Mac vs windows vs chrome os

The problem of complexity does remain. You will likely encounter more bugs with Windows than with its competition. Because of this unique top-down approach to its products, Apple enjoys tighter control over MacOS than any of its current counterparts.

MacOS is designed to run on only a relatively small — and highly controlled — variety of computers and parts, compared to millions of possible combinations for Windows. That allows Apple to do more intense quality testing for their products, optimize software for only a few computers, and provide targeted services that can diagnose and fix problems with much more speed and accuracy than Windows manufacturers.

Google efficiently mocks both Macs and PCs in one Chromebook ad

The operating system itself is designed to be easy to operate, even for novices. New computer users often find MacOS to be more intuitive than Windows 10, though long-term Windows users may need some time to adjust to the interface and some important features — like the MacOS file explorer, called Finder — are not as easy to understand.

Though the software market for MacOS is nowhere near as broad as Windows, it suffices for most purposes. Microsoft even produces a version of its Office application suite for Apple hardware, and some of the best creative applications are available in superior versions for MacOS. That said, MacOS is disadvantaged for gamers, as most new games are not available on the platform.

Mac OSX vs PC vs Chromebooks - Which Is Best for You?

Extremely popular Windows titles may or may not get a MacOS release. This utility helps users prepare any Mac computer to run Windows instead of — or as a switchable option to — its built-in operating system, allowing access to most Windows applications and capabilities. Windows machines can also boot Linux and other third-party operating systems, but MacOS cannot be licensed for use on non-Apple hardware.

Macs can even run Windows at the same time as MacOS through virtualization tools like Parallels or VMWare, offering even more flexibility for those who like the way MacOS operates but need access to some specific Windows software. Users who go all-in on Apple hardware for both desktop and mobile enjoy a unified design language, tools like Siri and Apple Pay that work with both devices, and cross-functionality through an Apple account for apps like iMessage. The hardware is expensive, yet not always up-to-date, and it may not fit your needs.

Apple did, though, recently introduce a much more powerful iMac Pro line that helps to make up for the aging Mac Pro with its limiting cylindrical design. The iMac Pro is a beast of a machine, with up to 18 processor cores, incredibly powerful AMD Vega graphics, and access to tons of fast RAM and storage — offering a much better workstation-class option for high-end professionals who were starting to look away from MacOS and towards Windows. Mac computers and MacOS are for users who want a premium desktop experience without having to work on it. The operating system also lacks certain features that can be found on Windows, like touch support and a focus on mixed reality.

But it remains a simplistic environment compared to Windows and MacOS. The interface is designed to get users to the web quickly and easily, and to present as few barriers to internet content as possible.

Windows 10 vs. macOS vs. Chrome OS: Which Is Best for Students?

Anyone who uses the Chrome browser on a Windows or MacOS machine will be instantly comfortable with the interface, and all their saved history, bookmarks, and extensions will sync over. Chrome devices excel at web browsing, streaming video and music, chatting and video conferencing, and other relatively simple web tasks. The Linux back-end of the operating system can do anything that the Chrome browser on a desktop can do, including advanced Flash and Java applications.

It can run comfortably on very low-power, inexpensive hardware: laptops with cheap processors, tiny solid-state drives, and very little RAM can run Chrome OS easily. Sometimes these inexpensive designs run faster and more reliably than Windows and MacOS, even when the latter are used primarily for a browser anyway.

And administration is easier, making Chrome OS popular in educational environments. More expensive models offer high-resolution screens, backlit keyboards, fold-back touchscreens, and other fancy features, including the top-of-the-line Pixelbook 2-in-1 sold by Google itself complete with touch and pen support. Chrome OS originally offered virtually no compatibility with external software, although of course, Google is changing that dynamic by offering access to the Android-powered Play Store.

Meanwhile, gaming on Chrome OS is one of the most meaningful beneficiaries of Android support. In short, Chrome OS is almost all web, all the time. The simplicity and focus of Chrome OS is good for users whose primary interactions are on the web.

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Its low cost of entry is attractive for anyone on a budget, but users who require more complex software or more demanding tasks need to look elsewhere. Chrome OS, by virtue of its extreme simplicity, also has Windows beat in this regard. Windows and MacOS can both handle any browser software available, including Chrome itself, but web-only users may find the rest of their features a distraction. Windows and MacOS both work in most situations, but Windows has the overall edge due to the availability of quicker compatible hardware and the massive ecosystem of third-party applications.

The Windows 2-in-1 is perhaps the most iconic example of why Windows is the most productive environment, offering the ability to easily switch from clamshell mode with keyboard and mouse support to a touch- and pen-centric tablet. Windows is the only real choice for gamers.

Who should buy a Windows PC?

MacOS is an easy choice for a quality machine. This may come as a shock. For those used to an operating system like WIndows and Mac, it made the average Chromebook seem like little more than a laptop that runs a web browser.

Even if the Chrome OS never matured beyond that, the fact is quite a lot can be done entirely on the web these days. Take stock of everything you do on a daily basis and you may find there's nothing you can't accomplish with Chrome at its most basic level. That said, a Windows laptop or MacBook can run the Chrome browser as well as other software supported by those operating systems.

Even if you don't immediately need a particular piece of software, it's nice to have the option. Along those lines, Chromebooks are not natively compatible with Windows or Mac software. You can use VMware on Chromebooks to run Windows applications , and there's support for Linux software , too. But generally speaking, if you need or want a specific Windows or Mac app -- and there's no suitable web, Android or Linux app substitute and don't want to use VMware -- don't get a Chromebook.

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Google efficiently mocks both Macs and PCs in one Chromebook ad – BGR

Also, if you want to do more than play Android games or advanced photo and video editing, you'll probably want a regular laptop. Chromebooks typically don't offer the graphics performance you need for demanding tasks or, again, the option to install Windows or Mac games. The gaming picture could change greatly in November when Google rolls out its Stadia streaming game service. A few years ago, all Chromebooks were pretty much the same regardless of what company made them.


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Now, there's a far greater variety of laptops and two-in-ones -- convertibles and tablets -- to take advantage of Chrome OS's current capabilities. You'll still find more sizes and styles when it comes to Windows laptops, especially if you need top processing and graphics performance, but the variety of options is much better than in the past. If you're just after a good, basic experience with a Chromebook, the small, lightweight OS has minimal hardware requirements and the same goes for web apps.

Having a higher-end processor and more memory will help keep demanding multitaskers moving along, but otherwise here's what I recommend when I'm asked what specs to get:. There is flexibility with these recommendations. You can get a 1,xresolution display, for example, but the cheap ones used in low-end Chromebooks look particularly soft next to full HD models. And you can get by with 16GB of onboard storage as long as there's a microSD card slot to supplement it. Unlike a regular laptop, a Chromebook relies more on cloud storage for files rather than local storage.

When Chromebooks first launched they basically became paperweights when they were offline -- a real issue if you were in the middle of editing an important document you suddenly couldn't save. Things have thankfully gotten better as Google improved offline capabilities and common apps like Netflix, YouTube and Spotify have offline options as well. For a regular laptop, being offline is a little less of a problem since you're using installed software that saves to internal storage. Still, neither experience is great offline these days.