Chromebook Vs Windows 8.1 laptop: Which One to Choose?

Chromebook vs Windows 8.1
Chromebook vs Windows 8.1

The battle of which is the best between Windows and Chromebook is an old one and is probably going to stay for quite a long time. Whichever may be the best, one thing is for sure; Google’s Chromebook is definitely giving Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 computers a tough time. And this has been happening not just in the US but also in the UK, Australia and the rest of the world.

Yet, Windows has its own market and those who have been using Windows for years never even think of quitting or replacing it with any other system. Recently Microsoft launched the latest update Windows 8.1 in its operating system. Most of its features are quite attractive for tech savvy customers and thus it is believed to revive lost market of Windows. On the other hand, users that preferred simple desktop layout are once again disappointed as the new update has tile-shaped display for the apps.

Do you wonder what makes people choose Chromebook over Windows 8.1 or vice versa?

Let’s have a look at both in terms of: compatibility, interface, user friendly designs, price range and other such features.

User Friendly Design

The Verdict:

When it comes of design and interface Windows 8.1 looks very good. This latest update displays the icons in same tiles style fashion where all the open apps are shown on the screen and the user can swipe and select from them. Though the design looks beautiful and sleek, yet this design is very much appreciated by a business man or working woman who wants to see all the open apps on a single screen, it is usually troubling for someone who prefers simple and easy-to-use designs.

Chromebook on the other hand has one of the simplest desktop operating system. The app launcher is placed in down left corner of the screen. The interface of Chromebook is simpler than Windows 8.1 and thus those who prefer simplicity and ease-of-use over beauty and sophistication will simply prefer Chromebook on Windows 8.1.

Characteristics and Adaptability

The Verdict:

Chromebooks’s most of the characteristics are cloud oriented; all your data including apps, photos, files, documents etc is either completely placed on cloud or is synchronized with your Google account. This makes your Chrome account more like a personalized space where you can keep all of your important documents and data. Apart from this, the Chromebook experience is gradually improving because of introduction of constant updates by Google in Chrome OS system allowing you to make your android phone as well as laptop more synchronized with your Chromebook. New updates are making overall adaptability of the. Chromebook more productive and effective

Windows 8.1 on the other hand has all these features, as well as is more versatile when it comes of some professional characteristics like better printing option, ease of accessing data while you are offline. Overall, Windows 8.1 is more customizable as compare to Chromebook.

Better Performance

The Verdict:

Performance vise Windows 8.1 is definitely several steps ahead than its predecessors. While Windows 7 took several minutes to start booting, Windows 8.1 takes 20 – 30 seconds to boot. However, it is pertinent to notice that the booting time depends on RAM and processor of your computer. So far, quad core chips have provided fastest booting which starts within 8 – 20 seconds.

While Microsoft is working to evolve its OS system by providing faster booting and more memory, Chromebook is a monster; it typically boost in less than 8 seconds and does not require any additional software or hardware. This is one of the best features of Chromebook, even those who are not good at operating difficult operate systems of Microsoft, Linux, or Apple can easily use Chromebook. With the price range that Chromebook offers, the Chrome OS is the best that one can get.

Security and System Management

The Verdict:

All Microsoft services are under constant threat from hackers and cyber attacks. Also, each Microsoft user holds independent account and is responsible for managing and securing that account without any help from Microsoft. Although there are cost effective as well as free antivirus and anti-hacking programs available, there is always need of hiring an IT admin to track urgent and unexpected attacks or to find out glitches left out by cheap or free antivirus software.

On the other hand, Google handles all Chrome OS accounts, and also handles security threats. Usually security updates are installed as soon as the user comes online. Although the security system is not impregnable, Chromebook is also safe because it never requires you to install local apps or software which is considered to be one of the major resources of contaminating your system with virus.

Creating Documents

The Verdict:

Every one of us needs to write or edit documents, be it college assignment, university thesis, copy for your website, a business report or simply a resume, you will always need a good app to take care of your writing tasks. Microsoft Office has adroitly dealt with this crucial need of people belonging to all walks of life. The ability to work offline gave Windows an edge over all other systems for quite some time. Windows 8.1 too is well equipped with this tool. However, the monopoly of Microsoft on producing perfect documents is challenged by none other than the Chromebook.

