If you are an Android fan, and like its simplicity, but still want something more, Chromebook might be what you are looking for. Although Chromebook isn’t a regular laptop and has its limitations, it can be a nifty thing. Its lightweight Chrome OS is designed to support the Google Play apps (at least all the latest Chromebook releases are, or will be in the close future), and work with the web-based services providing a great tool for both your work and pleasure.
Finding the best Chromebook for your needs can be a tricky task, but great things always deserve a bit more effort, therefore – enjoy the ride.
How to Choose the Best Chromebook
As mentioned, a Chromebook isn’t a notebook. It is more of a smartphone that looks like a laptop. It is heavily dependent on the internet because the majority of apps and services need web connectivity. Also, CAD, Adobe Photoshop, and similar, more complex applications will be a “Mission Impossible” on a Chromebook.
Keep that in mind when you are deciding whether or not you are going to purchase it. Luckily, there are devices for every pocket and every purpose. Just pay attention to a couple of important details before you start looking for the best Chromebook for your needs.
Screen resolution, its size, whether it’s a touchscreen or not, are all important aspects of your device. Resolution of 2.400 x 1.600p will provide a great experience when playing videos, although even the FHD of 1.920 x 1.080p will be more than enough for the majority of the videos.
14” or 15” in size will provide a more comfortable use of multiple windows, while 11” in size will deliver more portability and ease when carried around. Same goes for the touchscreen that guarantees easier and faster use of a Chromebook.
Performance (Processor and Memory)
When talking processors, more GHz’s is always better, but don’t forget about the cache that is equally important as a processor’s speed. More megabytes in that department will provide a faster responsiveness and completion of the tasks. Celerons are the weakest processors but are enough for modest requirements. Ordinary work asks for m/i3’s Pentiums, while high performance requires m/i5s or m/i7s.
Multi-cores will allow for a simultaneous use of multiple applications, while more GB of memory allows for more fluid work. For instance, 1080p YouTube videos will suffer from a 2GB’s of RAM, but the 720p ones will go smoothly.
If you are not a fan of games that can be 2GB in size or more, and you have a huge collection of music that needs to be with you 24/7, even 16GB of storage will be enough. Don’t forget that many of the applications are online-based and don’t require a big storage space and that Google provides additional 100GB of storage on Google Drive for every newly bought Chromebook.
If your budget allows it, go for bigger numbers; if not, calculate. Keep in mind that everything between 32GB and 64GB of storage is normal. The presence of an SD card slot is also a handy thing that can give you additional 64GB of storage or more, so think through all the options.
The presence and number of an HDMI or USB connectors maybe aren’t crucial but can prove to be, if you are planning to connect your Chromebook to another device, or other devices to it – such as a mouse or an external hard drive. The more options you have, the better, right?
If your work asks for a practicality of a tablet, but also a presence of a regular keyboard, a 2-in-1 feature is what you should look for. On the other hand, if you are old-school, and have no real need for additional portability that a tablet delivers, the choice should be pretty simple.
When talking about battery life, it can be put into one sentence: between 7 and 8 hours of work is expected, and everything above 9 hours is excellent.
Luckily, Chromebooks are relatively cheap. Yes, there are ones for above $1000, but the majority is in the budget category, in the range from 200 to 300 dollars. It is all up to your budget and demands. There is a choice for every pocket.
1. Lenovo Chromebook C330
Not everyone can afford to pay $500+ for a device that’s mostly used for browsing and working with Google tools. So, if you’re looking for something more affordable, but equally powerful, the C330 from Lenovo is a great choice.
Equipped with 4GB PLDDR3 and 64 GB eMMC, this device is powered by a MediaTek MT8173C processor. As a result, it supports multitasking and the data is processed quickly into the storage memory.
Moreover, the 11.6-inch, 10-point touchscreen IPS display supports FHD (1366 x 768) resolution and the hinge can be folded at 360-degrees.
Overall, the device is lightweight (2.6 lbs.) and thin, even with the keyboard fully folded in tablet mode. It can be used in an office or when traveling, since it was built to support both WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1. Also, the C330 comes with USB-C, USB 3.0, and SD ports for effortless connectivity wherever you are.
- Solid build, even though the chassis is plastic
- A wide range of available ports
- IPS display
- Good processing power for the price
- The processor is optimized for Google Play apps
- Flexible design
- Long battery life (10h+)
- No pen
- Some apps are not compatible
- Screen resolution is not the best
- The hinge is a bit frail
2. Acer Chromebook Spin 13
Equipped with 8GB LPDDR3, 128GB eMMC, and powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, the Chromebook Spin 13 is one of the best on the market.
The device is a tablet and a laptop (due to the 360° hinge) and can easily become a sketchbook whenever you want (due to the integrated pen). Furthermore, the 13.5-inch touchscreen supports 2K resolution in a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is more advanced than many laptops on the market. This also means more screen space, so you can work on, read, or view media in greater detail.
