Best Chromebooks 2018-2019-Under 200-300 Reviews
Best Chromebooks 2018.Under 200-300-A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows 10 or macOS, Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. Choosing the right Chromebook is not easy. What features should it have? How much will you need to spend in order to buy a good Chromebook? upcoming chromebooks 2018 Under 500
To help you make the right decision, I have written this guide which goes over all of the important points to consider when choosing your Chromebook.
Tech enthusiasts usually prefer Windows PCs or Macs out of Chromebooks and it really makes sense, right?
because in general, they have special software that can’t be run on a Chromebook. However, there is a big number of people that actually don’t need these types of computers. because they just have a basic use of computers in general.
Best Chromebooks for 2018.-Considering how Chromebooks rely on cloud storage, they don’t ship with an awful lot of storage or top of the line specs, that’s another reason why they are relatively cheaper when compared to a standard laptop, and another reason why they are quickly gaining popularity among college students because having access to all the important documents at one place.
So with that out of way, is buying a Chromebook really a smart option? Well, considering how so many college students are investing in a Chromebook, and how many famous manufacturers are releasing their own versions of Chromebooks, it’s safe to say that they are quite popular. Today, we are going to take a look at 10 of the best Chromebooks for 2018 under 300-500
Best Chromebooks 2018-Comparison Chart:
|4GB||1,920 x 1,080|
|4GB||2,400 x 1,600|
|2GB or 4GB||1366 x 768|
|4GB||1,920 x 1,080|
|4GB||1280 x 720|
|2GB or 4GB||1,920 x 1,080|
|4GB or 16GB||3,200 x 1,800|
|2GB or 4GB||1366 x 768|
Best Chromebooks 2018 At a Glance
Best Overall: Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA
Widely regarded as one of the best Chromebooks ever made, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is a 12.5-inch touchscreen machine that’s close to perfect. Sporting a 360-degree hinge and 12.5-inch Full-HD touchscreen, the C302CA is functional right out of the box for both laptop and tablet mode. The slick aluminum body is both attractive and sturdy, while the Intel Core m3 hardware with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage gives it plenty of horsepower. Like all Chromebook hardware, the C302CA starts up in seconds and lasts all day long, thanks to a real-world battery life of around 10 hours with average use. Add in Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac and a bright HD display and it’s easy to see why this Chromebook is an across-the-board winner. It weighs 2.65 pounds.
While Chromebooks tend to be more budget-friendly overall, few can match the value and performance of the Samsung Chromebook 3. With an 11.6-inch anti-reflective HD display, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC memory and a spill-resistant keyboard, this Chromebook offers quite a punch without breaking the piggy bank. Supported by 11 hours of battery life, it’s easy to see why the Chromebook 3 is so popular. For its price tag, the machine’s plastic build quality is surprisingly well put together and feels durable enough to stick in a bag and carry it with you all day, thanks to its 2.5-pound weight. An SD card adapter offers easy upgrading for more storage.
Undoubtedly, the best bang for your buck is the Samsung Chromebook Pro that was designed to be both tablet and laptop in one. The Chromebook Pro immediately separates from the pack by offering a built-in Pen for writing, drawing, sketching or even unlocking the 360-degree 12.3-inch (2400 x 1600) QHD touchscreen display. The quality screen pairs great with an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of memory for outstanding day-to-day performance. The Chromebook has enough power under the hood to tackle 3D games or video editing. Running multiple apps at the same time (even Android ones) while enjoying the Chromebook Pro’s quick startup and shutdown make this a superb splurge.
Chromebooks have long been applauded as an ideal computer for education and the Dell Chromebook 11 3189 personifies that very reasoning. The kid-proof design includes a spill-resistant keyboard, rubberized edges and drop protection. Beyond its durability, it’s powered by a Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 16GB eMMC drive. The 2-in-1 design allows it to fold back completely flat to work as both tablet and laptop. All of this durability and functionality is helped by nearly 11 hours of battery life, more than enough to last for an entire school day. Weighing only 3.22 pounds, the Dell is equally compact enough to comfortably fit into a backpack and tote around school.
There’s no shortage of 2-in-1 Chromebook options, but few offer the value and performance of the Samsung Chromebook Plus. The less expensive sibling of the Chromebook Pro, the Plus offers the same gorgeous 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 WLED touchscreen, including the (stylus) pen. The pressure-sensitive pen allows for simplified options such as unlocking the display or more complex work (read: sketching or doodling full designs) on its best-in-class display. Powered by a 2GHz Hexacore OP1 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB eMMC drive, the 360-degree profile offers three use cases (tent mode, laptop and tablet modes). It weighs 2.38 pounds, is just .5 inches thin and has eight hours of battery life.
Best for Professionals: Acer Chromebook for Work
When it comes to being a workhorse, the Acer Chromebook for Work answers the call with a 14-inch display, plenty of power and a wallet-friendly price tag. Powered by a 2.3GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 14-inch Full HD widescreen IPS display, this Chromebook is definitely suited for an office environment. The Acer means business with an HD webcam perfect for video conferencing, Bluetooth 4.2 for easy connectivity and dual band 2×2 wireless-AC MIMO technology for exceptional Wi-Fi performance. With up to 10 hours of battery life, there’s enough power to last through a workday and enough left over to catch up on your favorite shows in the evening. The Gorilla Glass 3 makes the display durable and damage-resistant, while the spill-resistant keyboard means your Chromebook keeps working even if you accidentally spill that fourth cup of coffee.
Still can’t decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best business laptops can help you find what you’re looking for.
If it’s battery life you’re after, Acer’s Chromebook 14 adds a slim package that’s complemented by a class-leading 12 hours of battery life. Powered by a 1.6GHz Intel N3160 quad-core processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB of drive space, the Chromebook 14 features a 14-inch HD ISP display (1920 x 1080) that’s great for binge-watching videos. The 100 percent aluminum build feels both durable and lightweight enough at 3.42 pounds. The MIMO 2×2 802.11ac connectivity boosts Wi-Fi speeds nearly three times faster than previous generations.
Best for Portability: Asus C100PA
Weighing an ultra-lightweight two pounds and only .6 inches thin, the Asus C100PA is a terrific Chromebook model that’s portable enough fit into a purse or backpack. The 10.1-inch display is more commonly associated with tablet-sized devices, but the 1280 x 800 WXGA touchscreen allows you to use the Asus in tablet, stand or laptop mode, thanks to its 360-degree hinge. Powered by a Rockchip 1.8GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC memory, the Asus starts up in seconds and lasts nearly all day with 10 hours of battery life. Even with its slim size, the C100PA packs a host of built-in ports, including micro HDMI for connecting to a display and a USB and microSD card reader for transferring data or adding more storage (up to 64GB of extra space).
Best Chromebooks Of 2018-2019
1.Asus Chromebook Flip – Best Chromebook
Starting the Best Chromebooks 2018 list with ASUS the famous computer and technology company, ASUS is also famous with its Gaming Line, Republic Of Gamers and also known for being one of the first companies that have been working with Google on making Chromebooks.
