What is a Chromebook and what’s the main difference to a regular Notebook or Tablet?

At some point, you have probably heard the term “Chromebook” and did not know what exactly it is. A paper note pad? Or at the latest when you were looking for a new computer or laptop, you definitely came across a Chromebook from manufacturers like Acer or hp. But what exactly is a Chromebook and what is the difference to a regular laptop with Windows or macOS, or a tablet with Android or iPadOS? In the following, you will find a summary of the most significant differences and features of Chrome OS and Chromebook.

What is Chrome OS, the Chromebook operating system?

And again a new term, Chrome OS, although you only wanted to know what a Chromebook is. For a short explanation: if you buy an Apple MacBook, i.e. a laptop from Apple, the operating system Mac or Macintosh is on it. If you buy a Chromebook, you will find the operating system Chrome OS on it. This is not an app like Facebook which should be deleted from a new smartphone as soon as possible, but the complete software which runs on the device. You can currently buy a laptop from for example hp with either the operating system Windows 10 or Chrome OS.

The advantages of Chrome OS

In the article description of the Chromebook I have bought, an Acer Spin 311, the following advantages of Chrome OS were mentioned:

  • faster startup times
  • a user-friendly interface
  • integrated malware protection
  • Access to millions of Android apps on Google Play and much more

Here one has to keep in mind that “Chrome” (i.e. the internet browser as well as the operating system) belongs to Google, i.e. to the big Alphabet Inc. company. According to this, Google’s programs and “apps” are already installed on a Chromebook – Docs or tables for data processing and input, Google Notes, the internet browser Google Chrome, Google Drive for digital storage of any kind of data and more. Besides these standard programs, you can also install countless apps on your Chromebook laptop via Google’s own Play Store (as already known from Android smartphones).  So it’s quite similar to the numerous apps you can install on a Tablet.

Google Chromebook: Storage space and price

Chromebooks are quite simple and straightforward in their general handling and are aimed at “occasional” users. Or also to “heavy basic users”, if you only watch YouTube videos and want to write a text document now and then or send an email via Gmail. Thus most Chromebooks are, based on their technical characteristics, rather on a basic level. The capacities of both data memory, as well as memory or processor for the processing of all processes, are sufficient for the “simple” tasks described above, if you want to edit images or even cut a podcast or videos, most “cheap” Chromebooks are usually not sufficient. However, there are also higher priced Chromebooks from various manufacturers with “better” technical features for more professional tasks. For example, if you want to buy a Chromebook for homeschooling, cheap models are considered sufficient. Creating presentations, writing essays, following a Livestream, all this is definitely possible. And depending on current special offers, Chromebooks are often available from 200 euros upwards. I bought mine on Prime Day for about 240 Euros, for an 11-inch device with 64 GB memory and 4 GB RAM; more expensive (and better technical features) is always possible.


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