Chromebook vs laptop for college: what is Better?

If you ´re headed to college, you’ll be packing for at least a semester, but aside from all the clothes and grooming products that you’ll be stuffing into your suitcase, you’ll also need a computer. Wondering what is better Chromebook or laptop for college?

Today’s Modern college life involves uploading assignments on the college website, sending emails to departments requesting transcripts and letters of recommendation and operating complex programs depending on what your major is.

For all this, you’ll either need a laptop or a Chromebook. However, what is best for you can depend on a lot of factors. Here is a list of the essential distinctions that will determine whether you need a laptop or a Chromebook for college.

Why You May Need A Chromebook?

Easily Replaceable

There is a good chance that your laptop or any other gadgets that you own will get stolen or wrecked at college. Chromebooks can be easily replaced if that happens. This is because Chromebooks usually cost somewhere around the $200-$500 range. Today, flagship phones are more expensive than that.

Also, since all of your work on a Chromebook is synced to the internet, you can easily get all of it back once you buy another and just type in your login credentials.

Lightweight – High Portability

Chromebooks usually aren’t filled to the brim with components and hence are lightweight. They’ll be fast and zippy and won’t be a burden to carry around. That’s something that’ll come in handy after you’ve been carrying heavy textbooks all day.

Cost-Effective – It Saves Money

College students are broke most of the time. Hence, you’ll need to save as much money as possible. With Chromebooks, you will save a lot of money on apps and programs. Since you can access the Chrome Web Store and the Google Play Store to run apps on it, you won’t have to waste money on apps.

Also, Google provides a lot of alternatives to note-taking apps that work seamlessly with your Google account. And of course, there is the entire Google suite of apps. Plus, you get 100 GB of Google Drive storage for two years for free on the purchase of every Chromebook. So, you can back up all of your college documents and assignments without having to worry about storage.

Usage Modes – Make it Easy

Most Chromebooks can either detach at the hinge or have hinges which can turn around completely so that you can use them as tablets. This enables any Chromebook to be used as a tablet or as a computer. Hence, you can relax and browse around the web or do important assignments the way that you want to.

You can relax in the common room or sit at your desk to complete an assignment. This will give you increased freedom to work; especially if you’re Art’s student or a creative person that needs to handle a computer like a canvas or a slate.

Why You May Need A Laptop?

Running Complex Software

Depending on your major at college, you may need to run complex software on your laptop that may not run on Chrome OS. This is a problem since there is only an option for you to run Chrome OS on Chromebooks.

If you are an engineering or architecture major, then you’ll definitely need to get a laptop that runs Windows or macOS. Not only that, you may need to get a beefier laptop with high-end graphics cards if you need to run complex simulations or design buildings.

Also, if you have a complex art design major, then you’ll also need a laptop that can push pixels. A mid-range Chromebook just won’t do.

Gaming – Your Fun Time

If you’re a gamer or if you want to participate in gaming tournaments in your college, then you’ll need a proper laptop as well. Chromebooks don’t have the power or the OS to run complex games like first-person shooters; at least to the extent that you need them to.

Sure, you can play Fortnite and PUBG on Chromebooks, but you can’t play the full-fledged Call of Duty or Counter-Strike.

Loyalty to an OS

If you’re loyal to either Windows or macOS and are totally devoted to that ecosystem, then you better forget about trying to buy a Chromebook. It doesn’t offer the capability or the creativity that is afforded by either OS.

That being said, maybe if your needs aren’t as great as someone with a complex major, then you can more than make do with a Chromebook.

Offline Work

This is something where laptops specifically stump Chromebooks. No matter what you do, you can’t work offline on a Chromebook. Since they’re meant to work online while connected to the cloud, you won’t have the connectivity you need in order to work with the OS.

A laptop can save data and operate completely without WiFi or cellular networks if need be. It can also operate on full capacity since all its internals and hard drives have the information you need.

Fair Comparisons

Both have their pros and cons, but the differences are quite clear. If you want a device with essential features that you don’t want to invest too much money in that gets the job done and doesn’t break the bank, then you should go for a Chromebook.

However, if you need to run complex software and can’t compromise on performance, then a laptop is the best choice for you.

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