Chrome OS has undergone some substantial changes over the past few months, with plenty of refinements and at least a few new pieces of hardware. Among those, is at least one that has likely broken the current laptop-only mold and may push Chromebooks into a new stage of diversification over the coming months. In the meantime, there are a lot of good reasons to love where Chrome OS is at right now. Thanks to the consistency of updates to and finely optimized nature of the OS, the majority of devices running the operating system are going to last a buyer for quite some time. That doesn’t necessarily make finding the best option easy though. So we’ve pulled together our top 10 best Chromebooks for June 2018, to make things a little more simple.
10. Samsung Chromebook 3
At the budget end of the spectrum is Samsung's Chromebook 3. That's an 11.5-inch device with a dual-core Intel Celeron N3060 processor clocked to boost at up to 2.4GHz and a base clock of 1.6GHz. Backing that up is either 2GB or 4GB RAM and 16GB of storage. There’s not necessarily any extras here but the Samsung Chromebook 3 does include Google Play and is capable of achieving more than 11-hours of use on a single charge. That makes it a great alternative to quite a few other devices which don’t have either of those two things but which usually cost a bit more than the $249 Samsung’s Chromebook 3 can be picked up for.
9. Acer Chromebook Tab 10
The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is, as its name suggests, the first ever Chrome OS tablet. It's also a relatively well thought out device with plenty of power, features, and battery at a reasonable cost. For just under $330, it ships with a 2.0 GHz hexacore processor optimized for Chrome OS, 4GB of dual-channel RAM, and 32GB of micro SD expandable eMMC flash storage. That's packed neatly into a 9.7-inch multitouch 2048 x 1536 display which can readily take advantage of the internally stored Wacom EMR stylus. Nine hours of battery from the 8,860mAh battery, high-def audio, front and rear 5-megapixel cameras, and the inclusion of Android apps add to all of that to make this a great bargain. However, the need to look down while typing and apparent lack of sales outside of those geared toward students and education departments are drawbacks that keep this device low on the list. With that said, things could change over the coming months and the world's most prominent Chromebook manufacturer has certainly changed the game for Chrome OS.
8. ASUS Chromebook Flip C101
The ASUS-built Chromebook Flip C101 - sold as the Flip C101 PA at the official Chromebook site - is a 10.1-inch device which ships with an OP1-rated quad-core Rockchip RK3399 2.0 GHz processor. Like other Flip series ASUS Chromebooks, the display is a touchscreen, which is enabled with a 360-degree hinge which enables the keyboard to be folded back for tablet mode. There's no better way to use the Android apps which can be downloaded via the built-in Google Play Store. Starting at just $299 for 16GB storage and 4GB RAM, a version is also available with 32GB storage and 4GB RAM for those that want to download more apps. That’s packed into a 15.6mm thin aluminum frame weighing just 1.9 lbs.
7. Acer Chromebook R13
Among the few Chromebooks to come packing a MediaTek SoC, the MT8173C in this case, is Acer’s Chromebook R13. That quad-core 2.10GHz processor provides plenty of power while staying relatively cool. Backed up by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, it’s also enough to power plenty of Android apps which can be played on its 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 touch display in a laptop, tablet, or tent configuration. The aluminum body, meanwhile, is a bit heavier than others at 3.28 lbs but that’s largely down to its size. At under $400, what really sets the Acer Chromebook R13 apart is its 4670mAh battery. When coupled with the processor, it allows for up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge.
6. Acer Chromebook Spin 15
For those who aren’t worried about whether or not their Chromebook folds up into a tablet, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15, brings some worthy improvements to its predecessor. It’s also a 15.6-inch device with a touch-enabled display rated at 1920 x 1080 for clear viewing of Android apps, web browsing, and productivity. 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage allow the Intel Pentium N4200 quad-core processor to work as well as can be expected in a Chromebook. A 350-degree hinge, as with most other Chromebooks in this list, allows it to be operated in tablet-mode. Simultaneously, its 13-hour battery and 20mm aluminum frame allow for portability that's higher than most larger laptop-like devices. Moreover, this Chrome OS device also comes packing one USB Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 port, and Bluetooth 4.2 for a wide array of connection options. Pricing, in fact, is the only real aspect that currently holds this device back from moving further up the list at $450 direct from Acer.
