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Best Chromebooks 2021: the top Chromebooks for kids, students and more

The best Chromebooks
You’ll want to check out one of the best Chromebooks listed below. (Image credit: Future)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Don’t underestimate the best Chromebooks. While they have started out as lower-powered Windows 10 laptops alternatives, they’ve come a long way since. In fact, these days, some of these Chromebooks can easily rival Windows 10 laptops and MacBooks when it comes to performance and design. 

The best Chromebooks aren’t just super-cheap budget laptops (though many of the devices on this list are brilliant low-cost machines). There are quite a few that are powerful enough for productivity, multi-tasking, and even gaming. A few others are also extremely versatile, offering that coveted 2-in-1 form factor and touchscreen capability without upping the price. Finally, almost all of them offer a battery life much longer than that on the best laptops and the best 2-in-1 laptops

There is a caveat, however. Every Chromebook runs Chrome OS, an alternative operating system to Windows 10 or macOS that’s based on the popular Google Chrome web browser. This means that most of what you’ll be able to do is on the Chrome browser. Still, many of the best Chromebooks also support apps, including Android apps, so you can do some casual gaming and light photo editing without being connected to the internet.

Whether you should move to the best Chromebooks from Windows laptops or the best MacBooks depends a lot on what you need out of a laptop. In fact, our articles on whether or not you should buy a Chromebook and on comparing Chromebooks vs laptops can help you make up your mind. If you’re ready to switch to a Chromebook however, read on to see our top picks.

Students considering one for school should check out our best student Chromebooks guide while the more budget-conscious consumers should find the cheap Chromebook deals helpful.

Best Chromebooks

Google Pixelbook Go is the best Chromebook of 2021

(Image credit: Google)

1. Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook ever made

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core m3 - Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen
Storage: 128GB - 256GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Incredible battery life+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Iffy pricing at mid- to- high-end-No biometric login

Google continues its tradition of making the best Chromebooks in the world. While it's older Pixelbook used to occupy the top spot, it's been replaced by Google's latest Chromebook: the Pixelbook Go. This is a Chromebook that proves that these devices can be just as stylish and powerful as traditional laptops, and the Pixelbook Go brings a lot of the original Pixelbook's premium features to a more affordable device. 

One of it's most impressive features is the fantastic battery life, which can outlast many traditional laptops with ease, and means you can go a full work or school day without needing to charge it. We also love the fact that you can close the lid, leave it for a few days, and when you pick it up again, it's still got plenty of battery life left - something Windows 10 laptops never achieve.

Its brilliant keyboard is also worth pointing out. It feels fantastic to type on, and makes working on it incredibly comfortable. In fact, this has meant we've stopped using much more powerful (and expensive laptops) in favor of the Pixelbook Go - it really is that good.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

(Image credit: Lenovo)

2. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

Everything that netbooks should have been

Specifications
CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X
Screen: 10.1" FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 400 nits
Storage: 64 GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and portable+Long battery life+Very affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad-Charger and headphones share a single port

Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you won’t have to decide with the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. True to its name, this Chromebook delivers two form factors in one, while utilizing the versatility of the Chrome OS and setting you back much less than many of the top Windows tablets out there. 

Of course, like all the best Chromebooks, its battery packs an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours – so you could pull an all-nighter, work through the day and mid-afternoon, and you’ll still pass out before it runs out of juice. 

For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally – the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isn’t as reliable, and the charger and headphones share one port. However, if budget is your top priority, those are definitely not deal-breakers.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook 

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

(Image credit: Lenovo)

3. Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

A pricey, but nearly perfect Chromebook

Specifications
CPU: AMD Athlon Gold 3150C - AMD Ryzen 7 3700C
Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon
RAM: 4GB - 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS LED
Storage: 32GB eMMC - 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Powerful AMD processor+Outstanding security features
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Less than 10-hour battery

The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook lands straight in our best Chromebooks list due to the fact that it is one of the most powerful Chromebooks money can buy in 2021. While you're going to pay extra for this kind of horsepower, especially if you want some of the best features that come with the high-end models,  it's well worth it if you're looking for a future proof Chromebook that's going to last you for years to come.

As a 2-in-1 device, it's got the flexibility that many other Chromebooks lack, and the screen on this thing is stunning. Best of all, it comes packing the new AMD 3000C-series processors - starting with an Athlon 3150C and scaling up to a Ryzen 7 3700C - and this means you'll get more processing power out of this Chromebook than many of it's competitors.

For students especially, then, this is one of the best Chromebooks money can buy right now.

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

Best Chromebooks: HP Chromebook 14

(Image credit: HP)

4. HP Chromebook 14

Striking optimal balance between value and design

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Excellent keyboard, trackpad+Crisp, vivid screen
Reasons to avoid
-Slower than some rivals-Average battery life

The best Chromebooks balance a bargain price and efficient use of Chrome OS – and the HP Chromebook 14 is the perfect example of that. 

While it’s similar to the Acer Chromebook 15 in a lot of ways, this 14-inch Chromebook is a tad more compact and looks slightly better. Complemented by a bright blue finish and a screen made to astound, the HP Chromebook 14 offers the best value of any Chromebook out there. Even if the battery life and performance are average – the HP Chromebook 14 is easily one of the best Chromebooks to date.

We were particularly impressed with how slim and light this Chromebook is, and it means the HP Chromebook 14 is a great device for anyone who wants a long-lasting laptop that they can comfortably carry around with them. If you want a laptop to work on while lounging on a sofa, this is a great choice as well.

