Now that students have headed back to school, we have a feeling that the best Chromebooks are about to surge in popularity. They continue to impress us with all day battery life, something that Windows 10 laptops still struggle to attain in 2018.
Back when Google revealed the initial Chromebook lineup, no one was sure what to make of the best Chromebooks. These days, there are more than 25 million Chrome OS users, and with the best Chromebooks 2018 has to offer, we wouldn’t be surprised if that number continued to grow.
The best Chromebooks are affordable, with long battery life. And, while they don’t generally feature the best processors, the best Chromebooks keep getting better every day. For instance, just take a look at the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 and the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, two very promising upcoming Chromebooks as proof.
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However, even if you have the best Chromebook 2018 has to offer, you’ll still be restrained to what your web browser (and Google’s own Android storefront) can do. So, you’ll want to look elsewhere for your gaming and media editing needs. Still, if you spend a large portion of your computer time in word processors, email clients and video streaming services, you may want to look into picking up one of the best Chromebooks – we can help.
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
Shortly after proclaiming the Chromebook Pixel as dead, Google revived it in a way nobody expected. Now, it’s the Google Pixelbook and it stands completely independent of its predecessor. That’s because, unlike the Chromebook Pixel, it can run Android apps natively, on top of building upon Chrome OS. And, when you add in the huge amount of storage space, fantastic stylus and Google Assistant, it shouldn’t surprise you when we say the Pixelbook is the best Chromebook 2018 has to offer – even so long after its launch.
Read the full review: Google Pixelbook
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip
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
Before the Google Pixelbook showed up and showed us exactly what the best Chromebooks are capable of, the Asus Chromebook Flip was the Google laptop to get. Rocking a full-fat Intel Core processor and full-HD display, the Chromebook Flip changed everything. With this Chromebook, all the features we take for granted came to life. Put simply, if you want the key features that the Pixelbook offers, but you don’t want to drop that much cash the Asus Chromebook Flip is a fantastic option.
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
When Android apps started heading to the best Chromebooks, it was only a matter of time before Samsung took its mastery of the two OSs and crafted something truly beautiful. With 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 show up in a Chromebook. Not only does it show up a majority of laptops in its own category, but it’s better than most Android devices as well, even if the keyboard could use some improvement.
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 .
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
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
5. Acer Chromebook Spin 11
A fresh spin
CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) IPS touch | Storage: 32GB eMMC SSD
One of the most compelling use cases for the best Chromebooks is that of the student laptop – and the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a perfect example. If you’re a student, or even a parent of a student that’s looking for a cheap, capable and, more importantly, durable machine to get some homework done on the go, you shouldn’t need to look further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 11. You won’t be able to do any hardcore gaming or video editing on this thing, but if you just need something to write some papers and watch some YouTube in your downtime – you should give it a look.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 11
6. Acer Chromebook 15
Favoring longevity over beefy specs
CPU: Intel Pentium N4200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 32GB eMMC
With its pristine build quality that rivals even a MacBook, it’s easy to look past the Acer Chromebook 15’s aversion to 2-in-1 form factors. However, given that most Chromebooks releasing this year are fully convertible, thanks to the wide adoption of Android app support, the Acer Chromebook 15 had to prove itself to us with more than just a nice aesthetic. So, beyond its ability to lay flat using a 180-degree hinge, this 15-inch beauty makes great strides with its battery life as well, lasting almost 17 hours in our own TechRadar battery life test.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15
- This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Chromebook 14.
7. Acer Chromebook R11
360-degree flips for days
CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 – N3150 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD
Judging by the recent release of the Chromebook Spin 11, we wouldn’t surprised if the Acer Chromebook R11 is replaced, but it still holds up to this day as a great choice for those on the prowl for the best Chromebook around. It isn’t the most powerful Chromebook around, but it still gives you full access to Android Apps on the Google Play store. What’s better, it does so on a touchscreen display that can be rotated around into tablet mode, complemented by an all-metal finish that you won’t be embarrassed by.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11
8. 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
The HP Chromebook 14 is basically the perfect Chromebook. Its rock-bottom starting price and speedy use of Chrome OS only begins to exemplify its appeal. While Acer’s Chromebook 15 serves up similar components, HP’s 14-inch Chromebook is a bit more compact and better-looking to boot. Embellished with a bright blue finish and a screen made to surprise. This little Chromebook boasts the best value of any Chromebook you can buy today. Even if it’s a bit average in battery life and performance – the HP Chromebook 14 is still a great choice for anyone looking for the best Chromebook.
Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14
- This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip
9. 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
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
Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop:
Juan Martinez and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.
- Many of the best Chromebooks also made our best cheap laptops list