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What are Chromebooks?

Chromebooks are laptops that run the Chrome Operating System (OS) instead of Windows or Mac OS.

While using a Chromebook is different from a Windows or Mac laptop, if you have an Android device or have used Chrome before, you’ll feel just at home. Even if that isn’t the case, it’s easy to learn.

Starting at less than $200, they are easy to setup and use, most apps are free and easy to install.

Highly secure and with automatic updates, you’re unlikely to run into any virus or malware problems.

Chrome OS is a lightweight OS, so laptops running it boot quickly, feel snappy and have a long battery life.

Need Office programs like Word, Excel, etc.? Google Docs is a free equivalent, with automatic saving online and you can share your documents, allowing multiple people to collaborate.

Do you want an inexpensive, simple to use and highly portable computer to browse the web, read/write documents and stream music/videos? Then you should highly consider a Chromebook.

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 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, backlit keyboard, which ports are offered and sound quality.
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?
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.

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. 10.1″ Convertible
  2. 11.6″ Entry-level Kid-friendly, Robust
  3. 11.6″ Convertible, IPS, 12 hours battery life, rugged design
  4. 11.6″ Convertible, IPS, 10 hours battery life, lighter
  5. 12.3″ High-End Convertible, 2400×1600 IPS, stylus, 10 hrs, metal build
  6. 13.3″ Entry level
  7. 13.3″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 64GB storage, 11 hours battery life
  8. 13.3″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, powerful CPU, backlit keyboard
  9. 13.3″ convertible, 1920 x 1080 IPS, 64GB, 12 hrs battery life
  10. 13.3″ high-end convertible, 3200 x 1800, 2xUSB 3.0 Type-C
  11. 14″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 4GB RAM, 8 hours battery life
  12. 14″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 4GB RAM, 12 hours battery life, aluminum
  13. 15.6″ 1920 x 1080 IPS Celeron 3205U

Accessories:

  1. The Best WiFi Routers

10.1″ 360° Touchscreen convertible Chromebook

About the ASUS Chromebook Flip

The ASUS Chromebook Flip is the lightest and smallest Chromebook.

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 aluminum 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.

Its two main cons?
1. Performance: It’s the lowest performance Chromebook that I recommend. It’s not as snappy as other models and will slow down if you open a lot of tabs in Chrome. It’s fine for browsing the fine, checking email and reading, but it’s no powerhouse.

Screen resolution: 1280 x 800: Fine for 720p HD content, but if you want to watch higher resolution 1080p Full HD content, you’ll want a Chromebook with a 1920 x 1080 or higher resolution screen.

Get the ASUS C100PA-DB02 Chromebook Flip from Amazon

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

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 more 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.

You also get a 180 degree hinge, so it can be fully opened flat, to easily show anyone what’s on your screen and not worry about someone breaking the screen hinges by pushing back the screen too far.

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

It’s obviously not indestructible, but if you do break, at least it is one of the least expensive Chromebook that I recommend.

CPU wise, it comes with the a fairly modern Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core 1.6-2.48GHz CPU, 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 11.6″ 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.

You also get a full-size HDMI output port, to connect an HDTV or monitor.

Get the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 from Amazon

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

11.6″ Convertible, IPS, 4GB RAM, 12 hours battery life, rugged design

About the CTL J5 Chromebook

If you are looking for a solid convertible Chromebook that has a long battery life, this one is for you.

With its weights of 3.3lbs, it’s not as light as other Chromebooks in the same size class but it’s still quite portable. The Aver R 11 below offers similar performance, but weights 2.76lbs, so half a pound less, but its battery lasts only 10 hours and it isn’t as solid.

What you get in exchange of the weight is a battery life of up to 12-13 hours which is amazing. It can easily last the whole day and more of regular usage before charging.

The 360° Hinge and touchscreen makes it possible to use this Chromebook as a tablet to enjoy apps, videos and images without having a keyboard in the way.

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

It has a rugged design, it’s dropped test to 2.3 feet and is splash resistant. This means this model is more durable and ideal for kids or people who are clumsy.

It has an IPS panel, meaning full viewing angles, great contrast and accurate, vibrant colors!

On the downside, this model has a 1366 x 768 display resolution. This means it’s okay to watch content at a 720p resolution, but you can’t take advantage of higher resolution 1920 x 1080 108p Full HD content.

Get the CTL J5 Chromebook from Amazon

11.6″ Convertible, IPS, 4GB RAM, 10 hours battery life

About the Acer R 11

Compared to the CTL J5, the Acer R11 offers similar performance, but in thinner and lighter package. I’d argue that it looks nicer too.

It has a small 11.6″ screen and weights 2.76lbs, making it easy to carry around.

On the downside, it is made of plastic, except for the top cover of the screen, made of aluminum.

The 360° Hinge and touchscreen makes it possible to use this Chromebook as a tablet to enjoy apps, videos and images without having a keyboard in the way.

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 10 hours which is pretty good and can easily last a whole day of regular usage before charging.

It has an IPS panel, meaning full viewing angles, great contrast and vibrant colors!

On the downside, this model has a 1366 x 768 display resolution. This means it’s okay to watch content at a 720p resolution, but you can’t take advantage of Full HD.

