Since the devices are similar but with some basic differences, the Chromebook vs. laptop question is best answered by looking at your computer needs. Chromebooks are laptop-style computers that don't run on a Windows operating system, but rather use Google Chrome OS. They're designed primarily to function while being connected to the internet. As such, Chromebooks don't generally offer much in the way of storage, they don't have powerful graphics cards, and they often use lower power processors. But they can be the ideal solution if you're looking for a device you can use chiefly with web-based documents and applications, perhaps stored in the cloud, or on a flash drive or other jump drive solution.
Computer illiteracy is no longer an option in our connected, digital world, and Google Chromebooks are being introduced to students of various ages, in grade school through high school. That lends some urgency to finding the best Chromebook, for kids particularly, so they won't be at a disadvantage with their peers in school. Generally more portable than most laptops, Chromebooks routinely cost significantly less than laptops, turn-on faster, load websites quicker, and have on-board Chromecast for media streaming. Additionally, the Chromebook touch screen that's standard on many models makes navigating quick and easy. Or you can add an ergonomic mouse, perhaps wireless, for quick, comfortable browsing. Also on the plus side, Chromebooks are automatically kept up to date so you can count on always having the latest features, and the latest virus protection.
Choosing the Best Chromebook for Your Family
Choosing the best Chromebook for you and your family requires making many of the same decisions you would make with any computer purchase. You can select a Chromebook with a screen ranging in size from 11.6 inches to 16.9 inches. You can pick random access memory from 2GB to 16GB to impact how fast and how many programs you can use at once, and you can select the processor, screen resolution, and hard drive type and size. You may want to consider a 2-in-1 Chromebook, with a display that flips and folds over, capable of offering versatile functionality in laptop, audience, tabletop, presentation and tablet modes.
The number of apps that can be used on Chromebooks is growing all the time, but since these devices are optimized to use Google apps like Gmail, Calendar and Drive, they require Wi-Fi for most uses. That means you'll want to be sure your router is sufficient for your needs, and you may want to consider using Wi-Fi on the go to keep your Chromebook functioning when you're away from home. Chromebooks do stay synched with your Android devices, or anywhere you're signed into your Google account, so it's easy to pick up your projects where you left off. And if you'll be traveling with your Google Chromebook, it might make sense to get a laptop bag, maybe backpack-style or briefcase-style, for protection, but also to hold any accessories like a hotspot or mouse, or even school books.