Chromebooks aren’t your run-of-the-mill laptop. Because they run Chrome OS, they require fewer resources than Windows or MacOS. Since Chrome OS operates on less powerful components, you can get a lower priced system with better battery life than many of the other best laptops on the market. And so while Chromebooks usually have much less powerful components than their Windows and Mac counterparts, the best Chromebooks are very affordable, functional and highly versatile computers.
The best Chromebooks offer convenience, portability and great battery life—all at a low price point.
Chromebooks work well for routine productivity tasks, especially when that’s happening in the cloud, such as with Google Docs. Moreover, they run apps designed for both Chrome OS and Android, which gives you a lot of flexibility and options. “Chromebooks are great for people who use web browsers as their primary access to the internet,” says Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. “Paired with Google’s suite of apps, Chromebooks are ideal for students and retirees who mostly use their computers to check email, watch videos and shop online. And [Chrome OS’s] lower compute requirements enable lower-cost systems.” Chromebooks are also inherently cheaper than other laptops because they don’t require a Windows license, Sag adds.
There’s a lot of variety among Chromebooks. The least expensive models may be sluggish, running underpowered processors and have little on-board storage. Other Chromebooks convert from laptop to touchscreen tablet, same as the best 2-in-1 laptops, while the most costly high-end Chromebooks have better displays and processors to truly give Windows laptops a run for their money.
Our favorite Chromebook is currently the Acer Chromebook Spin 514, which combines a capable processor with an impressive touchscreen and lengthy battery life. Whatever your mobile computing needs, here are eight of the best Chromebooks you can buy today.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500C | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Graphics: AMD Vega | Storage: 128GB eMMC | Display: 14-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 14 hours | Weight: 3.4 pounds
Best for: Affordable, speedy computing with Google’s suite of webapps.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is a great all-round Chromebook with capable components and plenty of battery life for all your work and relaxation needs. It features a quad-core AMD Ryzen processor and 8GB of RAM, enough performance to handle multi-tab web browsing sessions or some of the more demanding Chrome OS and compatible Android applications. Although its onboard storage is slower eMMC rather than SSD, you can easily augment that with a fast external drive or use Google’s free 100GB of additional storage if you use Google’s services a lot.
At 3.4 pounds, it’s a little heavy for one-handed use in tablet mode, but with an extensive 14 hour battery life, it’s still a good choice for working and playing on the go. The display looks great, too, with 1080p resolution and 100% coverage of the sRGB gamut meaning it’s colorful and vibrant when watching movies.
CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Graphics: MediaTek Helio P60T GPU | Storage: 128GB SSD | Display: 10.1-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 2.0 pounds
Best for: Light work on-the-go.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the best cheap Chromebooks you can buy. It pairs a lower-power ARM-based MediaTek processor with 128GB of SSD storage. And it comes with a 1080p 10.1-inch display which looks clear in such a compact form factor. This 2-in-1 device has a detachable keyboard, and it’s incredibly light and portable when you want to use it in tablet mode. With 10 hours of battery, this little Chromebook has enough juice to get through a work or school day.
The ARM CPU is lower-powered than most, and its 4GB of RAM is less than higher-end Chromebooks—but this model can handle word processing, web browsing and watching videos. Its fast SSD storage is a surprise, and enables fast boot times, a fast return from sleep and a snappy and responsive system when opening and closing apps. If you like the design of the Chromebook Duet but want more beefy components, the Chromebook Duet 5 is the latest version—but it costs double the price.
CPU: Intel Core i3-10110U | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 | Graphics: Intel UHD | Storage: 128GB eMMC | Display: 13.3-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 13 hours | Weight: 2.7 pounds
Best for: Performing more demanding Chrome OS tasks.
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 improves upon its predecessor in several ways. Its 1080p 13.3-inch touchscreen display is arguably less impressive than its high-resolution predecessor, but what it loses in resolution it gains massively in longer battery life and lower price. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 packs a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage—enough to store what you need for day-to-day use.
The distinctive red chassis of its predecessor remains, and though the screen is only 1080p, images have rich colors thanks to Samsung’s QLED technology. The screen also has wide viewing angles and an impressive contrast, so it looks good whether you’re working or watching movies. The battery life (about 13 hours) is another solid perk, outstripping many other Chromebooks. It should last you a full work day with ease and still provide the power you need to watch a movie or two in the evening.
CPU: MediaTek 8183 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X | Graphics: ARM Mali-G72 MP3 | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Display: 12-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1,366 x 912 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 16 hours | Weight: 2.5 pounds
Best for: A portable secondary machine for working on the go.
The Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 is a great little machine for on-the-go computing, with a lightweight design and incredibly impressive 16-hour battery life. The battery life makes the Flip CM3 a useful secondary device for typing up notes or doing simple computing tasks while out-and-about. As the Flip CM3’s name implies, this inexpensive 2-in-1 laptop has a hinge which lets it flip positions, including converting into a tablet.
Neither the CPU nor the graphics are designed for demanding computing tasks, and the limited local storage will leave you leaning on Google’s free 100GB of Google Drive space—or adding a USB flash drive or microSD card (the Flip CM3 has a reader built-in). The sub-HD display isn’t the most crisp out there, but it is responsive and works well with both fingers and the Asus stylus (sold separately).
CPU: Intel Core m3 | RAM: 8GB | Graphics: Intel UHD | Storage: 64GB SSD | Display: 13.3-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 12 hours | Weight: 2.3 pounds
Best for: Stylish looks at work or school.
The Google Pixelbook Go isn’t the newest Chromebook design, but it’s one of the most enduring. Despite its aging internal hardware, this Google laptop is still fast and responsive, and has great battery life to last beyond a full workday. When the battery runs low, a quick 20-minute charge will provide two additional hours of usage. It also comes with a vibrant 13.3-inch touchscreen display, and includes an excellent keyboard. A real standout of this laptop too, even a couple of years after its debut, is its 1080p webcam. Few Chromebooks have a 1080p camera, so if you want to look your best during meetings and calls, the Google Pixelbook Go is a great option.
This Chromebook’s build quality is solid. It’s slim and lightweight, making it extremely portable. The only real weakness of the Pixelbook Go is its older-generation, lower powered Intel processor. For now though, nothing beats the Pixelbook Go for looks and all-round build quality.
CPU: Intel Core i5-1235U | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 14-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 3.1 pounds
Best for: Switching quickly between laptop and tablet.
If you have some demanding tasks you want to throw at a Chromebook and need touchscreen functionality, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is the device for the job. This 2-in-1 Chromebook has high-end components—for a Chromebook, that is. With a 10-core 12th generation Intel CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage, the Spin 714 stands apart among Chromebooks in terms of performance. Its sturdy 360-degree hinge enables this tablet’s use in in laptop and tablet. It is relatively lightweight, though is heavier than convertible laptops with detachable keyboards in tablet mode. The 14-inch display looks great with its WUXGA resolution, and the touchscreen is responsive to both finger and stylus inputs; the stylus comes included with the laptop, which is uncommon in even premium Chromebook designs.
The Spin 714 starts up fast and returns from sleep even quicker, and it offers excellent performance for even demanding tasks. The Intel Evo certification also guarantees this model’s 10 hour battery life; get an additional four hours after a 30 minutes quick charge, Other modern features include support for Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and a Thunderbolt 4/USB Type-C port for connecting the fastest external drives and higher resolution external monitors.
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 | Graphics: Intel UHD | Storage: 64GB SSD | Display: 11.6-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1,366 x 768 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 2.6 pounds
Best for: Lightweight games and educational applications.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a great first laptop for kids just exploring the potential of a touchpad and keyboard. It’s light to hold, and with up to 10 hours of battery life, the kids won’t constantly be bugging you for a charger. The bezels around the display are thicker than most modern Chromebooks, but that gives little hands plenty of space to grab whether using this device as a tablet or laptop.
Another major selling point of the Chromebook Spin 311 is its price. At just $200 with the latest discount, this is a extremely affordable device, making it much less of a headache if an overzealous child damages it while playing. Despite that low price, though, the onboard Intel Celeron N4000 is a capable enough processor. It’s powerful enough to handle kids’ Android or cloud-based games and applications, but not enough for more graphics intensive games.
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Storage: 128GB SSD | Display: 14-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 12.5 hours | Weight: 2.6 pounds
Best for: Running demanding enterprise applications.
The HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook is designed to handle the most demanding work tasks. With an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, this model has impressive performance in office applications and if you want to do something more demanding like video or photo editing, you get enough compute power to handle such tasks. Backed by integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics and 8GB of RAM, this laptop remains snappy and responsive through use.
Its battery life is solid too, offering more than enough for a full work day, and it looks good enough to fit in with all of the corporate Windows laptops and MacBooks. This Chromebook has a two USB Type-C ports, which you can use for attaching peripherals or fast charging. At 2.6 pounds, the chassis is relatively lightweight and portable, too, and with a 14-inch screen, you get plenty of space to display all of your documents, spreadsheets and websites.