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General Discussion

MacBook Vs Chromebook Vs Windows


I'm looking to purchase a laptop in order to continue my skill development when I'm not at home.

I've never owned a laptop and have always been a desktop user therefore I have very little experience with laptops.

Id like a MacBook Air but can be expensive but i know the "power" is there when needed.

Chromebooks are cheaper but from my understanding theyre very cloud based, that is to say you dont save locally and programs are limited. and as for power im not sure how powerful they are.

Windows laptops, Im not keen on Windows 8, and theres so many different brands of windows laptops and processors and urgh gets overwhelming.

I dont mind getting something on finance, I just dont want to get something and be disappointed in its performance.

Any suggestions?


6 Answers

Hi Thomas, this is a common question, and I won't go into the details, but I think you'd be happy with either a MacBook or Windows machine over a Chromebook. Chrome OS is still not ready for web developers, although they are gaining fast, possibly having a lot more to offer in another year or so.

Either a Windows machine or MacBook would be a good choice. I suppose it depends on what you're used to. Windows 8 has taken a lot of heat from users, but I think Windows 9 comes as a free upgrade and is supposed to have a lot of improvements.

I like MacBooks and think they are dependable for years. If you want to get something for performance, I'd go for the regular version, not the Air model. A 15 inch model would give you the most performance, but they can get costly depending on your budget. Financing a computer isn't always the best thing to do since they depreciate fast these days, but you could try to pay it off quickly.

Do you want a laptop because you need to be mobile or were you looking for a change? An iMac (higher-end model) would give you more performance than a MacBook. Also, I think the 2012 Mac Mini has some decent performance.

P.S. I missed the part where you said why you wanted a laptop. For the Treehouse website and learning web development online, a Chromebook should be perfect for you. They are priced a lot better, too, for what you need. If you like, I can give you some more advice on which Chromebook to buy.

Hello, thank you for your feedback, id like the mobility most of all. I hate being tied down to my desktop all the time and sometimes regret not being able to learn/develop when I'm on my hour lunch at work.

ill take your advice onboard and have a look around.

Thank you again for the help

Thomas, I wasn't sure if you saw my edit, but I think a Chromebook would work perfect in your situation. Also, if you wanted to spend the money, a MacBook Air would be even better. Below are some links for you.

Jasper Leenarts
Jasper Leenarts
13,830 Points

I use a desktop pc at home and a chromebook on the road and in the living room. Works great for treehouse. You NEED an internet connection to get the most out of a chromebook, but there are also offline sollutions for text-editors, like Caret.

If you expect to have no internet somewhere, you can download the videos from treehouse and watch them offline.

In order to do quizes, challenges and work in workspace you still need internet offcourse.

I got my chromebook cheap (2nd hand) and I really like it I work on it in the train, my middaybreak at work or just in the livingroom with the family around.

Thank you, i think a chromebook would be fine, as i can use my phone for free tethering when im out the house


You really can't go wrong with a Chromebook. There's a huge misconception that Chromebooks are useless without internet, and that is not true. You can save files/apps and use them offline, so if you want, you could simple download the courses and watch them offline :)

I use a Macbook pro for web development, but I also own a HP Chromebook and I really love it. Is so smooth, fast, and it has a pretty nice design too. I highly recommend it, is also really cheap ($300ish).

Check this article. https://divshot.com/blog/tips/using-a-chromebook-for-web-development/

Thank you, I think as a starting point I'll get a chrome book and then as my skills develop and hopefully land a job in the industry or freelance/sell things I'll upgrade later on

The only thing you can't do with a Chromebook is use certain design software like Photoshop. However, even that has been added as a streaming version. I have a Chromebox (it's not bad) and rarely stutters. I think it is faster than most Chromebooks, but I'd love to have one of those, too.

I'm waiting for the Acer Chromebook 15 with 1080p and an i3 Broadwell CPU. I think a lot of people are waiting for even better specs than this, but that would defeat the idea of a low-cost laptop.

Cloud9 and Nitrous are great services, and the Zed Code Editor is another offline editor. Google's official Chrome Dev Editor is worth checking out as well.