Choosing the best Chromebook on the market has become a fairly complex process as the number of available devices has grown year after year. The market for the devices now includes low-end budget machines and top-tier workhorses. But it also includes a number of off-format devices. Chromebooks are no longer limited to just laptops and 2-in-1 convertibles.
The decision-making process has perhaps been made more challenging alongside improvements to Chrome OS itself. With each successive launch of a new version, the difference made by variations in performance becomes more prominent.
When the OS first launched, premium devices weren't necessarily a lot more capable than budget gadgets. Now, a high-end device can be utilized for everything from light browsing to Android development. But they can also be used for heavier tasks such as for image or video editing. So budget Chromebooks won't always fit the bill.
Top 10 Best Chromebooks 2020 Summary
As the array of available Chrome OS devices has increased over the years, the number of plausible use cases has too. So not every Chromebook is going to be well suited to every user. In fact, most users averaging most of their time in the Chrome browser won't need more than a budget device. Those gadgets will typically run Android apps well enough too.
There are more powerful gadgets available for those who need to get more serious work done too. And Chrome OS offers access to Linux apps, Android apps, and web apps. So there's plenty of software to take advantage of the extra processing power available.
Fortunately, Android Headlines has spent a lot of time conducting reviews and research on Chromebooks. That's helped us to determine which devices really stand out from the pack. It also allows us to make an attempt at making the process of choosing a lot easier.
Now, not every great or deserving Chromebook will have made this list. And many of those that didn't will easily suit users as well as those that did. Bearing that in mind, here's our take on the best Chromebooks currently available to suit just about any need.
|Samsung Chromebook 4||From $229||Amazon||Up to 6GB/64GB||Intel Celeron N4000|
|Acer Chromebook C514||From $338.49||Amazon||Up to 8GB/64GB||Intel Pentium N4200|
|Asus Chromebook Flip C434||From $463.91||Amazon||Up to 8GB/64GB||Up to Intel Core i7-8500Y|
|Acer Chromebook Spin 512||From $499||Acer||Up to 8GB/64GB||Intel Pentium Silver N5000|
|Google Pixel Slate||From $799||Up to 16GB/256GB||Up to Intel Core i7|
|HP Chromebook x2||From $499||HP||4GB/32GB||Intel Core m3|
|Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630||From $499.99||Amazon||Up to 8GB/128GB||Up to Intel Core i5-8250U|
|HP Chromebook x360 14||$599||HP||8GB/64GB||Intel Core i3-8130U|
|Acer Chromebook Spin 13||$739.97||Amazon||8GB/128GB||Intel Core i5|
|Google Pixelbook Go||From $649||Up to 16GB/256GB||Up to Intel Core i7|
Best small budget Chromebook
Samsung Chromebook 4
- Price: From $229
- Where to buy: Amazon
The Samsung Chromebook 4 is one of the least expensive small form-factor Chromebooks on the market, starting at just $229 and maxing out at $279. But that doesn't mean this clamshell laptop is weak. Chrome OS devices tend to do a lot more with less power, to begin with. So anybody looking for a cheap device that's ultra-portable at just 11.6-inches would do well to start here.
There are three configurations for the Samsung Chromebook 4 on Amazon but each iteration packs a stalwart Intel Celeron N4000 processor. From there, Samsung includes either 4GB or 6GB RAM. The latter configuration comes with 64GB storage, while the 4GB variant comes with either that or 32GB. A battery that lasts up to 12-hours, conversely, makes this one of the longest-lasting Chromebooks too.
Setting aside internal specs, there's less reason to worry about ruining that investment here too — small, though that investment is. Samsung has ensured this little beast meets eight standards for military-grade toughness.
The MIL-STD-810G standards met include transit drop, vibration, high temperature, temperature shocks, freezing, dust, humidity, low pressure. There's no water-resistance rating, but that's not unexpected with Chromebooks and doesn't stop this from being one of the best around. The Samsung Chromebook 4 should survive just about everything else better than most of the competition.
Best full-size budget Chromebook
Acer Chromebook 514
- Price: From $338.49
- Where to buy: Amazon
Without sacrificing too much, the Acer Chromebook 514 is another budget Chromebook that brings quite a lot to the table in a slightly larger form factor.
Not only is the Chromebook 514 loaded up with a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display panel in a 0.7-inch thin lay-flat aluminum chassis with 6mm bezels, a backlit keyboard, and Gorilla Glass on both the panel and touchpad. A Noble lock slot, both standard 'A' and newer C-type USB ports, and a microSD card slot are part of the package too.
That's an outstanding value already for between $338 to $499.
Inside, Acer has also equipped the Chromebook 514 with one of the best batteries in the business. That's rated at 12-hours per charge and perfectly suited for whatever work needs to be done without the hassle of always searching for a charging port.
The processor found in this device may not be the most powerful around. But it does come with up to 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of storage — arguably the more important figures with Chrome OS — to back up the Intel Pentium N4200 chipset.
So, what buyers get is a solid design without the extra cost of a stylus, 360-degree hinge, and similar novelties. Instead, Acer has opened up for consumers who need a device that just works and works well, while providing some great amenities and features to meet just about every need of an everyday user.
