Best Chromebooks – October 2017

While the Chromebook market is always expanding it is not often more than one high-profile option comes through within the same month. That is the case this month however with at least two new solid Chromebooks having become available to buy within the last couple of weeks. While they are not both aimed at the exact same demographic, they are both Chromebooks worthy of consideration and ones which have now meant that the top 10 Chromebooks list is looking very different... and with a new number one. Here are our top 10 Chromebook choices for October 2017.

10. Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook

The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is a little expensive for what it offers and so this will not necessarily appeal to everyone. Especially considering the design of the Chromebook is not quite as sleek and attractive as some of the others on the list. Although, that is by design as this is a highly durable Chromebook and one that is almost guaranteed to be able to withstand daily and outdoor usage. So those looking for a Chromebook that is more about durability than anything else might want to give this one a closer look.

The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook features an 11.6-inch display along with a 1366 x 768 resolution. Inside, the Flex 11 comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and is powered by a MediaTek 8173C processor. Adding to its value is a rotating hinge that allows the Flex 11 to be used in other positions, including a tablet mode. As for that price, the enhanced level of protection comes at a cost - approximately $300.

9. Samsung Chromebook 3

Like the Acer Chromebook 11, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is another option that is more of a gateway device. Whether you are looking for a Chromebook for a younger user or for someone who has never tested out the Chrome OS platform before, this is another solid and inexpensive option. As again, like the Acer option, this one comes from a very well-known brand and looks to provide a basic Chrome OS experience within a product that is certainly entry-level priced.

The Samsung Chromebook 3 is available in two different models with the only notable difference being the RAM count, 2GB or 4GB. Otherwise, both models provide an 11.6-inch display along with a 1366 x 768 resolution, as well as 16GB storage, and an Intel Celeron N3050 processor. Of the two models, the 2GB option is currently the most affordable and can be picked up from around $170.

8. Lenovo ThinkPad 13

The previous options represent one of the most common trends in the Chromebook market - an attempt to add portability by offering a smaller 11.6-inch display. The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is not one of these Chromebooks as this one is more designed for those who want a little more display real estate. As this Chromebook provides a 13.3-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Making this an ideal option for those looking for a Chromebook that remains portable, but also boasts a larger display.

In addition, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is a Chromebook that can be customized to meet different consumer needs with the ability to not only choose the RAM and storage counts, but also the processor. As a result, the price and spec breakdown does depend on which model and what specs are chosen. As a guide though, opting for 4GB RAM, 16GB storage, and an Intel Celeron 3855U processor does currently cost about $285.

7. Acer Chromebook R 13

Acer is not shy when it comes to releasing Chromebooks and that is in part the reason why so many models from the company have made this list. However, the Acer Chromebook R 13 in particular, is a Chromebook which looks to cater to as many different consumers as possible. Thereby, this is one which packs in a number of Chromebook hardware selling points. One of the most obvious is the included 360-degree rotating hinge which allows the R 13 to be used in multiple different positions including a tablet mode. In addition, this is a Chromebook which adopts the now-typical Acer sleek look and design, while also coming packed with a competitive spec list including 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, and a MediaTek (MT8173C) quad-core processor.

Adding to that, this is also a Chromebook which looks to appeal to those looking for a larger display as the Chromebook R 13 features a 13.3-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. So this literally is a Chromebook designed for the many, although the downside is that it is priced to reflect those multiple design points and usually costs $399.99 to buy. Right now though, it can be picked up for only $349.99.

6. Acer Chromebook 14

Unlike the Chromebook R 13, the Acer Chromebook 14 is not so wide-reaching in its appeal. Instead, this Chromebook is more of a traditional offering for those looking for a laptop-like experience without many of the added (and costly) design traits. The benefit here is that you are getting the best of Acer’s Chromebook design language, as well as a reliable and solid software experience, backed up by a very similar spec list to the R 13 - but at a more appealing price. For example, the Chromebook 14 can currently be picked up for as low as $269 and in a choice of either silver or gold.

As for the specs, the Chromebook 14 also does come with the added benefit of boasting a larger than usual 14-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Inside, the Chromebook 14 comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, and is powered by an Intel Celeron N3160 processor.