ASUS has been working with Google since 2014, so you should expect good build quality, the price of the laptop is reasonable (under 500$) taking into consideration its specs.
So Our first Pick is the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA, as you can see on the picture the laptop has a stylish and thin design. also, its touchscreen and it supports the 360 degrees hinge so you can use it like a tablet to play some games on it or watch some YouTube or Netflix.
The build quality of the device is great because it’s full of aluminum, the typing experience is good and the screen is 12.5 inches with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution (Full HD)(Touch Screen).
On the right side you have a USB type C with microSD slot and on the left side, you’ve another USB Type C port with the volume rocker, the power button, and the audio jack.
With the Intel Core m3 and 4GB of RAM (DDR4), this Chromebook performs well, and as I said the Chromebook supports the 360 Degrees hinge so you can use it like a tablet and with the Google Play Store support now you can actually benefit from a lot of apps that are available in the store.
This Chromebook comes with an Integrated GPU and a 64 GB of storage. you shouldn’t expect more storage space from a Chromebook I think. but if you want more space you can just add a MicroSD card. or use the free given cloud storage space from Google Drive.
Asus said that the laptop will give you 10 Hours of battery life, and this number of hours also confirmed from multiple other reviews on the net.
Before we jump right into the pros and cons there are some downsides that need to be mentioned, the Asus Flip does not have an HDMI port which is bad for people who want to plug their laptop into the TV, but you can fix it if you buy a USB type C adapter and the speakers are well placed and clear but aren’t that amazing.
2.Samsung Chromebook Pro – A Chromebook with Stylus
Our second choice is from Samsung, the famous Korean company that is best known for creating very great smartphones that make it a very well known brand on the technology market in general.
Since 2011, Samsung and Google have been working together to make their first Samsung/Google Chromebook Series 5. Samsung was one of the first brands that have collaborated with Google to make the Chromebooks (according to Wikipedia it’s the first).
So the second device on the Best Chromebooks 2018 is the Samsung Chromebook Pro, the Chromebook is too thin and light. also, the device is so sexy both on tablet mode and laptop mode.
it has 2,400 x 1,600 screen resolution which makes it a Quad HD Screen with 3:2 aspect ratio that makes both the widescreen and tablet viewing enjoyable (Touch Screen). also, it offers the 360 Degrees rotation feature.
this Samsung supports the Installation of Android Apps from the Google Play Store, so you can play some Android games with the tablet mode or you can use it as well to watch films on Netflix. Here I want to mention that Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus are the first two Chromebooks that supports officially the Google Play Store.
The device performs well with the Intel Core m3-6Y30, the 4GB of RAM and the Intel HD Graphic 515 and it offers 32GB of storage. on the right side of the Chromebook, you have the power button, the volume rocker, and a USB Type C port and something else you don’t see in other Chromebooks which is the stylus that allows you to take notes or customized screenshots and multiple other things with it.
on the left side, you have another USB Type C port, a headphone jack, and a microSD slot. the speakers are on the bottom side towards the corners. talking about battery Samsung says that the Pro will give you 9 hours of battery life which is not different from what users have said, generally, will give an average of 8 to 9 hours of battery and it really depends on what you’re using.
There are some fawls, the chromebook comes with low storage space (32GB expandable with a microSD card) also it dosen’t have an HDMI port, and its a bit pricey. now without wasting any further time let’s see the pros and cons.
3.Dell Chromebook 11 – Robust Chromebook
The next up on our list is the Dell Chromebook 11, it’s not a surprise that Dell takes a place on the list and as you probably know that Dell is a well-known brand in this field for creating Solid and Good looking laptops like the XPS and other devices.
Dell hasn’t created too much Chromebooks in the past comparing to other brands like ASUS or ACER but has proved that it can build solid devices such as this device the Dell Chromebook 11.
But before I talk about the device, I need to mention some pieces of information and answer some questions. There is a multiple version of this laptop, and for each version, you can choose to pick it with a TouchScreen or with no TouchScreen also you have the choice to pick a 2GB of RAM or 4GB of RAM.
And in this post, I am going to review the 11-inch TouchScreen Ver. with 4GB of RAM.
And now without wasting any further time let’s start talking about the product, the Dell Chromebook 11 comes with a solid built quality that makes it one of the most robust Chromebooks on the market, while other brands are focusing on making sexy products Dell preferred to focus on creating a robust device. and Don’t take from my words that this Dell looks ugly. No, it’s not like that, just I wanted to say that Dell has focused more on the build quality than the design but the design still good.
This Dell comes with an HD IPS screen with (1366 x 768) resolution, supports the 360 Degrees rotation which makes it easy to use it in the tablet mode.
The Dell 11 performs well with the Intel Celeron N2840 processor, the 4GB of RAM and the Intel HD Graphics, for the storage you 3 choices and you can pick up the one that fits your need beginning with 16GB Version to the 64GB Version.
The typing experience is acceptable and the trackpad isn’t that good in general.
and the sound is good, I mean its loud enough that will gives you an acceptable sound experience.
The battery will give you about 10 Hours of autonomy, The Dell 11 mainly designed for schools according to Dell because students generally need a solid device.
On the right side of the device, you have a Kensington lock, a USB 2 and SIM card slot and on the left side, you have an AC power jack, a USB 3, an HDMI port, the headphone jack and an SD card reader.
As for the downsides, this chromebook has multiple versions that make hard at least for me to pick one version, also the multi tasking isn’t that fluid and now let’s jump right into the pros and cons !
4.Acer Chromebook 14 – Aluminum Chromebook
The 4th device comes from Acer, it’s best known for creating the gaming line Predator and other hot products like the monitors and the laptops. Like the other brands, Acer marks its presence on the Chromebooks market with multiple devices.
and Acer products are one of the best in many sides so you should expect a product that suits most of your needs from a Chromebook.
So our choice is the Acer Chromebook 14. Yeah, I am pretty sure this is not a MacBook Air even if it looks like it, the design is great with an aluminum built with a silver color and fortunately, there is a gold version but you need to pay some extra money to get it.
The Acer 14 comes with 14 inch Full HD IPS Screen (1920 x 1080) with 16:9 aspect ratio powered by the Intel HD Graphics.
On the right side you have the headphone jack, the AC Adapter, power indicator and charging light, On the left side, you have 2 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI cable and Kensington Lock for locking it down on a desk.
as technical specs, the device performs well with the Intel Celeron N3160 Quad-Core Processor 1.6GHz with 4GB of RAM. and it has 32GB of storage space.
The keyboard is great especially with the spaces between the keys that makes the typing experience good it’s a bit shallow but still good and the trackpad could be better but I don’t consider it as a downside because the Chromebook, in general, is not oriented to photo or video editors so normal users don’t need a professional trackpad like Macbooks.
Now let’s speak a bit about the battery, according to Acer this laptop will give 12 Hours of battery but users that have bought this one said that this device will give 9 to 10 Hours.
In general, battery autonomy is based on your personal use, some activities will give 9 hours some others gives you 7 Hours, so basically this Chromebook will give you about 8 to 10 Hours of mixed-use.