Best Chromebook 2-in-1
ASUS Chromebook Flip C434
- Price: From $463.91
- Where to buy: Amazon
ASUS's continuation of the Chromebook Flip lineup has been among the most popular series and that's not without good reason. The most recent entry in the family brings a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display to the table in an ultra-slim-bezel-touting all-metal package that's more about refinement than making massive changes to the series.
Dubbed the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434, this laptop also packs in up to an Intel Core i7-8500Y chipset, coupled with 8GB of memory and 128 GB for files and apps. The base model, with a still-powerful Intel Core M3-8100Y Processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage starts out at a relatively low $489.99.
Dual speakers and a microSD card slot round things out for this touch-enabled 2-in-1 but a slightly more expensive model begins adding in the features users love, beginning with a backlit keyboard. That keyboard is where the Chromebook Flip C434 really gains its reputation. The comfort and productivity-focused keys deliver 1.4mm of key travel and a unique ergonomic lift at the back of the board as the lid is opened up.
Best Chromebook for students
Acer Chromebook Spin 512
- Price: From $499
- Where to buy: Acer
Acer's second entry in our list is a device that's built with students in mind but will serve just about any need. The Chromebook Spin 512, on the student-friendly side of things, is a 12-inch 2-in-1 convertible laptop that features a microbe-resistant display coating and spill protection thanks to drain-through slots positioned over the keyboard.
Following in that same vein, this Chromebook can withstand a beating. Acer included a rubber trim and extra reinforcement with this gadget, so it's going to survive falls from a reasonable height too.
The trim doesn't take away from the aesthetics and the coating doesn't interfere with touch interactions. On the former front, the ruggedization is melded into the build itself, keeping things slim and the overall bulk down. That means that although this laptop can be used without worry that it'll be damaged by rough users, it also doesn't take up a lot of room in a laptop bag or backpack.
The included EMR stylus makes productivity and creativity tasks a breeze, as does the up to 8GB RAM, 64GB storage, and the respectable quad-core Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor. The starting cost of $499 for the more budget-friendly but still quite capable models isn't bad either, despite featuring a slightly lower resolution than others listed here — 1,366 x 912.
Best Chromebook for tablet buyers
Google Pixel Slate
- Price: From $799
- Where to buy: Google
Google's Pixelbook, approaching two years old at this point, is gone from this list and it's Pixel Slate Chrome OS tablet hasn't gotten rave reviews but changes being made to the underlying firmware have made the latter gadget a worthy entry nonetheless.
Priced to start at $799 and maxing out at just shy of $1600, the Google Pixel Slate stands as a testament to the direction Chrome was supposed to go — before the search giant moved all of its own hardware efforts back to laptops. That means it's an absolute powerhouse at any level and for any configuration and that's where it stands out from the rest.
Pixel Slate ships with up to an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 available, backed by 16GB RAM and 256GB of storage and packed into an all-metal frame. That's coupled with a fingerprint scanner built into the power button and a "molecular" 3,000 x 2,000 resolution touchscreen in a super-slim 12.3-inch format. An 8-megapixel camera sensor can be found at both the front and back.
A keyboard and pressure-sensitive stylus can be had for an additional $199 and $99, respectively, representing the only real drawback for those who really need this much power. For coding on the go or effectively anything else, the Pixel Slate is going to be a great option that's only going to improve further with updates that are already planned and in the works for the near future.
Best detachable Chromebook
HP Chromebook x2
- Price: From $499
- Where to buy: HP
The HP Chromebook x2 is, all things considered, almost as good as the Google Pixel Slate — with a generation older processor — and almost on a par with the budget-model Google Pixelbook. That's largely thanks to an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of relatively fast RAM, and a respectable 32GB storage — expandable via microSD card slot.
In terms of aesthetics and build quality, it lands in similar territory too because of its dual-tone ceramic white on oxford blue aluminum frame. Where it stands apart and above is in the fact that this 2-in-1 convertible is a detachable device rather than a standard folder. That means that the Chromebook x2 ships with a full-scale EMR stylus and a keyboard. No need to pay extra.
The 12.3-inch, 2,400 x 1,600 display isn't quite as high a resolution as that other device and the bezels are definitely thicker. However, in this case, that's down to the inclusion of high-performance Bang & Olufsen speakers embedded at the outside edge to either side of the screen. Weight and thickness are comparable to the Pixelbook too. But it's overall design rests closer to a premium detachable Windows machine.
Setting aside the internal and external cameras, the comfortable-to-use-keyboard, and the two USB-C ports for charging, display output, and data transfers, the cost alone makes this a worthwhile device because of those above-mentioned attributes. HP sells the Chromebook x2 for under $500 — as low as just under $499 — via a variety of online storefronts.