The aluminum chassis is durable, looks amazing, and allows the device to be lightweight and portable. Moreover, the touchscreen and touchpad are designed with Corning Gorilla Glass, which means they won’t scratch or break easily.
The battery will last for about 10 hours and users have full access to Google Play apps. Finally, the device has one headphone jack, one Micro SD card slot, and one USB 3.1 Type-C port, which can be used for a wide range of activities such as charging, data transfer, or video streaming.
- High-quality video resolution
- Durable body and touchscreen
- Included pen for a natural approach
- Long-lasting battery
- Powerful processor
- Plenty of RAM and storage memory
- The case can be difficult to open
- The pen can only be removed in tablet mode
- The charger is a USB-C power brick
3. Samsung Chromebook Plus
If you’re always on the go and you need the perfect device for work, the Chromebook Plus by Samsung may be a fantastic choice. It is lightweight (just under 3 pounds), powerful enough (Intel Core m3, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC), and can be used as a laptop, a tablet, or a sketchbook.
The 12.2-inch FHD screen (1920 x 1200 resolution) is perfect for any type of work, and the Chrome OS runs fast and smooth. It also gives you access to a plethora of Google services and Google Play, and its flexible design makes it easy to fold as needed for your comfort.
The device comes with a pen that doesn’t need to be charged, so it’s ready to work whenever you need it. The pen can be used for drawing, writing, editing, and has various functions such as magnifying or taking screenshots.
Finally, the battery is powerful enough to last for about 13 hours and the device is equipped with two cameras (one 13MP camera with autofocus on the back and one on the front for video chat). Moreover, if the built-in memory is not enough, you can always add more using a microSD card.
- Flexible design
- Great for browsing
- Access to Google Play apps
- Good battery life
- Solid case & lightweight
- The touchscreen responsiveness if on point
- Best performance in tablet mode
- Some Android apps are glitchy
- Works best with Google services
- The RAM memory is a bit low
4. Dell Inspiron 11.6″ HD Chromebook
Dell Inspiron 11.6″ HD Chromebook is another device that offers reasonable performance for a reasonable price. With an 11.6” HD screen, Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 2 USB 3.0 and HDMI connectors, 10 hours of battery life, and for under $200 dollars, you will get what you paid for and much more.
A bulky design, sealed keyboard, and reinforced hinges promise that this gadget will last for a long time and that it will withstand a lot of abuse, making it adequate for your kids too. Maybe this is the best Chromebook for kids or the best budget Chromebook, it doesn’t really matter which category you will place it into – it is only important that Dell Inspiron 11.6″ HD Chromebook offers real value for money and no matter for what it is intended for, it will do the job.
- Durable design
- Small keyboard
5. Samsung Chromebook 3
A Samsung quality for the small price of just under $200 dollars is a good opportunity for anyone who wants a reliable Chromebook for everyday activities. The 11.6” HD screen, Celeron N3060 processor, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage are not the state of the art components, but with the amazing 11 hours of battery life and compact size that will suit even kids’ hands, this is a good deal.
If you have a restricted budget but want a decent performance, Chromebook 3 is made for you. There are not that many machines that can fulfill these two requirements, which makes this the best Chromebook for under $200. It’ll give you a full Chromebook experience at an affordable price.
- Precise screen
- Great battery life
- Good overall performance
- Sound from the speakers isn’t clear
- Its bottom can overheat
- Strange position of some buttons
6. Lenovo Yoga C630
Lenovo Yoga C630 model is powered by the 8th generation of Intel i5 series, i5-8250U, which shows better performance than i7-7500U. It has four cores, each 1.6GHz, up to 3.4GHz and 6MB Cache. This is an excellent processor, that will most certainly satisfy most users. Along with that comes Intel UHD Graphics 620 and 128GB MicroSD card for additional storage.
C630 features 15.6” FHD Multitouch Display with energy-efficient WLED backlight. The display is fully foldable. To ensure everything runs smoothly, C630 has 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB eMMC storage. Three USB ports are included, as well as one headphone/microphone jack, ethernet jack and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Stereo Speakers, and HD Webcam features.
C630 comes with pre-installed Chrome OS. It weighs 4.19 lbs, it is just 0.7” thick and it features Lithium-ion battery with three cells, which can last for 10 hours of intensive work.
- Excellent Quad-Core i5 processor
- 360 degrees foldable screen
- A very good amount of RAM memory
- All necessary jacks included
- Pretty solid Lithium-ion battery
- The keyboard is a bit hard, which makes typing harder
7. Acer Chromebook 15
The thing that separates this one from the crowd is certainly its FHD 15” IPS multi-touch screen and the quality of a MacBook. This screen size is more expected in an ordinary laptop than in a Chromebook, and it guarantees for a comfortable use of multiple windows and full enjoyment in video streaming.