I’m a bit disappointed mainly for two reasons, the biggest disappointment is the screen, Why? the screen isn’t Touch Screen and only flips 180 Degrees and the second reason is the lack of the microSD slot which I consider it bad because the majority of Chromebooks has this feature and I think it’s necessary because you have only 32GB of storage.
Now let’s see the pros and cons and decide!
5.Acer Chromebook R11 – A Budget Chromebook
Acer decided to jump into the Chromebook not only with the Acer Chromebook 14 but with others devices and one of them is the Acer Chromebook R11.
This device comes after its previous the Acer Chromebook 11 which looks almost similar when it comes to design the Acer is fully built with plastic except for the aluminum plate on the top.
The screen is 11.6 inch 720P (with 1366×768 resolution) and IPS TouchScreen powered by the Intel HD Graphics GPU, this device is a convertible laptop that supports the 360 Degrees rotation that allows you to use the product as a tablet or in the display mode to watch some Netflix or YouTube.
And Now after Google has announced the Play Store Support for Chromebooks this device is one of the Chromebooks that supports Android apps.
On the right side you have the power button, the headphone jack, USB 2.0 and Kensington Lock for locking it down on a table, and on the left side, you have the power jack, HDMI port, USB 3.0 port and SD card slot.
Acer made this device run well with the Intel Celeron N3150 with 1.6GHz and 4GB of RAM, as storage space the Chromebook gives you 32GB.
The typing experience is nice, and The battery is OK generally it will give you between 8 and 9+ Hours.
In the end, I think that the Acer R11 is good and durable Chromebook expect I’m a bit disappointed by the lack of FHD Resolution because this device has 720p Display.
Now without further ado let’s see the pros and cons.
6.HP Chromebook 14 – Budget and well-designed Chromebook
With a really reasonable price, HP is entering the Chromebook Market with its 14 inch Chromebook and it’s the sixth on the Best Chromebooks 2018 list.
Hewlett-Packard is one of the best computer manufacturing companies that has created many great computers.
HP has been partnering with Google since 2013 to create Chromebooks, the story began with the Pavillion Chromebook and still continue until this day.
AS all the majority of the Chromebooks on the market this HP laptop comes with an Intel Celeron N2840 CPU and an HD 14 inch Screen. And you have the choice to pick a 2GB or 4GB of RAM version, but if you decide to pick this laptop I recommend that you go for the 4GB version and 16GB of storage.
AND finally, it’s equipped with Intel HD Graphic.
This device looks like a really high-end computer with its Sky blue design and it has a white keyboard, and I think that these colors are great and unique but not everybody like these colors.
On the right, you have the power jack and two USB 2.0 ports and on the left side, you have a Security lock, HDMI port, USB 3.0, Headphone jack and SD Card slot.
Unfortunately, the battery isn’t that promising because it will give you an average 6 Hours of autonomy. compared to other devices on this post that give you an average of 8 Hours the battery of the HP 14 is bad.
In the end, I want to say that the HP Chromebook is a well-designed device with good specs but without a solid battery that last for all the day, so if you gonna use it day to day maybe you should consider this device another choice but if you gonna use it for all the day I don’t recommend that you go for this one.
Now let’s see the pros and cons.
7.HP Chromebook 13 – Premium Design
We have another device from HP which is the HP Chromebook 13 and here HP has proven again its one of the best companies right now that can create sexy devices.
The HP Chromebook 13 has a stylish grey design which is one of the premium designs that you can see on a Chromebook.
HP has made something special with this Chromebook which is the screen, the screen on this laptop comes with QHD+ Resolution (3200 x 1080) which is a great resolution and not expected from a Chromebook.
Before we dive deeper into details, I want to say that this Chromebook comes with multiple versions and different prices so make sure to check which specs do you need before you buy.
AND The versions are An Intel Pentium 4405Y with 4GB of RAM, an Intel Core M3-6Y30 with 4GB of RAM, an Intel Core m5-6Y57 with 8GB or an Intel Core m7-6Y75 processor with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM.
and all of them comes with an Intel HD Graphics Integrated GPU.
On the right side you have an SD Card reader and On the left side, you have 2 USB Type-C sockets, USB 3.0 and a headphone jack.
The Typing experience on this Chromebook is good, The Trackpad as well is good fortunately HP got both of these things right.
The device delivers a pretty good sound with Bang & Olufsen stereo speakers.
In general, this Chromebook is great with all of its specs and its QHD+ Screen but there is a fault which is the battery, the battery is low and it will give you about 6 hours of autonomy which is bad compared to other devices on this list.
and now without wasting any further time let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
8.Samsung Chromebook 3 – Budget Chromebook
HP and Acer are not the only companies that made Budget Chromebooks, also Samsung has a device called the Samsung Chromebook 3 which is a Budget Chromebook that comes with respectful specs that made me add this product to the list.
Let’s start, the build quality of this Chromebook is good even though it’s made of plastic, the black color gives it a really nice look and for this price all that we can say that this is good.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 performs well, with the Intel Celeron N3060 processor 1.6-GHz and 4GB (you can pick a 2GB Version) and the Intel HD Graphics 400, basically, it handles all the basic tasks like web browsing, video streaming, and Document editing etc.
On the right side you’ll find a USB 3.0 port with a headphone jack and On the left side, you have a battery indicator, a slim jack for the AC adapter, a USB 2.0 port, a full-size HDMI port and a microSD card slot.
The Keyboard and the Touchpad are cool, the typing experience is OK and also the touchpad is smooth.
The laptop comes with LED 1366 x 768 screen which is bright enough for a Chromebook with this price.
The speakers on this Chromebook are not that amazing, but they are loud enough.
The battery on this Chromebook is great, it will give an average of 9 Hours of autonomy which allows the laptop to last for a full workday on a charge.
When it comes to laptops and notebooks, Toshiba happens to be a well-known brand, and it’s safe to say that the company has already released a Chromebook that was well received, and now the company is back with a revised version of the original Chromebook. This time, we are looking at the Toshiba Chromebook 2.
Right from the looks of it, the Chromebook 2 by Toshiba is looking to impress, and let us tell you one thing that it does the job pretty well. The Chromebook 2 comes with an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of SSD and a full HD screen, and considering the price point and how Chrome OS is really good with resources, this is enough for anyone’s need.
The performance was excellent throughout the entire usage, and the Chromebook 2 manage to perform without any hiccups. In addition to that, another really good thing about this machine is the excellent battery life it features. If you are wondering how good, then you should know that it happens to be the best we have seen in quite some time.
Display happens to be another great aspect of this machine as it is both vibrant, and displays every colour accurately without ruining the experience at all. Last but not the least, the keyboard was another selling point of this epic device.
With so much to offer, the Chromebook 2 only falls short when it comes to delivering good quality audio output through the speakers, other than that, it’s a worthy device that anyone looking for a 13 inch machine should buy.
Dell has established itself for being one of the finest laptop brands, whether you are buying a Dell Inspiron series laptop, or the much more expensive Alienware gaming laptops, it’s no denying that the company happens to be pretty solid. But what about Chromebooks? Well, Dell has one in store for us, and we are going to take a look at how well it maintains the legacy.
