What is a Chromebook and how does it differ from a laptop? – ABOUT MAG 2020

If you’re looking for a new computer, a Chromebook is an option for traditional PCs and Macs. They look like laptops from the outside, but after you log in, it’s a totally different experience.

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are laptops that run Google’s Chrome OS instead of the usual Windows or macOS, and Chrome OS is simply an extension of the Google Chrome browser. So, in summary, it is basically a laptop that runs the Google Chrome browser.

Using Chromebooks

Since Chrome OS is running, you will not be able to install Windows or Mac applications on it. However, you can install Chrome extensions or Android apps (yes, it comes with the Play Store app) to extend its functionality. Most newer Chromebooks also support Linux apps, so that they work like your traditional laptop.

Chromebooks are cheaper than traditional laptops. Since Chromebooks rely primarily on cloud storage, they don’t require large hard drives. The fast-loading operating system does not require state-of-the-art components to function efficiently. These two features keep prices low and performance high.

General Specifications

Chromebooks are generally slightly smaller than traditional laptops. The available screen sizes are 12.3 inches, the majority being 11.6 inches. There are some Chromebook manufacturers whose machines are 14 or 15 inches, but are in the minority.

4 GB RAM is standard for these devices. Some models have 8 GB and up to 16 GB, but unless you do a considerable amount of multitasking, 4 GB of RAM is sufficient.

Most screens are 1366 × 768, the best for reading and writing. If you want a screen with sharper images, videos and graphics, you can get a full HD display (1920 × 1080).


Chromebooks don’t have a lot of storage space on board; that’s why they can stay cheap. In most models, there is 32 GB of storage, but some have storage of 64 GB or more, up to 512 GB. Instead of paying more for extra storage, you can easily expand your Chromebook’s storage with an SD card or separate external hard drive.

You also get 100 GB of Google Drive storage for free for the first year after purchasing a Chromebook. It reverts to the standard 15 GB after the year is over, so there’s a Plan B if you use a lot of storage space.

Chromebook security

Chromebook security

Chromebooks have superior security features, including something called sandboxing. Where you have all your processes sharing resources on a regular laptop, on a Chromebook, each application and browser tab has its own resource pool. Therefore, if malware or other threats manage to get through security, it will be trapped in this “sandbox” and will not be able to spread to other parts of the computer. When you close the application, the data is deleted and the threat disappears.

What you can do on a Chromebook

With the recent explosion of web-based applications and the arrival of Chromebook apps and Android apps, there’s very little you can’t do with a Chromebook. For example, while you cannot install and run the desktop version of Microsoft Office on a Chromebook, you can use Google Office Suites, Microsoft Office Online, or install the Android version of Microsoft Office. Those with support for Linux applications can even install a Microsoft Office Alternative, like LibreOffice.

The Chromebook also doesn’t rely entirely on the Internet connection. There are more than 200 Chrome apps that you can access offline, and many of the Android apps also work without an Internet connection. Offline applications automatically save your work and update it in the cloud the next time the machine connects to the Internet.

Why should you try one?

Chromebooks options

Why should you take a chance and try a Chromebook if you’ve always used a traditional laptop?

  • Chromebooks have excellent battery life On average, they last more than nine hours on a single charge.
  • The startup time takes just about five to fifteen seconds.
  • Chromebooks are durable. They can survive falls that other computers may not, and some are even waterproof.
  • The price of the Chromebook is correct. You can get a reliable entry-level Chromebook for around $ 200. In the end, you can buy one of the best Chromebooks for around $ 500.
  • Your job is safe. If your Chromebook dies, you can access all your apps, settings and documents in a new one just by signing in. There is no waste of time downloading and reinstalling everything from your old device.
  • Updating is easy. The operating system is updated whenever you boot and run in the background. Chromebooks don’t hold the computer hostage like many traditional laptops when installing updates.

Who are Chromebooks not suitable for?

Disadvantages of Chromebooks

You will want to use a traditional laptop if you work on Windows or Mac software that does not have an online version or alternative, or if you are a serious player. However, players, be aware that Google’s new gaming platform, Stadia Streaming Game Service, will be released in 2019 and claims to be able to stream AAA games like Assassin’s Creed and Doom to Chromebooks. In addition, there are also many games for the Chromebook that you can play.

If you use your laptop primarily for web browsing, email, Netflix calls, online apps and YouTube videos, a Chromebook might be right for you. They don’t cost as much as a traditional laptop, they are portable and these machines are super fast to start up and run smoothly.

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Paula Fonseca