5. ASUS Chromebook Flip C101

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 is one of the newest Chromebooks to become available and looks to bridge the gap between the original ASUS Flip model and the 2017 ASUS Chromebook Flip C302. Which makes it a very interesting proposition, as not only was the original Flip model one of the first to really sport a rotating hinge, but it was also rather unique in being more of a tablet-sized Chromebook. Making the original Flip one of the best solutions for those looking for the ultimate option in portability.

Which is something that has now been extended to this latest version as once again the new Chromebook Flip C101 boasts a rotating hinge and a 10.1-inch display. As well as a competitive spec list that includes 4GB RAM, 16GB storage, an upgraded Rockchip RK3399 quad-core processor, and USB Type-C connectivity. Last month this model was only available to pre-order although it is now firmly on sale and can be picked up for approximately $299.

4. Acer Chromebook 15 (2017)

The Acer Chromebook 15 is another option to have only recently hit the market and now ranks as our best Acer Chromebook pick. This is the latest model to join the popular Chromebook 15 line although it also represents the most premium model in the line. Which is something that has been long overdue as while other Chromebook 15 models have come to market, they have not quite sported the same build quality on offer with other Acer models. That has changed though now with the Chromebook 15 (2017) adopting the build quality and design worthy of the Acer name.

For those new to this line, it's clear and big (literally) selling point is that it is one of the largest Chromebook experiences on the market. The new model continues the 15 trend by featuring a 15.6-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Inside, the Chromebook 15 comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and is powered by an Intel Pentium N4200 quad-core processor. While this now considered available, it is only available to buy directly from Acer and Best Buy and is priced at $399.99.

3. ASUS Chromebook Flip C302

As already mentioned, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 arrived earlier in the year and instantly made an impact as this was a follow-up to the original ASUS Flip model. However, this one looked to bring together traits of the original Flip within a Chromebook that places premium as its key selling point. So while this is not the most affordable of Chromebooks, for those looking for a heightened experience, it is one to consider.

Unlike the original Flip, the Chromebook Flip C302 provides a much larger display coming in at 12.5-inches along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Inside, buyers can expect to find 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and an Intel Core m3 processor powering everything. Additional features include a rotating hinge for use in a number of different positions, a more premium but lightweight design, and a battery that is listed to offer up to 10 hours in between charges. As for the price, this one currently comes in at $459.99.

2. Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro

The Samsung Chromebook Plus and Pro models have remained our go-to Chromebook picks ever since they were released. That has changed now though with the two Samsung options having been bumped off the top spot this month. Although, if you factor in the price then these are arguably the best value Chromebooks on the market. And for most people - will still be the best option to go for.

Of the two Samsung models, the Pro version is considered to be the better option although the general specs and experience are largely the same. Both models feature a 12.3-inch display along with a 2400 x 1600 resolution. Likewise, both Chromebooks also come loaded with 4GB RAM, and 32GB storage. Both make use of a rotating hinge allowing them to be used in multiple positions and both also come with a stylus for added note-taking and touch-sensitive features. Not forgetting of course, both come with access to the Google Play Store and Android apps. Which means the main differences is the processor and the price, with the Pro version currently available for $499 and the Plus version priced at $428.

1. Google Pixelbook

So we have a new Chromebook in the number one spot this month although this one does need to come with its own disclaimer. As the Google Pixelbook is not a Chromebook that many will likely opt for due to the price. While there is more than one variant of the Pixelbook available, the starting price is $999. A price which eclipses everything else on this list and by a wide margin. A year or two ago that price would have instantly resulted in the Pixelbook losing a spot or two on this list. However over the last couple of years Chromebook prices have steadily started to climb and competing premium options are now hitting the $500 marker consistently. While that is still only half of the cost of the Pixelbook, the difference between the Pixelbook and the rest are obvious and numerous. So for those looking for the absolute best in class Chrome OS experience, the Pixelbook is really the only option to go for.

For example, in addition to the Pixelbook coming loaded with 8GB RAM, 128GB for storage, and powered by a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, this is also a Chromebook which comes with an extremely premium build quality including a lightweight design, a 12.3-inch display (which rotates 360-degrees), and an aluminum body with a glass panel for added Pixel-branding. Which is all before mentioning how this Chromebook has been built with Android app integration in mind, and is the first Chromebook to come with Google Assistant as a built-in feature - it even has a dedicated hardware button for Google Assistant.

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About the Author
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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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