These days, there’s so much choice in the computing world that it can become an extremely challenging task to pick the right solution for your own personal needs. Brand, size, cost, style, features; all of these factors are weighing in on the final decision for many consumers on what they should pick when it comes down to choosing a laptop that might be the best fit for their needs. If all of that wasn’t enough there’s also the matter of choosing the operating system that will work best with what you want out of the experience. More and more, Chrome OS has become an increasingly popular choice when picking out a laptop, and while Chromebooks have been around for quite a few years now at this point, they weren’t always this popular. In fact it took them a couple of years to really start carving out a portion of the market. There are more than a few reasons why you’d want to choose a Chromebook over a Windows 10 laptop, though of course, what you need or want to do with your laptop will play a big role in what really suits you best, but if you’re needs are fairly standard, chances are a Chromebook might be the better option, and once you have that out of the way, all you have to worry about at that point is which Chromebook works best for your needs.
First, let’s start with one of the most obvious reasons why you should opt for a Chromebook over a Windows 10 laptop – battery life. While there are some laptops out there which sport a large battery capacity with a decent battery life, it’s not often that you’ll find one which lasts longer than most of the current crop of Chromebooks that are out on the market. Many of today’s available Chromebooks are coming with at least 9 to 10 hours of battery life. Some come with 13 or 14 hours of battery life. The point is, you can use your Chromebook all day on a single charge and not have to worry about taking the charger with you. With that said, everyone uses their laptops differently, so there may be some instances where bringing the charger along once in a while might be a smart solution, and this will depend on how long you plan to be away from home. For example, if you’ll be out beyond the amount of time that the battery tends to last, then packing the charger before heading out is a good idea just in case you need it.
There’s no doubting that there are plenty of portable laptops out there, but many of the Windows 10 laptops out there which come with a small footprint in the weight department can cost quite a bit, as cheaper laptops tend to be thicker with an overall bulkier build quality to them. Not all Chromebooks are super thin, but most of them are thin enough and thinner than many of the other laptop options out there, while also coming in at a lighter weight. If you’re worried about weight and size, there’s always the 11-inch screen options for Chromebooks which can weigh anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. This makes them perfect for students or those who carry their laptop with them on a work commute every day. Even if you don’t bring your laptop with you every day, Chromebooks are still wonderful options for travel. Thanks to their smaller sizes and lighter weight they’re a great option for bringing on the plane and easy to pack into a backpack or other small carry on bag. Naturally, portability isn’t going to matter to all consumers, especially those who don’t really have a need to use their computers that often while away from home, but if you do have a need to bring your computer with you somewhere and often enough, it’s hard to pass up an inexpensive laptop option like a Chromebook which won’t weigh you down and still leave some room for other things in your bag.
Cost is always a factor for many consumers and while money is no object for some, as those types of consumers will be focusing more on the performance, style, and features of the laptop before anything else, quite a large portion of consumers will be looking to pick up the best laptop they can without spending a lot of money. This is what makes Chromebooks a really good option, as many of them come in at under $350, some even less than $250 and if you’re willing to shop around for a deal a little bit, you can find them for even less that that. When you consider the cost (or perhaps lack thereof depending on how you look at it) and then look at what you’re getting for that cost, it can start to make sense why a Chromebook might be the better option, as you’re usually getting some decent hardware for less than a few hundred dollars. While Chromebooks generally won’t be coming with more than 32GB of onboard storage, you do get a large amount of Google Drive storage with a Chromebook purchase, and most if not all Chromebooks will support expandable storage via SD cards, making it possible to get quite a bit more storage space than what’s built into the system hardware, and thus keeping the cost of the Chromebook as a point of good value.
Google Now/Google Assistant
To be clear, Google Assistant is not available on Chromebooks yet, but there have been hints that it’s coming and once it does launch for Chromebooks, it’s sure to be incredibly useful. That said, there is also no guarantee that it will work the exact same way as it does on the Pixel and Pixel XL, or with Google Home. Chromebooks do however have Google Now, and Google Now is as useful a tool as it gets. This in and of itself could be a main reason for some to choose a Chromebook over a Windows 10 laptop, as Google Now is highly personalized and the more that you use it over time, the more useful it gets as it’s continually learning about you so it can help you in more ways. If you’re already an Android device owner who uses Google Now quite often, then this is even more of a reason to consider a Chromebook as Google Now will already be pretty robust and personalized to your individual uses. While Cortana might technically be more useful than Google Now in its Chrome OS version, once Google Assistant comes to Chromebooks then things are bound to shift in the Chromebook’s direction a little more.
