Chromebook vs Tablet vs Netbook vs Laptop

Yeah, that’s a lengthy title, I know.

I was recently asked about the differences between a Chromebook and a laptop. My answer was that Chromebooks are more for online storage as opposed to hardware storage and that most functions require an internet connection. That didn’t really seem to help my friend who couldn’t decide what device to buy next. I thought it might be a good idea to compare these device as well as netbooks and tablets to see what the key differences are.


Essentially, a laptop is a portable PC that allows all the complex features you’d have on a desktop PC but without needing a large space to set it up. Laptops were created to fill that gaping hole in the market for portable PC’s. They were the first incarnation of this type of portable PC technology which has slowly dripped down, creating a market for even smaller devices.

If you own a laptop, you know that a lot of computing power is squeezed into this relatively small box. I say relatively because you’ll notice that as time goes on, your old laptop starts looking bigger and bigger. It has a keyboard, mouse, speakers, Wi-Fi (and more recently webcams and mics) all integrated into it. They also have a DVD/BluRay drive, making for a complete PC package for any potential project.

I had a very disappointing relationship with my old laptop that literally ended in flames after keeping it alive long past it’s inevitable death with various modifications. Since then the laptops I’ve bought have had a much needed increase in RAM, impressive storage capacity and quicker processors. This makes my laptop, my go to device to get work done.

Now with all that processing power, it takes a lot of energy to keep your laptop running and that’s where its Achilles Heel appears. Any laptop owner will know that annoying sound and popup to let you know that your laptop has been unplugged for too long. It’s become common to keep it plugged in at home.

It’s still a mystery to me how they can make faster laptops every year but my battery still lasts only 3 hours.

Newer laptops require more processing power which in turn require a larger battery. However, the larger battery still only gives minimal usage time on it. I’m still waiting for the day that I can get a full day’s work done without searching for a socket in my local coffee shop.


It took me a long time to accept netbooks as a viable alternative to laptops.

They are designed to be lighter and more portable than your average laptop. This is done by stripping certain features that, in this day and age, aren’t that necessary. By having less components to power, netbooks have a much better battery life compared to laptops.

Usually with netbooks, the CPU and GPU have been downgraded to something less powerful and they’ve been stripped of their DVD reader. This was my initial problem with netbooks. In the past all my software and games were on DVD’s which made the idea of owning a netbook nonsensical. They also didn’t have sufficient HDD space to hold the large amounts of random junk I install.

But netbooks have finally found their place in the mobile market. I honestly cannot remember the last time I used my DVD drive. Pretty much all software and games can be downloaded directly from the manufacturer’s site and installed without you ever needing to go out to store. Processing speeds and storage capacity on netbooks has also been increased to make them a worthwhile investment to get work done on the move.

If you get a lot of work done at your local Starbucks or travel a lot, a netbooks size and negligible weight make it perfect for the businessman/businesswoman.