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If you’re in the market for a new laptop, the best Chromebooks available feature processors and software that can give some of the best Windows and macOS models a run for their money while also being much more affordable. Chromebooks are designed for ultra-fast initial setups, needing just a Gmail address to sign in, so you can get started with school or office work right out of the box. They also feature integrated anti-virus protection, automatic updates, and built-in voice controls via Google Assistant.
The ChromeOS is also meant to be an easier system to learn how to use, making Chromebooks perfect first laptops for students or grandparents looking to keep up with technology. Chromebooks allow for cloud-first storage, meaning you can send documents, photos and videos to Google Drive or other cloud-based storage services to free up space on your laptop’s hard drive. This is a great idea, because many Chromebooks have somewhat limited storage space, often topping out at just 64 or 128GB.
If you’re not familiar with Chrome-based laptops, there are a few things to consider before you commit to buying one:
- Memory and Storage – Most Chromebooks, unless they’re premium models, have somewhat limited RAM and storage drives. Many models have just 4 – 8GB of RAM and a 32 or 64GB eMMC storage drive. While this is plenty of space and memory for most home use, you may want to spring for a premium model if you have more demanding needs.
- Processor – Many Chromebooks use an Intel Celeron processor because they’re less expensive than their Intel Core cousins, passing the savings on to you in the final price. They’re also much less powerful, meaning that if you do a lot of creative work or are looking for a gaming laptop, you’ll have to choose something else. However, there are Chromebook models that have an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU or even an AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7, allowing you to keep up with more intensive work like digital art; just be prepared to shell out more cash for a more powerful processor.
- Connectivity – While WiFi connectivity is standard on all of the best laptops, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll be able to connect to the internet wherever you are. If you commute for school or travel often for work, you may want to choose a Chromebook that also offers LTE cellular data so you can keep in touch with professors and co-workers, even if WiFi isn’t available.
- Price – Chromebooks are often much less expensive than Windows laptops or MacBooks, with the least expensive retailing at around $200. This makes them very attractive choices for anyone working with a limited budget or shopping for a child’s first laptop. However, these very inexpensive models are also pretty bare-bones. If you want more features, there are premium Chromebooks that cost well over $1,000 as well as mid-range models that retail for around $400 – $500.
Since Chromebooks are relative newcomers to the market, with the first models hitting stores in 2011, it can be hard to know what the differences are between models and manufacturers while shopping for one. We want to help you find the best Chromebook that fits your needs, so we’ve gathered 12 of the best Chromebooks available and have broken down their features to help you decide which one to buy. You can check them out below and hopefully find your next laptop.
1. HP Chromebook x360
The HP Chromebook x360 is designed from the ground up to make work and entertainment easier than ever. The 14-inch screen features ultra-narrow bezels for more viewable and workable space as well as universal stylus support so you never have to worry about compatibility when handwriting notes or sketching. The two-in-one design lets you get the best of both a traditional laptop and tablet, switching between the two modes in seconds.
It comes configured with 4GB of RAM, but you can upgrade it yourself later to accommodate your needs if they change. And the quiet, fanless design helps to eliminate distractions in shared workspaces and classrooms. The battery gives you over 12 hours of use on a single charge, letting you work and stream all day, worry-free.
2. Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
BEST FOR STUDENTS
Whether you’re in college or still in high school, having a good laptop can help streamline your classwork load. The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is the perfect choice for students; its durable construction holds up well in a backpack so any kind of moving around can be handled without concern. Students will also love the bevy of ports (two Thunderbolt USB-C, USB-A, Mirco SD, and an audio jack), the richly vivid 14″ display, a comfortably textured keyboard, and strong performance. Ten hours of battery life should be more than enough for a day’s worth of classes and the folding screen will allow students to watch their favorite streaming show in bed with no issue.
3. Samsung Chromebook 3
BEST BUDGET CHROMEBOOK
If you’re looking for a basic Chromebook to handle typical, everyday household use, and you are working with a very limited budget, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is an excellent choice. For under $200, you get an 11.6-inch screen, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage space. The Intel Celeron N3060 processor gives you all of the power you need to surf the web, draft documents and stream movies and shows.
The keyboard is spill-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally spilling your water or soda on your laptop. The battery lasts up to 11 hours on a full charge, letting you catch up with the news over breakfast, help the kids with homework and enjoy a movie before bed without needing to be shackled to a wall outlet.
4. Acer Chromebook Spin 713
BEST MID-RANGE CHROMEBOOK
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 proves that you don’t have to break the bank to get a great laptop. This two-in-one model features a 13.5-inch, 2K resolution touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass for extra durability, as well as a 128GB SSD for fast boot times and file access. The Intel Core i5-10210U processor and 8GB of RAM give you plenty of power and memory to handle streaming, office, and classwork, web browsing and even light gaming.
It also has two USB-C ports, a USB 3.1 port, HDMI input and a microSD card reader for transferring files and charging your laptop. The battery gives you up to 10 hours of use on a full charge, letting you use it all day without needing to plug in. And the metal chassis gives the Spin 713 a sleek and stylish look while providing resistance against bumps and drops.
