The Best Chromebook?

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About Chromebooks:

They are simple to setup and secure:
1- Setup is very simple and only takes a few minutes.
2- Your computer starts in a few seconds.
3- Installing software, through the Google App store, is easy.
4- No concern with updates, or complicated software installation, the OS does it for you automatically.

The Chrome OS is one of the most secure OS on the market. It includes security features such as sandboxing and categorizing websites that may be harmful. Chromebooks are outstanding at catching malware and viruses, so you’re unlikely to run into any problems of this sort.

Inexpensive and you can download many free applications:
Chromebooks are inexpensive computer compared to laptops running Windows, especially compared to Macbooks!

Need Office programs like Word, Excel, etc.? Google Docs offer Google equivalent for free, with automatic saving online, Google Drive to save and share your documents and the Google App store.

Chrome OS is a lightweight OS, so laptops running it boot quickly, feel snappy and are easy to use. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, great looking, simple to use and highly portable computer to browse the web, listen to music, read/write documents and stream videos, you should highly consider a Chromebook.

Run the Chrome OS:
Chromebooks are notebook computers that run the Chrome Operating System (OS) instead of Windows, Mac OS or a Linux variant.

Due to that different OS, a Chromebook is unlike any laptop that you have ever used. That said, if you have an Android phone, have used Gmail, and regularly use one of many of Google’s applications, you’ll feel just at home with the Chromebook. Even if that isn’t the case, it’s easy to learn.

Looking for a different kind of laptop?

Visit the Best Laptops For Your Money category page, for all our articles on laptops.

Why write this article?

How much time do you have to research the best computer?

Many of us don’t have much time to read, or the knowledge to understand, detailed laptop specifications nor reviews and just want to know:
What’s the best budget Chromebook for my needs?

I’m here to help you with this article. I believe that you deserve the computer that is the best for your needs. That way, your computer is working for you and not the other way around. This allows you to focus your full potential on realizing what you want, without being limited by your computer.

With 16 years of experience with computer hardware, researching the newest parts, performance and prices, I know what matters in a computer.

See my About page for more information on me, Mathieu Bourgie, and this website, Hardware Revolution

Here are the features that I evaluate in order to make my recommendations:

1. Price
2. Performance: CPU, RAM, Storage, Video Card and Wireless Adapter
3. Screen: Size, Resolution, Matte or Glossy, Panel type (TN, IPS, etc.), Brightness, Contrast, Viewing Angles and Color Accuracy
4. Portability: Dimensions, Weight, Real-life battery life during average web browsing?
5. Usability: Keyboard: Layout, Key size, Travel/Pressure, Key Shape and any additional Function keys. Touch pad quality, trackpoint, backlit keyboard, numpad, Operating System, which ports are offered, Webcam resolution, sound quality, optical Drive, noise levels.
6. Reliability: How solid is the chassis? Are the temperatures under load reasonable? How solid are the screen hinges? Is the keyboard spill-resistant? Overall manufacturer long-term reliability? How easy is it to service the laptop?
7. Warranty: Warranty length? What does the warranty cover?

I then recommend laptops that I think are the best, according to those features that I evaluated on the hundreds of laptops that I’ve considered during the research that I do to write this article.

Prices for B&H and Newegg as of November 9th 2016.
Hover your mouse cursor over Amazon links or click on them to see prices.

The Best Chromebooks: Recommendations Summary

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you or scroll down to see them in order

  1. Entry level Chromebook
  2. Kid-friendly, robust, reinforced rubber wrapped edges, spill-resistant keyboard
  3. 10.1″ Touchscreen 2-in-1 convertible
  4. 14″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 4GB RAM, 6 hours battery life
  5. 14″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 4GB RAM, 12 hours battery life, aluminum
  6. 13.3″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, powerful Core i3-5015U
  7. 15.6″ 1920 x 1080 IPS Celeron 3205U
  8. 13.3″ 3200 x 1800, 2xUSB 3.0 Type-C, Intel Pentium 4405Y

Accessories:

  1. The Best WiFi Routers

Entry-level Chromebook

About the Acer CB3-131-C3SZ

The Acer CB3-131-C3SZ is the least expensive Chromebook that I recommend.

