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When choosing the right laptop, it is challenging to determine which one will be the best fit for your needs. The two most popular choices for many people are the Chromebook and the MacBook. If you are someone who is trying to decide between these two devices, you might wonder what the pros and cons of each are. In this article, we will provide you with a full comparison of Chromebooks and MacBooks, including a detailed list of the pros and cons for each device. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which device is the best choice for you.

Chromebook vs. MacBook: Side-by-Side Comparison

Operating SystemChromeOSmacOS
ProcessorIntel Celeron, Core i3, Core i5Apple M1 or Intel Core i5 or i7
RAM2GB, 4GB, or 8GB8GB, 16GB, or 32GB
Storage16GB, 32GB, or 64GB eMMC or SSD256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD
Display (inches)11.6, 12.5, 13.3, or 1413.3, 14, or 16
Resolution1366×768, 1920×1080, or 2256×15042560×1600 or 3072×1920 (Retina display)
Battery Life6-12 hours depending on model8-11 hours depending on model
PortsUSB-C, USB-A, microSDUSB-C, Thunderbolt, headphone jack
Weight2-4 pounds depending on model2.8-4.3 pounds depending on model
Price$200 to $700$999 to $2499
Chromebooks are built for speed and security.


Chromebook vs. MacBook: What’s the Difference?

While the side-by-side comparison table provides a quick overview of the differences between Chromebooks and MacBooks, it’s important to look at the individual features and specifications to understand all the pros and cons of each product. Let’s dive into the major differences between the products:

Operating System

One of the biggest differences between Chromebooks and MacBooks is the operating system. Chromebooks run on ChromeOS, which is a lightweight and web-based operating system designed for simple and fast computing. In contrast, MacBooks run on macOS, which is a more powerful and versatile operating system that can run a wide range of applications and software.


Another key difference between the two devices is the processor. Chromebooks typically run on Intel Celeron or Core processors, while MacBooks use either the Apple M1 chip or Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. The M1 chip is a powerful and efficient processor designed specifically for MacBooks, providing faster performance and longer battery life.

RAM and Storage

As far as RAM, both Chromebooks and MacBooks offer a range of options. Chromebooks typically have 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB of RAM. MacBooks, in contrast, offer 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of RAM. While Chromebooks may offer less RAM, they are designed to be used primarily for cloud-based applications.

Storage is an important consideration for many users. Chromebooks typically come with less onboard storage, ranging from 16GB to 64GB of eMMC or SSD storage, but are designed to work with cloud-based storage solutions like Google Drive. MacBooks offer more onboard storage, ranging from 256GB to 1TB of SSD storage, but may require external storage solutions for large media files.


The display is another important consideration when comparing Chromebooks and MacBooks. Chromebooks offer a range of screen sizes, including 11.6, 12.5, 13.3, and 14 inches, with resolutions ranging from 1366 x 768 to 2256 x 1504. MacBooks, in contrast, offer 13.3-, 14-, and 16-inch screens with resolutions of either 2560 x 1600 or 3072 x 1920 for Retina display models.

Battery Life

Battery life is a crucial factor for anyone who needs to use their laptop on the go. Chromebooks typically offer 6-12 hours of battery life, while MacBooks can provide up to 8-11 hours depending on the model.


Finally, the ports available on the devices can also be a major consideration for some users. Chromebooks typically offer a range of ports, including USB-C, USB-A, and microSD, while MacBooks rely heavily on USB-C and Thunderbolt ports, with some models still featuring a headphone jack.

Price Range

One of the most significant differences between Chromebooks and MacBooks is the price range. Chromebooks are generally more affordable than MacBooks, with prices ranging from around $200 to $700. MacBooks, meanwhile, start at around $999 and can cost upwards of $2,000 for more powerful models.


Both the Chromebook and MacBook have distinctive designs that appeal to different users. Chromebooks are often designed to be lightweight, portable, and durable, with plastic or aluminum shells and smaller screen sizes. In contrast, MacBooks have a sleek and stylish design with larger screens, aluminum shells, and a range of color options.

Software Availability

The software available for each device is another important consideration. Chromebooks rely heavily on web-based applications and software, such as Google Docs and Sheets, while MacBooks can run a wider range of applications and software, including Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.


Compatibility is a major difference between the two devices. While Chromebooks work seamlessly with Google apps and services, they may have compatibility issues with other software and hardware. MacBooks have a wide range of compatibility options and can run both macOS and Windows operating systems.


As far as performance, both Chromebooks and MacBooks offer distinct advantages. Chromebooks are fast and efficient, with streamlined software and hardware that can handle basic tasks with ease. Meanwhile, MacBooks offer more powerful hardware and a wider range of software options, making them better suited for more demanding tasks like video editing or graphic design


Here, both the Chromebooks and MacBooks have limitations. Chromebooks are generally not designed for gaming, with limited graphics capabilities and processing power. MacBooks can handle some games but may struggle with more demanding titles.


You can use both the Chromebook and MacBook for productivity, but each device has its own strengths and weaknesses. Google designed Chromebooks to be simple and efficient, making them a good option for basic productivity tasks like email, web browsing, and document editing. However, MacBooks offer a wider range of software and hardware options, making them better suited for more demanding productivity tasks like video editing or programming.


Privacy is becoming an increasingly important consideration for many users, and both the Chromebooks and MacBooks offer different privacy features. Chromebooks are secure and offer automatic updates to keep your device protected from threats. MacBooks, however, offer a range of security features like Touch ID and FileVault encryption.