Right out of the box, the Chromebook 11 by Dell looks like it is made to withstand some bumps, the Chromebook happens to be properly rugged through and through, and while it happens to be a good thing for adventurous people, it may seem like an unnecessary addition that a lot of people won’t pay attention to.
This means that if you are looking for something that looks good with a flashy design, the Chromebook 11 is certainly not built for you. The rugged design sadly takes out all the fun, and makes the Chromebook 11 bulky. However, the machine does have some good points like the brilliant front mounted speakers that happen to be loud as well as clear.
On the downside, we wished that the Chromebook 11 had a decent keyboard, and the Chromebook happens to be oddly large in size. Overall, with the dual core Celeron processor, 4 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs SSD storage, and an HD screen, the Dell Chromebook 11 happens to be a nice machine with some caveats holding it back.
Asus Chromebook Flip
We have said it so many times that Asus has established itself as one of the top brands when it comes to manufacturing so many amazing gadgets ranging from top of the line gaming peripherals, and even laptops. Keeping that in mind, seeing a Chromebook from Asus wasn’t as surprising as some may expect, the Chromebook Flip from Asus definitely has the looks but does it perform? Let’s find out.
The Chromebook Flip is different in specs than the others in the list, it’s rocking a quad core chip that is called Rockchip, and there is 2 gigs of LPDDR3 RAM and 16 gigs of eMMC storage instead of the SSD we usually see on some other Chromebooks. The good thing about this Chromebook is the amazing performance it gives, and the solid, and beautiful aluminum construction is has. Asus was also clever enough to implement one of the smartest touch control system we have seen in a long time.
However good may a machine may, there are some caveats. For instance, the bezels are oddly large and uncomfortable, and the machine may feel a little too small for people with bigger hands. Other than that, the Chromebook Flip is a fine machine that deserves a lot of respect.
HP Chromebook 14
Best Chromebook 2018
Aside from Dell, HP happens to be another famous laptop brand that has been around for as long as we remember, their ProBook and EliteBook series happens to be one of the best series of high end laptops. However, today, we are looking at something different. We are looking at the colorful HP Chromebook 14 that happens to be one of the finest Chromebooks we have used. Let’s find out why.
Straight off the bat, the Chromebook 14 offers a colorful look, the machine happens to be using a good combination of white and sky blue, and while it may see questionable, considering the consumer this tablet is targeted at, it’s a smart move. The Chromebook 14 comes with a dual core Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of eMMC storage and a 14.1 inch FHD screen. It has all the necessary connectivity options, sadly, the Bluetooth connectivity is missing here.
The performance is as good as things get, the machine performs wonderfully, and has a lot of power even for multitasking. Another solid feet of this machine is that the audio quality happens to be commendable and the design is something people would like.
On the downside, that although the display is sharp, it doesn’t offer as much brightness we would prefer, and the actual battery life isn’t as solid as some of the competitors that fall in the same price tag. Other than that, the HP Chromebook 14 is a solid machine that should keep the average consumer happy.
Google Chromebook Pixel
The next up on our list is perhaps the most expensive, and most premium Chromebook we have seen up until now. The Google Chromebook Pixel retails above $1,000 and happens to be a premium device that only the Chrome OS enthusiasts would be feeling to buy. What’s so special about it? Let’s find out.
Right from the start, the Chromebook Pixel looks like something that is made to play with the big boys, and it seems that Google left no stones unturned with this one. If you were ever surprised by the premium feeling of a Nexus device, then get ready to be blown away with the amazing Chromebook Pixel that looks good, and performs better.
The specs are as premium as it gets; the Chromebook pixel 2015 comes with a Core i5 processor, 8 gigs of DDR3 RAM, 32 gigs of SSD storage, and a 2560 x 1700 screen resolution, the screen itself is 12.85 inch wonder. You should keep in mind that Google ships this baby in another variant that doubles the storage, and the RAM with an increased clock speed on the processor.
With such a price premium, there’s nothing bad we’re looking at here; the Chromebook Pixel offers plenty of performance, astonishingly solid built quality, and an amazing battery life. All of this will be yours provided you’re willing to pay the premium.
Acer Chromebook R11
Moving a lot of notches down, we have the Acer Chromebook R11 now, and we are back in the territory of Chromebooks that can easily be afforded. Sure, the Chromebook R11 has no match for Google’s Pixel Chromebook, but with a sub $300 price tag, this is all one would want. How does it fair for an affordable Chromebook? Let’s find out.
Right from the start, the Chromebook R11 offers an Intel Celeron quad core processor, has 32 gigs of storage, 4 gigs of RAM, and an 11.6 inch screen that offers HD resolution. Obviously, looking at the specs, you can say that there’s nothing ground breaking about the Chromebook R11, but looking at the price and the targeted use of this device, it’s fairly understandable.
Much like the other affordable Chromebooks, the performance here isn’t something ground breaking but it’s more than enough to actually keep the users satisfied. There were no slowdowns or crashes; another great thing about this Chromebook was the surprisingly amazing keyboard, and the display was rather good too. The only downside we noticed was the fact that the battery performance wasn’t on par with the competition but that’s okay.
Lenovo ThinkPad 11e
The next up on our list is a rugged Chromebook by Lenovo aptly named the ThinkPad 11e, for those who don’t know, Lenovo has made some of the finest laptops in the ThinkPad series and the ThinkPad 11e Chromebook is no different. Sure, it’s slightly expensive as compared to the other machines in the list, but it’s still a worthy entry.
As expected, the Chromebook comes with an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of SSD, and an 11.6 inch screen that offers HD resolution. All of the specs are nothing surprising, but that’s not the good part here. The best thing about ThinkPad 11e is the fact that the Chromebook has one of the best keyboards we have tested on a Chromebook, and the fact that the rugged construction makes up for a solid machine that won’t be getting broken that easily. Even the performance was as we had expected, with Chromebook easily handling all the tasks that were built for it, and the battery timing managed to stay solid throughout the entire testing.
To be fairly honest, there’s nothing wrong with this machine, however, if you want to nitpick, then you should know that the machine lacks a touch screen, and the weight is on the heavier side as well because of the rugged construction.
Samsung Chromebook 2
For those who don’t know, Samsung’s first Chromebook was a winner, and now, Samsung has made a comeback this time around, and we have another winner at our hands. The Chromebook 2 happens to be an improvement in every way possible. So without further ado, let’s take a look.
Speaking of specs, the Chromebook 2 comes with a dual core Intel Celeron processor, 2 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of SSD, 11.6 inches of screen that has HD resolution. The specs are pretty much the same as other Chromebooks, but we wonder why Samsung opted for lesser RAM because it certainly took a hit on the performance and made it slightly sluggish. We also noticed that the battery timing wasn’t as impressive when compared to the other devices on the list.
Other than the above mentioned caveats, everything else happens to be perfect about the Chromebook 2; it offers a design that looks really good, and the overall machine happens to be very thin actually, and another plus point is the fact that the screen on this puppy also happens to be decent enough. All in all, the Chromebook 2 is definitely a worthy successor.