Despite its low price, it comes equipped with a screen with an IPS panel, for greater viewing angles, better colors and contrast. That said, its screen resolution is limited to 1366 x 768, which is low. For less than 100$ more, you can get a Chromebook with a 1920 x 1080 IPS screen.

It offers a long battery life, up to 9 hours.

Performance wise, it comes with an Intel Celeron N2840 CPU and 2GB of RAM. This isn’t a powerhouse, but is good enough for web browsing, e-mails and text editing without too much multitasking.

Get the Acer Nx.GC1AA.001 from Amazon

$174.02 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Kid-friendly, robust, reinforced rubber wrapped edges, spill-resistant keyboard

About the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is a great choice for kids, the classroom or anyone who wants a robust Chromebook.

Equipped with rubber bumper with reinforced rubber frame to protect it against bumps, knocks and drops. There are also two rubber strips on the bottom of it to prevent it from slipping.
Its keyboard is also spill-resistant. It’s obviously not indestructible, so don’t try to break it, but it’s certainly tougher than most laptops.

You also get a 180 degree hinge, so it can be fully opened flat, to easily show anyone what’s on your screen.

It also has a great battery life, up to 10 hours. Fairly lightweight at 2.65lbs.

CPU wise, it comes with the newer Inte2l Celeron N3060, which isn’t a powerhouse, but it’s good enough for web browsing, e-mails and text editing.

The 4GB of memory (RAM) allows you to run multiple web browser tabs and multitask with few or no slowdowns (latency or “lag”).

That said, the screen is fine but it isn’t great either. Its resolution is limited to 1366 x 768 and it’s equipped with a TN panel, meaning that the viewing angles are small and that colors aren’t necessarily that accurate. At least it’s a matte screen, or in other words, it’s not glossy, so it’s doesn’t reflect light.

Get the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 from Amazon

$199.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$238.99 at Newegg

10.1″ 360° Touchscreen convertible Chromebook

About the ASUS Chromebook Flip

The ASUS Chromebook Flip is one of the lightest and smallest laptop that you can buy.

With dimensions (Height, Thickness and Width) of  10.4 x 0.6 x 7.2″ / 26.3 x 1.6 x 18.2 cm and a weight of only 1.96 pounds, it’s a very portable computer that’s an excellent choice if you want to carry it everywhere with you.

It features a 10.1″ touchscreen with a 360-degree hinge, allowing you to use this laptop in 4 modes: Traditional laptop when you want to type, stand to watch a movie or read, tent to show pictures or video on a table or use the tablet mode when you want to move around with it.

Featuring a seamless alumin2um chassis, it is stronger, more durable and sleeker than the average plastic chassis Chromebook.

You get up to 9 hours of battery life. Ports wise, you get a micro HDMI, USB ports, and a micro-SD card reader.

Performance wise, again, no powerhouse and 2 GB of RAM, so good enough for web browsing, e-mails and text editing without too much multitasking.

Get the ASUS C100PA-DB02 Chromebook Flip from Amazon

$259.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$278.99 at Newegg

14″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 4GB RAM, 6 hours battery life

About the HP Chromebook 14-ak050nr

The HP Chromebook 14-ak050nr offers amazing value for its low price.

Equipped with the Intel Celeron N2940, a quad-Core 1.83-2.25GHz CPU, which offers more performance than the CPUs found in less expensive Chromebooks recommended above.

With 4GB of RAM and the Intel Celeron N2940 CPU, you’ll have no problem running multiple tabs without lag.

You also get a 14″ screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an IPS panel, for for greater viewing angles, better colors and contrast.

You can get up to 8 hours of battery life, although 6 hours is more realistic when web browsing.

Built-in HDMI, USB ports, and a micro-SD card reader.

That said, if you don’t mind spending a bit more to get a longer battery life, a sleeker and more solid aluminum chassis and a lighter and thinner Chromebook, with similar performance, check out the Acer Chromebook 14 recommended below.

