Is Chromebook Windows Or Mac? (Explained)

There are Chromebooks, and there are windows and Mac laptops. These devices have different operating systems. Most buyers hit the market for a Chromebook without first understanding the device and how it works, making a significant purchase mistake.

While Chromebooks can be pretty decent to use, don’t expect to magically get used to them if you’ve been using Windows or Mac all your life. This advice may scare you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install Windows on your Chromebook computer.

Without further ado, let’s dive right into the exciting task of providing you with everything you may need to know about Chromebook, its operating system, and whether or not it deserves your dollars.

Is Chromebook Windows Or Mac?

As much as Chromebooks are similar to Mac or Windows in physical appearance, they don’t use the same operating system. Chromebook use Chrome OS, Windows laptops use Windows, and Apple computers use macOS. It’s important to note this crucial point before purchasing your Chromebook to avoid mistakes.

Chromebook is neither Windows nor Mac, Chromebook runs on Google Operating System – Chrome OS.

What’s The Difference Between Chromebook And Other Computers?

While the most crucial difference is the unique OS, we may also look to hardware and functionality changes. Size comparison, Chromebooks are usually smaller and lighter than other laptops making them more portable.

Hardware speaking, Chromebooks are usually built with small storage space because you won’t need to be storing gigantic files, and this is because they use mostly web apps and Android apps. However, you can use cloud storage if you need additional space or get an external SD card.

These are the main differences between Chromebooks and other computers; note that there are other less apparent differences that we’ll touch on later.

Which OS Does Chromebook Use?

As hinted earlier in the article, Chromebooks use Chrome OS; if you’ve wondered how it works, here’s the stage to break it down.

Chrome OS is Google’s venture into the operating system world, and it’s based on the popular Google Chrome browser. With Chrome OS, you can do practically anything possible on Chrome and more.

However, since Chrome OS is an operating system intended to be the brainbox of a device, you can run web apps, Android apps, and even Linux Applications. This OS also has its file manager, messaging app, and other vital functions.

So while you may not be able to use regular Windows or Mac apps, you can access countless Android applications and Linux apps, at least if you buy a recent Chromebook. The Chromebook would’ve been boring in the modern world if not for its support of Android and Linux apps. It lets you explore the device and utilize its little, often weak processor satisfactorily.

One main advantage of the Chrome OS is that the processor handles basic actions pretty fast unless you’re clogging up the flawed operating system with unclosed tabs.

Can I Work Offline On A Chromebook Without An Internet Connection?

Google designed early Chromebooks as an extension to the Chrome browser, and they are highly dependent on a stable internet connection to function effectively. However, recent Chromebook models support offline functionalities, although they also depend on the internet to a large extent.

With this level of technological advancement, online functionality shouldn’t pose much of a threat if you want to buy a Chromebook. You can even use your Chromebook by connecting to your phone’s hotspot.

If you’re here for the Chromebook, Windows, and Mac comparison, I’m not happy to say Chromebook won’t be suitable for you if you don’t fancy being online most of the time. Also, it might take some time to get used to if you’re making a switch from Windows laptops to Chromebooks.

Chromebook Vs. MacBooks, Which One Is the Best?

MacBooks run macOS, and Chromebooks run Chrome OS. Apple created the macOS operating system to work specifically on Apple computers. Apple’s control over MacBooks means that they have more liberty to make more powerful and practical functions on the macOS that betters Windows.

On the other hand, Chromebooks are just small laptops designed for people who want to undertake basic tasks in the best ways possible. If most of the work you do happens right in your browser, and that browser happens to be Chrome, like 70% of the population, go for a Chromebook.

On the other hand, if you have some extra dollars to pay for enhanced functionality and a more professional operating system, a MacBook is your best bet. The majority of the population will be more satisfied with a MacBook, but a Chromebook is also a decent option.

Chromebook Advantages And Disadvantages

Chromebook Advantages And Disadvantages

Advantages Of Chromebooks

If you’ve been following this article from the start, you might’ve picked one or two advantages of Chromebooks already. Nonetheless, I still think these warrant an individual section. Here are some reasons you may want to consider buying a Chromebook.

1. Suitable For Lightweight Tasks

Probably a fundamental reason Chromebooks are still a thing in this era. Manufacturers design Chromebooks to make little tasks seem effortless, and they’ve been able to do this perfectly. This reason is why they are popular among students.