Acer Chromebook 15 C910
The last machine on our list is the Acer Chromebook 15 C910, and pretty much like the Google Pixel Chromebook, this one also happens to pretty powerful. However, you won’t have to pay a $1,000+ premium on this one. Without wasting any time, let’s take a look at the Acer Chromebook 15 C910.
Starting with the specs, you get a dual core Intel Core i5 5200U processor, 4 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of SSD, and 15.6 inch of full HD screen. From most of the specs, it clearly looks like that this happens to be a fully loaded laptop rather than a Chromebook. We really liked Acer’s choice of adding a Core i5 processor instead of a Celeron chip mainly because the Broadwell chips are really energy efficient and perform better than the Celeron counterparts.
Apart from the slightly uncomfortable keyboard, everything about the Chromebook 15 C910 is a winner, the machine is super-fast, the battery timing is amazing, and the build quality gets a nod from us.
Here are the five best Chromebooks you can buy right now:
5. Dell Chromebook 13
There are very few things put against the Dell Chromebook 13. It’s got a fantastic trackpad, a great display, and impressive performance. The catch? It’s not made out of aluminum like some other Chromebooks—and it’s not quite as thin as those either.
It’s getting a little old at this point, but every time I return to the Dell Chromebook 13, I’m reminded of how great a laptop this computer is. It’s not flashy, but it doesn’t make compromises in any particular area—and that’s impressive for a laptop that costs under $500.—Luke Larsen
4. Acer Chromebook 14
Big Chromebooks don’t have a great reputation—and in case you didn’t know, that includes anything over 13 inches. But Acer has somehow made a large Chromebook that isn’t embarrassing to bring out in public.
The Chromebook 14 is a very good Chromebook, potentially great once the addition of the Google Play Store comes later this year. Whether the machine is ready for Android apps is unclear, given its lack of a touchscreen, and if you fall on the same side as others who’ve reviewed this device, you might want to look elsewhere knowing the Play Store is on the horizon. If you simply want a Chromebook with better-than-average hardware, a good screen, solid performance and substantial battery life, Acer’s latest is a great choice.—Eric Walters
3. Acer Chromebook R11
Yes—it’s made out of plastic, has a poor trackpad, and is a Chromebook. However, the R11 has enough positives to overshadow those downsides. It’s definitely the best convertible Chromebook we’ve seen yet—and one of Acer’s best attempts at nailing the Chromebook formula. It’s got a great display, a nice touchscreen, and impressive battery life, but most importantly, it comes ready to run Android apps right in Chrome OS. With its $299 pricetag, it’s one of the cheapest Chromebooks you can buy—and just happens to be one of the very best.—LL
2. Samsung Chromebook Pro
Designed to be the laptop that replaces your Android tablet, Samsung’s Chromebook Pro will even give more expensive Windows-powered convertibles a run for their money. With support for Android apps on top of Google’s Chrome OS, the Chromebook Pro comes packed with a swiveling 360-degree hinge, allowing the Chromebook to convert to tablet mode. Pen support is also included, which is a perfect complement to Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps for Chromebook.
The Chromebook Pro sports a high resolution QHD screen with the same 3:2 aspect ratio that Microsoft uses on its Surface line. USB-C ports, Intel Core m3 processor and 4K streaming help ensure that your investment in the Chromebook Pro stays future-proof.—Chuong Nguyen
1. HP Chromebook 13
Not only does the HP Chromebook 13 look stunning, its performance shows that at $499, the laptop can go toe-to-toe with $1,000 Ultrabooks and still hold its own. HP defied expectations by delivering a premium notebook with solid performance at a price point that no one else is able to match.
With a build quality that rivals the $1299 MacBook, the Chromebook 13 manages to beat Apple’s laptop in many ways while coming in at a $499 starting price. Compared to the MacBook, you’ll find more ports, a higher resolution display and a more usable keyboard on the Chromebook 13 in a package with a similar all-metal build quality. For Chromebooks on the higher end of the price scale, the HP Chromebook 13 just might be the new standard.—CN
When Google launched the original Chromebooks, it was a simple solution to a simple problem. They were cheap laptops with minimal capabilities—perfect for education and business.
However, it didn’t take long for Chromebooks to become something else entirely. The designs started getting sharper and more premium-looking. Materials went from plastic to aluminum, displays went HD, and battery life went through the roof. All of a sudden, Chromebooks were becoming more and more enticing for the average laptop buyer—especially if you were on a budget.
The change that put Chromebooks’ desirability over the edge was the porting of Android apps over to Chrome OS. You can now run every Android app from the Google Play Store right there on your Chromebook. All of a sudden, Chromebooks have become a very reasonable purchase
Now let’s move to the most important part of this Best Chromebook 2018 list, which is the buyer’s guide that helps you take the right decision of which of these Chromebooks fits your needs and in this Buyer’s Guide will introduce you to the features that you should care about when you’re going to buy a Chromebook.
I think that the first question that comes to your mind is this :
Should I buy a Chromebook?
Well, Chromebooks run ChromeOS as their main operating system and as you probably know that ChromeOS rely on the Internet for most of the time, but after Google announced Chromebook support for Android apps, I think that the feature will make the ChromeOS rely mostly on the android apps more than the Chrome Web-based apps.
Also, I want to say that Chromebooks aren’t designed for heavy users, so if you are one of them, I mean if you are a developer, video producer or designer, Chromebooks are not for you.
Chromebooks mainly designed for simple users that need a computer to check the Inbox, watch movies or browse the net and also for education (Google Docs, Sheets etc.. ).
Chromebooks, in general, offer a great battery life on a daily basis and with the reviewed Chromebooks on the post we found that most of the devices will give about 9 Hours of battery life, if is it for me I will choose a device with 9 or 10 Hours of battery life.
But in the end, the choice is for you: if you use it along the day you need a 9 to 10 Hours battery life device but if you use it for basic tasks for few hours then go for a 7 – 8 Hours device, it will be enough.
Here, you need to decide if you want to take a Touch Screen Device and also, you have to choose Chromebook’s screen size, now after choosing we need to look up at some other features that you should take them into consideration like the brightness and the colors.
if you gonna use your Chromebook mostly for videos and photos purpose I really recommend that you go for a Chromebook that has a FullHD screen or high and one of the most recommended devices is the Samsung Chromebook Pro.
but if you don’t have the budget to buy those kinds of devices or you didn’t care that much about the resolution, Here, I recommend for you to go for a cheap HD screen device that will do the job really well.
Apps and Games:
Chromebooks can run the Chrome Web Store apps, such as Gmail, Drive, Google Calendar and more and this is in itself something good because you can run a bunch of apps from the Chrome Web Store and now with the android support you can download your favorite apps and use them on your Chromebook.
This is an article from AndroidCentral that will help you find if your Chromebook supports Android apps or not, and here I want to say that almost all of the reviewed devices on this post supposed to be supporting Android apps or at least are going to support it in the near future.
