The beauty of a laptop is its mobility. But, if your battery life is the pits and you're tethered to a charger plugged into the wall, you quickly lose this benefit. While performance may be paramount, balancing it with the longest possible charge period is key.
Chromebooks generally have energy-efficient mobile processors, making them above average performers in the battery life category as a whole. The Asus Chromebook C300M has a relatively large screen for a Chromebook (13.3-inches) supported by excellent battery life. When tested, the C300 ran for 10 hours 42 minutes. If you compare this to similar models, like the Acer Chromebook 13, which ran for 8 hours 20 minutes, it's clear the C300M outperforms. If you need all-day computing with a larger display, this is your pick.
If you're checking out Chromebook options, bets are that you're likely price-sensitive, looking for a durable machine that gets you bang for your buck. While most of the machines in the Chromebook series are affordable, particularly next to other more complex, full-suite options, the Dell Chromebook 11 is the best value. You will receive an affordable, yet still aesthetically pleasing package with high-quality performance. With a Haswell-based Intel processor and 4GB of RAM, this notebook has the speediest setup for the lowest price tag at $299 (£250, AU$383). The highlight is battery life with approximately 10 hours of use per charge, making this one of the nicest, most durable systems you can get for less than $300.
Of course, the Google Chromebook Pixel 2 is one of the best Chromebooks on the market, but it will cost you $999 (£670, AU$1,320).
Processor models and processing speeds are typically a good indicator of how well your laptop will perform. You'll want to look for newer generation processors, like Intel's 5th generation units, with higher gigahertz speeds. Here are a few examples:
If you want a speedy machine that can handle your daily multitasking and won't break the bank, consider the Acer C720 Chromebook (fourth generation Intel Core i3), a faster and more powerful version of the original C720. The 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4005U processor helps this machine run smoothly, even with multiple tasks running.
The Acer Chromebook 15 C910 is a heavier and larger Chromebook model, but it features excellent performance backed by a 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 (fifth generation) dual-core processor.
In terms of performance, you want to avoid Acer's Chromebook 13 as the hype around Nvidia's new processor is just that – hype. The chip doesn't deliver, meaning this machine lags when completing typical day-to-day tasks like word processing, web browsing and similar activities. As you open more tabs, the system feels noticeably slower than its competitors.
If you're looking for a flashy, no-holds-barred option and money is no object, you'll want to take a gander at Google's Chromebook Pixel 2.The Pixel delivers a gorgeous design built from premium materials and quality that reflects the price tag. Visually pleasing, the sleek and minimalist aluminum body, etched glass and hidden powerful speakers make for a stunning machine. While the screen is on the smaller side (12.75-in.), the 2560x1700 touch-enabled LCD display delivers crisp, beautiful visuals. And performance is nothing to scoff at either, although the 5 hour battery life is.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the battery life of Acer's C720 Chromebook.
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