Best Chromebook in the mid-range
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
- Price: From $499.99
- Where to buy: Amazon
Lenovo's Yoga Chromebook C630 is going to have to be the stopping point for any user looking for a large device in a 15.6-inch format with a 4K panel and at a real steal of a price. For just a while longer, the premium variant of this gadget is only $629.99. That's down from nearly $900. And that's with a newer Intel Core i5-8250U processor that's boostable up to 3.4GHz with 8GB DDR4 2400MHz and 128GB storage
An identical variant, with a 1080p IPS touchscreen instead but with the same internal specs, is down from $720 to $599.99 too. For those who want to spend a bit less, there is an Intel Core i3-8130U processor version available that boosts to the same clock. That variant only abandons the backlit keyboard for $499.99 — down from $600.
Each variant offers a smooth Chrome OS experience and is more than capable of handling whatever a user might throw at it.
In fact, "future proof" may be the best term to describe the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 and the remaining devices on this list. The biggest drawback is that there's no stylus here. With that said, coupled with a 10-hour battery, and packed into an all-aluminum frame at 4.2lbs and 0.7-inches thin, there aren't going to be any better options at all in the 16-inch category.
Best Chromebook for power and a long-lasting battery
HP Chromebook x360 14
- Price: $599
- Where to buy: HP
HP's Chromebook x360 14 is an anomaly in that it brings both the stunning aesthetic of the HP Chromebook x2 as well as a more powerful build, sacrificing the detachable design for a 2-in-1. There's no pen here either but users do get to keep the Bang & Olufsen speakers found on that other gadget.
The bezels to either side of the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution touchscreen too, providing for a lot more display in a relatively small, lightweight package.
The real selling point for this $599 Chromebook, however, is its high-clocked 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-8130U chip that's boostable up to a whopping 4GHz. 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM back that chipset up. That's equipped with a UHD-capable graphics chip too, for better display output over USB-C. So there's plenty of power despite the 13.5-hour-rated battery.
Storage falls in at 64GB, coupled with Chrome OS's cloud-centric nature. That means there's enough room for apps, files, games, or whatever else might be needed.
HP's Chromebook x360 14 is a medium-to-large sized laptop that has a lot of bang for the price and lasts all day with extra to spare. Better still it goes a long way to catching attention thanks to its two-tone ceramic white on mist blue design. So if those things are important, this is the one to buy.
Best Chromebook at a premium
Acer Chromebook Spin 13
- Price: $739.97
- Where to buy: Amazon
Another great value in the 14-inch range at $739.97, Acer's Chromebook Spin 13 is still among the very best Chromebooks that money can buy. The slightly higher pricing, relative to its contemporaries aside from Google's devices, is derived from the fact that this is not an everyday Chromebook. Instead, normally priced at just shy of $900, this Chromebook is ready-made for business use.
That includes up to an Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. A 10-hour battery life is attainable too, in spite of those specs. But it also includes its somewhat more durable build. Acer incorporated Gorilla Glass into the touchpad and display while the rest of the somewhat flashy Steel Grey exterior is made of aluminum.
This is also a 2-in-1 foldable laptop, packing in a garaged EMR stylus co-designed with Wacom for more productivity when placed in tablet, stand, or tent configuration. Acer included a keyboard that features adjustable LED backlighting makes typing great in even the darkest rooms. The 13.5-inch display panel sits right in the middle of the range with a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504 pixels.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13's webcam, speakers, and mics are all perfectly tuned for video calls or chats.
Taken collectively, there's simply not a whole lot of anything this Chromebook can't do at the same time it's doing other things and it's going to look both serious and seriously good while it's doing it. Acer's Chromebook Spin 13 would likely be the most recommendable Chrome gadget here anyway. But the present price cut places it as a device that shouldn't be overlooked by anybody. Or at least not anybody who's looking for the best Chrome OS can offer.
Best Chromebook overall
Google Pixelbook Go
- Price: From $649
- Where to buy: Google
There's one device in particular that simply can't be left out of any discussion about the best Chromebooks on the market and that's Google's Pixelbook Go. Starting out at $649 and ranging as high as $1,399, the Pixelbook Go is a testament of how far Chromebooks have come. It's also undoubtedly going to be the go-to device for anybody serious about the longevity and usability of their laptop.
Not only is the Pixelbook Go design by Google. That's led to a beautiful design accented by a grippy, ridged bottom. Google built the frame from magnesium alloy and that comes in either Just Black or Not Pink, just like the company's smartphones. But the device also packs in some of the best internals, centered around Intel's 8th Gen chips.
The two base models for Pixelbook Go ship with 8GB RAM but are split between a device with 64GB or 128GB storage. The former, like the Google Pixel Slate above, utilizes an Intel Core m3 processor while the later is an Intel Core i5. Stepping up from there is a Core i5 model with double the storage at 256GB. That model ships with 16GB RAM.
The top model for Google's best Chromebook ships with an Intel Core i7 processor backed by 16GB RAM and 256GB storage. It also bumps things up from a Full HD display panel to a 4K screen. The screen in all cases is comprised of Corning Concore Glass for more durability.
Rounding out the package, Google includes all the ports that could be needed, a Titan C security chip, ambient light sensors, a backlit keyboard with Hush Keys, a 1080p 60fps webcam, and an etched glass trackpad.