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Windows vs Chrome - why not both?

Windows vs Chrome – why not both?


Schools are increasingly adding devices for students to use in the classroom and often the devices of choice are either Windows-based laptops or Chromebooks, but do schools need to choose a single operating platform? Or can they use a cross-platform device management solution to get the benefits of both? Let’s see how they’re being used in education.

According to the Hechinger Report, Chromebooks outnumber laptops in K-12 schools largely because of their lower price point. Laptops have other benefits though and the article notes that many districts actually have a mix of both types of devices, as well as iPads and Macs.

The decision about which device to purchase depends on a school’s specific needs, preferences and budget. Here we’ll outline some of the main differences between Chromebooks and Windows laptops.

When you get down to basics, the main difference between the two, according to PC World, is that Windows laptops run the Microsoft Windows operating system and can be configured in infinite ways to accommodate the needs of a school or district. Chromebooks run the much simpler Chrome operating system-Chrome OS, which is essentially a web browser vehicle, and encourages storage in the cloud. Here are some of the primary benefits of each device as noted by CNET and PC World.

What makes Chromebooks different?

  • Chromebooks are speedy because the Chrome OS operating system is simple and fast.
  • Because of the low hardware requirements of Chrome OS, Chromebooks tend to be lighter and smaller than laptops which can make them attractive for student use – especially if students will be carrying them around regularly.
  • Chromebooks tend to be less expensive which can help with school budgets. Versions with higher-end processors and more memory or storage are available depending on the school’s needs.
  • Because Chromebooks are powered by Google’s Chrome OS, Google handles all security and other updates behind the scenes. All the user has to do is turn the device on.

What makes Windows laptops different?

  • The Windows operating system offers flexibility to run just about any app, as well as any browser you choose. You can tweak and configure your laptop which can be a major selling point.
  • There are many more options available to Windows users (at a cost) to support complex needs and demanding tasks such as top processing and graphics performance.
  • Windows laptops have lifespans of years, or even potentially decades, whereas Chromebooks are supported by Google for only five years.
  • Windows laptops often allow for easier printing because printers were designed for that operating system. File management can also be simpler on a Windows laptop.

So which is the better option? At Impero, we say why not both? Both offer benefits and schools can choose to deploy whichever one better meets their needs and preferences. Or they may select to deploy a mix of both Chromebooks and laptops. Perhaps they want students to use laptops for video editing courses and Chromebooks for English. Perhaps they’ve selected Chromebooks as the take-home devices for students, but provide laptops for the teachers and staff. The decision on which devices to purchase comes down to the individual needs of a school or district. Whichever type of device a school chooses, it’s important to make sure the school has the right apps and tools for those devices. It’s also important to have management software that will work on those devices, regardless of what operating system they use.

A cross-platform device management solution to control them all

Impero Education Pro’s cross-platform device management solution is compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows and Chrome OS (as well as iOS and macOS).

Impero’s classroom management features allow IT and teaching staff to manage and monitor Windows laptops or Chromebooks from a single view which helps to keep students on task. Impero’s keyword libraries and safety features allow school administrators to receive alerts if students search or type certain words or phrases that could indicate concerns such as cyberbullying or self-harm.

By providing a cross-platform device management solution for classroom management and monitoring, Impero helps schools get the most out of their technology initiative whether they are using Chromebooks, Windows PCs, or both.

Learn more about Impero’s cross-platform device management solution to support 1:1 initiatives by scheduling a demonstration.

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