Chromebooks offer a significant alternative to other laptops: an extra-light, extra-affordable design and operating system made for those on the go. We’ve reviewed hundreds of laptops, testing for important qualities like performance, battery life, and display quality. The best Chromebooks we’ve assembled offer solid performance, excellent functionality, and enough diversity to handle just about any need, from a business-travel laptop to a school computer.
Best all-around Chromebook
- Portable design
- Bright, colorful display
- Speakers are impressive
- Excellent battery life
- Chunky bezels
- No fingerprint scanner
Why you should buy this: It's the best Chromebook you can buy.
Who it’s for: Students, people who need to work on the go or travel with a laptop.
Why we picked the Google Pixelbook Go:
Chromebooks are known for being ultra-cheap alternatives to Windows and Mac. But the Pixelbook Go doesn't feel like a cheap imitation. A Windows laptop that costs around the same won't feature anything like the build quality, portability, and performance the Pixelbook Go can offer. The efficiency of Chrome OS has a lot to do with that, but it's also a credit to Google's hardware team. The Pixlebook Go is the complete package, elevating the strengths of its platform.
With unmatched battery life, a beautiful 13-inch screen, and fantastic battery life, the Pixelbook Go is a go-to for college students, as well as the ultimate travel companion for those who need to take their work on the go.
HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook Enterprise
Best business Chromebook
- Google Enterprise support
- Durable and effective design
- Thunderbolt 4 ports
- More expensive than many Chromebooks
Why you should buy this: It's the best Chromebook for businesses.
Who it’s for: Organizations that need the utmost in security and manageability.
Why we picked the HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook Enterprise:
This laptop is attractive, built incredibly well, and comes with an Intel 11th-generation Core i5 processor, plus 8GB of memory and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD). Those aren't the highest specs in the world, but they're very suitable for a flexible work computer that can be part of an employee program or used in hybrid work situations without breaking the bank. The Chrome Enterprise upgrade is icing on the cake for meeting workplace security requirements, while additional features like the HP privacy camera are ready for the modern work world.
We also like the combination of USB-C and USB-A ports, along with DisplayPort 1.4 and HMDI 2.0 for a variety of connections. Casual users may not want to pay this much for an HP Chromebook, but for an organization that needs it, this Elite Dragonfly is worth the investment.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
Best Chromebook under $500
- New model with Intel processor
- USB-C ports
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Graphics don't impress
Why you should buy this: It's the best Chromebook for under $500.
Who it’s for: Students, families
Why we picked the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5:
Laptops under $500 are pretty rare, but Chromebooks under $500 are a dime a dozen. None hold up as well as the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, though. It's a 13-inch laptop that's highly portable at just under three pounds in weight. It's a fairly rigid and well-built laptop, unlike a lot of the plasticky options out there, with a quality backlit keyboard.
Its best feature, though, is the performance. Many Chromebooks come with underpowered processors that will suffer under heavier loads, such as video conferencing or having lots of tabs open. Not the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5. It comes with the option for a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor — the same one that you can find in many Windows 10 laptops. Because of how light Chrome OS is, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 feels snappy and speedy, regardless of how many tabs you have open.
Of course, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 also comes with a 360-degree hinge and a touch screen, making it as good for binging Netflix and using Android apps as it is for getting work done.
Samsung Chromebook 4+
The best budget Chromebook under $300
- Very affordable
- 15-inch screen
- USB-C ports
- Tiny onboard storage
Why you should buy this: This affordable Chromebook won't kill your budget but still has a big screen.
Who it’s for: Those who want to save as much as they can on Chromebooks.
Why we picked the Samsung Chromebook 4+:
One of the big advantages of the Chromebook world is how much money you can save on a laptop. If under $500 still sounds like too much for you, there are under $300 options too – and Samsung has one of the best on the market.
