If you’re shopping for a new laptop-type device and trying to decide between a traditional laptop and a Chromebook laptop , you’re not alone. Many people have doubts.
To help you, here is a short list of the relative advantages of each device. When is a laptop the best option? When is a Chromebook better?
There really isn’t a “right” answer, as both standard laptops and Chromebooks have a lot of similarities. But for certain users and certain needs, one type of device may be the best option. To learn more about the basic differences between laptops and Chromebooks, visit “Chromebook vs. Laptop: Which is Right for Me?”)
Advantages of a Chromebook
Compared to a traditional laptop, a Chromebook has these advantages:
- Lower pricesWith “lighter” features like limited internal storage and the minimalist Chrome OS, Chromebooks are cheaper than regular laptops. Chromebooks range from $150 to $300, with higher-end models going for $500 or more. Laptops start at around $400, but at that price, as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. (Check out our trusted guide: How to Buy the Best Laptop Under $500.)
- Faster boot timesChromebooks boot up faster than other PC systems (in as little as 10 seconds). This is thanks to its solid -state storage drives and the Chrome OS operating system, which is designed to activate a minimal set of features – little more than the Chrome browser – when you first turn it on.
- Simplicity and ease of useA Chromebook can be a great option if you’re a less tech-savvy user, or if you’ve ever felt frustrated using a standard laptop operating system. The streamlined Chrome OS is easy to learn and navigate, and most tasks are launched directly from the Chrome browser.
- Thin, light and portableChromebooks are generally thinner and lighter than standard laptops because they exclusively use solid-state storage and skip big, heavy add-ons like DVD drives, etc. But read the specs. Many of the newer laptop designs compare favorably to Chromebooks in terms of portability.
- disconnected lifestyleThere’s nothing like a Chromebook to embrace an unplugged lifestyle: extra long battery life, saving files to the cloud instead of the hard drive, streaming music instead of downloading it, etc.
Advantages of a traditional laptop
Compared to a Chromebook, a standard laptop has these advantages:
- Flexibility and customization:A laptop with a full PC OS, optical drive, and multiple slots and ports will always be more flexible than a Chromebook, which has a relatively limited user interface, fewer port options, and relies more on remote apps and services.
- advanced softwareJust about any software program—from photo-editing tools and PC games to spreadsheets and word processors—can run on a laptop. The same cannot be said for Chromebooks, as not all software companies have developed apps compatible with Chrome. For now, if you’re looking for an advanced gaming box or a powerful multimedia ultraportable, a traditional laptop is best.
- Processor speedLaptop processors typically have faster clock speeds than Chromebook CPUs. Even the smallest laptop models have chassis designs that can hold (and cool) the latest processors, extra RAM, and more. Chromebooks aren’t slow by any means, but a standard laptop will probably have more raw computing power.
- business focusMost analysts give business laptops an edge over Chromebooks, especially when equipped with multicore, multithreaded CPUs that allow for extensive multitasking. So-called “road warriors” might opt for a Chromebook, but business travelers have long valued Lenovo ThinkPad X-series laptops .
- Operation without Wi-Fi or InternetOn a laptop, you can still be productive (at least for a while) with poor Wi-Fi or even no Internet. In contrast, the “connected for everything” nature of a Chromebook can make it difficult to perform tasks in offline mode (that is, without Internet access).
Ready to buy? Lenovo has a wide selection of highly portable Chromebook laptops and powerful standard laptops . There is sure to be a perfect Lenovo system for your needs.