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Chromebook vs Laptop vs Netbook vs Tablet

Updated on October 24, 2013

Chromebook vs Laptops vs Netbooks vs Tablets

There are lots of portable devices on the market which makes it difficult to choose which one to buy.

Various terms of late have been thrown around like Ultrabooks and Chromebooks and so forth.

We're going to take a look at Chromebooks and compare them to other Netbooks, Laptops and Tablets to find out which is best suited for different individuals.

So let's see take a quick look at each device before we break down which one you should get...

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Laptops are designed to be portable PCs. In essence, they take everything that you find in your desktop PC, minimize it and allow you much mobility with your work. The mouse,keyboard, speakers and wifi(more recently webcams & mics) are integrated into the PC itself to reduce space consumption and the screens are smaller. Laptops have a DVD reader/writer as well for reading or storing data.

My very first laptop and I had a disappointing relationship that literally ended in flames. Laptops have evolved vastly since then and now come with quick processors, impressive amounts of RAM and loads of storage space.

Business people can people can now do their work from Starbucks and spend less time in the office. Work can be finished on the train to work or on the way back home.

At the end of the day, a laptop is made to be an all-in-one device that is portable.

The main problem I have with laptops is the battery life. As with cell phones these days, the battery is the Achilles Heel. Though I can do work on the go, I find myself constantly checking when my battery will die - as it dies quite often. More and more features are added to laptops and the newer one use less power which has increased the usage time but I've never had more than 4 hours use with any laptop I've used.

Another reason my new laptop is neglected is that I'm a multi-tasker and I battle to get things done with a small screen and integrated keyboard and mouse. I generally have 2 browsers open(10-15 tabs open per browser) and need to swap back and forth to get work done faster. I find this almost impossible on my laptop.


Netbooks are simply stripped down versions of laptops. They are designed to be lightweight and more portable. They also consume less power and therefore have a longer battery life.

With a netbook you can expect it to have a less powerful CPU, a very basic GPU, a smaller hard drive and no DVD reader/writer. The good thing, though, is that you can expect to pay a lot less for a netbook than your average laptop.

If you simply need something to type out documents and send emails, netbooks are great. The decrease in size and weight allows you to pop it into your bag/suitcase as opposed to needing a separate bag with many larger laptops.


Chromebooks are basically netbooks that rely predominantly on cloud storage and content. They run on an operating system called Chrome OS which belongs to Google. Basically, a chromebook will let you use cloud-based software to do your work an save it there as well. This means that wherever you are, you will always have access to your work.

There have been previous incarnations of the Chromebook but we're going to be dealing with the Series 5 version which is the latest model. Chromebooks have a 16GB harddrive with 4GB of RAM which seems fairly basic but you have to remember that these devices are made to use online storage. They sell in 2 versions: Wifi only and wifi + 3G.

Chromebooks have a very good screen and a unique keyboard which has a web-browsing key in place of the Caps Lock key. Using the Chrome OS is a different experience to Windows and Mac users and does take a little while to get used to. The battery life is approximately 6 hours which makes it last a little longer than the average laptop.

Tablet PCs

The tablet PC is the king of portability. Tablets are usually between 7 and 10 inches and are generally light weight. The screens are touchscreens and have an onscreen keyboard, this allows condenses the total space required for hardware allowing very lightweight devices.

Tablets are the next big thing on the market and thus have a lot of work being constantly done on them. They're being made faster, thinner and more versatile with each new model released.


As you can see, each device has it's own merits. If one were to analyze the above, they might think that the laptop comes out at the top but this wouldn't be completely true. Each device has it's own place in the market and is designed to fulfill a specific purpose. Depending on your choice below, you can tell which one you should buy.

The All-Rounder - If you need a computer for work but also want to play graphic intensive games, a laptop would suit you. You're the type of person that doesn't mind lugging around a large laptop if it means you'll have the freedom to do as you please - including a stopoff at your local Starbucks to plug-in and recharge the battery.

The Business Person/Extrovert - For people who need to work on-the-go, a netbook is suitable. You will finish off work on the train home and send emails while having a burger. Netbooks are lightweight and you can easily take pictures and videos over to friends and family with the decent storage space.

The Business Person/Introvert - For those that head to work and back with little time to dawdle between, Chromebooks are the way to go. Files are always stored securely online so there's no need to worry about your device getting stolen or damaged. It's very lightweight with a great battery and is a great device for work exclusivity.

The Average Joe - For movies, simple games and fun apps - tablets win gold. I have my laptop for work but I own a tablet for everything else. A 10.1" screen(Motorola Xoom) is perfect for comic books and manga. Card games and board games are more interactive with a touchscreeen. I wouldn't really use if for work as I find touchscreen cumbersome for writing articles and I tend to make too many errors.

What is a Netbook?


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    • profile image

      Johnc32 3 years ago

      It is actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing. gefbeabfcadg

    • GupteComputer profile image

      GupteComputer 4 years ago

      In my opinion, the Chromebook is pointless, unless if you type a lot. Google makes Nexus tablets themselves that run cheaper, and the Chromebook does not add much added functionality.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I already have a laptop, which I'm using, but it's obsolete. What I would need is something that I would use the internet all the time with, but would do some work from time to time, with a printer that I use without AirPrint. I wonder what to get.

    • Mr Criminology profile image

      Bigwas 5 years ago from Philippines

      I might consider buying a netbook instead of a tablet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i use them all but the notebook has the least problems

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 5 years ago from New York City

      Interesting, but so far nothing short of a laptop has shown itself to have enough going for it to generate a wish to switch, unfortunately. You analysis pretty much confirms it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome lens.

    • profile image

      halloweenprops 5 years ago

      Great page, this is a question a lot of people thinking about getting a non smartphone mobile device will be asking.

    • profile image

      applejacking 5 years ago

      Netbook if I at school and PC desktop at home. That's my choice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good post. Complexities Simplified!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good post. Complexities Simplified!

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      A useful review - thank you.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      A useful review - thank you.