It isn’t easy to separate the best Chromebooks from the rest of the package, especially when they all have similar names and few (apart from Google) have a well-known reputation. They also differ in many ways, with everything from simpler, affordable laptops to premium 2-in-1s with a touch screen. Chromebooks are best for students and ideal for those who are always connected to the Internet (aren’t we all today). Plus, many notebooks offer excellent battery life, run Android apps, and offer Chrome OS, a lightweight alternative to Windows 10 and macOS. It’s so low-maintenance that you’ll never think of system updates.
Besides, Chromebooks do all the hard work for you when it comes to system updates. Google’s ChromeOS downloads and installs updates in the background and never disturbs you to install them (sorry, Windows 10) or bugs to download the latest version (sorry, macOS). And the updates happen quietly when you restart your Chromebook.
Best Chromebooks List
Check out our top selections for 2020 when you’re ready to jump on the Chromebook bandwagon. If you’re looking for a back to school device, check out our best student laptops guide.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436
The best Chromebook right now
The best overall Chromebook, the Flip C436, is an excellent successor to the Flip C302CA, our previous topper. Not only do the super small edges allow Asus to fit its large 14-inch screen in a smaller chassis than you’d expect, that display is both bright and colorful. What’s more, the aluminum design delivers a more premium feel than many other Chromebooks. Oh, and I almost forgot: it lasts over 10 hours on a single charge. Overall, this is the best Chromebook right now.
Google Pixelbook Go
A premium Chromebook for you
For a premium Chrome OS experience, look no further than Google’s Pixelbook Go. Kids may be mocking if their parents use the word “Chromebook” because they are synonymous with previous education, but this is a Chromebook for all ages. First of all, the sleek, lightweight design comes in two colors: Just black and not pink, which makes this Pixelbook not look like a MacBook Air. Besides, the quiet and comfortable keyboard is ideal for typing late at night when your roommates sleep.
Students in higher education will also appreciate the Pixelbook Go if they need to get some air away from a power adapter. The Pixelbook Go lasted over 11 hours on our battery test. Oh, and don’t let your student think that the Pixelbook Go doesn’t have the speed they need: it has Intel Core m3 via Core i7 CPUs, so you don’t have to settle, plus up to 16GB RAM for all the Chrome tabs you might need. Overall, this is one of the best Chromebooks.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
The best looking Chromebook
It may not have the battery life you expect from a Chromebook, but that can be excused if you look at how the Galaxy Chromebook breaks so many of the other rules of what a Chromebook should be. The Fiesta Red chassis goes beyond eye-catching and gets drooling before you can say, “wow, is that a Chromebook?”. It even comes with Samsung’s S-Pen stylus, which can be used in tablet mode.
The Core i5 CPU is so fast that I watched four 1080p YouTube videos on it, without stuttering, to see if I could. Oh, it’s crazy thin and light, competing on size and weight with the MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13. But the best thing is the beautiful 4K AMOLED display, which makes the colors pop and offer bright tones. It’s so great that it reminds us to add Netflix Chrome support for 4K video.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11
Work and play
If your kids have finally graduated from a good laptop for writing papers for class, but you still want them to get something that won’t break the first time it falls, then the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 might be the laptop for you. It’s powerful enough to tackle the kids’ daily schoolwork, and it’s a 2-in-1 so they can flip the comfortable keyboard to turn it into tablet mode for playing Android games or watching their favorite shows standstill. The display is a bit dim, and it won’t blow you away as far as performance, but it’s cheap, stable, and reliable. Overall, this is one of the best Chromebooks right now.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
The best 2-in-1 Chromebook
If you don’t have the best impression of the Acer laptops, let the Chromebook Spin 713 change that for you. This ChromebookSpin 713 has almost everything you could ask for in a budget laptop. You get a bright and colorful 13.5-inch touch-display, exceptional battery life of nearly 12 hours, and fast performance thanks to the Core i5 processor. Plus, the design is made of aluminum and is 2-in-1, so you can flip the screen and turn it into a tablet.