Also, unlike some other Chromebooks, the HP Chromebook 14 comes with plenty of ports, including HDMI-out, USB 3.0 and a microSD card slot, making this a brilliantly versatile Chromebook for the price.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

Best Chromebooks: Asus Chromebook Flip

(Image credit: Asus)

5. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Elegant tablet mode+Tactile keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Middling speakers

The Asus Chromebook Flip is a brilliant Chromebook that proves that these devices can be sleek, stylish and premium - and not just budget. 

With an Intel Core processor and a full-HD display, the Asus Chromebook Flip is a powerful performer that will keep up with any day-to-day task you require it to perform, and offers plenty of value without compromising on performance - a tricky balancing act that many other Chromebook makers fail to achieve. 

This is a Chromebook that's been out for a while now, but it still impresses with brilliant performance and an excellent build quality that's thin and light, and puts many more expensive laptops to shame. If you're on a budget, this is one of the best Asus laptops to consider.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip 

Acer Chromebook 314

(Image credit: Acer)

6. Acer Chromebook 314

A tremendous Chromebook

Specifications
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 14-inch LED (1366 x 768) high definition
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Excellent battery life and performance+Bright, crisp screen
Reasons to avoid
-No touchscreen-No fingerprint reader

If you’re looking for a Chromebook that really gives you excellent value for money, then the Acer Chromebook 314 is the best Chromebook for you. It’s easy to use, reliable, and has a wonderful screen and battery life (up to 12 hours) combo – not to mention, a 14-inch crisp and  bright display that gives you more screen real estate for your productivity needs.

It also has a keyboard that is satisfying and a joy to use, as well as a touchpad that interacts well with all your fingers' movements and commands. More importantly, it strikes a great balance between design, usability, features, battery life and performance, while being comfortable with its own limitations. 

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 314

Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 311

(Image credit: Acer)

7. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Versatile and fun little Chromebook for work and play

Specifications
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 11.6" HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 IPS touchscreen
Storage: 64GB Flash Memory
Reasons to buy
+Great design and build+Lovely size+Excellent touch screen and flip mechanism
Reasons to avoid
-Dim screen-Massive bezels drastically reduce actual screen size

If versatility is a top priority, then look no further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. This all-rounder has all the makings of a great Chromebook, from its good battery life to its robust build and solid usability.

However, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 takes it further with its impressive levels of versatility, thanks to its abundance of ports considering its size, 2-in-1 design, portable size and excellent touchscreen display. It also boasts a keyboard and a touchpad that are not only reliable, but also satisfying to use. That’s a rare thing in a machine at this price point. 

The small size of this Chromebook means it's really easy to carry around with you, so if you're looking for the best Chromebook for travelling with, this is it. However, that small size may mean some people find it uncomfortable to use for long periods of time, especially if you're more used to larger laptops.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 311 

Best Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip C436F

(Image credit: Asus)

8. Asus Chromebook Flip C436F

A whole lotta hits

Specifications
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i3 – i5
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 8GB – 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3
Screen: 14” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 display
Storage: 512GB / 256GB / 128GB PCIe® NVMe 3.0x 2 M.2 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Superb performance+Premium build and features+Impressive keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Subpar speakers-Erratic touchpad-Touch display not accurate enough

Premium Chromebooks occupy their own space in the laptop market, bridging that gap between powerful traditional laptops and super lightweight Chromebooks.

And, the Asus Chromebook Flip C436F is perhaps one of the very few examples of these out there, with its combination of superb power, terrific feature set, premium build and a price tag that’s cheaper than its rivals. 

During our time with the Asus Chromebook Flip C436F, we were really impressed with its gorgeous design, with a magnesium alloy body, stunning 1080p screen, and wonderful keyboard. This could easily rival premium laptops like the Dell XPS 13 or MacBook, and it even comes with features like Wi-Fi 6 support and a fingerprint sensor.

If you’re looking for a lightweight OS machine that touts more power than the rest of the clan, this is one of the best Chromebooks on offer.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip C436F

Acer Chromebook 15

(Image credit: Acer)

9. Acer Chromebook 15

Favoring longevity over beefy specs

Specifications
CPU: Intel Pentium N4200
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080)
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Unbelievable battery life+Attractive, fanless design
Reasons to avoid
-Trackpad feels clunky-Easy to weigh down with tabs

With a solid build quality that rivals a MacBook, it’s easy to excuse the Acer Chromebook 15’s aversion to 2-in-1 form factors. 

Still, given that the best Chromebooks rolling out this year are fully convertible, thanks to the wide adoption of Android app support, the Acer Chromebook 15 had to prove itself with more than great style. 

Beyond its aptitude for laying flat using a 180-degree hinge, this beautiful 15-inch Chromebook also makes a great impression with its battery life, lasting nearly 17 hours in our battery test.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15

Acer Chromebook 714

(Image credit: Acer)

10. Acer Chromebook 714

Seriously solid, if not especially stylish

Specifications
CPU: Intel Pentium 4417U – Intel Core i5-8350U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 610 – UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 14" Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 – 14" Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 Touchscreen
Storage: 32GB – 64GB flash memory
Reasons to buy
+Seriously solid metal chassis+Strong battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly dated styling-Keyboard a little mushy

The best Chromebook for professionals currently available might just be the Acer Chromebook 714 whose premium and seriously solid chassis is just the ticket for the business-oriented bunch. It’s not especially stylish, sadly, but that decent performance and strong battery life makes up for its lack of fashion sense. And, aren’t those all the more important if you’re meeting with clients, tackling paperwork and balancing the books all day? In fact, the quad-core processor is good enough for light content creation tasks, making it a boon for those starting out in the content creation industry as well.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 714