For a long time I thought my 13” Macbook Pro was the best mix of performance, battery life, weight, and design in a laptop that one could buy. Of course the retina display models are also great machines, but I could never justify the extra cost. But now the $249 Samsung Chromebook has me rethinking all of that. So if we pit the Chromebook vs Mac on the things that matter for a normal web-based user (me) let's see how they stack up. Yes, most of the technical specs on the Chromebook come nowhere close to a MacBook, and it is made of plastic instead of aluminum. However, it's lighter than any of the MacBooks (other than the 11” Air, which is only a few grams lighter.) Its 6.5 hours of battery life are right in line with the MacBooks. And at $249 it's just a fraction of the price of the $1,000+ Macbook line.
Chromebook vs Mac
Chromebooks force you to do most of your work online, which I already do anyway. It is also heavily integrated with Google services. But I'm already a user of Gmail, Chrome, Google Drive, Google Music, and others. I'd still want a machine to do some heavier lifting on: editing videos, storing my photos, music and video collection, spreadsheets/presentations/documents, and some gaming. The Chromebook is so cheap I could still buy a Mac Mini for those tasks and use my Chromebook whenever I'm not in front of the Mini. I've tested the Chromebook out and I think it would fulfill my needs pretty well, especially when paired with a desktop. I was pleasantly surprised with the Chromebook's design, keyboard, trackpad, and performance. The Chromebook also has some of the niceties of a SSD-based machine that I've been lacking, namely ultra-fast startup times.
I'm seriously considering going to this setup. I've been wanting a lighter machine to carry around in my backpack and on airplanes. It would also be nice to have a Mac Mini hooked up to my home theatre so I don't have to constantly plug and unplug my MacBook. Plus, if my laptop ever got lost, damaged, or stolen I'd only be out $250 and still have a working machine at home with all of my files. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me. Maybe Google's onto something with this Chromebook thing after all. Chromebook vs Mac? I'll take both.