What is the difference between a Chromebook, a laptop, and a netbook?

By Arindam Roy

Obviously you have heard of Chromebooks, laptops, and netbooks. The term Chromebook usually refers to a Chrome OS-based computer. However, those looking for something other than Chrome OS may also be referred to as Windows 10 laptops or traditional laptops. These devices have a screen size of 15 inches or larger and are aimed at completing specific tasks that a traditional computer will not. They are also often referred to as touch-screen machines since most applications and content will be presented in a ‘virtual’ space rather than on a flat surface.

Google Chrome browser and designed to operate as a fix for people who lack the technical skills to run their own computer. A laptop is a portable computer that you can take with you anywhere. It has a screen size that allows you to view images on it, but it doesn’t have the same level of features as a Chromebook. And, a netbook is an Android-based machine that is typically found in schools or businesses.

Difference Between Chromebook, Laptop and Netbook

The Chromebook is a laptop running on Google’s Chrome operating system that has a browser and cannot run traditional Windows program. A laptop runs both Windows OS and standard programs. A netbook is primarily for light Internet browsing, such as email, research or checking sports scores. These machines have very little RAM and so are not suitable for anything more than browsing the web without lag or crashes. The laptops use processors from Intel which produce less power consumption allowing for greater battery life.


A “Chromebook,” however, is not a tablet computer, even though it gives you access to Android apps through a special version of Chrome OS. It is also not an all-in-one desktop computer like we see in some business settings. Its main function is to offer a convenient way for people and students who want web access but don’t want the hassle (and expense) of buying and maintaining full-featured laptops or desktops.

In 2013, Google released the first generation of Chrome book computers to make it easy for people to get online experience with Chrome OS, which in turn helped them “Google” (search) on the go. The second generation’s release allowed for a wide range of software applications to be used on the Chrome book, from Facebook to Groupon. The new version of the Chromebook is expected to take on Apple’s iPad in the United States in the 2014 holiday season.

Chromebooks are no longer new, but they are still very popular with students and workers who need to access the internet but don’t want or need a full-featured laptop. They’re also popular among tech-savvy consumers who tend to keep their devices for a long time. Chromebooks started out as cheap and efficient, but today’s models sell for hundreds of dollars and have features that would put any ultrabook to shame. But if you’re planning on using it as a primary computer, you’ll be happy to learn that buyers can purchase upgradeable storage options, doubling your memory and storage space for a few hundred dollars. The most versatile models come with two USB ports (one 3.0 and one 2.0), two USB-C ports, an HDMI port, a full-size SD card reader (for digital cameras), and even a microSD card slot (for memory cards used in high-end phones).

The most popular Chromebooks for use as primary computers come with Intel’s 3 GHz dual-core Celeron 3955U processor, or its slightly more powerful counterpart the Intel Celeron N3350 1.1 GHz processor. The 3955U is based on Intel’s Braswell architecture, and it runs all your favorite software like Chrome OS, Android apps, Steam games, Windows applications, and so on. It’s more than fast enough to handle simple productivity tasks, and it should last a good seven-to-eight hours on a full charge.

There is a special version of the Chrome OS that can run Android apps, and this means you can do more with your Chromebook (notably, you can use Google Play’s large number of apps). However, a Chromebook is not primarily meant to be used as a tablet or an all-in-one desktop. It’s really a laptop that runs the Chrome OS. The “all-in-one” nature of the “Chromebox” (a desktop running Chrome OS) leads some to mistakenly call it a “Chromebook.” However, it has little in common with the standard laptop form factor.


Laptops are a popular choice these days because they have many benefits when it comes to usage. You can use laptops just about anywhere, they come in many different colors, and they are not as expensive as desktop computers. Laptops also offer more portability which makes them easier to travel with.

It is designed for use on your lap and features a keyboard, screen and built-in pointing device such as a touchpad. Laptops are typically used for personal computing, although they are also widely used in commercial settings such as workplaces, schools, or restaurants. The name “laptop” comes from the phrase “Portable On-Demand Multi-Purpose System”. This phrase was coined by Bill Gates in 1988 to describe the IBM PC/AT’s design which featured an integrated keyboard and oversized trackball mouse that could be rolled across the surface of its desk top monitor.

A laptop is more portable than a desktop. Many laptops are smaller and lighter than a traditional desktop computer. Laptops are often stored on their user’s lap, which is called “lappying”. They typically have longer battery life compared to desktops due to their compact size and use of power-saving components. Laptops have greater processing power than PDAs, but less than desktop computers. A laptop has the ability to run many programs at once since they can run background processes or be off while running certain programs.

It have a large screen which makes them ideal for movies, TV shows and playing games. The screen size is also great for working with documents, pictures and doing research. However laptops tend to be less good at presenting data than desktops because it is hard to display large amounts of information on one screen simultaneously.

They are great for using at home as they have a smaller footprint than desktops. This means you can fit much more furniture around your laptop than your PC, especially since laptops tend not to come with large monitors.

They are typically inexpensive compared to their desktop counterparts. They also tend to be affordable in comparison to smartphones and tablets. This means they are ideal if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your next computing device.