With a thickness of 0.7-inches and 3 pounds, Spin 713 can easily be carried in a backpack on the way to class or work. Yes, the keyboard is a little shallow, and the speaker may be better; however, if you want a convertible Chromebook at a low price, you won’t do better than the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Overall, this is one of the best Chromebooks that you can buy right now.
Samsung Chromebook 4
The best budget Chromebook
The best Chromebook for people on a budget, the Samsung Chromebook 4 impresses with its battery life. This laptop lasted more than 10.5 hours surfing the web on a single charge. The aluminum lid of the Chromebook 4 makes it look like a much more expensive computer – although it has a plastic base. The performance of this Chromebook is another highlight, making multitasking much faster than I expected for this price.
The Chromebook 4 is also thinner and lighter than competing 11.6-inch Chromebooks, although we want the screen to be supported by a touch input and rotate. Its screen is acceptable for daily work, but don’t expect to see colors popping or much detail when watching movies or spending time on YouTube. The speakers are okay but recommend you use your headphones in a crowded place.
HP Chromebook x2
Another 2-in-1 Chromebook
With all-day battery life, a comfortable, detachable design, the HP Chromebook x2 is one of the best Chromebooks for business users. It’s like a Microsoft Surface Pro running Chrome OS. The Chromebook x2 also offers a crisp, clear screen, quality sound, and a comfortable keyboard for rugged typing. The Core m3 processor isn’t great, but it’s oomph enough to work mostly in the cloud. Plus, HP includes the keyboard and pen in the price.
HP Chromebook 14
Striking optimal balance between value and design
The best Chromebooks balance spot price and efficient use of Chrome OS – and the HP Chromebook 14 is the perfect example. While similar in many ways to the Acer Chromebook 15, this 14-inch Chromebook is a little more compact and looks slightly better. Finished in a bright blue color and a screen made to shine, HP’s Chromebook 14 offers the best value of any Chromebook in this list. Even when battery life and performance are average, the HP Chromebook 14 is easily one of the best Chromebooks yet.
We were especially impressed by how slim and light this Chromebook is, which means the HP Chromebook 14 is an excellent device for anyone who wants a durable laptop that they can carry with them comfortably. If you want a device to work on while lying on the couch, this is also a great choice. Also, unlike some other Chromebooks, the Chromebook 14 comes with numerous ports, including HDMI-out, Type-A USB 3.0, and a microSD card slot, making this a very versatile Chromebook.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet
The best budget 2-in-1 Chromebook
Sometimes it’s incredible how much you can get for $300 or less. For example, the Chromebook Duet is a 2-in-1 Chromebook that offers something Microsoft’s Surfaces and Apple’s iPads don’t: the keyboard is included as standard. Not only do you get that value, but the tablet display of the Chromebook Duet is excellent in itself, with a surprising amount of color reproduction and a sharp 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution.
Smaller hands may find the Chromebook Duet’s keyboard a little on the tight side, but for this price, every keyboard is a surprise and a steal. The Chromebook Duet features ChromeOS tablet optimizations that are long overdue to take advantage of all the space on the screen. And all that? It took 12 hours and 47 minutes, almost 13 hours. Overall, this is one of the best Chromebooks right now.
Dell Inspiron 11 Chromebook
Decent performance, cheap price
If your child needs a laptop, and they use it for the basics, the Dell Inspiron 11 Chromebook is the best one to buy. The spill-resistant keyboard is ideal for when your child is having a drink or when you’re pushing your coffee over when you’re trying to help him or her with his or her math homework – all for under $300. If your child has remote lessons, the laptop’s loudspeaker becomes pretty loud to hear their teacher. And because the Inspiron 11 is a 2-in-1, it can easily be rotated to tablet mode to use the touchscreen. If you need more storage space, you can expand the internal capacity with a microSD card.