5. Lenovo 500e Chromebook
Boasting an Intel Celeron N3450U Processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB of storage expandable via micro SD card, Lenovo’s 500e Chromebook is a bargain at just $309 as of this writing. Beyond its base specs and not unlike Samsung’s entry later in this list, it also includes a versatile pressure-sensitive stylus that sits housed in the Chromebook itself when not in use. That’s also helped along by “machine intelligence” to help with accuracy when users are drawing or writing on the 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 resolution multitouch screen. Lenovo's inclusion of a 360-degree hinge allows users to put it in tablet mode, for easier use of both apps and that stylus. Better still, this is one Chromebook that's been tested to MIL-STD-810G shock and drop resistance, in addition to featuring spill protection for up to 1.3 cups of liquid. For those who want to spend a little less, meanwhile, Lenovo also has the less pricey 100e Chromebook and 300e Chromebook which are also worth a look, albeit not quite so powerful.
4. ASUS Chromebook Flip C302
Like the ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 featured earlier in this list, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 features a 360-degree rotating hinge that allows for multiple use configurations and tablet mode. It’s also compatible with Android apps. With that said, nearly everything else about this device is a serious step up from that more budget-friendly device, as is indicated by the increase in price. Starting at $449, the Flip C302 features a 1920 x 1080 12.5-inch display. It’s internal specs also place it on par with some of the best Chromebooks available. The entry-level models of the C302 start with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, backing up an Intel Core m3 CPU. However, models range upward from there. That includes models with an Intel Pentium 4405Y Processor or an Intel Core m5 and support for up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Its price, which is slightly above some other comparable options, is generally what holds this laptop-like from ranking higher on the list.
3. HP Chromebook x2
The still new HP Chromebook x2 has held onto its placement high on our list due mostly to the still positive reviews it is receiving. It’s also the first true hybrid between an Android Tablet and Chromebook since it is, first and foremost, a “detachable” device. That means the keyboard can be completely disconnected for a tablet-like experience with its 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 resolution touch display. Like some other modern Chromebooks, this highly convertible Chrome OS tablet features a handy stylus, although storage for that is a simple loop built into the Chromebook keyboard itself. Performance is driven by a capable 7th Gen Intel Core m3 processor and either 4GB or 8GB of Ram while storage is set at 32GB. The battery life is rated for up to ten hours. All of that stacks to create a productivity-ready laptop-like starting at a higher-than-average cost - for a Chromebook - of $599. HP’s Chromebook x2 is, as of mid-June, still only available to purchase at Best Buy despite being announced in April.
2. Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro
With a brand new version of Samsung's Chromebook Plus having hit the market on June 24 and a backlit keyboard variant of the Chromebook Pro dropping earlier this year, the company has managed to move its way back to the number two spot on our list. The Chromebook Plus and its Pro counterpart are still effectively the same laptop, with a few notable exceptions in terms of small features and processing. The more expensive Pro features a 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 resolution display panel. The Chromebook Plus has been downgraded for a more battery-efficient but still workable 12.2-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution screen. Both of those can be rotated along a 360-degree hinge to go between tablet, laptop, and tent mode. Both models feature 4GB of RAM and 32GB of microSD expandable storage to support the installation of Android apps from the Play Store. Conversely, the latest iteration of Samsung’s Chromebook Plus bumps from an ARM processor to an Intel Celeron 3965Y CPU adds some water resistance to the keyboard. A 13-megapixel rear camera has been added to the mix as well. The larger Pro edition of Samsung’s Chromebook still features a noticeably more powerful Intel® Core™ m3 Processor. A storable S-Pen Stylus is part of the package as well. Pricing for the two Chrome OS devices is currently set at $599.99 for the Chromebook Pro and $499 for the Chromebook Plus.
1. Google Pixelbook
The Google Pixelbook will remain in the top spot for June not only because its specifications are still the best available in any Chrome OS device. Those are, of course, still a very good reason to pick one up over all of the others. The entry-level model features 8GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage, backing up a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and a display that’s at the top of its class. There are also configurations available with 16GB RAM and either 256GB or 512GB storage. All of that, in combination with a guarantee that the Pixelbook will be among the first to receive all software updates, makes Google’s own Chromebook relatively future-proof. Beyond those aspects of this Chromebook, the Pixelbook is compatible with a pressure-sensitive stylus, the Google Pixelbook Pen, which can be purchased for an additional $99. A dedicated Google Assistant button is built into the keyboard, mounted to the 2.4-pound aluminum chassis that’s only 10.3mm thick. With four mics, dual speakers, and a ten-hour battery life the Google Pixelbook still shows what Chromebooks can be, starting at $999.