A notebook PC powered by Microsoft Windows offers several advantages: Windows offers the most flexibility to run just about any app, as well as the choice of any browser you choose. You can tweak and configure your PC as you choose.
A Chromebook powered by Google’s Chrome OS is a simpler, more optimized affair, a locked-down PC that’s little more than the Chrome browser—but it can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than a comparable Windows PC, too.
There’s one more wrinkle: For years, there were Chromebooks and…not much else. Now there are Chrome OS-powered convertibles like the Chromebook Flip, as well as Chrome OS-powered tablets like the Google Pixel Slate. (Chromeboxes are a separate, niche class of standalone Chrome OS-powered boxes that lack a display.) Besides the obvious physical differences, a Chromebook is no different than a Chrome tablet.