Chromebook vs MacBook: When looking for a new laptop, MacBooks and Chromebooks are machines to consider right now. Each offers a wide range of features, but none will perfectly meet everyone’s needs.
Thus, before investing, it is worth taking a closer look at both types of devices to get a clear picture of what they offer.
Discover in this article an overall comparison of the price, features and more of the Chromebook and the MacBook to help you make the best possible purchasing decision.
Chromebook vs MacBook: The price
When we consider buying a new laptop, the price usually plays a vital role in our final decision. Whether we can afford a machine with a high price tag or not, it’s always wise to have an idea of how much we can save by buying a machine that meets our needs.
The cost of a MacBook depends on the type of machine you want to get. A MacBook Air starts around $1,000, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,449. A 16-inch MacBook Pro will set you back almost double the price, at $2,749.
Chromebooks, on the other hand, are much more economical. For example, you can get an Asus Chromebook for as little as $261. Costing a little more, we also have the choice between HP, Acer or Lenovo Chromebooks at prices ranging between 350 to 500€.
Whether you’re buying a MacBook or a Chromebook, remember that you might drop the price a bit if you’re buying a used machine.
Also, if you are a college student looking for a MacBook, you can use Apple’s student discount to save you money.
The OS (Operating System)
MacBooks use the macOS operating system, which we can only get on Apple computers. A major update is made every year, which the company usually releases in the fall. In the meantime, you will need to download updates to fix issues like glitches and security risks.
Meanwhile, Chromebooks use Chrome OS, developed by Google. If you choose one of these laptops, you will get an update approximately every six weeks. Between those, you’ll usually get other minor updates every two or three weeks. Updates are notably happening transparently for this type of computer.
Chromebook vs MacBook: Characteristics
When comparing Chromebooks and MacBooks, we need to look at the unique features of each device. MacBooks have plenty of them, including Siri, Apple’s personal assistant, which you can also use if you have an iPhone.
Along with a voice assistant, MacBooks also have plenty of other handy tools to help you work more efficiently. One of the most popular is Screen Time, which lets you see how much time you spend on your computer and where you allocate your time.
Another neat feature of the MacBook is to create shortcuts in each corner of your screen, called Hot Corners. Plus, you can copy and paste content to your iPhone and iPad, and more.
However, Chromebooks are also no slouch when it comes to features. For example, you can record your screen from your computer. In addition to that, you can view your clipboard history.
Chromebooks also come with a voice assistant. Instead of Siri, you’ll use the aptly named Google Assistant. If you own an Android smartphone, you’ll also be happy to know that you can use Android apps on a Chromebook as well.
While it’s helpful to know what your laptop can and can’t do, it doesn’t mean much if the build quality is poor and you regularly need to replace it.
The weight and size of Chromebooks will depend on the model you buy. Regarding the weight, both types of computers are rather light and it does not matter which size you choose.
In terms of hardware, Chromebooks vary depending on which version you choose. Some use metal, while others are primarily made from plastic. As with MacBooks, your device will mostly consist of aluminum.
Chromebook vs MacBook: Quality
Of course, it’s hard to decide whether to buy a MacBook or Chromebook laptop without first looking at the quality.
Chromebooks tend to be good value for money, offering regular software updates and consistent performance. It’s also worth noting with Chromebooks that they have pretty good battery life.
Generally speaking, you should be able to use your device for just under 10 hours before you need to plug in your charger. If you use a Chromebook as a teacher, you may have clumsy students. With that in mind, it helps to know that some laptops are water-resistant, which should provide additional protection against spills.
MacBooks are renowned for their high level of quality, and you wouldn’t expect anything less with such a high price. You shouldn’t experience any performance issues for the most part, while Apple also does a great job of protecting its devices against malware.
When using a MacBook, you also get good battery life. For example, the 2020 version of the MacBook Pro can last 16 hours under the right conditions. Of course, your battery life depends on what you’re doing while using your computer; the same goes for Chromebooks. One thing to keep in mind is that MacBooks are not water resistant.
Another difference between a Chromebook and MacBook laptop is their lifespan, although longevity also depends on how you treat your device.
If used properly, a MacBook should last a very long time. You definitely shouldn’t have to replace your device for five years, and it could be eight or more if you’re really careful. You’ll usually get macOS updates for a while, but for security reasons and more, it’s wise to consider upgrading once those stop.
As for a MacBook’s battery, you shouldn’t need to replace it for at least 1,000 cycles. Chromebooks don’t necessarily last as long as MacBooks. However, you still shouldn’t need to replace them every year.
Instead, about five years should be enough if you treat your device well. One thing to remember is that Chromebook batteries may not last as long as MacBook batteries. Instead, you’ll probably need to change it every 500 cycles or so.
Chromebook vs MacBook: Applications
Since Chromebooks and MacBooks run on different operating systems, you’ll have access to different apps by default. Some are available on both devices, like Skype and Spotify.
For others, however, this is not the case. You can’t use Safari and Apple’s office suite on Chromebooks. On a MacBook, however, you can download Google Chrome and enjoy all the applications of the Google Workspace suite (Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc.) as you can on Chromebooks.
Chromebooks and MacBooks compete somewhat with each other, but the truth is that they both cater to different audiences.
MacBooks are a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable device that will last a long time and perform well. It is also a preferred solution if you need to use energy-intensive software such as photo or video editing applications. It is also preferable if you happen to have to work on the move and you do not have easy access to the Internet.
On the other hand, a Chromebook is a perfect machine if you mainly have “office” type use and you mainly use applications available online in SaaS mode . Indeed, it is preferable to have constant Internet access to take full advantage of this type of computer. Although offline access features are also available.