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7 of the best Chromebooks you can buy right now

7 of the best Chromebooks you can buy right now

From the classroom to the boardroom and everything in between, these Chromebooks prove that Chrome OS can do it all.

Budget Pick

Acer Chromebook 14

A huge FHD screen and 12 hours of battery, packed into a full metal body that’s built to last — all for significantly less than competitors.

As the laptop market has grown over the last few years, Chromebooks have too often been shoved into a niche as a cheaper device that isn’t quite a full featured laptop but gives you a little more juice than a tablet. Well, guess what? Chromebooks have outgrown that label and it’s time to give them some real consideration as a primary laptop.

Here’s what is still true about Chromebooks. In general, they run smaller and lighter than your standard laptop. They run on Chrome OS, as opposed to MacOS or Windows. And they rely on connectivity a bit more than your average machine, with smaller hard drives that get supplemented with cloud storage. 

But if you think that these machines can’t keep up with the competition, well, it’s time you catch up. Chromebooks are increasingly capable machines. So let’s dispel some misconceptions about these laptops and help you pick the one that is best for you.

Can I run all my favorite apps on a Chromebook?

Unless you’re a creative and need very specific apps like Adobe After Effects, odds are there is a way to run just about anything that you need on a Chromebook — or at least find a viable alternative. Because Chromebooks are a popular option for students, there are plenty of ways to and other parts of the Microsoft Office suite on a Chromebook. 

If there isn’t an app option available, there is typically a web-based alternative that will let you create and edit documents and store them in the cloud so you can access them anywhere. Even an app like Zoom has the ability to run on Chromebooks so you’ll be able to stay connected to your class or your office while operating remotely.

Isn’t Chrome OS pretty limited compared to Windows or macOS?

There are definitely limitations to Chrome OS, don’t get us wrong. It’s an operating system designed specifically to operate on Chromebooks, and it’s relatively young compared to its competitors in macOS and Windows. But it’s more than capable of handling most tasks. 

Chrome OS is based on Linux and in recent years has become capable of running Linux apps, which gives it a whole new arsenal of capabilities. Linux has many alternatives to popular apps — GIMP for Photoshop and LibreOffice for Microsoft Word, for instance — and being able to tap into this well of existing apps makes Chromebooks more fully featured than you might have imagined.

Additionally, some Chromebooks have the capability of running Android apps. While this is limited to Chromebooks that have access to the Google Play Store, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. If you’re already using an Android phone or tablet, being able to seamlessly hop into that same ecosystem on a laptop makes it easy to pick up your work anywhere.

So what can’t a Chromebook do?

While Chromebooks are more than enough to help you keep up with your school work or make the commute to the office, they aren’t fully featured machines. If you want to do some high-level creative tasks like photo or film editing, you’re going to find the Chromebook a bit lacking. Same goes for gaming.

That said, these machines are more powerful than you might think. Many come equipped with Intel processors that you might find in mid- to high-tier Windows machines, and have 8GB to 16GB of RAM available, as well.

What you’re more likely to find lacking is physical memory. You aren’t going to be able to load up a Chromebook with lots of photos and videos, nor are you going to be able to download your favorite series from Netflix to watch offline. Chromebooks ditch big hard drives, which can often add a significant amount of weight, in favor of cloud storage. This keeps the machines portable, but also makes you more reliant on having an internet connection available. 

What Chromebook should I get?

Now that you have a better idea of what a Chromebook is capable of (and what it can’t quite handle), you can finally start considering which Chromebook is best for you. The one problem? There are a lot of them. So we’ve put together a list of some of the best available to get you started.


Super thin and lightweight • Great for traveling • Built-in Google Assistant • Stellar RAM and storage for Chromebook

Underwhelming speakers • As expensive as a regular laptop

The best-looking one of the bunch, the Pixelbook is an understandably pricey premium Chromebook that’s genuinely fun to use.

Google Pixelbook

The best-looking one of the bunch, the Pixelbook is an understandably pricey premium Chromebook that’s genuinely fun to use.

  • CPU:
    7th Gen Intel Core processor
  • RAM:
    8GB-16GB
  • Storage:
    256GB-512GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
  • Screen:
    12.3-inch
  • Display:
    2400 x 1600 FHD
Google’s Pixelbook offers the best Chrome OS experience users can ask for. There’s a reason , and coming from an Apple person, that’s saying something. However, you can guess that this luxury doesn’t come cheap: with the Pixelbook, you’ll be forking over about as much as you would for a traditional laptop. This machine justifies its price with a clean, modern look, and convertible design that lets you use it as a laptop or tablet. Plus, the specs on this thing make it competitive with other high-end laptops on the market.

Beautiful HD display • Lightweight • Speedy Wi-Fi connectivity

Cheap-feeling touchpad • No legacy desktop apps

A well-reviewed 2-in-1 with a gorgeous HD screen and powerful processor, but small and light enough for any adventure

Asus Chromebook Flip

A well-reviewed 2-in-1 with better specs than others at its price point, yet still small enough for any and every excursion.

  • CPU:
    10th Gen Intel Core i3 Processor
  • RAM:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    64GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 12 hours
  • Screen:
    14-inch
  • Display:
    1920×1080

Frequent travelers need something thin, light, and able to be bumped around in a carry on without worry of breaking. But since when do thin, light, and heavy duty go together? Since the Asus Chromebook Flip came out, that’s when. The Chromebook Flip is slick as can be, has light, feathery weight and a slim 14-inch touchscreen. With a full HD display and 360-degree hinges that can switch between tablet and laptop, it’s perfect for turning your long flight or ride into a mini Netflix marathon. And with an Intel Core processor and 8GB RAM, it’s powerful enough to handle other tasks while on the go.


