Comparison between Google Chromebook and a Normal Computer

by Yash Batra

After launch of Google Chromebook, many people have started exploring the google chromebook comparison with a normal computer /desktop PC / Laptop /Notebook /Netbook. Their decision to buy  or not to buy, this new mobile device chromebook, highly depends on how do they see it as compared to a normal computer. Is it good ? Is it bad? However, that is not an easy and straightforward to make out and will largely depend upon one’s own needs and preferences. What exactly do you want out of your computer and how do you intend to use it? Let’s understand how is google chromebook is different from a normal computer so as to help you understand it better and make informed decision if you should buy it or not.

Google Chromebook Comparison with Normal PC / Laptop/ Notebook/ Notebook

Google Chromebook
Traditional PC/ Desktop Computer /Laptop/ Notebook /Netbook

It boots up in flat 8 seconds.
It takes couple of minutes to boot. It even takes longer depending upon the configuration and the volume of data kept in the computer.

No need to setup or install any software and application to start working.

You need to manually setup and configure everything right from installing OS, office and various other applications.

It is always on web. As soon as it boots up, it get connected through one of your favorite network – 3G or Wi-Fi.

You have the option to have the internet connection or not to have it if you want to work in offline mode only. You have to specifically and separately contact the ISP to get an internet connection working on your PC.

It can not be used in the absence of web connection and practically you can not do anything on GC if connection is not available. Everything is available in the form of web apps only i.e. you will always have to work through your browser even if you are working on documents or any other such thing.

It is fully functional even if there is no internet connection configured or internet connection not available on your PC. You can very well work in offline mode with various software installed on your local PC – office documents, images, videos, music, games etc.

Since everything including OS, web apps and data are kept on cloud servers with Google only, managing them is not easier and you can not move them very easily from one location to another or from one apps to another.

Everything being available locally in the form of folder and files on your PC, you can very easily manage them including moving or copying them from one location to another or moving between different applications and software.

Runs on Google proprietary OS chrome only.
You can install any OS like windows, Linux, Unix. You can even have multiple OS on the same PC and can choose to boot with whatever you like at the startup.

Work with Google’s own chrome browser only.

You can work with any browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. You can even have all of them together on the same PC.

None of the applications and data (documents, games, music, video, photos etc) are stored locally on your chromebook. Everything is available on cloud i.e. stored remotely in Google’s own servers.

Everything – OS, applications, software and data (documents, games, music, videos, images etc) are stored locally in your PC only.

Since everything is stored on cloud servers, you actually don’t need to bother about taking backups and losing anything in case you lose your GC.
Since everything is on your local PC’s hard drive, you are yourself solely responsible for managing everything – taking and restoring backups. In case, your PC is lost or gets damaged, you lose everything and you have to manually restore and configure everything again on a new PC. In case, you have not taken the backup of your PC, there is no way to recover anything and you lose everything with your PC.

Operating System as well as all the software (which is web apps only) gets updated automatically at the boot time. Hence, you automatically have the latest version of everything without doing anything manually.

You have to manually get and install updates and latest version of the OS and the software you are using on your PC. If you don’t do it yourself, then OS and software do tend to get outdated.

With this, you have no choice but to rely on Google only for everything related to your GC – be it data, hardware support, user credentials access and security or any other support
You don’t have to rely on any single vendor for everything. Hardware support is given by PC manufacturer and you have different vendors to give the support for the software part. You still have another vendor responsible for providing you with internet connection.

As claimed by Google, GC comes with multiple layers of security built-in chrome OS and Chrome browser and you don’t need any extra anti-virus or any security software for a GC.

You need to buy anti-software as well as malware protection and other security software separately.

As with any service, even a cloud service can fail. If that happen, that actually mean your device becomes useless until the restoration of the services. However, failure of service can potentially also lead to losing the data as well. GC customer won’t have much choice and option to restore the lost data and will have to rely totally on Google’s mercy on restoration of services.
Since, user or customer himself solely responsible for the data backup, you can easily restore it from the last backup taken without waiting for anything from anyone. However, taking and restoring backup will depend upon an individual’s knowledge, skill and awareness only.

In the absence of Google’s any good past experience on hardware support area, this could be a bottleneck when you face any hardware failure with your device and need a support from Google.
Availability of multiple hardware vendors means, you have plenty of options to choose from in case of any hardware failure with your PC.

Two different models from two vendors currently Samsung and Acer are priced at $429 and $349. Keeping in mind all the above factors, many people find chromebooks to be a bit expensive for such a light client device as compared to fully loaded PC/Laptop/Notebook.
With many vendors already available and with a large number of models to choose from makes the prices of a computer very competitive. Even a low-end notebook or a good Netbook is priced lower than GC today.

Hope, you will find the above much require comparison between Google Chrome book and a normal fully loaded PC quite useful. It will not appropriate on our part to draw the conclusion ourselves on a million dollar question – Should I buy google chromebook or not? For one, it may turn out to be a great and very useful gadget and for another it may not be that worthy. Now, after listing down all the possible comparison above, I have left it to your choice how do you find this gadget. In case, you feel interested in buying this, let me inform you that it is going to be sold online with effect from 15th June 2011 from Amazon. You can buy Google ChromeBook from Amazon. You can even subscribe and get notified when it is open for sale within your area and country.

Do share your feedback on what do you feel about this new mobile device and if you are going to buy it or not?

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