Laptop or Chromebook?

(24 Posts)
Eebs Wed 13-May-20 19:21:23

I have decided I might as well get my year 8 dd her own laptop now so she does not have to rely on the family one for her school work at home. I am not sure whether to get a chromebook or laptop. The school do not use google classroom but I understand that you can get ms office on chromebooks? It just seemed like a cheaper and more straightforward option but will I find that it has too many limits? I would be grateful for your experiences/thoughts.

OP’s posts: |
LittleBearPad Wed 13-May-20 19:23:01

Following with interest. DD is working on an ancient laptop that has to be plugged in all the time.

Bargebill19 Wed 13-May-20 19:50:42

I’ve zero experience of schools and their requirements. But I’ve used both Microsoft laptops and a chromebook for work.
The chromebook is by far the more user friendly - like a much cheaper version of apple. Mine happily accepts all Microsoft files. You can pay for the Microsoft apps (like on apple App Store) via google play store.
The chromebook is also a lot cheaper to buy, even allowing for the purchase of apps.
I’m a bit of a Luddite, but geeky friends say that apple is best for security followed by chromebook and finally Microsoft.
The chromebook automatically updates its software and backs up its files. Microsoft has to be prompted to do so.
For me, it came down to cost of buying the laptop and I went for a midrange chromebook.
I wonder if the school has a list of suggested laptops/chrome books that ‘do’ what the curriculum requires?

candyflossicecream Sat 16-May-20 10:38:30

I've been wondering the difference too. Haven't owned a laptop for years. I keep looking but it confuses me so much

Bargebill19 Sat 16-May-20 18:02:34


Can I suggest you make a list of what you want it use it for? You may find a tablet is all you need. Once you know what you would definitely use it for, you can google to find what would be best for you - laptop, chromebook, tablet or tower system.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to which system- it gets a lot easier to decide by asking someone selling them if they recommend any particular models which do what you need. Once you’ve got a short list, it’ll be down to your own personal preferences.

candyflossicecream Sat 16-May-20 18:27:20

Just for internet shopping and Microsoft office and backing up photos. I can use my phone for it but I miss having a propper keyboard and the nice big screen

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 16-May-20 18:35:41

We have a Chromebook and 8yo uses it when I'm not. It has Google play for apps so we have a few games on it.

I like that it doesn't overheat or operate noisy. Everything is cloud based too so it's secure and doesn't really "fill up"

Its handles me wfh on it full time too.

Bargebill19 Sat 16-May-20 18:57:17

@candyflossicecream a chromebook would do what you need.
I also agree with the extra plus points Bernadette has posted. Cheaper than a laptop too.
Have a google and hopefully soon you will be able to go to a shop or friends and ask to see them out through there paces.

Eve431 Mon 18-May-20 12:55:44

I have recently bought my 15 year old daughter a refurbished macbook. Which has helped her massively with homeschooling, without it she would have struggled to learn at her full potential. Here is the website we got my daughters from

ilovesushi Wed 20-May-20 19:36:54

My DS is using a chromebook and DD a laptop for home learning. Both are getting on fine with their respective machines and I haven't really noticed a downside on either. Biggest plus is we are no longer having to share screens as both my husband and I are working full-time from home.

Allyfromtheblock Fri 22-May-20 23:41:46

We have a chrome book for my DD, we had to download Microsoft office in an app, initially it seemed not very straightforward as it seemed strange to launch Word from an app rather than programs, and the functionality does not seem to be the same. However my 10 year old DD loves it now and there are no problems using it for homework.

MrsJonesAndMe Mon 25-May-20 19:35:02

We've just bought a Chromebook and DD is very happy with it!

Bluesmartiesarethebest Mon 25-May-20 20:12:30

@Allyfromtheblock is it the same word app that you can download on Android? Because the version on my phone is very basic and I was wanting the laptop for the full version

Allyfromtheblock Tue 26-May-20 21:15:18


*@Allyfromtheblock* is it the same word app that you can download on Android? Because the version on my phone is very basic and I was wanting the laptop for the full version

Hi! It is quite a basic app too. It seems to be the same one, but I am not 100% sure. My ten year old DD is very happy with it as it works to her needs. It would not work for my needs though.