Not all Chromebooks support Android Apps yet and most of them still need to be in the beta channel to gain access to the Play Store, but this is a huge benefit over Windows 10 laptops. Many Android Apps on Chromebooks actually scale pretty well and it makes things easy for those who may need or want to interact with an app they have installed on their phone, but without having to actually pick up the phone. Best of all, Android Apps on Chromebooks work in a native way. For the person who tends to work and live off of their Android smartphone for most tasks, this is a main selling point as it can afford the ability to use all of those apps which have become a staple in everyday use, but with the benefit of a larger screen. And, while some Android apps on Chromebooks could be used with a keyboard and mouse, many Chromebooks also have touchscreens now making the use of those Android apps feel like as if they were being used on a smartphone or tablet. While it’s possible to use Android apps on Windows 10 laptops, the experience isn’t native and it’s certainly not as nice as the Chromebook experience.
Windows 10 laptops, and just Windows machines in general, have lots of keyboard shortcuts, but Chromebooks actually have quite a large list of keyboard shortcuts as well, and accessing them is pretty simple to do if you’re not familiar with what can be done. To bring them up, simply press the ctrl, Alt, and ? keys simultaneously and this will bring up an overlay of the keyboard on the screen with all of the possible keyboard shortcuts that you can access with a Chromebook, and once you get accustomed to using keyboard shortcuts you may not want to stop as it makes things so much easier and quicker too.
Because of the nature of Chromebooks running Chrome OS, Chromebooks are an extremely secure platform for laptops. Google dumps a lot of effort into the security of Chrome, and Chromebooks run Chrome OS, and, Chrome OS is essentially just a web browser operating system, so naturally you’d expect Google to apply the same level of security, and it does. Updates are automatic so you don’t have to worry at all about being on the latest version of the software with the most up to date fixes, and Chromebooks even come with verified boot and encryption. If security is a main concern for you, then a Chromebook is probably the better option. That said, this doesn’t mean Windows is a completely unsafe solution as it also has the ability to apply automatic updates, and you certainly have no shortage of anti-virus and anti-malware apps to install, but with a Chromebook, things like anti-virus app aren’t really needed. Of course, the Smart Lock feature shouldn’t be dismissed, as this is a great security feature of Chromebooks which works in tandem with Android devices, allowing you to unlock your Chromebook just by clicking on your login image. Of course to do this you need to have your phone and Chromebook paired for the first time, but from then on unlocking the device couldn’t be easier.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Windows laptop that boots quicker than a Chromebook. This doesn’t mean it’s an impossible task, but Chromebooks boot up so quickly because of the fact that they’re running Chrome OS which is an extremely lightweight operating system. For those that need to use their laptops on a daily basis and find it important to have a computer that powers up as fast as possible so they can get straight to using whatever it is they need, Chromebooks can provide the type of speed and fast bootup times that are desired. In addition to booting up extremely quick, Chromebooks operate rather fast too, and this is just one more reason why they’re an awesome option. No one wants their devices to run slowly, and the truth of it is that Windows laptop can have a tendency to run at a slower pace if you have too many things installed. Chromebooks may not come with the most powerful specs possible, but they also aren’t needed. So if speed is a crucial factor for you, then consider choosing a Chromebook.
There are lots of reasons to choose Chromebooks over Windows laptops, and there are lots of reasons to go with Windows instead. For the most part though, Chromebooks are every bit as capable of doing what a Windows laptop would do, plus it even has a feature or two that aren’t available on a Windows machine. Android apps being a big one. Chromebooks have come a long way since they launched years ago, and in their current state, they’re really at their best ever. If you’re a gamer, then a Chromebook may not be the best option, as you won’t get the best gaming performance and you generally won’t have access to the same types of games. Then again, if your favorite games come from places like Blizzard or Steam, you could simply install the LiquidSky Android app now that the service supports Android, and this gives you access to games from Steam, Blizzard, and Origin, and all from the games in those clients that you have in your library, allowing you to stream them in the cloud and play them on a Chromebook. Whatever your needs for a laptop are, Chromebooks are likely to be able to fill that need. As stated above Chromebooks won’t be the best choice for everyone, but they can be a perfect solution for more than you may think, and they’re only improving over time as Google is putting lots of effort into making them a more capable solution for people’s computing needs. If you’re on the hunt for a new laptop, or your first laptop, consider a Chromebook.