Get the Acer R 11 from Amazon

12.3″ High-End Convertible, 2400 x 1600 IPS, 10 hrs battery life, full metal build

About the Samsung Chromebook plus

If you are looking for a small and powerful convertible Chromebook that has a beautiful display and a stylus, this is a great choice!

It has a 2.0 GHz OP1 Processor with 6 cores, combined with 4GB of RAM, so you’ll be able to open plenty of web tabs and multi-task without any slowdowns.

It has a small, but not too small, 12.3″ screen and weights 2.54lbs, which makes it easy to carry around.

It has a beautiful 2400 x 1600 display resolution which gives you a smooth and crisp image quality. It has an IPS panel, meaning full viewing angles, great contrast and accurate, vibrant colors!

The 360° Hinge and touchscreen makes it possible to use this Chromebook as a tablet to enjoy apps, videos and images without having a keyboard in the way.

This model has a full metal design which makes it durable.

It comes with an included stylus that you can use with the Touchscreen display.

It features a battery life of up to 10 hours which is pretty good and can easily last a whole day of regular usage before charging.

Get the Samsung Chromebook plus from Amazon
-$449.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Entry-level 13″ Chromebook

About the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is one of the least expensive Chromebook that I recommend.

Despite its low price, you get a good build quality. You get a great keyboard, four USB ports (two USB Type-C and two USB 3.0 Type-A), as well as a full size 4-1 card reader.

It offers up to 10 hours of battery life and charging is quick, done through an USB Type-C port.

Performance wise, it comes with a fairly fast Intel Celeron 3855U Dual-Core 1.6GHz CPU, based on Intel 6th generation Skylake architecture, which is far better than Celeron N3060 or N2940 or N3160, which are based on a low performance/low power architecture. You also get 4GB of RAM, unlike some models which are limited with 2GB of RAM. Its performance is unmatched at this price point! Good for for web browsing with many tabs, e-mails and text editing, 720p streaming, etc.

Its main downside? The 13.3″ screen has a 1366 x 768 resolution and a TN panel. At least it has a non-reflective finish. It’s decent for browsing the Web or watching 720p content, but you can’t take advantage of 1080p Full HD content or high resolution pictures. Viewing angles, contrast and color reproduction are all limited. If you want a better display, or a touchscreen, choose another model.

WiFi is 802.11ac 2×2 and includes Bluetooth 4.0 which is fine for most usages. Although not as fast as the latest 802.11ac, it’s still plenty fast for the vast majority of Internet connections.

At 3.2lbs, it’s not the lightest of Chromebooks, but it’s not exactly heavy either.

Get the Lenovo Thinkpad 13 from Amazon
– $229.97 at Newegg

13.3″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 64GB storage, 11 hours battery life

About the ASUS Chromebook C301SA-DB04

Equipped with a quad-core Intel Celeron N3160 CPU and 4GB of RAM, performance is fairly good.

You get up to 11 hours of battery life, which is excellent.

It’s slightly lighter than the Lenovo Chromebook 13, weighting in at 3.1lbs.

More importantly, you get a much better 1920 x 1080 Full HD display, with an IPS panel, for wide viewing angles, better contrast and more vibrant colors, covering 100 % of the sRGB color space.

As far as storage is concerned, you get 64GB of internal storage, which is considerably more than most chromebooks that offer 16GB or 32GB. You also have a SD card reader if you ever want to expand your storage.

Last but not least, this model has a metal screen top and the top of the chassis (where the keyboard is) are metal of metal, while the bottomand a rugged build, which means it is more durable and highly resistant to impacts.

Get the ASUS Chromebook C301SA-DB04 from Amazon

– $299.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
– $316.99 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 8.5 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

13.3″ 1920 x 1080 IPS convertible, 12 hours battery life

About the Acer R 13

This model is a great choice if you want a Chromebook that has a 13.3″ screen that can be flipped all the way back and if you don’t want to worry about storage size as it has a 64GB drive.

On top of that, it is possible to add extra storage with a MicroSD card via a MicroSD slot.

It is also very thin and weights only 3.28lbs.

This Chromebook is also equiped with a 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display and an IPS panel.

The 360° Hinge and touchscreen makes it possible to use this Chromebook as a tablet to enjoy apps, videos and images without having a keyboard in the way.

Get the Acer R 13 from Amazon

Alternative

If you need more storage space there are some Acer R 13 models available with 64GB of storage. You can get one here from Amazon or at B&H ($429.00).

13.3″ 3200 x 1800 High-End 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 6th generation 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.

Its downside: Battery life is shorter: 8.25 hours. It’s also one of the most expensive Chromebooks.

At 0.51″, it’s a very thin laptop!

You get three USB ports: Two USB 3.0 Type-C and one Type-A. There’s also a microSD card reader.

Those USB Type-C ports support output to two 4K displays using the HP Elite USB-C Docking Station ($149) and HP’s HDMI and DisplayPort adapters (both $29).

Get the HP Chromebook 13 G1 from Amazon
– $483.00 at B&H (Wordwide Shipping)
– $495.78 at Newegg

14″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, 4GB RAM, 8 hours battery life

About the HP Chromebook 14

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

Equipped with the Intel Celeron N2940, a Quad-Core 1.83-2.25GHz CPU, which offers better performance than the N3060 dual-core CPU found in less expensive Chromebooks.

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 from Amazon
-$299.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

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.

Available in Silver or Gold color.

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

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

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 6th generation 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

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.