The highlight of this budget model is its expansive 15.6-inch HD screen, a nice feature if you plan on your Chromebook doubling as an entertainment device. The battery lasts for up to 10 hours before you’ll need to rely on the USB-C charger, and it charges quickly too. Storage space is very limited with the 32GB eMMC flash storage, so this is a classic case of relying on Google’s cloud storage and streaming options to see you through (plus the built-in MicroSD card reader). Ports also include two USB-C and USB-A 3.0. You won’t find a lot of extra features on this streamlined model, but it’s very hard to beat the price.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Best 2-in-1 Chromebook
- Very good performance
- Evo certification
- Thunderbolt 4 support
- Conservative good looks
- Good touchpad
- Excellent 3:2 display
- Battery life took a step backward
- Chassis could feel a little sturdier
- Keyboard wasn't as crisp as some
Why you should buy this: It's a larger alternative 2-in-1 to the Chromebook Duet.
Who it’s for: Chromebook users who want a top-notch 2-in-1 with a great display and performance.
Why we picked the Acer Chromebook Spin 713:
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 offers up a larger and considerably more expensive alternative to the diminutive Chromebook Duet. But that's okay — it offers a lovely 13.5-inch display in the productivity-friendly 3:2 aspect ratio and with a high resolution of 2256 x 1504. That's well worth the extra real estate.
It's also a very fast Chromebook, with our review model featuring a 1oth-gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 CPU — plenty fast for the light and efficient Chrome OS. It's the first Intel Evo-certified Chromebook, and it's also the first with support for Thunderbolt 4. The laptop took everything we threw at it and kept chugging along. It's also designed as well as it performs, with a solid chassis and a very usable 360-degree convertible format.
It's not the least expensive Chromebook you'll find, but it's not the most expensive, either. The Chromebook Spin 713 is just a great option for anyone looking for a highly productive 2-in-1 Chromebook.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436
Best premium Chromebook
- A premium Chromebook that can keep up with other laptops
- Still lightweight at 2.5 pounds
- Wi-Fi 6 ready
Why you should buy this: It's the best premium Chromebook.
Who it’s for: Professionals and those who want serious power in their Chromebook.
Why we picked the Asus Chromebook Flip C436:
Premium Chromebooks have had a resurgence of late, offering higher-end build quality, faster performance, and even high-resolution screens. The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 is the best example of this new crop, featuring a supremely portable design with its tablet mode and a premium finish. From the all-aluminum chassis to the 2.5-pound weight, you could easily mistake the Flip C436 for a $1,000 Windows laptop — an accomplishment for a Chromebook model.
Under the hood, the Asus Chromebook Flip C436 includes a 10th-gen Core i5 processor, which is plenty of power for Chrome OS. You also get 512GB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM, plus Wi-Fi 6 support. It's a very well-rounded Chromebook that can keep up with all the tasks your previous laptop used to do.
Dell Latitude 5400
Best enterprise Chromebook
- Enterprise friendly
- Choices to increase storage and memory
- USB-C port
- Focused primarily on businesses
Why you should buy this: It's a well-priced Chromebook designed for enterprise
Who it’s for: Businesses and professionals who want an affordable Chromebook packed with features.
Why we picked the Dell Latitude 5400:
Businesses and schools looking for a highly-capable enterprise-level Chromebook will appreciate this combination of mid-range price and full features, from the 14-inch HD screen to 128GB of onboard SSD storage. Add 8GB of RAM on this model and the 8th-Gen Intel Core i3-8145U processor, and you have a Chromebook that’s ready to take on many of the responsibilities of a traditional laptop, but with a lightweight, speedy platform.
Other important features include a memory card reader and a plethora of ports including USB-C, DisplayPort, Ethernet, and HDMI. The Google Enterprise plan (optional) can also help make sure the important cloud data stays safe regardless of when or where people access it. You can also customize a number of these specs to tailor the Latitude toward specific workplaces or projects you may have in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
While they have plenty of admirable qualities, Chromebooks aren’t for everyone. Some users will be frustrated by their lack of functionality, especially when transitioning from Windows 10 or MacOS. Chromebooks are often used at schools, or as a secondary, on-the-go work laptop.