Different models available in the market but some are more popular than others. In general terms there are two types: thin laptops and clamshell laptops or full-sized laptops. A thin laptop has an extremely lightweight design which means it’s portable, compact and easy to use. It’s good for basic computing tasks such as surfing the internet, word processing and emailing. A clamshell laptop is a laptop that has a display and a keyboard on the same piece of plastic which makes it easy to open and operate.

In comparison to a full sized laptop, thin laptops are more portable because they’re able to fold up into smaller spaces; making it easier for people to bring them onto planes or trains. While thin laptops are great for light computing tasks, they aren’t what you use when you need heavy duty performance [except for gaming]. A full-sized laptop is a bit larger than thin laptops but it still folds down into an easily portable space.


Netbooks are mini computers that fit onto a keyboard. You can use them to surf the web, send email messages, and do basic computing tasks. Your netbook will have internet access and be able to run apps written for Android and iOS. Your netbook may have an embedded camera and microphone for video calls.

Netbooks are very thin and lightweight compared to traditional laptops and also have a touchscreen display. They are designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse instead of a touchpad or trackpad. This type of computer also has the capability of running Android software. A netbook is powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 12 hours of operation.

The world of netbooks is growing rapidly with multiple manufacturers producing various devices that can be used as a netbook. They come in various sizes ranging from 10 inches all the way up to 25 inches wide and have various hardware capabilities. All are very powerful computers that while small can still do some things that large desktops do such as word processing and spreadsheets.

The price of a netbook usually depends on how much storage space it has; an 8 GB laptop might cost less than a 16 GB laptop, for example.If you’re looking for the best netbook, it’s best to understand what they have in common before you look at different models. What does a netbook have that a regular computer doesn’t? A lot less processing power — generally speaking, it has a lower-end Intel processor and a graphics processor. A netbook has a much lower-voltage processor than its desktop counterpart, which makes it more battery friendly without compromising performance.

The low-cost devices sell for predominantly between $400 and $600 and come with basic software preinstalled. Netbooks are designed primarily for two purposes: personal use and educational/professional use. The more expensive models come with high-end hardware and often have additional applications like video recording and Internet browsing capability.

There are two common interfaces used in netbooks: PC Card/ExpressCard for wired connections and Wi-Fi for wireless connections. The latter includes both wireless LAN technology (802.11b/g) and WiMAX technology (802.16). The most versatile netbooks are those that have speakers or microphone capability so you can use them for voice search when in public places or riding public transportation.

Now, let’s take a look at the differences between Laptop and Desktop;

Laptop V/S Desktop

It’s not always easy to figure out which type of computer is right for you. You have two basic options: a laptop or a desktop. A laptop is portable and power efficient, while desktops are larger but offer more CPU power and storage space at a lower cost per gigabyte than laptops do. Before deciding which type to buy, consider what you will be using your computer for. Here are some of the factors you should take into account.

Laptop Advantages:

  • Screen size is highly portable and power efficient;
  • Generally less expensive than desktops;
  • Laptops are more durable than desktops due to mobile components being more resistant to accidental damage;
  • Laptops are ideal for people who need to carry their computer around on the go or prefer portability over sheer computing power.

Can be used in emergencies as an alternative source of power during an outage when using electricity is not available outside of your home or office building if the battery lasts long enough.

A desire to have a computer in the car or in an office instead of having to buy a separate one.

-Can cost less than getting a desktop, whereas some models can cost an additional amount of money for the portability.

Laptop Disadvantages:

  • The smaller screen size means a lower resolution than desktops offering comparable processing power. It’s also difficult to have more than one monitor on a laptop due to the space limitations. Additionally, it’s very difficult to hook up multiple external monitors, speakers, or headphones to a laptop.
  • Laptops are susceptible to physical damage and viruses; viruses can be transmitted to the hard drive through the optical drive port and USB ports if they aren’t protected by anti-virus software;
  • Due to security concerns over laptops being more portable than desktops, many companies force employees who travel with their laptops to use a corporate IT account that provides remote access for certain applications so remote users can still access company files via VPN while away from the office. This is not always possible, depending on the company’s security policy;
  • Laptops are known to contain more of their components in a smaller space, meaning that heat problems if you’re running multiple programs at once. Additionally, a laptop might be affected by the operating system freezing or becoming unresponsive from overheating.
  • If you’re a digital-savvy person, desktops are best to store files on for the long run;

Desktop Advantages:

  • more powerful than laptops with the same size or less (desktop computers are typically much more expensive than laptops)
  • PC gaming is usually better than on a laptop because of their superior graphics cards (higher resolution, higher frame rate, and more power).
  • desktop computers have large monitors which are easy on the eyes.
  • desktops are easier to upgrade than laptops (use full size graphics cards, more RAM, and larger hard drives).
  • Desktop PCs are easier to use than networked or cloud based systems;
  • Desktop PCs can be used anywhere, whether in a classroom, at home, or even outdoors;
  • Having access to electronic storage memory provides an extra backup if any hard drive crashes due to technological ageing.

Desktop Disadvantages:

  • they are very expensive compared to laptops of equal power.
  • desktop computers require more maintenance and parts can become costly if not looked after properly (hard drives will wear out over time, fans can break)
  • A desktop PC takes up a lot of space;

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