Chromebook vs Laptop: Which Should You Buy? Pros & Cons

Are you confused between a Chromebook and a laptop? Then you have come to the right page.

In this article, we will see the major differences between a Chromebook and a laptop so that you can choose the right device for your job.

Most people don’t know the difference between a laptop and a Chromebook, and sometimes they end up mistakenly purchasing a Chromebook when they need a laptop.

This detailed Chromebook vs Laptop article will help you understand the reasons to buy a laptop or a Chromebook.

Without further ado, let’s get started and look at the differences between a Chromebook and a laptop.

Chromebook vs Laptop: Difference

Chromebooks and laptops are both portable computers, but they differ from each other in several ways.

Operating System

One of the primary differences between Chromebooks and laptops is the operating system they use.

Chromebooks run on the Google Chrome OS, which is a lightweight operating system that is optimized for web-based applications. Applications can run smoothly even on low-performance processors.

Laptops, on the other hand, typically run on the Windows or macOS operating systems, which are typically heavy and require high-performance processors to run applications.


Since Chromebooks are designed for web-based applications, they allow for running limited software on them. They do not allow running popular desktop software like Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite.

Instead, Chromebooks use web apps and cloud-based services for productivity tasks.

On the other hand, laptops run all types of software that comes with Microsoft Windows operating system.


Chromebooks typically come with lower-end hardware, which is sufficient for web-based applications.

In contrast, laptops are equipped with more powerful hardware, such as high-performance processors, dedicated graphics cards, and more.


Chromebooks come with limited storage capacity, usually offering around 32GB to 64GB storage depending on the price range.

While laptops come with larger storage capacity such as 256GB, 500GB, 1TB, etc.


Chromebooks require internet connectivity to run web-based applications. 

In contrast, laptops can be used both online and offline, and offer more connectivity options, including USB ports, HDMI ports, and memory card slots.


Chromebooks are generally less expensive than laptops. 

They are designed to be affordable, with most models priced under $200-$250. 

Laptops can range in price from $500 to $2000 or more.

These are the major differences between Chromebooks and laptops that make them different from each other.

So, if you’re deciding to purchase a new laptop, then don’t go with a Chromebook just because they look similar. It’s essential to check the specifications and decide which one suits your needs better.

Also Check This: Budget-Friendly Laptop Deals for College Students Under $500

Chromebook vs Laptop: Pros and Cons

Chromebook vs Laptop Pros and Cons
Chromebook vs Laptop Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons of Chromebooks and laptops:

Pros and Cons of Chromebooks:

Pros of Chromebook

  • More affordable than laptops, making them a great option for those who have tight budget.
  • Lightweight and portable, making them easy to carry with backpack.
  • Fast Boot Time
  • Automatic Updates for operating system
  • Good for online classes

Cons of Chromebook

  • Not be compatible with popular desktop software like MS Word
  • Limited storage capacity
  • Dependence on Internet Connectivity

Pros and Cons of Laptops:

Pros of Laptop

  • Powerful Hardware, and best for heavy-duty tasks like video editing and gaming.
  • Larger storage capacity options
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Allows to run all desktop software
  • Best for office, college, web developer, video editing work.

Cons of Laptop

  • More expensive than Chromebooks
  • Heavier and bulkier than Chromebooks
  • Longer boot time than Chromebooks

Chromebook vs Laptop Price Difference

Chromebook vs Laptop Price Difference
Chromebook vs Laptop Price Difference

We have already seen that Chromebooks have less functionality than laptops in terms of software, hardware, connectivity, and storage.

Because of these differences, Chromebooks are generally less expensive than laptops.

If you’re a school student and need a laptop only for online classes, then a Chromebook may fit your budget. You can purchase a new Chromebook for under $200.

But, if you also want to play games, watch movies, or work on MS Word, then you have to spend a little bit more than $200.

At this price segment, you can’t purchase a new laptop. You have to spend at least $500 or more.

So, the price differences between Chromebooks and laptops may vary depending on your requirements and needs.

What is better a Chromebook or a Laptop?

It’s the same question as asking if you like chicken or tandoori chicken. It’s funny!

Well, whether one is better than the other depends on your personal needs.

Both Chromebooks and laptops are good, but their usefulness can vary depending on your purposes.

For example, if you only need to browse the web and don’t need to do heavy work, then a Chromebook is the best option.

