The 7 best Chromebooks of 2017: the top Chromebooks ranked

Most laptops are expensive. Not only that, but more often than not, they don’t last as long as they should either. When you buy one of the best Chromebooks, you’re investing in the exception to that unwritten rule. You’re getting a clamshell computer that you don’t have to setup a payment plan for. Better yet, you’re getting a notebook that runs on one of the most cutting-edge operating systems in the world: Chrome OS. 

See, with a Chromebook, you never have to worry about running out of storage space. Since everything is stored in the cloud, your only concern should be exceeding that 15GB of free storage space in Google Drive. Even then, you can always expand your storage later by paying a small subscription fee each month. Otherwise, there are new ways to avoid that, too. The new Google Pixelbook, for instance, comes jam-packed with a ton of local storage, albeit at a cost.

In a world full of compromises, buying a Chromebook is the rare example of a time when you won’t have to make one – so long as you find the right Chromebook for your needs first. This Black Friday shopping season, you have a choice. You can buy an exorbitantly priced MacBook or Ultrabook with more performance than you need for a high price tag, or you could save some cash by adopting a Chromebook pictured below, all tested by TechRadar editors and writers.

1. Google Pixelbook

Making good on its Android promises

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 512GB

Sublime design
Awesome keyboard
Pen sold separately
Poor audio performance

Not long after declaring the Chromebook Pixel dead, Google has revived it in a way that frankly none of us were expecting leading into its reveal. Now, it’s called the Google Pixelbook, and it takes a sharp turn away from its spiritual predecessor. That’s mainly because we’re looking at a machine that can run Android apps natively in addition to bolstering Chrome OS. With ample storage space, nigh-perfect stylus integration and Google Assistant, the Pixelbook is the best Chromebook you can buy.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook

2. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

Elegant tablet mode
Tactile keyboard
No out-of-box Android app support
Middling speakers

Before the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 came around, pickings were slim when it came to affordable Chromebooks sporting full-on Intel Core processors and full HD 1080p displays. Touchscreens, backlit keyboards and USB-C ports were also anomalies. Yet, with the Chromebook Flip, all of these facets were brought to life. If you want all the key features of the Pixelbook without spending a grand, this is a solid alternative. Despite its sound quality leaving something to be desired, the Asus Chromebook Flip is a flagship disguised by a tasty price.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip 

3. Samsung Chromebook Pro

Cultivating the marriage of Chrome OS and Android

CPU: 0.99Ghz Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Stunning, gorgeous design
Stylus support on Chrome OS
Cramped keyboard
Weak speakers

When Google revealed that Android apps would make their way to Chromebooks, it was only a matter of time before Samsung mastered its convergence of the two OSs. Toting a 12.3-inch QHD touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is widely acclaimed for its built-in stylus – the first of its kind to be featured in a Chromebook. Not only does it beat out a vast majority of laptops in its own category, but it’s better than most Android slates as well, our qualms with the speakers and keyboard aside.

Read the full review: Samsung Chromebook Pro

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip.

Best Chromebook

4. Dell Chromebook 11

Dell's updated Chromebook is a star in almost every regard

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1366 x 768) touchscreen | Storage: 16GB SSD

Rugged design
180-degree barrel hinge
Touchscreen not standard
Small keyboard

If the Samsung Chromebook Pro is all about versatility, the Dell Chromebook 11 is about value. Reinforced by a 180-degree hinge, sturdy design and a sealed keyboard and trackpad in addition to a punchy typing experience, this Chromebook is a perfectly portable package. Not only adequately suited for school and work, the Dell Chromebook 11 even packs a set of loud stereo speakers for listening to music or watching videos. Don’t worry about dinging it, either, as this device remains the most rugged Chromebook on our list.

Read the full review: Dell Chromebook 11

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip.

best chromebook

5. Acer Chromebook 15

The colossus of Chromebooks

CPU: Intel Celeron – Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) – FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD

Fast processing speed
Long battery life
Very heavy
Awkward keyboard

Unlike most in its class, the Acer Chromebook 15 is blessed with a 15.6-inch Full HD screen made better only by its optional Intel Core i5 processor. You probably won't need all that power on a Chromebook, but it sure is nice to have the option. When it comes to larger Chromebooks, there isn’t much selection, but Acer has come out with a unique exception to this limited trend. Plus, this Chromebook can withstand all sorts of reckless behavior, making it an ideal choice for students and kids. Even if it’s packing a few extra pounds, the Acer Chromebook 15 is ace.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Chromebook 14.

Acer Chromebook R11

6. Acer Chromebook R11

360-degree flips for days

CPU: Intel Celeron N3150 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD

Convertible
Good battery life
HD-only display
Terrible trackpad

The Acer Chromebook R11 won’t be winning any fashion shows any time soon, but it’s won our hearts over if only for keeping it classy. Among the first Chromebooks to support Android apps by way of the Google Play Store, the Chromebook R11 even pioneered a whole world of additional functionality for Chrome OS. Exhibiting an all-day battery life, top-notch performance and a 360-degree hinge with a touchscreen, the Acer Chromebook R11 is worth writing home about – and it won’t break the bank either, thereby making its flaws that much easier to swallow.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip.

best chromebook

7. HP Chromebook 14

Striking optimal balance between value and design

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView | Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

Excellent keyboard, trackpad
Crisp, vivid screen
Slower than some rivals
Average battery life

The HP Chromebook 14 is practically the posterchild for Chromebooks. Its rock-bottom starting price and zippy interpretation of Chrome OS only begin to exemplify its appeal. While Acer's Chromebook 15 serves up similar components, HPs' 14-incher is a bit more compact and better looking to boot. Embellished with a bright blue finish and a screen devised to surprise, this machine boasts the best value out of every Chromebook you could buy. Albeit average in both battery life and performance, the HP Chromebook 14 remains a sublime value nonetheless.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

best chromebook

8. HP Chromebook 13

Flashy and functional, this Chromebook means business

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) – QHD (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Ultra-thin and sharp design
High-resolution display is a beauty
Lacks touchscreen
QHD+ display hikes price and lowers battery life

The HP Chromebook 13 goes above and beyond what any of us would expect from a Chromebook. You’re guaranteed at least a 1440p screen, two USB-C ports and, if you're willing to shell out just a bit more cash, you can also snatch yourself an Intel Core-M processor rather than a Pentium. All of this is complemented by incredible style and a metallic design that exudes Pixel influence. Given that Google discontinued its own Chromebook earlier in the year, the HP Chromebook 13 is one of the few remaining alternatives. 

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 13

Juan Martinez and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.