Unlike the PC versus Mac debacle, Chromebooks aren't exactly at war with anyone. In fact, Google's browser-based computer line somehow manages to complement your other devices rather than put them in their graves. Thanks to low starting costs and simplistic design, both hardware and software, Chromebooks are quirky and smart as well as both low impact and capable without breaking the bank.
Chromebooks run Chrome OS, a Linux-based operating system that represents what computing has been all about since the late '90s: the internet and your web browser. Moreover, thanks to the introduction of Android apps for Chrome OS, you can reap the benefits of two different platforms in one affordable piece of kit.
- Why do Chromebooks look better than Windows laptops now?
Though most are baseline in terms of specs, sporting low-power processors and 1,366 x 768 resolution screens, Chromebooks are built for longevity. Almost every Chromebook claims between 7 and 9 hours of battery life, while most even deliver on their promises based on our testing.
As far as size goes, you can find a Chromebook screen measuring anywhere from 11.6 to 15 inches. Better yet, there are even a handful of 2-in-1 Chromebooks available if you want to switch between the comfort of a tablet to the productivity of a laptop at any given time. In this guide, we've handpicked our top ranking Chromebook reviews, from the pixel-dense Toshiba Chromebook 2 to the high-powered, high-performing Lenovo N20p.
1. Toshiba Chromebook 2
Full HD on a Chromebook just got better
CPU: 5th generation Intel Celeron – Core i3 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 16GB eMMC
Though we previously criticized it for clinging to a price tag comparable to an entry-level Windows 10 laptop, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 now sells for a significantly lower price on Amazon. Included in the package is more memory than the original along with a 1080p display, lining it up with rival, (pseudo-) premium models on the market like the Dell Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Pixel.
Read the full review: Toshiba Chromebook 2
2. 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
On the Chromebook 11, you'll find a 180-degree reinforced hinge, rugged design, sealed keyboard and trackpad and a punchy typing experience accompanying a portable package. In addition to using the Chromebook for school work, bass-happy students will appreciate the loud stereo speakers for music and videos.
Read the full review: Dell Chromebook 11
3. Asus Chromebook Flip
A flipping premium Chromebook for almost nothing
CPU: Rockchip 3288-C | Graphics: ARM Mali T624 | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 10.1-inch, WXGA (1,280 x 800) IPS multi-touch | Storage: 16GB eMMC
Aside from the budget price tag, the Asus Chromebook Flip is one of the best-built Chromebooks to blaze the trail onward for more convertibles. Touchscreen functionality feels slightly more logical, with a screen that actually rotates for once. All the while, the Flip meets all the core tenants of an ideal Chrome OS device, including stellar battery life. If you've been ho hum on Chromebooks before, this is definitely one to ... flip out about. (Sorry.)
Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip
4. HP Chromebook 14
A well balanced Chromebook
CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView | Storage: 16GB eMMC
With a rock-bottom starting price, this is an excellent value for those seeking a basic web browsing machine. It's cheaper than the Toshiba Chromebook 2 while offering a bigger screen. And, while Acer's Chromebook 15 serves up equal components behind a larger screen for the same amount of scratch, HPs' 14-incher is a bit more compact and better looking to boot, if coffee shop appeal is crucial.
Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14
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
If you're mulling over the Acer Chromebook 15 for your next notebook, then you'd better have big ideas. Compared to most other Chromebooks, this one has more screen real estate, more processing power and unsurprisingly costs more as a result. Specifically geared toward students and teachers – thanks to its durable frame and gorgeous visuals – the Acer Chromebook 15 is fine for any consumer who doesn't mind the extra weight slash inches.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15
6. Google Chromebook Pixel
The end all, be all of Chromebooks.
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.85-inch 2,560 x 1,700 IPS touch | Storage: 32GB – 64GB SSD
Hardware and performance aside, the Pixel is one of the few Chromebooks that seems like it has itself completely figured out. The build quality of this machine is superb, with a design that's nailed down to a science. A vibrant screen – plus the tactile keyboard and trackpad – helps round out the Pixel as one pretty, premium package.
That said, this one's quite an investment. At this price, you could buy several Chromebooks or a far more powerful Windows laptop. So, before you buy, we suggest you consider all the much more affordable (or better) options out there before plunking down so much money into the best Chrome machine.
Read the full review: Google Chromebook Pixel 2
7. Acer Chromebook R11
360-degree flips for days
CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 – N3150 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6" 16:9 HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD
The Acer Chromebook R11's minimalist design may not be the most enticing, but behind that shell is a surprisingly ready laptop that will last all day. Acer's R11 packs in day-long battery life, punchy performance and a 360-degree hinge with touchscreen into a subdued design. It won't break the bank, thereby making flaws, like an iffy trackpad and barely-HD touch display, a little easier to swallow.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11
8. Acer Chromebook 13
With incredible battery life, the Chromebook 13 is a winner
CPU: Nvidia Tegra K1 | Graphics: Nvidia Keplar | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, HD (1.920 x 1.080) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD
Powered by Nvidia's powerful Tegra K1 chip, this Chromebook packs a lot into its tiny frame. You're bound to fall in love with its 13.3-inch, 1080p resolution screen, as well as its portability. At 3.31 pounds, the Acer Chromebook 13 is a relatively feathery notebook. For the price, you're likely to enjoy the simplicity and productivity as you learn to overcome its limitations.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 13
9. Asus Chromebook C300
A long-lasting Chromebook that just won't quit
CPU: Intel Celeron N2830 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD
After years of refinement, we're finally at the point of seeing bigger, better and bolder Chrome OS devices like the Asus Chromebook C300. This 13-inch Chromebook comes with a slightly faster processor than the rest of its cloud-based flock – all while ditching the fan simultaneously. The TN screen unfortunately is awash, but this Chromebook simply goes on and on with its nigh excessive battery life.
Read the full review: Asus Chromebook C300
10. Lenovo N20p Chromebook
A versatile Chromebook experience for a reasonable price
CPU: Intel Celeron N2830 – N2930 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) multi-touch | Storage: 16GB SSD
This is one of the "sexier" Chromebooks around, showcasing Lenovo's lust for style. However, the best feature is the N20p's 300-degree hinge, bending the N20p's display backward all the way into stand mode (or "tent" mode), which lends itself rather well to watching films or showing presentations.
Still, there's some struggle when using it as a tablet, as Chrome isn't entirely made for touch as an almost exclusively browser-based interface. But, on the bright side, with two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and an SD card reader, this Chromebook delivers an excellent overall value.
Read the full review: Lenovo N20p Chromebook
Juan Martinez and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.
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