With a Google account you can conveniently log-in, open Google’s Doc and can do all the writing editing work you have been doing on Windows. Interestingly, over the past few years Google has accommodated offline writing and editing of the documents which is then synchronized with the account as soon as you come online, isn’t it pretty useful?

The Best Touch

The Verdict:

Windows 8.1 offers finest and sharpest touch gestures; you can swipe pages, open and close files and do all the other tasks with fine gestures of your finger. Acer Aspire Switch Ten can give smoother and more flawless touch than ever.

Chromebook with touch screens are available at as low as $169 – $300, however, they cannot compete with Windows 8.1 touch screen. The fault usually lies in slow gestures and slower processing of information when a user types quickly.

The Best Cloud Connectivity

The Verdict:

With Chromebook Google has adopted a cloud-first approach that works excellently if you can stay online all the time. Not more than a couple of years ago it was nearly impossible to work offline on a Chromebook as all of the apps required internet connection to work. However, now Google has evolved its system and has introduced following three changes that have made working offline on Chromebook easier.

  1. Google made Drive app an integral part of its Chrome OS which allows you to work offline and synchronize data whenever you comes online.
  2. Google introduced Chrome extensions that allow you to work even when you are not online; and,
  3. Chrome OS has been updated to support small native apps that run directly from the Chromebook or Chromebox.

These apps allow you to make notes, sketch document or do photo editing. However, these apps are yet at rudimentary stages as compare to Windows 8.1’s robust apps.

Windows 8.1 on the other hand offers more flexible online connectivity. The user can choose to come online at his ease or can choose to work offline for hours; however he just needs to install that particular software.

Price and Value

The Verdict:

The price range for Windows 8.1 starts from $200 and can go as up as several hundred dollars. However, with greater price you get the best features including long battery life, best touch screen, best RAM and other such amazing features. On the other hand, Chromebook price range lies somewhere in $200 – $400. With this price range Chromebook offers best connectivity and easy to use interface. Along with this you get nearly unlimited RAM as most of the data is on cloud, average 8 hours battery life, brand new product and an attractive and sleek design.

Conclusion: Chromebook or Windows 8.1 ?

Both Windows 8.1 as well as Chromebook have their positive as well as negative aspects. However, it is up to you as a user to decide which one best describes your needs and which one is just a waste of money and resources. While some prefer to use easy-to use interface of Chromebook others require much complex and advanced interface of Windows 8.1. Therefore, it is necessary to know your needs before choosing any one of them.

The comparison between Chromebooks and Windows 8.1 laptops leads us to another operating system, and that is none other than the most advanced version of Microsoft’s Windows. Microsoft has named Windows 9 as Windows 10. Some of its salient features include Windows familiar start menu, and a more organized in-cloud presence. Certainly Windows 10 wants to give Chromebook a tough time, but let’s leave this for another time; after all a Chromebook Vs Windows 10 comparison deserves a blog post particularly dedicated to the comparison wholly and completely, doesn’t it?

Let us know what you think about the best system out there. Do you prefer simple and elegant Chromebooks or elaborate programs on Windows 8.1? Which one of these two gives you a better value for your money? Or do you prefer a different OS system over these two? Do comment below!

  1. James (@stealh0me) says

    I always sigh after reading articles that have “Which One to Choose?” in the title but then end with “it is up to you as a user to decide”.

  2. John Moreno says

    Considering you wrot
    e this elaborate essay, why not name your favorite, or the one you feel works for you or for most people?

  3. Randy Spears says

    Our household has a mix of Windows (7 & 8.1) laptops and Chromebooks (2), plus an ancient iMac. In all honesty, I can do 90% of what I need on the Chromebooks. That being said, if I could only have one device, I’d have to go with the Windows device because sometimes I have to do that 10% (Photoshop, advanced Excel, or PowerPoint). The best of both worlds would be having a decent Windows machine and an entry level Chromebook — which is what we have. I just love the speed of boot-up time and operation on my Chromebooks. As I said, I use my Chomebook most of the time and occasionally use my Windows laptop. (I’m using my Chromebook to post this while on vacation.)

  4. Effie Mae says

    I have Chromebook and love it…easy to use !!