As you probably know that the CPU and the RAM define how smoothly or slowly is your computer, generally Chromebooks comes with standard Intel CPUs like the Intel Celeron series but there are some Chromebooks that comes with Intel Core M CPUs like the Asus Flip or the Samsung Pro but they’re a bit expensive, and if you have the budget and you want to make a long-term investment I really recommend that you go for a Chromebook that comes with these CPUs.
But if you haven’t the budget the Intel Celeron CPUs are enough for doing the job.
When it comes to Chromebooks, generally they come with 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and those devices that came with 4GB of RAM are generally more expensive. and obviously, it makes sense, right? because with 4GB of RAM the Chromebooks will be more smoothly.
Chromebooks come with 16GB of storage minimum and they can go up to 32GB and 64GB. And here all we can say that if you’re downloading or using too many applications then you should think to get a Chromebook with enough Storage capacity.
Chromebooks and Offline Use?
As you might know, Chromebooks are designed to rely on the Internet. Which means that you should have Internet access to use the most apps on the Chromebook. But fortunately, there are about 200 apps that you can use offline like Google Drive etc.
and now after Google announced the Android Support, so you can benefit from the hole majority of the Android apps on the Play Store.
How much should I spend?
Well, Chromebooks, in general, comes with cheap prices but there are some devices that come with a high price range and here you need to make the decision. and personally, I recommend that you go for a medium price Chromebook that do the job but if you want to make a long-term investment you can pick an expensive device that allows you to get a better specs and benefit from the full experience.
Choosing a Chromebook based on your needs
Your choice of Chromebook should be based on your particular needs. And your choice may vary depending on whether or not you intend to use it as your primary computer for school or work as well as entertainment and communication.
As a primary computer
If you would like to use a Chromebook as your main computer, choosing the right model becomes even more important.
In fact, until the Play Store becomes accessible to Chromebooks, you will be limited to the Google Chrome web browser and to the few other available applications.
Before choosing a Chromebook to be your only laptop, make sure that you don’t rely on any applications for your work or studies which are only available for Windows.
For example, if you absolutely need photo editing software such as Photoshop or professional video editing software like Adobe Premiere, a Chromebook is probably not the right computer for you.
However, in the vast majority of cases, the possibilities afforded by Chromebooks and websites are more than adequate for most people’s needs.
A Chromebook will allow you to edit documents, create presentations and spreadsheets as well as to do photo editing and many other tasks.
Since you will be using your Chromebook as your primary laptop on a daily basis, you should consider choosing a really good model so as not to regret your decision later on.
Fortunately, in the world of Chromebooks, choosing a very good model does not necessarily mean that you will have to spend a lot of money. In fact, there are some excellent models such as the Toshiba Chromebook 2 or the Acer Chromebook 14 which retail for around 300$.
As a secondary computer
If you are buying a Chromebook to use it as a secondary computer – with a Windows PC or Mac as your primary computer – you will not need to worry so much about what applications it is able to run.
Incidentally, this is my personal set-up. I have a powerful desktop computer which I use for performing complicated tasks or playing demanding games such as Overwatch; in addition, I also have a Chromebook which I use when I move around.
As I am a student, I spend most of my time at school with my Chromebook. When I get home, I switch over to my desktop computer.
One of the major advantages of using a Chromebook as a student is that I always have access to all of my files, no matter what device I am using.
By using Google Drive to store my notes, my assignments and my presentations, everything is safely stored in the cloud and I don’t have to worry about transferring my files from one computer to the other.
Using a Chromebook as a secondary computer allows me to take advantage of the great mobility of Chromebooks while retaining the ability to use a powerful Windows PC for more complicated tasks.
The main features you should pay attention to
Once you have decided whether you will be using your Chromebook as your primary or your secondary computer, you can move on to investigating the main features it should have.
Your Chromebook’s design is the first important element that you should pay attention to.
The majority of Chromebooks are constructed out of plastic in order to reduce their cost and to make them more lightweight. Before choosing a plastic Chromebook, make sure that it is durable – that the quality of the plastic used in its construction is good.
Certain Chromebooks, such as the Acer 14, are of an aluminum construction which gives them a much more refined and professional appearance – resembling that of a Macbook. Moreover, this type of case is more resistant to impacts – a good thing if you intend to take your computer with you whenever you move around.
However, metal cases tend to be heavier and more costly. If you are on a tight budget, opting for an aluminum case is not an absolute necessity, especially since the majority of plastic Chromebook cases are of good quality and are impact-resistant.
When choosing a Chromebook, you should also pay attention to its various ports. Most Chromebooks only have two USB ports, an HDMI port, and a 3.5 audio jack.
You may have noticed the lack of any ethernet port on Chromebooks – which can be a serious problem if you prefer to connect to the internet via ethernet instead of WiFi. Fortunately, there are other ways of connecting an ethernet cable to your Chromebook via USB.
The majority of Chromebooks also have an SD memory card slot, which can be very useful for increasing the storage capacity of your computer or for transferring files. If you would like to use an SD memory card on your Chromebook, make sure the model of Chromebook you are interested in has this capability – some models are not equipped with this type of port.
Display and audio
The display is an essential element of any laptop – one which many people often neglect.
You will be spending hundreds if not thousands of hours in front of your computer’s display – reading articles, watching videos, etc. – so make sure that you choose a computer with a good display.
Most Chromebook displays use IPS technology which provides rich and brilliant colors, but which has the downside of being susceptible to reflections.
The display’s definition is also an important consideration. If you select a 13-inch model – or larger – its display definition should be at least 1080p (full HD).
Chromebooks allow for the adjustment of the display’s luminosity via the keyboard’s keys. This simple and conventional functionality is very practical when changing between environments with different lighting conditions (daytime/nighttime, sunlight/artificial light, etc).
The final important consideration regarding your Chromebook’s display is whether or not it is a touchscreen. More and more Chromebooks are being equipped with touchscreens which allow for faster navigation in addition to allowing the computer to be used as a tablet.
With the arrival of the Play Store for Chromebooks, touchscreens are becoming increasingly important since many Android applications – among which the majority of games – use touchscreens as their primary input device.
However, being equipped with a touchscreen significantly increases a Chromebook’s price. Moreover, the range of touchscreen-equipped Chromebooks available in Europe is very limited – you will therefore not have much choice in the matter.
As a result, it will be up to you to decide whether a higher price and a more limited selection are a price you are willing to pay in order to acquire a Chromebook with a touchscreen.
Another frequently overlooked element is a laptop’s audio equipment.
Generally of very poor quality on Windows portable PCs, the speakers on Chromebooks are usually very good and will allow you to listen to music without cringing.
There is also a very noticeable difference in the sound quality between speakers placed on the top side of a laptop and ones placed on the bottom side. Generally speaking, sounds will be much more muffled on speakers placed at the bottom – although some manufacturers manage to work around this limitation.
As a general rule, the best way to listen to music on your Chromebook will still be to connect a pair of good-quality headphones using the 3.5 audio jack or via Bluetooth.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad of Chromebooks are noticeably better than those used on Windows PCs.
While using a trackpad on a portable Windows PC can be torturous, it is usually an enjoyable experience on a Chromebook.