Bluesmartiesarethebest Tue 26-May-20 21:56:54

I think I might have to go for a propper windows one then. Thankyou for your help

mudpiemaker Tue 26-May-20 22:11:28

I would begrudge paying for the Windows single device licence even if it does come installed on the laptop.

I have had a chromebook for 6 years. It has no hard drive so no fan to kick in meaning it is silent and never gets hot. It instead has a solid state drive meaning I can carry around whilst it is on and not worry about the disk. It has cloud storage that you can access from anywhere.

For what most people use a laptop for Google provides its own version of Office/Excel etc.

It has no viruses, updates in seconds - no spinning wheel of death and doesn't have windows popping open asking me for permission for something. To be honest Dh is in IT and everything in the house is very high tech, except my Chromebook because it is simple. It looks after itself which is the best thing about it.

AyraKirkpatrick Sat 17-Oct-20 10:22:21

You might want to check out this list.
I'm using Dell right now and it's pretty descent.

Creampancakes Tue 17-Nov-20 12:38:06

i like fully functional HP unlike chrome book.

Bonnieonthelam Mon 23-Nov-20 23:53:36

This thread looks dead but I wanted to share my experience with Chromebook and Windows Laptops as I have purchased a chromebook from JL. I also have a Dell Laptop which is my personal machine for studying, working from home. I come from a windows background so I can catch myself up on any new version. I’m also a iPhone user, so keep all this in mind. We also use iPads and Fire HD’s.

My background is IT but I’m not a gamer and I’m not into anything too technical. My requirement for my kids “laptop” was that it be cheap, have good battery life, have a good screen and be able to handle MS teams, and if not a fully functioning suite of MS office products (word, excel, PowerPoint) then at least a decent word processor etc.

My experience with Chromebook was very disappointing, maddening and stressful.

Good points are that it is amazing at surfing the web, emails and YouTube. Everything is super smooth, no fan noise etc. You can even download all the android apps you get on your Android phones like Skype, WhatsApp etc. For a kid starting out, or a non-techie family, this is the best option to keep things simple.

But the issues I encountered were reduced and poor functionality of MS Teams and the whole MS office suite of products. It felt very basic and if you are used to having things customised or ‘just so’ on your laptop then this would not work for you.

Also, when something crashed catastrophically on the Chromebook, I would have to powerwash it which means to delete everything and take me back to square one after spending a good amount of time customising it and downloading all the software I needed.

Word processing, printing and understanding products I normally use turned into a giant hunt for missing features.

So basically if you’re good at computers and understand Windows I would stick to a windows laptop. If not then Chromebook is great for you and you’ll probably love it.

rbe78 Fri 27-Nov-20 10:36:01


Thank you so much for this - I came onto this board to start a thread asking how Chromebooks worked with MS Teams, but you have already answered my question! Windows laptop it is then...

Bonnieonthelam Fri 27-Nov-20 22:14:27


You’re welcome, I’m so glad to have helped x

Btw after some research I found that Microsoft is aware of the problems with Ms Teams. No idea if these will get addressed anytime soon.

DarlingCoffee Tue 05-Jan-21 07:07:46

Just jumping on this thread to ask whether an iPad or a laptop would be a better purchase for kids home learning? Kids are 5 and 8. I’m leaning towards an iPad but then wondering whether you can add MS Teams on there? Thank you for any guidance you can offer.

Rollercoaster1920 Wed 06-Jan-21 13:05:29

Teams on an iPad is pretty good. But I'd get a laptop before an iPad because of the keyboard. The 10 inch iPad with 128 Gb is £430. Add on a keyboard and case and it's the cost of a reasonable laptop. The laptop will be more capable.

Aalvarino Sun 10-Jan-21 23:57:03

Definitely a laptop over an iPad. You will get a lot more for your money I think, features wise.

DS had a chromebook to start with but we got rid of it and replaced with a laptop. Found the Chromebook very annoying, and it also lacked compatibility with things like our very bog standard printer.

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