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Macbook Air vs Google Chromebook...which is for me?


Novice Member
Hi. I am looking to replace my ageing 2011 Macbook Air with a brand new 2014 Chromebook. They are becoming more popular not just because they are cheap but because of their simplicity and ease of use (much easier i heard than a Mac) but my questions are related to what i normally do (and expect) of my Macbook which i got because of the OS being more simplier and easy to use than a Windows laptop.
(1) Can I send files via bluetooth from my Android phone to a Chromebook and save it on the hard drive?

(2) Can I save files from my camera's microSD card to a Chromebook and save it on the HDD?

(3) I like downloading lon the internet via Torrent sites. Is a Chromebook capable of doing that similar to what a Macbook Air can do?

(4) Can I save documents written via Google Drive (or similar third-party apps) on the HDD for future use/reference?

(5) Is there a Google Voice Search on a Chromebook much like an Android tablet?

(6) Is there voice typing commands on a Chromebook?

(7) Can I do wireless printing on my Chromebook to my HP wifi/wireless printer? How easy is it to connect a Chromebook to a wireless printer?

(8) I noticed Chromebook are very limited in storage. I feel 16GB might be not enough with my other big files such as Flac music albums or MKV movies. Is there a cloud storage I can safely & securely “store” them so I can access them anytime and anywhere?

(9) Would it matter if I get an Intel Celeron, Haswell or an Exynos processor Chromebook? Very limited availability in PCWORLD.

(10) When i connect a hard drive where does it actually show or how can i find my files from the "desktop" or the Chromebook itself? Is there a file manager or Finder like the Macbook?

(11) Can i organise files & apps on a Chromebook (and clump them into categories) much like what you can do on an iOS or Android phone?

Please advice. Thanks.


Distinguished Member
Chrome OS is only "easy" because it does so little and it's capabilities without internet access becomes even more limited. The Chromebook is really a Google Docs laptop, that's what it is for and what it's good at.

Time since I lasted used one
(1) Don't know.
(2) Yes
(3) Possible, look on Google Chrome app store.
(4) It has a very basic file manager
(5) Yes but not sure if it's out of beta
(6) Don't know
(7) Requires Google software installed on PC that printer is connected to, only works wireless with cloud ready branded printers.
(8) No way is 16GB is anywhere near enough and pulling those files down through the net is going to be a huge pain, if you have anything that resembles HD media forget it, the Chromebook is not suited to it.
(9) Anything Intel made is faster and your Macbook miles faster than whats in a Chromebook.
(10) The file manager is a basic explorer like tree in Google Chrome browser.
(11) Sort of.

If doing any actual work outside of Google Docs and occasional web browsing your certifiable crazy for dumping a Macbook for one of these.

Just use the latest version of Google Chrome and it pretty much offers a full demo of Chrome OS at least in Windows, not sure if it's there on OSX yet.


Novice Member
At the moment i have around 10GB-ish of mixed files of photos, mp3 files and .doc documents on my Macbook Air; that number i can reduce by putting some files onto Google Drive. And if we talk about torrent files i can download three 2.0GB of movies then 16GB would still be enough for me i think would you agree?

Would a Chromebook slowdown if doing too many tasks like multiple browser tabs, downloading torrent files, transferring files to my phone, etc.?

Also another question that comes to mind is transferring files to my phone. My .mp3 files are mostly in my portable hard drive. If my PHD is compatible with the CB can i drag and drop those files to my phone as much as what i can do on a Mac or Windows laptop?


Distinguished Member
Yes it will slow down and the file manger UI isn't as easy to use as OSX finder. Your going to running out of space, these are machines intended for office workers using Google docs, thats who are buying them in bulk.

Getting a Chromebook is a dumb idea. I get the feeling you have made up your mind already so at least keep the Macbook around as a backup, don't sell it off to pay for a Chromebook.


Novice Member
I am learning slowly about Chromebook and the fact that i keep my Macbook Air 99.9% of the time at home and 100% online all the time i feel a Chromebook would suit my needs/lifestyle.

I cannnot keep the Macbook as i'm only renting it from an insurance company; i'm due to finish my 2 year payments this coming May.

I'm still learning more about a Chromebook. If they can lower a Mac Air's price down to say £499 (which i highly doubt Apple will) then my first option would be a Chromebook. I find Windows computers as too complicated for me.

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