Suppose you’re in the market for a portable PC but have yet to decide whether to buy a Windows laptop. In that case, you have two other options: MacBooks and Chromebooks. While Linux can be installed on a laptop, we assume that those who do so are tech-savvy enough not to require our advice. MacBooks and Chromebooks have been in the market for quite some time now, with MacBooks being a premium choice for creatives and professionals and Chromebooks being popular in the budget laptop market, and you can choose one of them at Cloudstore browsing cloudfresh.com. In this article, we will compare Chromebooks to the MacBook Air, as they have similar specs and are both compact and lightweight, making them excellent options for those who need a small laptop for work, school, or travel.
We aim to provide a detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of both options and help you determine the best fit for your needs.
Looking solely at the price tags, Apple’s MacBook Air would initially face a significant disadvantage. The 2022 model, powered by Apple’s latest M2 chip, carries a staggering price tag of $1,199 (£1,249 / AU$1,899), arguably more in line with premium Windows laptops or the more powerful MacBook Pro. While the previous MacBook Air models, such as the 2020 M1 version and Intel-powered models, had a lower starting price of $999 (£999 / AU$1,599), they are still more expensive than the best Chromebooks, which are known for being budget-friendly alternative to traditional laptops.
While premium Chromebooks with similar pricing to the MacBook Air exist, such as the Google Pixelbook Go and HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, most are significantly cheaper. For instance, depending on the specs, the Asus Chromebook Flip series costs between $500-600. The Acer Spin 311 2021 is a super-budget option priced at less than $300.
Despite this, the MacBook Air with an M1 or M2 chip will likely outperform most Chromebooks if you require a laptop with solid performance for running more demanding software. Although there is a wide range of options to suit any budget, we still give the win to Chromebooks in this category. Nevertheless, you’re looking for a premium option. In that case, the MacBook Air still offers good value for its price-to-performance ratio.
The main contrast between MacBooks and Chromebooks is the operating system; MacBooks operate on MacOS, while Chromebooks use the cloud-based ChromeOS. While MacOS is a more capable OS similar to Microsoft Windows in terms of features and user interface, ChromeOS is fast and smooth but closer to Android-based tablet operating systems. ChromeOS relies on an internet connection to function optimally. At the same time, MacOS can operate without Wi-Fi access and has access to a broader range of compatible software. Chromebooks offer various physical features, with basic models usually having limited port selections and lower-resolution webcams. In contrast, MacBook Air has Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 1080p webcam. One significant advantage of Chromebooks is the availability of 2-in-1 or detachable tablet configurations, making them more flexible.
This category can be easily assessed as the Intel-powered premium Chromebooks struggle to match Apple’s lightning-fast M1 and M2 silicon. The latter performs exceptionally well despite being introduced only in 2020.
As Chromebooks aim to keep prices low, they use lower-powered chips. However, ChromeOS is not a demanding operating system so it can run smoothly on low-end hardware. It is advisable to check the processor before buying a laptop. Generally, Intel and Qualcomm Snapdragon chips are suitable, while MediaTek CPUs are only worth considering for budget Chromebooks. Some Chromebooks may use outdated chips, so it’s essential to research the CPU’s launch date.
Although neither MacBooks nor Chromebooks are ideal for gaming, the MacBook Air’s M-series chips have a considerable edge in graphical performance. While Windows laptops may have a dedicated graphics card, Chromebooks typically use processor-integrated graphics, and the M1/M2 iGPUs are superior. The MacBook Air can handle graphically-intensive tasks like photo editing and 3D rendering. Still, you won’t be able to play the latest games.
Although personal preference is a significant factor, even those who dislike Apple (including the author of this text) must admit that the current MacBook Air is an elegant and sleek laptop. Apple has always been known for its attractive and minimalist product designs; this laptop is no exception.
Once again, Chromebooks range from visually appealing to downright unattractive. If you only have $250 to spend on a Chromebook for your child, it will appear unsightly, with widescreen bezels and chunky keys. However, some high-end Chromebooks, such as the HP Elite Dragonfly model mentioned earlier, are stunning.
The low-priced Chromebook is more durable than other laptops. It is designed with small and clumsy hands in mind. A low-cost 2-in-1 Chromebook with a robust plastic casing and a strong screen hinge may be a good option if you want a laptop-tablet hybrid for your young child to complete schoolwork and watch videos.
When it comes to choosing between a MacBook Air and a Chromebook, it ultimately depends on your budget and intended use. If you’re looking for a powerful and stylish laptop and are okay with the higher cost, the MacBook Air is a great choice. However, a Chromebook is a good option as they’re cheaper and can handle basic tasks like web browsing and simple work. It’s worth noting that with Google Play Store support, Chromebooks now have access to some of the best Android games, and subscribing to a game-streaming service like Nvidia GeForce Now allows you to play the latest games on any hardware.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this insightful article comparing Chromebooks and MacBooks. The author has done a commendable job of highlighting the key differences between these two popular laptop options. I appreciate how the article delves into the advantages of Chromebooks, such as their affordability, cloud-based functionality, and seamless integration with Google services. I also want to emphasize the significance of considering the ecosystem you are already invested in. This article provides a well-rounded analysis of the Chromebook vs MacBook debate, providing readers with valuable insights to make an informed decision. I found it to be an engaging and thought-provoking read, and I look forward to exploring more informative content from this website in the future. Keep up the great work!