On the other hand, if you need to do heavy work such as video editing, playing PUBG games, and so on, then a laptop is better than a Chromebook.

So, to decide which is better, you need to first determine your needs and requirements.

Also Check This: Best Budget-Friendly Deal on HP Pavilion Laptop i5 gaming laptop

Can a Chromebook do everything a laptop can?

Can you do all the work that Robert can do? Definitely not!

Similarly, a Chromebook cannot do everything that a laptop can.

Chromebooks are optimized for web-based applications and rely heavily on internet connectivity.

They have limited storage and are unable to run desktop applications like MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, and many PC games.

However, Chromebooks are ideal for basic work like web browsing, email, and online document editing.

They are lightweight, affordable, and have a longer battery life than most laptops.

Ultimately, whether a Chromebook can do everything for you depends on your specific needs and usage.

If your primary work involves only web browsing and email replies, then a Chromebook can do everything you need.

However, if you need to run heavy software or play PC games, a laptop may be a better option than a Chromebook.

Can I use Word on a Chromebook?

Yes, you can use Microsoft Word on a Chromebook. There are several methods to do this:

  1. Microsoft Office Online: You can access the online version of Microsoft Word through the Microsoft Office website. All you need is a Microsoft account and an internet connection to use Word Online.
  2. Android App: You can download and install the Microsoft Word Android app from the Google Play Store. This allows you to use the full version of Microsoft Word on your Chromebook.
  3. Linux App: You can also install Microsoft Word through Linux on your Chromebook. This requires a bit more technical knowledge, but it allows you to use the full desktop version of Microsoft Word.

Can I Install Windows on Chromebook?

Installing Windows on Chromebook devices is possible, but it is not an easy process. Chromebooks are not designed to run Windows operating system, so it can be a complicated task. If you really want to install Windows on a Chromebook, it can be done with the help of Linux.

However, we recommend using a Windows laptop instead of a Chromebook if you need to run Windows-specific software.

If you already have a Chromebook and want to convert it into a Windows laptop, you can follow a step-by-step process provided in a useful link.

Does Chromebook have Excel?

Chromebooks don’t come with pre-installed Excel, nor can you install MS Excel on them.

If you want to use Excel on a Chromebook device, you can use the Microsoft Office web app or Google Sheets web app.

Additionally, you can download Microsoft Office from the Google Play Store on some newer Chromebooks if they support APK files.

Chromebook vs Laptop – Which Should You Buy?

Now the question is, which device should you buy if you have to choose between a Chromebook and a laptop?

Well, before making a purchase, you need to determine whether you need a Chromebook or a laptop, depending on your needs and requirements.

Here are a few factors that you should consider before making a buying decision:

Know your intent: If you need a device for web browsing, email, basic tasks in Word, and watching online movies (Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, Hulu, etc.), then a Chromebook is sufficient for your needs.

However, if you require running heavy software for your work such as video editing, VS Code editor, then a laptop may be a better option.

Budget: I think it is an important factor to decide whether you have to purchase a Chromebook or a laptop.

As I mentioned above, if your requirements are not more than basic functionality, then a Chromebook is a better option because it comes with lower-end hardware and limited functionality.

If budget is a concern and you only require basic functionality, then a Chromebook may be the better choice.

However, if you require more powerful hardware and advanced features, then a laptop may be necessary.

If you’re a student, then I highly recommend purchasing a Chromebook; otherwise, go with a laptop.

What is the best Chromebook?

If you decide to purchase a Chromebook, then choose the best Chromebook as per my recommendations. I have included a few top-selling Chromebooks that will help you choose the best Chromebook for your personal use, especially if you are a student.

For mixed use

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i


This is one of my favorite Chromebooks ever. I love its design and appearance, along with its 2-in-1 features. I highly recommend this Chromebook to most users, especially those who want to do all their work on it. It comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and Chrome OS.
You can watch and stream shows and videos on the 13-inch full HD IPS display without experiencing any eye strain. It is great for browsing online, listening to music, streaming movies, or video chatting with friends and family. You can also play Roblox and other Android apps without any lagging. Its decent specs are suitable for everyday use.

Final Conclusion on Chromebook vs Laptop

I hope the detailed article on Chromebook vs Laptop helped you understand the difference between a laptop and a Chromebook.

It should have also helped you decide whether to buy a Chromebook or a laptop.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and family so that they too can make an informed decision.

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