Best resolution of the bunch • Fan-less Intel processor • Plenty of RAM

No HDMI port • Battery life could be better

This high performance, sophisticated-as-hell Chromebook from HP can compete with the nicest traditional laptops — for half the price.

HP Chromebook 13

A high performance, sophisticated-as-hell Chromebook from HP that gives expensive traditional laptops a run for their money.

  • CPU:
    Intel Core m5
  • RAM:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    32GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 8 hours
  • Screen:
    13-inch
  • Display:
    3200 x 1800

One of the biggest selling points of Chromebooks is the price point. The HP Chromebook 13 is the poster child of the Chromebook’s value. Sturdy and sharp, its design screams luxury while still staying near the price range of most competitors. It’s the best combo of value, performance, and design that you’re gonna see, and is a much (much) cheaper alternative to MacBooks or Windows laptops. The glossy 3200 x 1800 display that the 13.3-inch screen sports is great. It’s a shame the battery life isn’t a bit better so you could enjoy that screen for a bit longer, but at this price, it’s hard to complain.


Affordable • Beautiful, big display • Solid battery life

No SD card slot • Heavier than other Chromebooks

A massive HD screen and 12 hours of battery, packed into a heavy duty metal body — all for significantly less than competitors.

Acer Chromebook 14

A huge FHD screen and 12 hours of battery, packed into a full metal body that’s built to last — all for significantly less than competitors.

  • CPU:
    Intel Celeron N3160
  • RAM:
    4GB
  • Storage:
    32GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 12 hours
  • Screen:
    14-inch
  • Display:
    1,920 x 1,080

Need a laptop that can get the job done and not break the bank? Look no further than the Acer Chromebook 14. The 14-inch screen on this bad boy is larger than most of its competitors and provides a full HD 1080p display. That does come with a trade off: this Chromebook is a bit heavier, though it’s still less than four pounds. Battery life is also excellent for a device of this size: You’ll get about 12 hours on one charge. That is stellar for any laptop, and especially good for one of the big guys. For the price, you’ll struggle to find anything that matches the value here.


Built-in stylus • Runs Android apps • Powerful processor

Cramped keyboard • Less storage than some high-end smartphones

Android apps, a powerful processor, and included stylus make Samsung’s Chromebook Pro worth it — as long as you’re near an outlet.

Samsung Chromebook Pro

A laptop that converts to a tablet and gives you the Android experience on a bigger screen, this convertible device is great for anyone who loves the Google Play Store.

  • CPU:
    Intel Core m3-6Y30
  • RAM:
    4GB
  • Storage:
    32GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 9 hours
  • Screen:
    12.3 inches
  • Display:
    2400×1600

The Samsung Chromebook Pro is a total beast and one of the first premium Chromebooks to launch with the Google Play Store. Regardless of how many apps you insist on launching, the insane Intel Core m3 processor is able to keep up with whatever task you give it. Though this puppy is completely decked out in metal and not as thin as it could be, it’s super light at just 2.38 pounds — ideal for commuting or walking to class. Its light-as-air feel doesn’t make it flimsy by any means, and its unique matte black color gives it an extra badass kick, which we always appreciate. Having a 2400 x 1600 touchscreen on a 360-degree hinge makes it a joy to look at while you’re using it, too.


Sturdy as can be • Great for kids and students

No 4G option • Subpar display

A little light on power and size, the Dell Chromebook 11 is made for students and folks who go light on laptop use.

Dell Chromebook 11

A little light on power and size, the Dell Chromebook 11 is made for students and folks who go light on laptop use.

  • CPU:
    Intel Celeron N3060
  • RAM:
    4GB
  • Storage:
    16GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
  • Screen:
    11.6 inches
  • Display:
    1366×768

For first timers, whether that’s a kid getting their first laptop or those who aren’t tech savvy, the Dell Chromebook 11 is a perfect way to dip your toes into the water but without a huge learning curve (or a steep price tag). It feels tough and sturdy and will be able to withstand most things a kid could throw at it. The screen is pretty minuscule at 11.6 inches (with not-so-thin bezels), but this also makes it small and light enough for a kid’s backpack or other traveling needs. The CPU is fast and the battery will stay running about 10 hours, more than enough to get through a day of classes. There’s also a good variation of ports and slots along the side, which are handy for connecting peripherals or extra storage.


Long-lasting battery • Powerful processor and RAM combo • Security-centric features

On the heavier side • Screen could be better

A first-class Chromebook with enough power to handle any task you throw at it and security features to keep your work safe.

HP Chromebook x360 14c

A fingerprint reader and webcam security switch makes the HP x360 14c among the safest and most secure Chromebooks on the market

  • CPU:
    Intel Core i3
  • RAM:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    64GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 12 hours
  • Screen:
    14 inches
  • Display:
    1920×1080

Chromebooks have become reliable options for schoolwork, but haven’t really made a dent into the office. The HP Chromebook x360 14c threatens to change the perception of what the Chromebook is capable of. With a powerful Intel processor and more than 8GB of RAM, it’s capable of handling most intensive tasks that you throw its way. On top of that, it sports a fingerprint sensor and webcam kill switch that provides an extra bit of security that you need if you’re working on important documents. It’s a little heavier than your average Chromebook and the display doesn’t shine, but this is a Chromebook that wouldn’t look out of place in a boardroom.

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