Chromebooks vs Laptops: Which is the Better Option for College Students?

Updated on April 26, 2023
Chromebooks vs Laptops Which is the Better Option for College Students

The debate about which is superior, a Chromebook or a laptop, has existed for a long time. However, in today’s article, we try to provide a comprehensive guide to help college students decide which device is better for their needs. So, if you want to get a computer anytime soon, you’ll want to read this.

Chromebooks Vs. Laptops: 5 Things To Consider

Here are five things to consider when trying to decide between a Chromebook and a laptop:

  • Performance
  • Size
  • Software
  • Affordability
  • Security
  1. Size

Chromebooks are built with portability in mind and can be easily carried around in a backpack throughout the day. However, laptops are, on average, more sizeable and heavier. Technology has improved in recent years, and laptops can now pack in more components in the size form factor. However, when it comes to size, Chromebooks remain the clear winner. 

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  1. Performance

A critical component that differentiates laptops from Chromebooks lies in performance. Laptops tend to be bigger, and thus, they can include more components on their motherboards. Before deciding between a Chromebook and a laptop, you must understand your processing power needs. If you mainly need a PC to handle working with files and note-taking, you can use the less powerful Chromebook. However, a laptop will probably be best for running complex simulations and doing other tech tasks.

  1. Software

Chromebooks run on the Chrome operating system, which due to its simplicity in design, can be very attractive to students. However, there is still the issue of software availability which can be very limiting. On the other hand, laptops can be run on MacOS, Windows, and Linux. This allows students to try out different advanced features as a hobby or a project. 

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  1. Affordability

Money plays a key role in almost every decision people make, and when you’re a college student, this can be even more evident. With that in mind, spending less isn’t always the best idea. While the Chromebook is cheap, it lacks in the area of performance. However, although generally more expensive, laptops offer a lot to justify the price difference. If you’re a STEM student and choose a Chromebook, you might have to outsource many of your projects as your PC might not handle the computing load. On the other hand, if you don’t need your computer to do anything fancy, spending thousands of dollars on the latest gen laptop wouldn’t be the best decision. 

  1. Security

Data theft happens daily, and when your identity is stolen, it can lead to severe consequences. This is why web safety is essential. Chromebooks tend to be more secure when compared to laptops as there are many features, such as Sand Boxing and Power Washing, that help to protect Chromebooks from hackers. On the other hand, laptops are generally less safe. This is why if you go with a laptop, you should install an Antivirus and see this list for other vital software to have on your computer before moving to college. This will help protect your offline and online activities.

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Bottom Line

There is no straightforward answer to the question of which is better, a laptop or a Chromebook. Instead, one will have to consider the factors mentioned in this article. This will help you make the best decision.

Article by:
Kenny Trinh
While he’s not editing articles on the latest tech trends, he likes to discuss business and entrepreneur. His writing has been featured in national publications such as Forbes, RD, Yahoo Finance, HackerNoon among others.

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