5. HP Elite c1030 Chromebook Notebook
For customers willing to spend more to get the best of the best, the HP Elite c1030 has tons of configuration options to create the perfect machine for your needs. You can choose an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with integrated Intel UHD Graphics, 8 or 16GB of RAM, and either a 128 or 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD storage drive. You can also equip your laptop with a privacy screen to keep your work and information private if you work in public places or while traveling, and optional LTE connectivity lets you access the internet without a WiFi network.
An integrated fingerprint reader lets you have password-free, biometric log-ins for extra protection against unauthorized access. The chassis is tested against military standards for durability against spills, dust, and drops, meaning your new laptop can handle everything that a morning commute, work trip or encounter with a rowdy toddler can throw at it.
6. ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3
MOST STYLISH CHROMEBOOK
The ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 is a tablet-style laptop that looks good and works hard. The 10.5-inch touchscreen features universal stylus support so you can use your favorite pens for taking notes or creating digital art; the included stylus can be stored inside the tablet for easy access, and with just 15 seconds of charging, you get 45 minutes of use. Which is perfect for when you forgot to charge your stylus before a meeting.
The detachable keyboard doubles as a cloth-textured cover for the screen, adding a bit of style that can show off your personality or blend into your office decor. It also features an integrated stand for use in both horizontal and vertical modes. Weighing in at just over a pound, this ultra-lightweight laptop can go with you anywhere, which is great news for on-the-go professionals and students alike. And with a battery life of up to 12 hours, you can work and play all day.
7. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i
BEST 2-IN-1 CHROMEBOOK
Convertible laptops allow you to streamline your workflow by combining the best tablet and traditional laptop into one unit, and the Lenovo Flex 5i is one of the best you can get your hands on. Its 14-inch touchscreen supports both 10-point touch and stylus inputs for navigating apps, taking notes, and creating art. The Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD give you tons of power and storage for all of your projects, and the 10-hour battery life lets you work and stream all day.
The integrated speakers work with Dolby Audio technology for crisp, clean sound in both meetings and while you’re streaming shows, movies and music. You can connect all of your peripherals and storage devices via USB-C and USB 3.1 inputs for fast file transfers and reliable connections.
8. ASUS Chromebook CX9
MOST DURABLE CHROMEBOOK
Nothing spells certain death for your laptop faster than a drop or spill, and the ASUS Chromebook CX9 is built to withstand just about anything your work or school day has in store. It’s rigorously tested against military durability standards for water, dust and drop resistance. This means you won’t have to worry about spilling your morning coffee on the keyboard or knocking it off your desk and losing everything. It also features a Titan C security chip to encrypt your data, keeping your work and personal information safe from theft and unauthorized access.
9. Google Pixelbook Go
The Google Pixelbook Go is made with on-the-go students and professionals in mind. The integrated battery gives you up to 12 hours of use on a single charge, meaning it’s ready to work from morning to late in the evening without you having to stay close to a wall outlet. And when it is time to top up the battery, just 20 minutes of charging gives you up to two hours of use; which is perfect for when you need to quickly charge your Pixelbook Go on your lunch break or in between classes.
10. Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga
MOST POWERFUL CHROMEBOOK
Just because a laptop runs on ChromeOS doesn’t mean it has to compromise on power. The ThinkPad C13 Yoga from Lenovo is built with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700C processor that can be overclocked to 4.0GHz, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256GB SSD for enough power, memory and storage to handle work, streaming, digital art and even gaming. The processor also features integrated AMD Radeon graphics for smoother video playback.
11. Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE Verizon
BEST CHROMEBOOK FOR TRAVELING
If you travel a lot for work, you may want to pick up the Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE. It can use either WiFi or LTE cellular data to connect to the internet, so you’ll always be able to check email, drop into video calls and meetings and submit work. It also features two cameras so you can collaborate with colleagues and easily show progress on off-site projects.
The two-in-one form factor allows you to streamline your workflow by combining the best features of both laptops and tablets, and Bluetooth connectivity lets you use wireless peripherals or connect to projectors for presentations. It measures just 11.3 x 8.2 x .7 inches and weighs around three pounds, making it easy to slip into a backpack or carry-on bag. And the seven-hour battery means you can catch up on work during long business flights or work all day in the office without needing to recharge.
12. Samsung Chromebook 4+
BEST 15-INCH CHROMEBOOK
While many of the best Chromebooks are on the smaller side to optimize portability, sometimes you need a bigger screen for streaming or work. The Samsung Chromebook 4+ has a 15.6-inch screen and a super narrow bezel to give you the most working and viewing area possible. It’s powered by an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU, up to 6GB of RAM, and you can choose between a 32 or 64GB eMMC storage drive or a 128GB SSD.
The battery gives you up to 10.5 hours of use on a single charge, and with Google Assistant built-in, you’ll get hands-free control over your new laptop. This means you can schedule meetings, check the weather and set up alerts with just a word.