Customer support

Apple is known for its excellent customer support, offering a wide range of support options, including phone support, online chat, and in-person Genius Bar appointments. Google also offers support for Chromebooks, but it is generally considered less comprehensive than Apple’s support offerings.

Macbook Air on a desk
MacBook Air is available in two screen sizes: 13.3 inches and 13.6 inches.


Chromebook vs. MacBook: Must-Know Facts

  • Chromebooks are generally less expensive than MacBooks, making them a budget-friendly option. Prices for a Chromebook start at $200.
  • Chromebooks run on Google’s ChromeOS, which offers access to Google’s suite of productivity apps such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  • Chromebooks are highly compatible with Google products and services, so they may not be the best choice if you rely on specific software that is only available on Windows or macOS.
  • Chromebooks typically have less storage space than MacBooks, but many models offer cloud storage options.
  • Battery life is usually good on Chromebooks, with some models offering up to 12 hours of use on a single charge.
  • Gaming is not a strong suit for Chromebooks, as they are not designed for heavy-duty graphics processing.
  • MacBooks are premium laptops that come with a premium price tag. Prices for a MacBook start at around $1000.
  • MacBooks run on Apple’s macOS, which offers access to Apple’s suite of productivity apps such as Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.
  • MacBooks are highly compatible with other Apple products and services, so they may not be the best choice if you rely heavily on software that is only available on Windows or Chrome OS.
  • MacBooks offer high performance for demanding computing tasks, such as video editing, programming, and graphic design.
  • MacBooks typically have more storage space than Chromebooks, with some models offering up to 2TB of storage.
  • Battery life is generally good on MacBooks, with some models offering up to 12 hours of use on a single charge.
  • Apple also offers excellent customer support and a robust warranty program for its products.

Chromebook vs. MacBook: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

As far as choosing between a Chromebook and a MacBook, there isn’t necessarily a clear winner. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences and what you need. To help you make an informed decision, here are some important points to consider:

Pros of Chromebooks:

  • More affordable price point compared to MacBooks
  • The presence of built-in virus protection and automatic security updates for enhanced protection against malware and other security threats.
  • Lightweight and portable in design, making it perfect for use on-the-go
  • Integration with Google’s suite of productivity apps like Google Docs and Google Drive
  • Long battery life, with some models lasting up to 12 hours or more
  • Great for basic computing tasks like web browsing, word processing, and video streaming

Cons of Chromebooks:

  • Limited software availability, with some programs only accessible through web-based versions
  • May not have the processing power or graphics capabilities for intensive tasks like video editing or gaming
  • Limited storage options, often relying on cloud-based storage solutions
  • May not have the same level of build quality or design as premium laptops

Pros of MacBooks:

  • Sleek and premium design with high-quality build materials
  • Wide range of software options available, including many professional-level programs
  • Powerful hardware capabilities for demanding tasks like video editing, graphic design, and gaming
  • The compatibility and seamless integration with Apple’s suite of devices and services.
  • Generally better privacy and security features compared to other laptops
  • Large storage options with the ability to upgrade the storage in some models

Cons of MacBooks:

  • Higher price point compared to Chromebooks
  • Limited customization options and a more closed system compared to Windows laptops
  • Shorter battery life compared to some Chromebooks
  • May not be as lightweight and portable as some Chromebook models

Conclusion: Choosing Between Chromebooks and MacBooks

In conclusion, both Chromebooks and MacBooks offer unique advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for an affordable and lightweight option that is great for basic computing tasks and productivity, a Chromebook may be the way to go. Chromebooks also offer built-in virus protection and long battery life, making them a secure and convenient option.

In contrast, if you need a powerful and versatile laptop for demanding tasks like video editing or gaming, a MacBook is a better choice. MacBooks offer a sleek and premium design with high-quality build materials, a wide range of software options, and powerful hardware capabilities. They also offer better privacy and security features, making them a secure and reliable option.

Ultimately, the decision between a Chromebook and a MacBook comes down to your personal preferences and specific needs. Finally, consider the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best fits your requirements and budget.

Chromebook vs. MacBook: Full Pros and Cons FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the main difference between a Chromebook and a MacBook?

The main difference is that a Chromebook runs on Google’s ChromeOS and is designed primarily for web-based computing, while a MacBook runs on Apple’s macOS that is a more traditional operating system with access to a wider range of software.

Which laptop is better for basic tasks like web browsing and word processing?

Both Chromebooks and MacBooks can handle basic tasks, but Chromebooks are often more affordable and have longer battery life, making them a good choice for students or anyone who needs a simple, lightweight laptop.

Are MacBooks more secure than Chromebooks?

Both operating systems have built-in security features, but MacBooks are generally considered to have better privacy and security features compared to other laptops.

Are Chromebooks or MacBooks better for gaming?

MacBooks are typically better for gaming, as they have more powerful hardware capabilities and can run a wider range of games, while Chromebooks are not designed for gaming and may not have the processing power or graphics capabilities needed for demanding games.

Which one is better for professional use, Chromebook or MacBook?

Professionals often prefer MacBooks, as they have access to a wider range of professional-level software and have powerful hardware capabilities for demanding tasks like video editing and graphic design.

Can I use Google Docs on a MacBook?

Yes, you can use Google Docs on a MacBook, as well as other Google productivity apps like Google Drive and Google Sheets.

Are Chromebooks better for students?

Chromebooks are often a good choice for students, as they are more affordable, lightweight, and have longer battery life, making them ideal for use in the classroom or for studying on the go. Additionally, they integrate seamlessly with Google’s suite of productivity apps, which are commonly used in schools.

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