Laptop vs Chromebook: How to Buy Your Next PC

edited March 18 in Acer Corner

When it comes time to decide on buying a new computer, you’ll more than likely conclude that if you want to be mobile with your PC, you’ll need to decide whether you want a laptop or a Chromebook. 

Choosing between a Chromebook or laptop is no small task. You’ll need to determine your budget, consider how you typically use your computer, and decide which operating system you want to use. Most importantly, you’ll need to decide if you want a computer with all the bells and whistles or one that may lack some power but gives you a bit more cloud-based flexibility. 

Luckily, the risks in choosing a Chromebook or a laptop over the other are low. Acer has for years been producing outstanding laptop and Chromebook options, and regardless of which computer you go with, you’ll find your productivity and overall ability to do the things you love are far from hindered. 

What is the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop? 

When Chromebooks launched in 2011, some industry analysts said they lacked the power and functionality laptops have long offered to consumers. But as time has gone on, Chromebooks have quickly become ideal choices for children, students, professionals, and anyone else who wants a simple and reliable computing experience. 

Arguably the biggest difference between laptops and Chromebooks centers on their operating systems. Most laptops sold around the world run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system or Apple’s macOS. But Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS, a cloud-first operating system that may feel to some like a lightweight alternative to Windows.  

That said, plenty can be done on the Web nowadays. And many Chrome OS users find that their Chromebooks do a fine job of keeping them productive and working while they predominantly rely on Web applications to get work done. 

If you prefer to use Microsoft’s Office suite, you’ll find all of your favorites, including Word and Excel, available for use in the cloud on Office.com. Google’s alternative suite of products that includes Google Docs and Google Sheets is also available to Chrome OS users. 

On the hardware side, both Chromebooks and laptops come with compelling designs. Chromebooks are generally cheaper than laptops because they don’t necessarily need all the power you’d want in a gaming laptop, for instance. But since they’re optimized for use in the cloud, Chromebooks are often more than powerful enough for anything you’d want to do with them. 

Ultimately, buying a laptop or Chromebook is a personal choice based on how you plan to use your computer. But in today’s marketplace, both options do a great job of helping you stay productive. 

How to buy a laptop 

If you’ve decided you’d rather buy a laptop, you’ll want to consider a few things to help you find the right option. 

Firstly, consider your budget. Laptops come in a range of prices based on their components, size, designs, and other features. Next, you’ll want to think about how you plan to use your computer. Will it be primarily a work machine or do you want to use it for gaming? Depending on your answer, you should be able to narrow down your search for the right computer. 

As you consider laptops, you’ll also want to consider the features you want. Do you want a big screen or would a smaller option suffice? Do you prefer a convertible laptop or would a standard clamshell laptop be better for you? If you’re someone who takes a lot of photos or videos, opting for a laptop with more storage would be best. And as Windows 11 becomes the standard, you may want to opt for a machine running Microsoft’s latest operating system.  

Most of all, keep in mind that you’ll likely have your laptop for years. So make sure you choose one with a design you like and is future-proofed enough to ensure you have a trusted machine for years to come. 

How to buy a Chromebook 

In many ways, if you’ve decided a Chromebook is the best option for you, choosing which Chromebook to buy is very similar to deciding on your desired laptop. 

Once again, the first place to start with buying a Chromebook is budget. If you know how much you want to spend on a Chromebook, you can easily narrow down your choices and find the slate of options that would work best for you. Since all Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, you needn’t worry about operating system choices, but even though Chrome OS is a cloud-first operating system, if you’re someone who needs more storage, be sure to go with a Chromebook with a larger solid-state drive. 

Design also matters here, so be sure to find a Chromebook that has a compelling design and the monitor size you want. Also be sure to opt for a reliable brand like Acer — there’s simply no substitute for a PC maker you know you can trust. 

Laptop vs Chromebook: Final considerations  

Navigating the world of finding the right laptop or Chromebook to buy is fraught with potential issues. You need to first understand the key differences between the technologies and only then decide what features you really want in your next computer. 

But regardless of whether you choose a laptop or Chromebook, determining how you want to use your next computer will help you make a better decision about the machine you ultimately buy. That's why Acer offers so many different computer options and features. In a world where needs are always changing and certain features are more desirable to some shoppers instead of others, having the best options is important. And Acer delivers on that.

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