Harder, better, faster, stronger isn’t just a great Daft Punk song or Kanye West sample, it’s arguably our 21st Century philosophy distilled down into a catchy little earworm. We’re all looking for solutions that can continue to help us do our work faster and better, which is exactly what Google has done with Chrome OS/Chromebooks. For those unaware, a Chromebook is a portable, light, long-lasting and fast laptop that’s primarily cloud-based and takes advantage of Google’s office products like Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.
That primarily cloud-based system means you don’t have a traditional hard drive to contend with: this helps to cut down not only boot-up times (most Chromebooks load in seconds, not minutes) but the weight of the computer itself too. This helps with portability, making it so that a Chromebook is easy to toss in your work bag and keep it there should anything pressing arise — or to keep at home as a secondary laptop away from the office. And, god forbid, you should drop one or it should break, that cloud-based system means that everything is stored online, so you won’t lose files even if you lose your Chromebook.
While the tech was initially pretty limited, Chromebooks have come a long way since their introduction. So whether you’ve been eyeing one for a while or are brand new to them, there’s a good chance there’s something for your work and play style. Check out the nine best Chromebooks and get ready to fly through whatever you need to get done.
1. ASUS Flip Chromebook
BEST OF THE BEST
If you didn’t know any better, it could be easy assumed that the Flip was just a standard laptop. But looks are often deceiving. Complete with a 14″ full high-definition screen, 4 GB of computing power for plenty of app usage, a super thin construction, 64 GB of storage and plenty of ports for you to connect to larger displays when needed, this Asus will outwork your standard issue company laptop in every arena. With features and specs like this, the Flip makes a strong case to ditch the standard laptop, and invest in a Chromebook — and we can’t recommend it enough.
2. Lenovo S330 Chromebook
Whether you’re looking to get your feet wet in the Chromebook world or just want a back up computer at home, the Lenovo S330 is a great entry-level option. A 14″ display means that you won’t have to sacrifice screen space, while its great portability (it’s about an inch thick and weighs slightly over three pounds) means it’s a solid option to keep in your backpack on a vacation in case you have to return an email. And at under $200, it’s a price that you won’t have to think twice about.
3. HP Chromebook 14
BEST ALL AROUND
If you’re looking for a Chromebook that’s just all-around good investment, the HP Chromebook 14 should be at the top of your list. A sturdy keyboard and trackpad are balanced by a clear and crispy display that makes it easy to use for prolonged periods of time. Additionally, at 3.74 pounds, it’s nice and light to carry in your bag at all times in case you need to work on a project. Plus, it has a number of ports (including HDMI!) which means you can stream shows into your HD TV if you so desire.
4. Google Pixel Slate Chromebook
Aiming to merge the best of both worlds between your standard Chromebook and what you’d get from an Android device, the Google Pixel Slate is definitely one of the pricer options but allows for an unparalleled sense of flexibility. The keyboard can be removed, allowing you to use it in tablet mode or then reconnected when you need to really knock something out. Additionally, multitasking tools allow you to knock out a variety of projects at a given time. Essentially, the options to tailor it to your individualized needs are almost endless.
5. Samsung Chromebook 3
BEST FOR FAMILY USE
Whether its to watch Netflix, check Facebook or answer an email, Samsung’s Chromebook knows that there’s a chance you’ll be purchasing this device to keep around as a quick resource. This also means there’s a chance it might get caught in the line of fire if you happen to have kids or are struck with being a klutz. The durable exterior can take a bit of a beating and the keyboard is water-resistant if you should happen to knock over a cup of coffee or water or wine. Plus, with 11 hours of battery life, it’s got an energy level that will rival that of your children.
6. Asus C523 Chromebook
BEST LARGE CHROMEBOOK
At 15.6″, the Asus C523 is the largest Chromebook on this list but doesn’t sacrifice anything in the performance department for the sake of its larger case. With strong and long-lasting battery life, a number of external ports, and affordable nature, it’s an excellent value at its price point. Great to keep on you for long emails that need to be written on a keyboard or polishing off edits on a draft while on the go, you’ll almost forget you’re not using a regular laptop.
7. Lenovo Yoga Chromebook
If you’re willing to invest a little bit more into a high-functioning, splurge purchase, the Lenovo Yoga is the way to go. With its 8th generation, Intel Core processors and 4K display (!) the Yoga has a powerful and jaw-droppingly gorgeous display that’s perfect for watching streaming shows. With its 10-hour battery life, you’ll have plenty of time to knock out old episodes of The Office before flipping over the keyboard to get work done. Yes, that’s right, the flippable hinge (ergo the Yoga in its name) allows you to go from tablet to laptop with ease.
8. Samsung Chromebook Pro
The Samsung Chromebook Pro is a great solution for the professional that’s always on the go and needs a device that can keep up. Capable of switching from standard laptop to tablet (with included stylus!) it has plenty of options for your style of work. The screen is a little smaller than standard Chromebooks but makes up for that with lightning processing speeds so you’ll be able to run multiple applications at once.
9. Lenovo C340 Chromebook
Lenovo’s C340 Chromebook comes in at just 11.6″ — but don’t let its size fool you. Even while it’s on the smaller size, the full HD convertible screen means you can flip it over just like its more powerful Yoga cousin. Nice and thin and weighing only 2.65 pounds, it takes up almost no space and won’t weigh you down, so toss it in your bag if you need a second or third screen at work or just really prefer responding to emails during travel on a full-size keyboard. While its processor isn’t as good as other options on this list, it’ll still get the majority of tasks done, further solidifying itself as a handy back-up option.