Customers escaping the clutches of Microsoft and Apple have taken refuge with Google and its Chrome OS platform. These “Chromebooks” are prominent in the educational sector due to their low cost, cloud-based lightweight apps and easy management. But given the list of Chromebooks infiltrating every market from education to business is steadily growing, finding the best Chromebooks can be a daunting task. We’re here to help.

Keep in mind that Chromebooks don’t need the latest processors and graphics. They’re far removed from running Destiny 2 in Ultra HD settings. Instead, they’re meant to run web-based apps from the Chrome Web Store and Android apps you can download and install natively from Google Play. That means the prices are relatively low compared to Windows and Mac-based solutions.

Our list of the best Chromebooks you can buy derive from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Google, Lenovo and Samsung. You really can’t be picky regarding screen size and resolution if you want to keep the expense low although Google’s Pixelbook hits four digits with a somewhat-small 12.3-inch screen. You’ll be lucky to find storage above 32GB too without paying a premium price given Chrome OS and web-based apps are extremely lightweight regarding space.

That said, here’s our list of the best Chromebooks you can find right now!

Our Favorite

Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA
Starting price: $499
Google Play support: Yes

Best Chromebooks

As the name implies, this 2-in-1 Chromebook features a 360-degree hinge enabling Laptop, Stand, Tent and Tablet modes. It’s thin and lightweight too, measuring just 0.54 inches thick and weighing a mere 2.65 pounds. It’s based on a smaller 12.5-inch screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, a decent 60Hz refresh rate and 10-point touch support.

All configurations are based on three processors: Intel’s sixth-generation Core m3-6Y30 two-core chip, its m7-6Y75 two-core chip and its Pentium 4405Y two-core CPU. They’re joined by 4GB or 8GB of system memory, between 32GB and 128GB of SSD-based storage and a Micro SD card slot if you need even more storage.

Other ingredients thrown into the mix include two Type-C ports (5Gbps), one audio combo jack, an HD webcam, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, an ambient light sensor and a 39 WHr battery promising up to 10 hours of normal use. It supports Google Play, meaning you can download and install Android apps alongside your favorites from the Chrome Web Store.

The Rest

Acer Chromebook 15 (CB515-1HT)
Starting price: $349
Google Play support: Yes

Best Chromebooks

Acer ran with the Chromebook idea when Google introduced Chrome OS and has since flooded the market with various models for students, businesses and individuals looking to escape Microsoft’s grasp. The company’s latest effort is the Chromebook 15 sporting a decent 15.6-inch touch-enabled screen and a nice 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, perfect for content creators, programmers and more.

Under the hood, you’ll find either an Intel Pentium N4200 four-core processor or an Intel Celeron N3350 two-core processor, depending on the model. Both include 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR4 system memory, and 32GB or 64GB of storage. While that doesn’t sound like a lot of space, Chrome OS doesn’t require a lot of storage until you start installing Android apps from Google Play.

To help offset the small storage capacity, Acer includes a Micro SD card slot along with two USB-A ports (5GBps), up to two USB-C ports (5Gbps) and an audio combo jack. It’s powered by a 3220 mAh battery promising up to 14 hours on the Pentium-based model and up to 12 hours on the Celeron-based model. It measures just 0.7 inches thick and weighs either 4.30 pounds (Pentium) or 3.97 pounds (Celeron).

Dell Chromebook 11 3189
Starting price: $329
Google Play support: Yes

Best Chromebooks

Like the Asus Chromebook Flip, Dell’s Chrome OS-based 2-in-1 sports a hinge enabling Laptop, Tent, Stand and Tablet form factors. But in this case the screen is smaller, measuring 11.6 inches with a 1,366 x 768 resolution and touch input support. That resolution is low compared to the standard Full HD seen on most laptops, but Dell makes up for that shortcoming by installing an IPS screen providing wide viewing angles and rich colors.

Dell’s Chromebook is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 two-core processor, 4GB of system memory and between 16GB and 64GB of storage. It also provides one audio combo jack, two USB-A ports (5Gbps), one Micro SD card reader, an HDMI port and a webcam. Unfortunately, the keyboard isn’t backlit, but it is resistive to accidental spills. It’s built for students too with rubberized edges and protection against drops and bumps.

Given the 11.6-inch screen, Dell’s Chromebook measures just 0.82 inches thick and weighs 3.22 pounds. It’s not exactly the thinnest in our group, as it’s designed for durability and withstanding brutal school days. It even includes the Dell Activity Light, a three-color LED so that students can alert teachers without disrupting the class. This Chromebook is powered by a 42WHr battery promising up to 10 hours of use.