As a matter of fact, it is so enjoyable that I do not even bother using an external mouse with my Chromebook. In addition to avoiding the need for me to transport a mouse and mouse pad with me everywhere I go, my Chromebook’s trackpad increases my navigation speed and, as a result, my productivity.
My Chromebook’s keyboard is also very enjoyable to use. Fast and efficient, I am able to type on it as quickly as on my 40€ desktop keyboard.
When choosing your Chromebook, make sure that its keyboard and trackpad are of very good quality. In so doing you will save time by increasing your productivity.
Performance and connectivity
Choosing the right Chromebook means choosing a model with sufficiently good performance characteristics for accomplishing all of your intended tasks.
Generally speaking, all Chromebooks offer fast and fluid web navigation thanks to the continuous optimization of the Chrome OS operating system.
You will, therefore, be able to access Facebook, watch Youtube videos and surf the web without any problems. Contrary to entry-level Windows laptops, Chromebooks do not sacrifice performance in order to lower their cost.
However, even Chrome OS’s optimizations have their limits. Moreover, the processors commonly used in Chromebooks such as the Intel Celeron are not designed to provide a great deal of processing power and the 2 to 4 GB of RAM most Chromebooks come equipped with are also a limiting factor.
If you only use your Chromebook for conventional tasks like visiting social networks, watching videos and surfing the web, choosing a Chromebook with an Intel Celeron processor should not pose any problems for you.
However, if you intend to use your Chromebook for intensive tasks – or if you would like Chromebook to be extremely fast – it would be a good idea for you to choose a more powerful processor such as an Intel i3.
In terms of WiFi connectivity, Chromebooks usually have an excellent dual antenna system which allows them to achieve very fast download speeds and to connect to WiFi signals from a great distance.
All Chromebooks have very good battery life – which can range anywhere from 6 to 15 hours depending on the model and the way in which you use your computer.
In order to make your battery last longer, you should reduce your display’s luminosity and decrease the number of tabs that you have open at any given time. By optimizing the battery life of your Chromebook, you may be able to use it for several days without needing to recharge it.
Before buying a Chromebook, pay attention to its battery life and to how long it is able to last before needing to be recharged – especially if you intend to travel a lot with your computer.
What is the best Chromebook you can choose?
The best Chromebook for you is the one which satisfies your particular needs and which has all of the features that you want.
News and Rumors
- Samsung may be working on a detachable 2-in-1 Chromebook, code-named Nautilus, which it could reveal at CES 2018, a year after it showed off the Chromebook Pro and Chromebook Plus.
- The list of Android app-supporting Chromebooks is growing by the day, check out this page to see if yours is supported.
Chromebooks are optimized for Google’s apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive. This deep integration can be either positive or negative, depending on how you use a PC. Chromebooks will be easy to set up if you already use those apps.
MORE: Best Chromebooks Available Now
Unfortunately, popular software applications, such as Adobe Photoshop and the Microsoft Office suite, aren’t available on all Chromebooks. However, Microsoft Office Online, the free cloud version of Office, is available as a webpage in the Chrome browser, and you can always use the native Google Drive to open and edit documents and spreadsheets.
It may be best to stick with Microsoft Office Online if you already have a lot of Office files that you’re bringing over to your Chromebook. There are often formatting issues when importing third-party documents into Drive. Fortunately, Google Drive allows you to save documents to Microsoft formats, so you’ll still be able to share files with non-Chromebook users.
On the other hand, there are a handful of photo editors available for Chrome OS, including Pixlr (free), which looks a lot like Photoshop. But those with existing files are out of luck — there is no Chromebook app that can edit Adobe’s .PSD files.
If those limitations concern you, Android apps are now coming to Chromebooks. However, only a select few systems can access the Google Play store at this time. The idea is to give Chromebooks access to more games, productivity options and other apps to make these machines more versatile.
Currently, Android-capable Chromebooks include the Samsung Chromebook Plus, Asus Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11 and Google’s own Chromebook Pixel. If you’re looking to take a Chromebook to school with you, make it one of those.
Chromebooks are designed to rely heavily on the Internet, which means that many apps simply won’t work if you’re out of Wi-Fi range. There are more than 200 offline Chrome apps that can work without Internet connectivity, including Gmail, Pocket and Google Drive, and tons of the Android apps coming soon will also work offline.
You’ll still be able to play games on the Chromebook, but your options are sparse. The Chrome Web Store offers casual titles such as Bejeweled and Cut the Rope, but you won’t have the same selection as you would on a Windows machine or a Mac. Of course, Chromebooks with Android support get more modern titles such as Fallout Shelter, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Minecraft.
Chromebooks generally have limited graphics processing power, so you’ll want to stick to less demanding titles.
Google Assistant landed on the Chrome OS platform in the Pixelbook. While you can activate it with the Pixelbook Pen, that $99 accessory isn’t necessary when you have the dedicated Assistant key in that laptop’s keyboard. While the launcher is currently integrated with Google Now, giving you info cards for the current weather and local news stories, we could see it switching to Google Feed.
Google redesigned the on-screen keyboard for touch-screen use, making it easier to use on 2-in-1s like the Asus Chromebook Flip. With a minimalist design, the on-screen keyboard recognizes your scribbles and gives you choices of text to input. When we tested that feature, it was almost always accurate in recognizing our writing. Also, soon, Android smartphone users will be able to get text and call-pop-up notifications on their desktop.
Chromebooks typically offer exceptional battery life, but not as much as they used to. Of the 10 Chromebooks we’ve reviewed in the past year, we’ve seen an average of 9 hours and 15 minutes of endurance on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi.
On the top end, you’ll notice standouts like the Acer Chromebook R 13‘s runtime of 11:00, though the average is down from the 9:59 time we previously found. Google’s own Pixelbook, disappointingly, offers a relatively short 7 hours and 43 minutes of juice.
We recommend shooting for at least 9 hours of juice, which half of the Chromebooks we’ve reviewed offer. While some affordable Windows 10 notebooks, like the Lenovo Miix 310 (12:24) and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (13:39), offer amazing battery life, the ultraportable notebook average is a shorter 8 hours and 21 minutes.
Similar to business notebooks made to survive drops and other minor disasters, Chromebooks for Work are built to withstand falls, scrapes and similar punishment. In our testing, the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work proved durable, surviving unscratched and fully functional after our Dropbot 5000 test bench dropped it from a height of 48 inches onto a plywood plank.
Both the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work and the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook (another For Work model) are MIL-STD-810G certified, meaning they’re capable of passing durability testing that U.S. Military equipment must pass. The Acer Chromebook 14 For Work can survive extreme temperatures (minus 20.2 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit), humidity, vibration, rain, sand and dust.
Durable Chromebooks aren’t just for adults. The kid-friendly Acer Chromebook 11 N7 C731T survived a full glass of water getting spilled onto its keyboard, as well as the 48-inch high drops from our Dropbot 5000. It may have gotten scuffed along the way, but it’s a good option for clumsier users.
