The best Chromebooks can offer a simple and effortless laptop experience. They're great for light work, surfing the web and other daily tasks, and these days, they offer some impressive OS, battery life and overall performance.
We've selected some of the best Chromebooks that are a great slim alternative to a standard laptop and can give you a great user-friendly experience whatever you're using it for.
They're great for at school or home, and the best part is they are usually very budget-friendly, with many coming in under $300 yet providing impressive performance nonetheless.
If you're wondering if you should buy a Chromebook or a regular laptop, check out our round-up below to help you breakdown the pros and cons of each device. Ultimately if you're looking for an inexpensive laptop that can still do everything you need on a daily basis, a Chromebook will likely be a good option for you.
The best Chromebooks you can buy today
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The Pixelbook Go is the latest Chromebook direct from Google, and while we miss the taller screen of the original Pixelbook, there's no doubt that this newer, faster model gets a lot right. A variety of configuration options are available, up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB and a 4K display.
We've got yet more evidence that the Google hardware design team is hitting its stride with the Pixelbook Go, from the slim bezels around the display to the textured rubber underneath the laptop, which keeps it in place when it's on a firm surface (or on your actual lap).
Chrome OS flies along on the Pixelbook Go, and it's a fine example to other Chromebook manufacturers of just how good these laptops can be. You don't get the ability to fold the display over and use the device as a tablet, however. To find out more, head to our Pixelbook Go review.
While most Chromebooks on this list will have typical 13-inch screen sizes, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a different beast. That's because it houses a 16-inch screen, that's also high-resolution, and there's more power here than you'll find with much of the competition (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics at the top-end).
That makes it a Chromebook that can even perform gaming tasks, which is a million miles away from where Chrome OS began its life, that's for sure. Of course you'll need to pay more for the pleasure but, actually, all considered the 516 GE is still very reasonably priced.
If you want to learn more about why Acer's Chromebook 516 GE is more powerful and premium than its competition then read our full review for full insight.
"The Lenovo Duet 5 is an excellent Chromebook, with a very long battery life and a gorgeous screen. Due to the kickstand, it doesn’t really work on the lap, though, and there are better keyboards out there. However, it’s a huge upgrade on the last model and great value for money." – T3's Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook review
The Lenovo Duet 5 is a big upgrade from last year's model. Not only is that screen a larger 13.3-inches in size, it's also an OLED display, giving you bright and punchy colors. It also has a more powerful Snapdragon processor that handles all Chrome OS apps with ease, 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage.
Being a 2-in-1 design the keyboard is removable on the Duet 5, so you can use it as a tablet or snap the keyboard cover on for regular laptop-style operation. All this does mean that the keyboard isn't as sturdy as a regular laptop design and that kickstand that holds the screen up needs a flat surface – this is not a machine you can balance on your lap (at least not with the keyboard).
If a 2-in-1 is the design you're after, you'll get a lot more value here than something like the iPad Pro from Apple or the Surface Pro from Microsoft, though with considerably less power. Another plus here is upwards of 15 hours of battery life.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is aimed mainly at business users, hence features such as remote management – but if you have the money to be able to afford it, we think this is an appealing ChromeOS laptop for any consumers who want something that looks and feels premium level.
What strikes you first about the laptop is the quality of its design and build. It's super-compact, with a screen size of just 13.5 inches, and the magnesium-aluminium chassis, the frosted finish, and the dark blue and silver combination work really well. You can fold the screen right back against the keyboard too, giving you plenty of flexibility in terms of the form factor.
The specs under the hood are comfortably enough to handle Chrome browser tabs and Android apps, and it scores highly in other areas too: the webcam, the sound system, the trackpad and keyboard, the included stylus, and the SIM card slot that lets you add 4G or 5G connectivity if you want.
"The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 impresses in almost every area: though it's not quite the perfect Chromebook, it scores highly in terms of its bright 13.5-inch display, the performance you get under the hood, it's better-than-average battery life, and more." – T3's Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review
On one hand, all Chromebooks are the same, as they all run Chrome OS. On the other hand, there's plenty of variety in terms of screen size, build quality, keyboard and trackpad performance, and all the other factors that go into making a laptop. The Spin 713 from Acer ticks a lot of the right boxes, and we think it's the best Chromebook for most people.