  5. Harold Kramer says

    I have a acer chrome book i like the way it boots up very fast. The app store is cool and the files work well my wife likes the easy way it works. The only neg i have is it does’t have a cd dvd drive other wise no complaints

  6. Tom Buggey says

    1. Word processing = very interesting wording. “Chromebook has a typewriter app, great for people who don’t like distractions”. Not many people want a typewriter these days. Bottom line is that chromebook does not have a word processor and this is essential for most users.
    2. If people from a Chromebook-based site can’t decide what to purchase, it doesn’t bode well for the product.
    3. Data are, not data is.

    1. ChromeShine says

      Chrome OS has Google and Microsoft online Word processing. It also has auto-complete for spelling errors on every app you use for typing.

  7. Hendrik Bakker says

    I have many windows documents with columns that are on-going since many years and they do not properly display via Chrome. Therefor I must continue to have Windows. Another feature that I miss on Chrome is to make a quick shortcut of a web page that will be saved to my desktop for later. To do that on Chrome is quite complicated and time consuming.

  8. Johannes says

    “you get nearly unlimited RAM as most of the data is on cloud”. How come? Your computer will still be limited by the amount of physical ram installed on your machine, meaning that having 40+ chrome tabs full of webpages in a 400$ Chrome OS computer will kill the performance despite of the amount of RAM the cloud might have.

  9. brunerww says

    I ran MS-DOS and then Windows from about 1988 until last year and I’ll never buy another Windows machine. I grew weary of paying my computer repair person almost as much as I pay my auto mechanic.

    I now run Ubuntu on top of ChromeOS via Crouton on a $165 laptop. It has never had a virus and never been to the shop. When I spill coffee on the keyboard, I buy a new one.

    I have been buying personal computers since the Atari 400 in 1981 and my Chromebook is the best-value-for-money computer I have ever owned.

  10. Jack Jebedee says

    Chromebook makes a TERRIFIC second computer. Top marks for Internet browsing speed and virus/malware safety (except for the odd browser hijack, but I hear Google’s working on it). Chromebooks are just about impossible to use for word processing unless one can guarantee against inadvertent brushing of the touchpad that sends a cursor toward parts unknown, changing words and formatting until the typist realizes the error. Google STILL hasn’t managed to allow Chromebooks to autosense alternative pointing devices the way that every other notebook computer does. Attach a USB/Bluetooth mouse to a Chromebook and the touchpad remains active. Urk! And that applies to ALL Chromebooks, even Pixels. Urk! Urk! I can print on my university’s network printers when I take my venerable (2008) MacBook to school. Chromebook? No, sorry. “We don’t support Cloud Printing.”

    1. Randy Spears says

      I would agree with the cloud printing being a pain. That’s probably my biggest complaint.

      I haven’t had the same touch pad issues you’ve experienced. I have 3 Chromebooks (don’t ask how or why I have 3). Two are Acers and one is an Asus. I am having some issues with the touch pad on the Asus, but it is with clicking (a la right clicking). Other than that, it is solid.

      1. Jack Jebedee says

        Dying to know, Randy. How did you disable your Chromebook Touchpads?

        1. Randy Spears says

          Sorry for the Ultra-slow reply. (I had this thread set-up to notify me of replies, but it didn’t work)

          I don’t have the issue with the touchpad causing issues when I type. I have three different Chromebooks — an 11″ inch Acer, a 13″ Asus, and a 10″ Chromebook Flip tablet and have never had a problem with the touchpad causing issues when I typed.

          1. Jack Jebedee says

            OK, thanks Randy. Your last note left me with the impression that you managed to configure your Chromebook touchpad to cure its ills. The Chromebook remains the only system I’m aware of that cannot autosense the presence of an alternative pointing device and consequently disable its touchpad. Google came out last month with a way to manually disable the touchpad that is primitive and clunky, but at least it works and it doesn’t require terminal commands.

  11. jix says

    Great write up on Chromeb8k OS Vs Microsoft 8.1, on general topics of it’s pros & cons..i enjoy both Chrome & Msoft.., also been Chrome Browser user for sometime now, just glad to see they have grown in the IT world..i do enjoy my new HP Chromebook OS..thanks for solidify statistic on opinion & functionality.

  12. Harold Kramer says

    I have a Acer chrome book love it boots fasts best for the price

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