A Chromebook is for surfing the web and using web apps.
A Windows laptop is for surfing the web and using web apps. And getting things done with Microsoft Office, connecting to workplace networks, using rich tools to edit your photos and videos online and offline, calling your friend in Paris with Skype, saving your resume to either OneDrive or your desktop, downloading Angry Birds from the Windows Store, using both the Start screen and the familiar Windows desktop, organizing your files on your laptop for easy access even when you're offline, playing Halo, working both online and offline, using iTunes and Photoshop, and countless other things you get only with a full-powered PC.
See Windows PCs under $300
On a Chromebook, you can't install Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or any other part of the Microsoft Office suite.
There are millions of programs that run on Windows. A Chromebook can't run any of them.
A Chromebook "desktop" is only a background image. You can't put anything on it.
A Chromebook only works with Google Cloud Print-ready printers. Don’t have one? The only other way is to route your printing job through a real PC or a Mac.
You can’t install Call of Duty, Age of Empires, or any of your other favorite PC games on a Chromebook.
Download a Hollywood movie or your favorite TV show and easily watch it offline? Not on a Chromebook.
Chromebooks can't connect directly to scanners or many other peripheral devices you might already have.
On a Chromebook, most of your documents, pictures, videos and other files must be uploaded into the cloud. With a Windows PC, you choose where you want to put which files.
Capacity may vary depending on device configuration. Technical specs, including variations in color, vary by retailer and by country or region. Images may not be to scale.
Pricing is based on MSRP on 11/2014. Retail prices may vary.
Acer Aspire E11 $236.00–$249.00
HP Stream 11 $199.99
ASUS EeBook X205TA $199.00
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