It comes with a high-resolution, 2265 x 1504 pixel 13.5-inch screen that can be folded over and used in tent mode, as well as plenty of power under the hood – we're talking up to an Intel Core i5-10210U processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. This should be able to handle all the Chrome tabs and Android apps you throw at it, and then some.
Other extras that we appreciate include an HDMI out port – not something you see very often on a Chromebook – and the 3:2 aspect ratio on the display, which means you can fit much more on the screen vertically, compared with a 16:9 or even a 16:10 aspect ratio display. A polished and professional-looking Chromebook.
The Acer Chromebook Vero 514 makes great claims for its eco-credentials, and the company should be applauded for innovating in this area. There's still room for improvement with the volume of materials, but it's ahead of the competition in this regard.
The Vero is a fast device with a decent screen that's more than capable of typical computing tasks, from surfing the web and checking emails to streaming HD content. It's got a quality webcam, making it perfect for anyone who does a lot of Zoom calls. And while the low-fi design might not be for everyone, it's certainly distinctive.
Find out more about Acer's new eco-conscious project in our Chromebook Vero 514 review, where there are detailed pictures of the laptop to help you decide whether it's the look you'd like to own.
"The HP Pro c640 Chromebook shines in a number of areas, including the battery life, the typing and trackpad experience, and the processing power on board." – T3's HP Pro c640 Chromebook review
A lot of people think budget or mid-range when they think of Chromebooks, but the HP Pro c640 makes a very good case as to why you should spend a bit more money for a bit more quality and power – this is a laptop that simply flies along, no matter whether you're browsing the web or running Android apps.
You can pick up this HP Chromebook in a variety of configurations, all the way up to a model running a 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10610U processor (a lot of power for ChromeOS and a few mobile apps). The 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display is bright and sharp, and the construction of this laptop impresses too. The screen can't fold right over, but it can lay flat if you need it to.
From the webcam at the top of the display to the full-sized HDMI port that you can use to connect up an external display, it's an impressive offering from HP that's particularly suitable for business users. We also like the battery life, with a day away from a power supply no problem at all.
The step-up model from our best budget Chromebook option, the more up-to-date Duet brings a bigger screen – which is now an OLED panel – that also makes it rather a lot more expensive. But it's well worth it, as these upgrades make it the best premium 2-in-1 Chromebook you can buy.
You still don't get top-of-the-line specs, but there's more than enough oomph here to run Chrome OS, while the battery life is excellent – lasting a full day, no problem, whether you're using it in tablet mode or clip-on that keyboard for extra productivity.
Does the OLED screen win you over? Read more about it in our full Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook review(opens in new tab).
"Our Asus Chromebook Flip C434 experience was generally very positive: this Chromebook is versatile and well put together, with a premium feel and good battery life – and there are even several different spec configurations to choose from to match your budget." – T3's Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review
With its elegant looks, a screen that you can 'flip' (to stand up or lie flat against the keyboard), and support for Android apps, the Flip C434 from Asus is undoubtedly one of the best Chromebooks money can buy. For some of you, it may even be the best.
The 87% screen-to-body ratio is worthy of a premium Windows laptop and looks great running Chrome OS, while the internal specs can be set to suit you: an m3, i5 or i7 processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of internal storage gives you lots of choices.
It's fair to say that not everything about the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go is outstanding, but as solid, value-for-money Chromebooks go it's certainly worth a look. You'll definitely be impressed with the design of the device, which looks like it's come from a manufacturer of Samsung's quality.
Then there's the lightweight nature of this laptop – it tips the scales at just 1.45 kilograms, so you're going to have no problem carrying it around. There's a 14-inch display here, and though the resolution could perhaps be higher, it's more than good enough for browsing the web and watching movies.
Another appealing aspect of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go is the price. You can pick up this ChromeOS machine for much less than some of the other Chromebooks on this list, and as long as you're not too demanding in terms of the tasks you want it to do, you're not going to be disappointed.
