Computer ownership in the US is among the highest worldwide, with 92 percent of American households having a computer of some type.
Laptops are particularly popular among computer users, thanks to their portability and other impressive features. In fact, laptops have consistently outsold desktops since 2008.
The outstanding growth of the laptop market has led to the availability of endless options for laptop shoppers, with the Chromebook and MacBook leading the way. Indeed the Chromebook vs MacBook conversation is one of the hottest in today’s laptop universe.
To help you make an informed decision as to which of the two you should buy, we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide. Read on to learn more.
What Is a Chromebook?
The Chromebook refers to a type of computer that runs on Google’s Chrome operating system. This computer is a relatively new entry into the market, having been around for just a decade or so.
While the Chromebook’s hardware looks like any other laptop, Chrome OS offers a unique experience from what you may experience using another type of OS, such as Windows.
The Chromebook is designed to get tasks done quickly and easily. Users also enjoy robust security and Google’s best built-in features.
Of course, the Chromebook does encounter certain glitches like any other laptop out there. For instance, users have reported seeing a black screen from time to time. Thankfully, information on what to do is easily available online.
What Is a MacBook?
The MacBook refers to a line of Mac computers from Apple. It’s one of the most sought-after computers globally, with over 100 million active users as of 2021.
Generally, there are three laptop variations in the MacBook line:
- The original MacBook
- The MacBook Pro
- The MacBook Air
The MacBook lineup was born out of the merging of the iBook and PowerBook lines around 2006. The laptop marked the transition of Apple to Intel from PowerPC processors.
Chromebook vs MacBook: The Differences
The Chromebook and MacBook maybe two of the world’s hottest laptops, but that’s just about all they have in common. Everything else about the two is mostly divergent. Let’s examine the four main areas the two laptops differ in.
Design and Portability
The MacBook’s superiority when it comes to design and portability is unquestionable. There’s hardly a laptop in the market that can compete, including the Chromebook. The Mac’s hardware is not only sleek to look at but also incredibly portable.
Sure, there are high-end Chromebooks with a beautiful and functional design. But most Chromebooks are generally utilitarian. Compared to Macs, Chromebooks are typically thicker and heavier. The bezels are chunkier and the battery lives shorter.
The portability of Chromebooks largely depends on internet access, given that these laptops are majorly cloud-based. Sure, having your files in the cloud is hugely convenient, but what happens when you don’t have internet access and need to access your files in the cloud? That can inconvenience you, particularly if the files you need aren’t synced to your hard drive.
Macs don’t depend on internet access. That makes them highly portable and convenient.
Performance and Productivity
Laptop performance can vary significantly based on the type you’re looking at. A high-end laptop or Chromebook will typically perform better than a low-end alternative meant to simply replace your desktop.
On balance, however, a MacBook’s hardware is more powerful compared to that of a corresponding Chromebook. Macs thus tend to perform better than their counterparts.
That said, you can still find Chromebooks that have incredible hardware under the hood. However, these devices tend to be quite expensive.
For users who are big on Google’s ecosystem and frequently use Google Docs or other web apps, the Chromebook is an ideal choice. But where you’re looking for a laptop capable of heavy lifting, the Mac is more suitable.
There are hardly any low-cost Macs on offer. Shoppers looking for budget-priced MacBooks often have to go for older, pre-used models.
Conversely, Chromebooks are available for every budget. Even the lowest-priced Windows laptops are still more expensive compared to the cheapest Chromebooks with comparable features.
Chromebook’s affordability is a huge benefit, as it means that you can go much further with your money than when buying a MacBook.
There are several different models for both Chromebooks and MacBooks. However, Chromebooks carry the day when it comes to the variety of laptops on offer. Shoppers literally have an endless array of sizes and designs to choose from, especially when working with a high budget.
When it comes to the MacBook, shoppers can choose from the three main MacBook options we mentioned earlier. Most buyers confine themselves to the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. However, these versions are still available in a variety of designs and sizes.
MacBook vs Chromebook: Which Should You Choose?
Ultimately, the choice between the MacBook and the Chromebook depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. Where the budget is tight and you’re looking for a laptop to perform undemanding tasks, a Chromebook is perfect for you. For shoppers with a bigger budget and on the market for a laptop capable of intensive tasks, MacBooks are more suitable.
Choose the Right Laptop for Your Needs
The Chromebook vs MacBook debate will surely continue for a long time. Each has its own strengths and drawbacks. Understanding your specific needs and knowing the budget you’re working with can make it easier to choose the ideal option for you.
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