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Ultrabook vs Chromebook comparison- each class has its purpose!

By Mark , updated on November 8, 2013

Comparing ultrabooks with chromebooks means comparing high end entries with computers aimed at budget conscious buyers. The ultra-thin profiles, great batteries, posh lids and strong hardware we have on Ultrabooks comes at a price- around a thousand bucks.

The cheapest ultrabook, Toshiba’s Portege, goes for around 800 bucks, and for that amount of money you can buy two and half, so to say, chromebooks. Although there aren’t that many chromebooks around at the moment, you can easily see the pattern- these are slightly more expensive netbooks, packing the hardware found on 10 to 11.6 inch mini laptops and that try to address a wider demographic by keeping prices under 400 bucks.

Anyway, it’s essential that we understand that these two types of laptops are made to serve different purposes, which translate into different price tags.

Chromebooks- Google’s open source goodies in a little plastic box

Chromebooks are basically netbooks running on Google’s open source Chrome OS- it’s the web browser we know and love, boosted up to act as an entire OS. The great thing about Chromebooks is the fact that they take advantage of Google’s cloud services, thus introducing a new era of personal computing, one in which your data and digital persona are stored on secure, remote servers.

Chromebooks might not have great hardware- they run on those dusty N550 dual core processors from Intel’s Atom series, but they’re enjoyable as gateways towards the Web-centric user experience that will probably dominate the next interval.  Samsung and Acer Chromebooks are currently available, with more to come down the line.

Samsung's Chromebook goes for around 400 bucks and even has a 3G option

Samsung’s Chromebook goes for around 400 bucks and even has a 3G option

Chromebooks are still a little unpolished and some users and reviewers complained about buggy performance, compatibility issues and some apps misfiring on a regular basis. Still, if you’re a web socialite and spend most of your time on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and such, maybe the affordable Chromebook is the way to go.

It’s solid enough to run your websites and apps, it’s not much bigger than a netbook and costs under 400 bucks, with prices probably going down in the next interval.

Ultrabooks- it’s posh, it’s stylish and it’s not the MacBook Air

Ultrabooks, on the other hand, are top notch, ultra slim laptops built on a concept created by Intel, but which was already experimented for quite a while by Apple and their MacBook Air line. Ultrabooks are laptops with a thickness of maximum 0.8 inches, pack Intel hardware, have HD screens and can go on a single charge for even 10 hours.

For now, all available Ultrabooks run on Sandy Bridge, second generation processors– ranging from Core i3 to Core i7, but from 2012 onwards, they’ll run on Ivy Bridge chips, which will be 30% faster and will require less power to run. Ultrabooks pack fast SSD drives that make the computer much more responsive, although there’s less storage available than on HDD drives. Chromebooks also have SSD drives, but their small size is not an issue, as most of the data is stored online.

The Acer S3 costs around 1000 bucks and runs on a Core i5 processor

The Acer S3 costs around 1000 bucks and runs on a Core i5 processor

Ultrabooks usually run on Windows and can deal with games, movies, productivity apps and any kind of app running under Windows. Ultrabooks are conventional computers in their purpose and use, they’re just packaged in an ultra slim shell. Add that to an 10 hour battery life and an HD screen and you get a great laptop, slim or slimmer than the MacBook Air. The average price for an Ultrabook is 800 bucks, so double the price of a Chromebook.

You should choose an Ultrabook if you need the fire power of Sandy Bridge processors, 4 GB of RAM, HD graphics and a fast SSD. And, of course, if you need Windows and all its wide army of compatible programs. And, last, but not least, if your laptop has to be a style statement, and not just a computer

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Mark is an Editor here at . He's studying Screenwriting and Production in "sunny" London and in his spare time, he works as an IT editor for a couple of mobile publications, like this one.

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