How to choose the best Chromebook for you
These days, the majority of our daily computing happens in a browser. Most apps can be replicated online, through a browser, so cloud-based Chromebooks make a lot more sense than they might at first glance.
The Chromebooks of 2023 have learned a few tricks from Windows laptops too: some fold over to double as tablets, some sport all-day battery life, and some have upgraded internals on par with a Windows 10 machine, for example.
What's more, most new Chromebooks that appear on the scene now come with support for Android's huge library of apps as well. If there's something you need to do that can't be done through the browser, maybe you can find an Android app to help.
When it comes to specs, these aren't quite as important as they are for Windows or MacBook laptops, but you'll still want a generous serving of processor speed and RAM, particularly if Android apps are involved.
One of the key specs to look out for is screen size, as this will determine how much room you've got for webpages and apps, and how easy (or otherwise) it is to lug your Chromebook around.
Ultimately the reasons to buy a Chromebook are that they offer secure, lightweight systems that are always kept right up to date. Say your Chromebook gets stolen – replace it with another, log in, and everything will still be where you left it in the cloud.
Chromebooks have also become hugely important for education. Long battery life, low costs, and a decent suite of office apps mean that for cash-strapped students in need of a reliable work computer, they're absolutely ideal.
As an added bonus, Android apps now run on Chrome OS as well which offers even more accessibility. Users who don't want to worry about managing anti-malware software or installing third-party programs, Chromebooks are for you. There's a growing list of what you can do on a Chromebook, but these machines remove the need to install additional software or security packages.
Are Chromebooks and laptops the same thing?
In almost all respects, yes they are. They deliver a portable computing experience that allows people to work and be creative wherever they might be, and often for significantly less money.
Where Chromebooks differ from laptops is in their operating system, apps, and internal components. The operating system, for example, is Google's Chrome OS, not Windows, Linux or macOS, while the apps that Chromebooks use are from Google's G-Suite of software.
And, as Google's software, pretty much, runs off of the cloud, it means that Chromebook apps are designed to be online at all times. This is an important point to consider when buying a Chromebook. You really need to have an internet connection available to make using a Chromebook worthwhile.
Lastly, the internal hardware on Chromebook's tends to be (although not always) lighter than on a laptop. This is because Chromebooks use web apps and remote hardware to do their work for them. They still have CPUs and hard drives, but they just tend to be more basic as they don't need to do as much local processing and storing.
It is this lack of need in terms of internal hardware components that often leads to Chromebooks ringing in cheaper than a budget laptop, for example.
Which brand of Chromebook is best?
You might have noticed that when it comes to the best Chromebooks, the same brand names pop up again and again. It can help to know the manufacturers that you're looking for when it comes to finding the Chrome OS device that's right for you.
It's really Acer and Asus that are leading the field when it comes to how many Chromebook models they have on offer. Their laptops cover a wide variety of price points, but are always well built and reliable. HP is another name to look out for, especially if you're buying for business.
Like Acer, Asus and HP, Lenovo makes plenty of Windows laptops and has carried that expertise over to Chromebooks – you'll find some excellent Lenovo Chromebooks on the market covering a variety of form factors, including a 2-in-1 tablet/laptop model.
The other big names to look for are Samsung and Google: they don't make many Chromebooks, but the ones they do are very good. Samsung's latest is the Galaxy Chromebook 2, while Google has followed up the excellent Pixelbook with the Pixelbook Go.
Why are Chromebooks so bad?
While this is a bit of a loaded question, the answer is Chromebooks aren't necessarily bad – they're just very limited. When comparing Chromebooks to laptops. the one thing many people tend to forget is that Chromebooks weren't designed to be a complete laptop replacement
Chromebooks are more ideal for personal basic use. They offer the bare essentials you'll need to handle basic tasks such as writing, video chats, emails, browsing, streaming and other similar jobs.
So instead of asking "Why are Chromebooks so bad?", try rephrasing this question to "Are Chromebooks bad compared to laptops?". The short answer is yes, but only if you're going into this facet of technology expecting a Chromebook to absolutely blow a standard laptop away.