Other hardware doesn’t fall behind and includes a Intel Celeron N3350, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 2 USB Type-C and 2 USB 3.0 connectors, and a battery that can last for the unbelievable 12 hours. When we combine that with its price of about $300, this device can compete for both “the best cheap laptop” and “the best cheap Chromebook” titles.
- Amazing battery life
- Eye-catching design
- Big IPS screen
- Old fashioned trackpad
- Not 2-in-1
8. Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 C7486
Dell Inspirion C7486 model features 14” full HD TrueLife LED Touch IPS display with fully integrated EMR pen support, to make it possible for you to write, draw and control actions on the screen with great ease. It is powered by i3-8130U processor, which belongs to the 8th generation of Intel processors, so you will notice pretty solid performance.
C7486 comes with 4GB of RAM memory and 128GB eMMC flash memory, which is more than enough for basic users, and even some advanced users. Another very useful feature is 360 degrees flip and folds design, which allows you to use this Chromebook as tablet. It comes with integrated Intel UHD GPU 620, as well as HDMI output.
Apart from that, it has backlit keyboard, integrated webcam, and pretty good Intel Wireless AC connection, up to 867 Mbps. It also comes with Chrome OS but does not include DVD/CD drive and Stylus pen.
- 360 degrees foldable display
- Solid processor
- A good amount of storage space
- Good Wi-Fi technology
- Comes with pre-installed Chrome OS
- DVD/CD ROM not included
- Stylus Pen not included
9. HP Chromebook 14-db0050nr
HP Chromebook 14 is one of the best representatives of the Chromebook family. Compact, nicely designed and equipped with a fairly big 14” Full HD screen, AMD Dual-Core A4-9120 Processor, 32GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, this HP will guarantee for hours and hours of comfortable work and entertainment. Chromebook 14 is not a high performer, but it will do a decent job.
When its price tag of only a bit more than $200 is put into the equation, this guy shines even brighter and surely becomes the best Chromebook under $300, if not the best value for money Chromebook you can buy. The battery life is average at about 8 and a half hours, but this obviously doesn’t affect its already established popularity.
- Amazing keyboard and trackpad
- Nice finish
- A bit slow
- No 2-in-1 capability
10. Samsung Chromebook Pro XE510C24-K01US
Samsung is the name for itself in the IT industry, and there is practically no segment of the market in which they are not present with their competitive products. Of course, the Chromebook department is no exception. Chromebook Pro delivers the Samsung vision of this device: a combination of great features and quality hardware. M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, 12.3″ QHD touchscreen with 360° hinge, and 2 USB Type-C connectors, along with the practical design of Samsung, make this one a device worth having.
Smooth work and quality build are the trademarks of Samsung, and this is no exception. Chromebook Pro has a built-in Google Play support and delivers speedy performance that outdoes most similar devices, and can even match the regular laptops. This makes its price of about $500 worth paying.
- Stylus support
- Attractive design
- Weak speakers
- Only 16GB of storage
11. Asus Chromebook Flip C434
C434 features 14” FHD touchscreen with four-way NanoEdge Display, which makes the colors and screen look beautiful. The display is very durable and can be rotated for 360 degrees and used in different modes, such as tablet, tent and stand mode.
Flip C434 is powered by 3.4Ghz Intel m3-8100y processor. Along with 4GB LPDDR3 system memory and 64GB of emulated MMC storage, it is capable of providing excellent performance and good loading speed.
This 2-in-1 laptop is very light, weighing only 3 lbs, despite being made of the aluminum metal body, which makes it very durable and pretty. It comes with integrated Chrome OS and some Google Play Store apps, which is very useful to people who cannot spend too much time on getting all software packages on their own.
- Completely foldable display
- The very good M3 processor
- Pre-installed Chrome OS
- Very light, weighing only 3 lbs
- Extremely durable, due to its aluminum build
- Not good for too demanding work, due to shortage of RAM memory
12. Google Pixelbook
Aluminum chassis, Gorilla Glass, the thickness of only 0,4 inches, and a backlit keyboard, combined with a sleek design, make this Chromebook a one-of-a-kind premium device, that can be compared to the best Ultrabooks on the market today.
A mixture of a built-in Google assistant, a native run of Google Play apps, a bright 2400x1600p 12.3” touchscreen display with 360° capability, its powerful i5, combined with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and 2 USB Type-C connectors… and much more lead to the conclusion that the Pixelbook is simply above the competition and it is one of the best Chromebooks out there right now. You should have no problems when working with it – everything runs smoothly, it’s fast, and will give you a feeling like working with the high-end full-grown laptops. It is priced at about $1000 but is worth every cent.
- Excellent design
- Amazing keyboard
- Pen is sold separately
- Modest battery life
- Poor audio
Choosing the best Chromebook for your needs will be a difficult task, especially if you are not quite sure what it is that you need. So, first review the characteristics that set them apart, find ones that are important to you, and then go through our list again to find the best option.
Good luck and have fun with it!