What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop?

Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop – Overview

What is the difference between a Chromebook and a Laptop? With the same build and design elements, both these portable PCs are intended to be used at your comfort.

This might put you in jeopardy where you might be thinking of their similarities and differences.

Chromebooks are all Google and very different from regular laptops. Chromebooks are a whole new breed of faster and budget friendly laptops.

They have a lighter operating system, running on the Chrome web browser. Laptops, on the other hand, are controlled by operating systems such as Windows or Mac OS.

What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop? - Definitions!
What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop? – An Overview

What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop? – An Overview

Before jumping further, let’s have a basic understanding of a Chromebook and a Laptop.

What is Chromebook?

Talking about the Chromebook, they are entirely different OS altogether, designed to be used with an Internet connection.

Chrome serves basic purposes and is extremely lightweight like ultrabooks. It doesn’t require a lot of RAM and heavy processing power.

Instead, they rely on Google apps and cloud services to function.

Simply put, Chromebook is an affordable laptop that is popular in education circles due to its ease of use and streamlined design.

The Chrome OS mimics a Windows laptop and has everything from photos to music, maps, and office, giving Google, Gmail, and Docs the best.

The best part is that the Chromebooks get automatically updated where you need not worry about downloads and manual updates.

What is Laptop?

The laptop is a portable personal computer, having all the abilities of a full-sized desktop computer. It is powered by a battery with a track-pad, on-screen keyboard, and a trackball, technically a mouse.

It runs on Windows OS and Mac OS, equipped with all the functionalities, software, and applications. In addition, they have the heavy processing power and RAM to handle tasks effortlessly.

Similarities Between Laptops and Chromebooks

There are several areas where Laptops and Chromebooks score roughly equal. These are:

  • Battery Life

Both Laptops and Chromebooks have extended periods of battery time. Laptops have larger batteries, and Chromebooks, due to their simplified operating system doesn’t drain quickly.

  • Portability

Chromebooks are light and thin, making them ultra-portable. Laptops come in different weights and sizes, where most models are Chromebook-sized.

  • Durability

Laptops have sturdy frames and keyboards, and Chromebooks, due to their fewer moving parts, make them a good choice for durability.

What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop? - Choose the Best Option!
What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop? – Everything you Need to Know

6 Main Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop

So, if you have wondered about the difference and want to choose the better options, look at the following points and consider your options wisely as per your requirement.

1. Operating System

The major difference is OS! Laptops run on Mac OS or Microsoft Windows, a full-fledged system designed for all kinds of stuff.

Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS, the stripped version of Chrome web browser.

2. Cloud

Chrome Operating System is cloud-based and is a Chrome web browser with added functionalities. For example, it relies on Google’s Gmail, Docs, Maps, Drive, etc., and does not require heavy processing power.

On the other hand, laptops require a lot of RAM to function and have disk drives and solid-state drives.

3. Storage

Specifications don’t matter much in Chromebooks as they are designed primarily for online use.

It doesn’t require a disk drive as everything is stored in the cloud, and folders, as well as files, are stored on Google drive. When necessary, it augments storage with USB or SD cards.

Laptops require disk drives or high-performance SSDs for storage.

4. Microsoft Office

Chrome OS relies on web apps and doesn’t allow to download applications. Thus, it is not possible to install the Microsoft Office suite on a Chromebook.

Instead, Microsoft’s own cloud-based PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, Excel, etc., can be used on a Chromebook. Also, Chrome’s native Google sheets and docs are the better alternatives for Excel and Word.

5. Speed and Access

Chromebooks take a minimum period and load faster. Also, they cannot be hooked up to a printer via a Wi-Fi network or USB port. Instead, they work with Google Cloud Print-ready printers.

Laptops can be accessed directly; however, they are comparatively slower than Chromebooks.

6. PC Games

It is not possible on Chromebooks to run your favorite PC games, whereas laptops handle games quite well.

What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop? - Have A Look!
What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop? – Learn More!


While both laptops and Chromebooks look similar, when looking for what is the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop, the major difference is the operating system.

Laptops run on the popular operating system Windows, and Chromebooks run on web-based Chrome OS. Since Chromebooks only run online, it is not for everyone.

However, they are easier to set up and operate. Thus, they are a good fit for education. In addition, laptops are more productive for business, offering advanced software programs.

See Also

Best Video Editors for Chromebook

Acer vs HP Chromebook

Best Touchscreen Chromebook