They are perfect for working from home, attending online classes or meetings, and sorting out documents. Since Chromebooks can undertake these tasks without starting fans that make your computer sound like a hairdryer, they are an excellent choice for light tasks.

2. They’re Cheaper

Chromebooks are budget laptops, although some are just as expensive as your typical high-end Windows or Mac rig. Generally, however, they’re a lot cheaper than Windows or Macs with almost the same set of specs.

If you’re looking for a fantastic budget laptop that’ll help with some lightweight tasks, consider purchasing a Chromebook. Luckily there are different Chromebook models that you can choose from, HP, Acer, DELL, Google, etc.

3. Sustainable Battery Life

No one wants to be cut down halfway into a vital task because of a low battery, and this issue is prevalent among budget laptops. Thanks to their efficient processors, Chromebooks are famous for having significantly better battery life than similarly-priced Windows or Mac machines.

Many people purchase Chromebooks solely to enjoy their decent battery life. If you want an extra few hours of work at a cheaper rate, consider a Chromebook.

Disadvantages Of Chromebooks

Since we’ve touched on the advantages a bit, let’s look at some of the most popular reasons users turn their back on the device.

1. They’re Not For Everyone.

Unlike the average Mac or Windows machine, Chromebooks are better suited to a specific set of people. If your workflow primarily involves browsing the internet, creating documents, taking notes, and attending meetings, Chromebooks are good. Anything more intensive, and they start to sweat.

Photographers, video editors, and gamers will likely find Chromebooks restricting for how little it lets you do because of the unavailability of apps. Linux support certainly helped, but it didn’t replace the top apps that Windows and macOS users can access to make their work easier. 

2. Low Storage

Most Chromebooks only come with a paltry 64GB of space or even less, which is only enough for a few files after installing the essential software updates. If you were hoping for a device to store your huge movie collection, you should probably look away from a Chromebook. 

Is Chromebook OS Suitable For Me?

It depends heavily on your needs. If you’re a student or a user that works exclusively on a web browser, a Chromebook might be perfect. However, you shouldn’t be looking towards the device if you have some intensive tasks on your hand unless you’re buying it for fun.


Can A Chromebook Replace A Laptop?

With the numerous improvements and changes that Google has made to Chrome OS over the years, it’s pretty evident that Chromebooks are ready to take on the laptop market. A Chromebook can easily replace your current laptop unless you have an indispensable app that’s neither available on Linux nor a web app, which is pretty unlikely.

Can A Chromebook Run Windows?

A Chromebook can run Windows if you want using Parallels. However, Parallels is only currently available via enterprise licensing, making it a lot more logical to buy Windows laptops than buying Chromebooks and paying to run Windows on them yet again.

Does Chromebook Have Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world. However, Google Docs is the built-in word processing software on Chromebook, and it’s very similar to MS Word in functionality. You can use Microsoft Word on your Chromebook by using the web app or installing it from Google Play.

Why Are Chromebooks So Cheap?

Chromebooks are cheaper than their counterparts mainly because of their weaker processor and low hardware requirements. However, you can spend up to thousands of dollars if you want a high-level Chromebook. Nonetheless, Chromebooks are perfect if you want simplicity at a fair price.


Is A Chromebook A PC Or Mac?

Chromebook runs Chrome OS, which is very different from a Windows or Mac operating system. They can be personal computers, but students mostly use them because they are simple, secure, and effective.

Is It A Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Or Linux?

Chromebook is neither Windows nor Mac; however, they run an operating system known as Chrome OS. This OS offers support for numerous Linux apps since it’s based on Linux itself. As mentioned earlier in the article, you also have a library of android apps at your disposal.

Can I Install Windows 10 On Chromebook?

You can install Windows 10 on a Chromebook by buying a subscription to Parallels, which is only available in enterprise licensing for Chromebooks. While it’s technically possible to install Windows, it’s not worthwhile.

Is Chromebook Faster And Safer Than Windows?

Chromebook is safer than most other operating systems, and Google designed the OS to be immune to external viruses and malware. Unlike Windows, you don’t need an external antivirus to protect against viruses. Generally, Chromebooks are safer and faster than Windows computers, given they have similar hardware.


You should only buy a Chromebook after understanding the OS on the device and how it works. Most Chromebooks should be okay unless you’re buying something from the first generation. If you are undecided on the specific model you should purchase, looking up the reviews of these devices on Google might help.

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