How to choose the right Chromebook for you

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.

Battery life

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.