In this guide, we have compared Chromebook vs MacBook to know which of them is better. When you are planning to buy a new computer then getting stuck between two choices is quite common. We have made a comparison between Chromebook and MacBook based on various factors that differentiate the two gadgets.
Both Chromebook and MacBooks have their importance in the world of tech. Usually, Chromebooks are undermined under the pretext of not being as brand powered as Apple’s Mac line of computers. That’s not entirely true as Chromebook are quite efficient in performance.
The post-pandemic era has been experiencing a significant rise in the purchase of Chromebooks. Adding to that, many new Chromebook models have been introduced in the market by prominent consumer-tech brands.
Chromebook vs MacBook: Which is Better?
Here are the various factors on which you can differentiate between Chromebook and MacBook. This will help you to narrow down your choice in buying your next laptop.
It is a no-brainer that MacBooks start at a $1000 price tag and can go all the way up to $3000 depending on how you specify the technical augmentations as add-ons during your purchase. Fortunately, if you are a student, you can use the student discount offered by Apple.
Chromebooks on the other hand start as low as $200 and they are from reputed brands. If you go for Pixelbooks from Google, it can cost you close to $1000 or more.
Now, as per your budget, you can choose between Chromebook and MacBook. If you have the money and you are going to productively put it to use on an everyday basis, go for the MacBook.
Otherwise, consider Chromebooks in the $300-$350 price range. HP and ASUS have good Chromebooks in that price range.
MacBooks are running on the acclaimed macOS. It is a very powerful and efficient operating system that can handle simple as well as powerful tools. By powerful I mean video editing apps like Blendr, FCPX, DaVinci, etc. depending on how you spec it.
Even the basic model of the MacBook Air is way too powerful and pretty suitable for content drafting (both online/offline), video editing, and image editing.
On a Chromebook, you get the lightweight Chrome OS. It is suitable for general web browsing, email, and basic operations such as creating content online. It won’t be able to handle powerful apps and powerful gaming apps.
macOS can handle more task load than Chrome OS depending upon what apps you are planning to use. Accordingly, macOS is more efficient and swifter than ChromeOS.
MacBooks start with a base storage of 256GB and can go all the way up to 2TB. These are all the SSD storage we are talking of. For the hefty price tag that comes with a MacBook, the storage completes the local storage requirement of the user.
Compared to this Chromebook doesn’t offer much local storage. They start at 64GB and can go up to 128 GB and in some higher model expensive Chromebooks, 256GB storage is also supported. Usually, Chromebooks are designed for lightweight and swift functioning. Mostly it relies on using Google Cloud storage to manage the user’s data.
MacBooks are built using recycled Aluminum. MacBook Airs are known to be lighter and MacBook Pros are a bit heavier than them but nothing that would hurt you in case you decide to carry it around in a backpack.
Chromebooks in the lower to mid-range segment are made of plastic casing. Over years of use, the casing may get loose or damaged in some cases. Though certain Chromebooks from HP and ASUS are built sturdily.
Also, the paint job on Chromebooks will come off and fade after a couple of years. In terms of weight, Chromebooks can weigh up to 3.5 lbs. which can be a tad bit more than that of the MacBook which often weighs around 2.5 to 2.7 lbs.
In my opinion, once you start using any of the two, you will get used to the weight. The difference between the weights of a Mac and a Chromebook will mostly go unnoticed. Still, MacBook has a lighter build as compared to its rivals running on Chrome OS.
Longevity based on Software Update
On average, MacBooks can last up to 7 to 8 years depending upon use, battery level, and operating system updates. I would suggest that it is better to use Apple’s upgrade programs to upgrade to a newer MacBook model after using it for 5 to 6 years. It is quite situational but this is what is generally practiced for switching to a new laptop.
Apple is popular for providing system updates for years for older models of Mac. So, on that ground, you should be good if you choose MacBook. However, over the years of use, the hardware may need replacement and that would be a costly affair. Well, after all, it’s Apple.
For Chromebooks, you need to check how many years they will keep getting Chrome OS updates. Check this page to know the list of Chromebooks actively selling from different brands and the timeline till they continue to receive updates from Google.
From what I have observed certain Chromebooks can get system updates until 5 years from the time they were introduced in the market. There is a limitation though. Not all Chromebook models are available in every region. So, you may have a hard time finding a Chromebook that offers software updates for 5 years or more.
MacBooks have a good battery life in general and you would not need to replace or manage the battery of a MacBook until you have reached a 1000 charging cycle. It can even go beyond that.
The ideal suggestion is not to charge it completely. Charge it to 80-85 percent. Then set it on charging as the juice plummets below 30 percent. This will help retain the half-life period of the MacBook battery thus ensuring longer battery life and extended usage.
Chromebooks are no less when it comes to providing better battery life. Over the years, the battery life has been significantly improved on Chrome OS. As per the inputs from longtime Chromebook users, mid-range Chromebooks have a good battery life as compared to cheaper ones.
That’s a wrap on this comparison guide on MacBook vs Chromebook. Mostly, consider your budget and usage thoroughly before selecting between Chromebook or MacBook. Both of the devices are good when assigned the right task meant for them. It will all boil down to their hardware specs and the caliber of their respective operating system.