Google Pixelbook Go, which may cost you up to USD 700. The best option for a student is Google Chromebooks like Toshiba Chromebook 2, which has a thinner body, excellent battery life, a responsive touchpad, a 13.3-inch screen size, etc. 

Let’s see how a Chromebook can easily car out educational chores. First of all, there is no place for bloatware or gaming. So without many distractions, this is specifically a task machine. You can easily stream or attend live classes without any problems via apps like Google Meet, Google Classroom, etc.

They can also prepare their papers and save them on the drive or share them directly via docs. Also, any doc work can be done quickly with MS Office apps.

Now from technicalities, let’s see how durable it is. Chromebooks are a sturdy gadget that is built to last. If you’re worried about malware or trojan attacks, you shouldn’t be. Chrome OS is very light, and you can easily factory reset it. Still, if you feel like you’re new at laptops or don’t know much about how they work, need not worry. Chrome OS isn’t much technical and is ready to use the system. Although there are exceptions in every segment, most of the Chromebooks can last well, and components aren’t too costly to replace.

Coming to a Windows Laptop, we realize that there is a vast gap. First of all, a Chromebook may carry out all the essential tasks, but a laptop has the edge in speed, multi-purpose, storage, and graphics. In short, a laptop does much more than a Chromebook can. Professional students need to go for laptops because they carry out heavy tasks like animation, designing, gaming, media editing, etc. easily. Also, in-built storage is impressively better.

a laptop may carry out all the essential tasks
Image source: Microsoft

Laptops lack behind in one area, which is simplicity. Chromebooks are simple and easy. Even a novice user can do his work easily on them. But the laptops have complex problems like constant software updates, Windows OS, Setup, and boot time. Also, Windows may get corrupted if you don’t correctly use the laptop. Chromebooks removes the hassle of setup and crashing. They work like Android devices and just need to re-boot to fix the OS.

Limitations of Chromebooks, despite their performance, are an issue with the printing of documents via connected printers. Laptops do this task the same as a PC, but you might encounter some glitch or error with a Chromebook. Chromebooks have limited space, so data management becomes tough on cloud storage.

We recommend Chromebooks over Laptops because a new user is not familiar with all the complications of a Laptop computer. Laptops have several features. Thus there are too many things to protect and take care of. In contrast, Chromebooks wouldn’t take too much of your time and internet data. Laptops need constant updating in their OS, security patches, apps, and extensions. But with a Chromebook, immense maintenance is not required. Google has provided in-built security features and also protects their OS via secure servers.

Verdict:

The deciding factor here is your choice and requirement. One thing you can do is to have a Chrome OS experience to know how it feels. You can either acquire a Chromebook or use Google Chrome and its extensions and Google apps only on your current device.

There are various courses available, and each syllabus requires a particular set of skills. So your course choice decides the gadget you’ll need. For example, if you’re a gamer, you can go for a laptop like Asus Rog, or if a designer you can go for the Macbook Air and so on. Laptops have better performance and several uses. But generally, the Chromebooks are appropriate for homework and assignments. So a student looking to save money and for a convenient experience should choose Chromebooks.

We hope that you like our insight into the comparison between both variants of a notebook. We have done detailed research and provided you with one of the best user guides. You can refer to it and purchase an excellent device for your student life. Here are some of the recommendations in both segments. It is noteworthy that they include factors like price-range, performance, and longevity.

Laptops 

  • Lenovo Thinkpad E14.
  • Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3i.
  • Asus ZenBook UX430UAGV573T.

Chromebooks

  • Google Pixel.
  • Toshiba Chromebook.
  • Acer Chromebook Spin.

These are some of the mid to higher-end options. You can still opt for various products available in the market according to your choice.

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