Manageability and Security
Chromebook for Work models also offer tools that IT administrators need to manage laptops in and out of the office. The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook and Google’s Pixelbook include the Trusted Platform Module, a security chip that helps keep malicious attackers away from your passwords.
What Size Screen Do I Need?
Most Chromebooks fall between 11 and 13 inches. That means you won’t have trouble choosing a smaller model, such as the 11-inch Acer Chromebook 11 N7 , the 12.5-inch Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA and the 13-inch ThinkPad 13 Chromebook.
These models often weigh less than 3 pounds, making them the most portable, and great options for kids. However, the screen size and keyboards may seem cramped for adults.
The Acer Chromebook 15 is the only 15-inch Chrome OS notebook available.
Those looking for more real estate for Web surfing, getting work done, watching movies and playing games can pick up the 14-inch Acer Chromebook 14 for Work, or the 15-inch Acer Chromebook 15, the only Chrome OS notebooks above 13 inches. Unfortunately, both are on the older end of the spectrum, as there hasn’t been much demand for large Chromebooks. Don’t even look for a 17-inch Chromebook; they’re not out there.
What Specs Do I Need?
Because Chromebooks are meant primarily for online use, the specs aren’t as important as they are for Windows laptops, but you’ll still want to know how much power and storage you’re getting for your money. Here’s a quick guide.
When it comes to RAM, Chromebooks come with either 2GB or 4GB. While models with 4GB are more expensive, we’ve found that difference to be worth it for multi-tasking.
Both the HP Chromebook 14 (4GB RAM) and the Lenovo 100S Chromebook (2GB RAM) featured the same Celeron N2840 processors, but the HP notebook handled more than a dozen open tabs without a problem while the Lenovo stuttered with 10 open Chrome tabs and Spotify playing. Our tests of the Windows version of the Lenovo Ideapad 100S ($180) show that similarly spec’d PCs can handle a larger stack of tabs.
The processor in your Chrome OS machine helps determine how smoothly your Chromebook performs, especially when you have multiple tabs open and you’re streaming video or playing games.
We find Intel Celeron chips in many Chromebooks, and they often provide acceptable speed. The $229 Acer Chromebook 11 N7 C731T (Celeron N3060, 4GB RAM) for example, could run 8 concurrent Chrome tabs, but stuttered after we opened another.
You can get a Windows 10 laptop with similar specs and price, such as the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 ($229), but it might not be as capable. That machine has the same processor and memory, but while it lasts more than 13 hours, its performance was less than that of the 11 N7.
If that doesn’t sound like enough for you, certain Chromebooks pack Intel Core CPUs for even more speed. The biggest downside to these Core M Chromebooks, such as the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA ($499) and Samsung Chromebook Pro ($549) is their heftier price. Don’t worry about that powerful CPU affecting the battery life, as the Samsung Chromebook Pro (Core M3) provided more power and longer longevity (8:05) than its weaker Chromebook Plus (ARM MediaTek; 7:46) sibling.
If you want a Chromebook with enough speed to run your favorite Android apps, consider laptops with the Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, such as the Pixelbook.
If you want a Chromebook without an Intel Chip, there’s always 2014’s Acer Chromebook 13, the only Chrome OS machine with an Nvidia chip (the Tegra K1). While it offers excellent graphics performance, it doesn’t offer a touch screen.
Since Chrome OS is so lightweight, Chromebooks often don’t need much storage. Most pack just 16GB of onboard storage, and that’s likely all you’ll need at this stage. Once Android support lands on the platform, users will find ways to make use of the SD card reader in notebooks such as the Acer Chromebook 14, where you can expand the storage up to 64GB.
Spring for a 32GB model now if you’re buying with Android apps in mind. Similarly-priced Windows laptops often include 32GB by default, but that operating system takes up so much space that you’re left with a similar amount of free storage as a 16GB Chromebook.
Google gives you 100GB of free Google Drive storage with every Chromebook purchase, though that only lasts for two years, after which you’ll only have the standard 15GB of free space.
The size of the screen isn’t the only thing that matters. While we appreciate the bright, color-accurate panel in the$179 Samsung Chromebook 3, its 1366 x 768-pixel dimensions mean it’s best for writing and reading. But if you want sharper images, video and graphics, spring for one with a full-HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels), such as the $359 Acer Chromebook R 13.
Windows 10 has been built for touch screens, but you can get the same functionality in Chrome OS. You just have to know which one to get — and expect to pay about a $100 premium. The $280 Acer Chromebook R 11 can bend into a tablet, making use of its IPS touch-screen display.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is our overall favorite Chromebook. Image: Jeremy Lips/LaptopMag.
The $449 Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA also has a touch screen, and it’s one of the few to currently support Android apps, though others will gain that support later this year. If the prospect of using What’s App, Super Mario Run and other apps on a Chromebook sounds like an option for you, make sure your next Chromebook includes a touch screen.
The Pixelbook offers one of the best displays we’ve seen in a Chromebook, with a QHD 2400×1600-pixel resolution and 421 nits of brightness.
Who Are You Buying It For?
Overall, the best way to tell if someone will enjoy owning a Chromebook is if you know they already spend most of their time in the Chrome browser. Those users will take to the notebook naturally.
If you’re buying this Chromebook for someone else, you should take a few moments to consider how they’re going to use the device. Chromebooks are especially good for younger students, as they are ease to use and are fairly secure.
Children who are still learning how to use computers may be more receptive to learning how a new operating system works, and while there’s no official Minecraft title for Chrome OS, the Android-based Minecraft: Pocket Edition will become available on certain Chromebooks later this year.
Some elder relatives may have never truly understood Windows enough to use their PC frequently, but others who have learned just enough to make do may become frustrated that they need to relearn where downloads go, or that their favorite app is not available for Chrome.
But if your office will support Chrome OS, you might want to look into getting your company to spring for the Pixelbook. Its aluminum unibody design is insanely thin, and features elegant Gorilla Glass and Silicon accents.
How Much Should I Spend?
There’s a pretty narrow price range for Chromebooks. At the low end, you can pick up the affordable and light $169 Acer Chromebook R11, which has an 11.6-inch HD display, an Intel Celeron N3150 CPU and 2GB of RAM. On the other end of the spectrum is the $549 Samsung Chromebook Pro, a stylus-equipped 12.3-inch notebook with a 2400 x 1600-pixel display, an Intel Core M3 processor and 4GB of RAM.
You’ll probably wind up paying more for a Windows 10 notebook, as the average selling price for a PC is $448, according to NPD. There are more affordable options, as we’ve detailed here, but the PC laptop market has a much higher cap than the Chromebook market.
You can even wind up spending as much as $1,199 on the 12.3-inch Pixelbook, which will soon have an even higher top price when the $1,649 Core i7 model becomes available. The $999 model is likely the best Pixelbook for most, with 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and a Core i5 processor, enough for both Chrome and Android.
Chromebooks are affordable and offer decent performance, and the introduction of Android apps is increasing their capabilities. Microsoft is fighting back with low-cost Windows 10 S laptops, but if you’re looking for a simple way to get online and you prefer Google’s services, you’ll be happy with a Chromebook.