Overall, Chromebooks are devices that excel at general-purpose use. Think of a Chromebook as a slightly more robust tablet or a big smartphone with a keyboard. If you can’t perform a function in a web browser or Android app, a Chromebook may not manage it either. That said, if you need an affordable mobile device to bridge the gap between a desktop and your smartphone, a Chromebook might be for you. You get plenty of the benefits of a laptop (like a larger screen), but at lower prices than many options.
There are also some exceptions, with higher-end Chromebooks delivering more powerful specs to handle multitasking, but these aren’t as common.
Chrome OS is speedy, has a lightning-fast startup, and is right at home in the Google ecosystem which means it works great with all your favorite Chrome extensions and Google apps.
However, limited RAM on many Chromebooks can cause issues, and Chrome OS doesn’t support everything. If you need to run specialized applications like Photoshop or Illustrator, for example, Chrome OS may fall short. Similarly, if you need the Microsoft Office Suite and can’t settle for Google Docs, a Chromebook probably isn’t for you.
On the other hand, it might be the perfect solution for people who mostly surf the web or stick to other online tasks. Knowing how you use your current laptop or PC can help you decide whether Chrome OS can handle your regular activities. Just keep in mind that download space is generally quite limited on Chromebooks, so Chrome OS is designed to run things online, meaning you’ll need a reliable internet connection and bandwidth.
Chrome OS isn’t the most robust operating system around, but it gets the job done for Chromebooks by providing the essentials such as web browsing, word processing, and browsing basic file types. But sometimes, you need more than a Chromebook provides. Does that mean you should jump ship or skip over Chromebooks entirely? Not anymore.
Since 2017, every new model of Chromebook supports the Google Play store and can run Android apps. You’re not limited to the Chrome ecosystem, and you can get just as much functionality out of your Chromebook as you could out of an Android phone or tablet.
Some earlier models also feature Android integration. Here’s a full and updated list. To find out how to install Android apps on your (compatible) Chromebook, check out the official instructions from Google.
If you’re worried about malware and viruses, then yes, Chromebooks are very safe to use. Google created and maintains Chrome OS to be a safe environment for work. That includes built-in sandboxes, verified boot sequences, dependable encryption — and cloud syncing so that you won’t lose data. It can’t fix user error — downloading viruses off a sketchy website or responding to phishing emails will still cause trouble — but it’s very secure compared to other options.
When laptops enter our labs, they undergo a torturous battery of tests intended to give us a look at how each one will perform in a variety of situations. We want to define their limits, find out what they can do in everyday use and how they perform when they’re pushed.
We test individual components like the display, the CPU, GPU, and hard disk, using specific benchmarks to see how they stack up against competitors. We test for speed, reliability, and most importantly, we just spend a lot of time with each laptop.
You can find out how individual components work on their own by checking out manufacturer specs, but we test notebooks as a whole as well. We don’t just want to find out how fast each component is; we want to see how they complement each other and how they perform as a package. That way, we can give you a fully-rounded recommendation.
Chromebooks are popular for their cloud-based options, but you can use them with offline apps. Make sure that apps like Gmail are set to offline modes. Google Drive can also easily be used offline and will update when you connect again.
No. They do not. You should expect to depend on a USB drive or SD card, or perhaps an external disc drive if you really need one.
Microsoft's Office web apps will function on Chromebook. Now that Chrome OS has become more friendly for Android apps, you can also decide to download Microsoft's Office Android apps.
No, not currently. You'll have to move music from iTunes to the Google Play Music library, or find a similar workaround for your songs.
Yes. The Android app for Skype, for example, works with Chromebooks. You'll probably want to close any unnecessary apps and browser tabs before you start a session, and ensure a strong internet connection for best results.
You can, either wirelessly or via a cable connection.
- Apple Cyber Monday Deals: Apple Watch, AirPods, iPad, MacBook
- Best Cyber Monday Deals 2022: Laptops, TVs, AirPods, and more
- This $100 Windows Cyber Monday laptop deal is still available
- This Asus gaming laptop is a steal at $600 for Cyber Monday
- Dell is selling this 15-inch laptop for $230 for Cyber Monday (40% claimed)