Get the HP Chromebook 14-ak050nr from Amazon

14″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 4GB RAM, 12 hours battery life, aluminum

About the Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431-C5FM

Take the HP Chromebook 14-ak050nr, increase its battery life to up to 12 hours, change the chassis to a sleeker and more solid aluminum one and you get the Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431-C5FM.

It’s also lighter and thinner than the HP Chromebook 14, at 3.42 pounds and 0.67 inch thick, so it’s a better choice if you want to carry it everywhere with you.

With 4GB of RAM and the Intel Celeron N2940 CPU, you’ll have no problem running multiple tabs without lag.

You also get a 14″ screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an IPS panel, for for greater viewing angles, better colors and contrast.

Featuring an aluminum chassis, it is stronger, more durable and sleeker than the average plastic chassis Chromebook.

Built-in HDMI and USB ports.

Get the Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431-C5FM from Amazon

$299.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
$299.99 at Newegg

13.3″ 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS high quality screen

About the Toshiba Chromebook 2

Weighting in at 2.95lbs, it’s a fine choice to carry around.

I find that a 13.3″ screen big enough to watch videos and it’s a gorgeous 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS screen.

The resolution is great for that screen size and IPS means full viewing angles, great contrast and accurate, vibrant colors!

With 4GB of RAM, you’ll be able to open plenty of web tabs without any slowdowns.

It features a battery life of up to 8 hours with the Celeron 3215U and up to 8.5 hours on the Core i3-5015U variant.

You also get a backlit keyboard!

This version of the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is equipped with the Intel Core i3-5015U CPU.

It’s based on the high-performance Intel Broadwell 5th generation core, but with a 2.1GHz dual-core design with Hyper-Threading, meaning that the CPU can handle four threads at the same time.

Simply put, this is the most powerful CPU available in a Chromebook and is ideal if you want to multitask and if you want a powerful Chromebook.

Get the Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35-C3350 (Core i3-5015U) from Amazon

15.6″ 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS high-quality screen Celeron 3205U Chromebook

About the Acer Chromebook C910:

Do you want a Chromebook with a larger 15.6″ screen?

The Acer Chromebook C910 is what I recommend.

It’s equipped with a relatively powerful and power efficient Intel Celeron 3205U, a dual-Core CPU based on Intel’s Core CPU architecture.

It features a 15.6″ screen with a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution and an IPS panel. The resolution is great for multitasking and displaying more information on the screen and IPS means full viewing angles, great contrast and accurate, vibrant colors!

With 4GB of RAM, you’ll be able to open plenty of web tabs without any slowdowns.

It features a battery life of up to 9 hours.

You also get the latest 802.11ac wireless technology as well as top mounted speakers for good sound.

You get two USB ports, one 3.0 and a full-size HDMI output.

Get the Acer Chromebook 15 from Amazon

13.3″ 3200 x 1800 Intel Pentium 4405Y Chromebook

About the HP Chromebook 13 G1:

Do you want a Chromebook with a a 13.3″ screen and a 3200 x 1800 resolution?

The HP Chromebook 13 G1 is what I recommend.

It’s equipped with a relatively powerful and power efficient Intel Pentium 4405Y , a dual-Core CPU based on Intel’s Skylake CPU architecture.

It features a 13.3″ screen with a 3200 x 1800 resolution. The resolution is great for multitasking and displaying more information on the screen.

With 4GB of RAM, you’ll be able to open plenty of web tabs without any slowdowns.

It features a battery life of up to 8.25 hours.

You also get the latest 802.11ac wireless technology.

At 0.51″, it’s a very thin laptop!

You get three USB 3.0 ports, two Type-C, one Type-C one 3.0 and a microSD card reader.

Get the HP Chromebook 13 G1 from Amazon
– $491.95 at B&H (Wordwide Shipping)
– $499.00 at Newegg

Accessories for your Laptop:

WiFi routers:

Need a WiFi router? Read The Best WiFi Routers, Best WiFi Adapters and Bluetooth Adapter article.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article.

With this article featuring this many recommendations, you may find a mistake.

Alternatively, you may believe that there’s a better option than my recommendation.

Or you may have some questions.

In any case, please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.