Chromebooks have emerged as popular computing devices due to their affordable price, long battery life, ultra-portability and security.
Competing with Chromebooks are cheaper and budget priced Windows laptops, available in similar and higher price ranges.
Hence, the need for a Chromebook Vs Windows Laptop Comparison, to help you decide between the two.
Chromebook vs Windows Laptop
Chromebook vs Windows Laptop comparison as provided below is based from point of view of an average user, looking to buy a computer for general web browsing, playing games, watching videos and getting some work done.
As you must have noticed, popular Chromebooks from Samsung, Acer, ASUS, HP, Dell and others are all light weight and ultra-portable.
Chromebooks are basically designed to connect to Google Drive where all the processing and storage takes place. Hence, it is really easy to make Chromebooks light weight and portable.
Cheaper Windows based laptops are also light weight and match the portability of Chromebooks. You can now get Windows Laptops by Asus, Acer and HP weighing more or less the same as 11.6″ Samsung Chromebook.
However, the weight of a Windows Laptop starts to go up when you start looking for a traditional Windows Laptop with enough local storage for your files and more power to play games and run professional software programs.
Winner: Chromebooks, for ushering in a new generation of light weight cloud based computers.
Both Windows and Chrome OS have user friendly interface. There is nothing really much to choose between the two, for most users it will just be a matter of getting used to the interface.
Winner: This is a tie, no winners here.
Chromebooks offer native support to Google’s Chrome browser which is the most widely used web browser.
However, you need to be aware that with Chromebooks you are limited to Google’s Chrome browser. You won’t be able to download and use other web browsers to your computer.
In comparison, Windows based computers allow you to download and use Firefox, Safari, Chrome and other web browsers.
Winner: Clearly Windows Computers for offering the flexibility and choice of browsers.
Unlike traditional computers, Chromebooks offer limited space for local storage and cheaper models of Chromebooks usually come with 16, 32, 64 GB of SSD storage.
The basic idea behind Chromebooks is to store everything on Cloud. Hence, Google offers 100 GB of Free Cloud storage for 2 years to buyers of Chromebook of any brand.
You can also buy up to 1TB of space on Google Drive for $9.99 per month, in case 100 GB is not enough for you.
In comparison, traditional windows computers come with 250 to 500 GB of local storage, which allows users to download and store File on the Local Hard Drive.
Winner: Windows Computer, for being flexible, offering both Cloud and local storage options. In addition to local storage, you can also make use of 32 GB Cloud storage that Microsoft offers for free.
A major adavantage of Chromebooks is that you do not have to worry about buying productivity and antivirus software programs.
Google takes care of securing and protecting Chromebook and offers Document Editing, Spreadsheet and others Microsoft Office like software programs for free.
Once you buy a Chromebook, you can start browsing the internet and working on your Documents and spreadsheets right away, without spending anything.
In case of Windows computer, you will be spending money to buy, upgrade and renew Microsoft Office and Antivirus software programs.
Winner: Chromebooks for being virtually maintenance free.
In general, users are familair with and trust Microsoft Office, when it comes to work and getting things done.
Microsoft’s Office includes popular programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint which most users trust and have grown up with.
In the case of Chromebooks, you will be using Google Docs and Google Sheets which can also get your work done. However, these applications are not yet comparable to Microsoft Office.
Winner: Windows Computers.
Professional and Business Use
Professional software programs like AutoCAD, Primavera, Timberline and Accounting software programs are designed to work on Windows computers.
These and other popular professional software programmes do not work on Chromebooks.
Winner: Window based Computers.
Printing and Scanning
Chromebooks cannot be connected to a printer, you will be relaying on Google’s Cloud Print technology to print your files and documents from a Chromebook.
Windows computers can be directly connected to printers and scanners. You will be able to print directly from your computer to a connected printer, without your documents going via the Cloud.
Winner: Windows Computers for offering the flexibility to print directly to a connected computer and also via the internet.
You can do decent photo editing on Chromebooks using programs like Pixlr, online version of Photoshop Express Editor and others.
However, you won’t be able to use Adobe Photoshop, the most popular and professional photo editing software.
Google and Adobe have partnered on making an online version of Photoshop available for Chromebooks.
Until that happens, you will be going to a Windows computer for all your professional Photo Editing needs.
Winner: Not declaring a winner in this category, since regular computer users will be happy with programs like Pixlr and Photoshop Express (online).
On Chromebooks you can edit videos using apps like Magisto and WeVideo.
These apps allow basic image editing capabilities like cutting clips, editing color, sound settings, adding text, adding music or voiceover, and transitions. This should be good enough for most users.
However, these programs cannot match video editing software programs like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas or Final Cut.
Winner: We are declaring no winner in this category, considering that an average user is not likely to be worried about lack of professional video editing features in Chromebooks.
Those who are seriously into photo and video editing clearly need to go for a mid range Windows computer.
According to Google, there is really no need to install any security or antivirus software program on a Chromebook.
Google takes care of protecting Chromebooks from viruses and other online threats, and promotes this as a selling feature of Chromebooks.
Chromebooks automatically check for and apply security updates as soon as they are available, ensuring that you are always protected from the latest online threats and viruses.
Mircrosoft too provides its online protection software ‘Microsoft Defender‘ for free and updates it regularly.
However, most users still prefer to go for additional protection by installing third-party Antivirus software programs on their computers.
Cheaper Windows computers that are trying to match Chromebook prices do not offer the functionality of a fully fledged Windows computer that you might be looking for.
Go for a Chromebook, if you are looking for a fast but inexpensive computer to browse the web, play movies and get some work done.
You can take a look at best selling Chromebooks at Amazon
Go for a budget priced Windows computer, if you use Microsoft Office and want a computer for both work and play.