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Cheap Laptops - Windows Cloudbook or Google Chromebook


New member
Hey guys
I'm in the market for an inexpensive laptop that I can take around with me. My daily driver is a Macbook but I don't feel too comfortable travelling on the Tube and some sketchier areas of London with an expensive computer so I am looking at the cheaper end of the market.
I'm wanting to get your thoughts on whether a Cloudbook or a Chromebook would be a better buy as they largely seem to have the same specifications and price points.
I've never used a Chromebook before but I assume it's mostly internet based. I'm leaning towards the Windows option as this seems like I could continue to work on documents offline easier with. Thank you in advance.


Staff member
Hi @MattFX - welcome to CF

The one big difference between Chromebooks and Cloudbooks is that a Cloudbook is essentially a low end Windows laptop - the old "netbooks" rebranded. They will come with Windows 10 or 11 in S mode usually but can easily be turned into a standard Windows machine.
They'll run any program that Windows runs i.e full Microsoft Office, but generally, performance will be "just about functional" - don't expect to do much multitasking but for typing an email or casual web browsing they work fine.

Chromebooks come with ChromeOS which is much more optimised to run on low end hardware with relatively good performance - but you will be limited to being able to do things that you can do within Google Chrome. Chromebooks do now however run some Android apps so this can be a great way to extend the functionality.

You can still work on documents offline on a Chromebook and overall I'd say if you are happy with Google Chrome you may find it a little less frustrating than a Windos Cloudbook, especially if you're usually using MacOS.