HP Chromebook 14 G5
Starting price: $352
Google Play support: Yes

Best Chromebooks

HP serves up its Chromebook 14 G5 in a clamshell form factor only, thus you don’t get the coolness of a 2-in-1 hinge and the resulting four modes. It’s based on a 14-inch screen using an SVA or IPS panel, depending on the configuration. You can also choose to add touch input and one of two screen resolutions: 1,366 x 768 or 1,920 x 1,080. Keep in mind that while that larger resolution sounds tasty, it will increase your final price.

Backing the display is Intel’s Celeron N3350 two-core processor or its Celeron N3450 four-core chip. They’re joined by 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR4 system memory clocked at 2,400MHz and between 16GB and 64GB of SSD-based storage. The port complement includes one audio combo jack, two USB-A ports (5Gbps), two USB-C ports (5Gbps) and a Micro SD card slot. Wireless connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 4.2 and Wireless AC (867Mbps).

According to HP, the backlit keyboard is pick- and minor spill-resistant, passing the strict MIL-STD 810G testing. Other features include an HP TrueVision HD wide-angle camera and the ability to charge the Chromebook using one of the USB-C ports (along with other devices). Powered by a 47WHr battery promising up to 10 hours, HP’s Chromebook measures just 0.72 inches thin and weighs a mere 3.39 pounds.

Google Pixelbook
Starting price: $999
Google Play support: Well duh

Best laptops of 2018

Google set out to create a luxury Chromebook and did just that with the Pixelbook. It’s essentially a Chrome OS-based 2-in-1 enabling Laptop, Tent, Stand and Tablet modes, measuring 0.4 inches thick and weighing a mere 2.4 pounds. Contributing to the thin and light form factor is a touch-enabled 12.3-inch screen with a hefty 2,400 x 1,600 resolution.

Under the hood you’ll find a seventh-generation Core i5-7Y57 or Core i7-7Y75 two-core processor, depending on the configuration. Your choices are limited to three: The Core i5 with 8GB of system memory and 128GB of storage, the Core i5 with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage and the Core i7 with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage.

Other notable features provided by the Pixelbook include Wireless AC (867Mbps) and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, a backlit keyboard with 0.8mm of travel distance (key actuation), a 720p camera supporting 60 frames per second, two USB-C ports (5Gbps), a headphone jack and an aluminum body in a Silver finish. It’s all powered by a 41WHr battery promising up to 10 hours of normal use. The Pixelbook Pen is not included, costing an extra $99.

Lenovo 500e Chromebook
Price: $309
Google Play support: Yes

Best Chromebooks

Lenovo’s Chromebook targets the classroom, so you know it’s tough. It’s compliant with MIL-STD-810G testing, drop-resistant up to 29.5 inches and resists spills on the keyboard up to 1.39 cups of liquid. It’s a 2-in-1 device enabling Laptop, Tent, Stand and Tablet form factors relying on a reinforced 360-degree hinge. The device includes reinforced ports and rubber bumpers too.

The 500e Chromebook is based on a 11.6-inch IPS multi-touch screen with a low 1,366 x 768 resolution powered by Intel’s Celeron N3450 four-core processor and integrated graphics (HD Graphics 500). You’ll also find 4GB of LPDDR4 system memory clocked at 1,600MHz, 32GB of storage and a Micro SD card slot to add even more storage for your files and media.

In addition to the card reader, this Chromebook includes two USB-C ports (5Gbps), two USB-A ports (5Gbps), an audio combo jack, Wireless AC (867Mbps) and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, a 720p front-facing camera with a microphone and a 5MP world-facing camera with a microphone. It ships with an EMR pen stylus for taking notes and drawing directly on the screen along with a 42WHr battery promising up to 10 hours of use. This Chromebook measures 0.8 inches thick and weighs 2.97 pounds, making it a great PC solution for students and teachers alike.

Samsung Chromebook Pro
Price: $599
Google Play support: Yes

Best Chromebooks

Here’s another 2-in-1 Chromebook with an included pen that transforms into Laptop, Tent, Stand and Tablet modes. It doesn’t target students and teachers, but instead centers on customers wanting a device packing a “professional” appearance and high-performance components. In fact, it competes Google’s Pixelbook, providing a similar 12.3-inch with a hefty 2,400 x 1,600 resolution but at a lower cost.

To get this Chromebook at a cheaper price point, Samsung cut a few corners starting with the processor: Intel’s sixth-generation Core m3-6Y30 dual-core CPU with integrated graphics (HD Graphics 515). This Chromebook is also locked down to 4GB of LPDDR3 system memory and 32GB of storage. Samsung provides a Micro SD card slot, so you can add more storage to accommodate your files, media and Android apps you can download from Google Play.

Other ingredients tossed into Samsung’s Chromebook include Wireless AC (867Mbps) and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, two USB-C ports (5Gbps), a headphone jack, a microphone jack, two 1.5-watt speakers and a 720p webcam. It’s all powered by a 39WHr battery promising up to nine hours of use. This Chromebook measures 0.55 inches thick and weighs just 2.38 pounds.

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