Chromebooks have been out for a while now, and they’re generally accepted for being great devices for high school students and kids. But, when they first hit the market, no one knew what to make of even the top Chromebooks. That has definitely changed, though – not only are there more than 25 million Chrome OS users, but the best Chromebooks continue some of the best battery life in the game – something that Windows 10 is still catching up on.
But, what is a Google Chromebook? Well, they won’t just feature fantastic battery life, but they’re also extremely affordable. This is because Chromebooks don’t really need all the latest and greatest hardware – because they only run Chrome, they pack just the essential hardware. And, with devices like the Google Pixel Slate, the top Chromebooks are getting more advanced every day.
And, because you are restrained by your web browser and Android apps, some users may be wary of picking up one of the best Chromebooks, and we totally get it. But, if your computer use just boils down to word processing and email, with very little video editing or gaming, you can’t go wrong with one of the best Chromebooks.
Shortly after proclaiming the Chromebook Pixel as dead, Google revived it in a way nobody expected. Now, it’s the Google Pixelbook and it stands completely independent of its predecessor. That’s because, unlike the Chromebook Pixel, it can run Android apps natively, on top of building upon Chrome OS. And, when you add in the huge amount of storage space, fantastic stylus and Google Assistant, it shouldn’t surprise you when we say the Pixelbook is the best Chromebook 2018 has to offer – even so long after its launch.
Before the Google Pixelbook showed up and showed us exactly what the best Chromebooks are capable of, the Asus Chromebook Flip was the Google laptop to get. Rocking a full-fat Intel Core processor and full-HD display, the Chromebook Flip changed everything. With this Chromebook, all the features we take for granted came to life. Put simply, if you want the key features that the Pixelbook offers, but you don’t want to drop that much cash the Asus Chromebook Flip is a fantastic option.
When Android apps started heading to the best Chromebooks, it was only a matter of time before Samsung took its mastery of the two OSs and crafted something truly beautiful. With a 12.3 inch QHD touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is widely acclaimed for its built-in stylus – the first of its kind to show up in a Chromebook. Not only does it show up a majority of laptops in its own category, but it’s better than most Android devices as well, even if the keyboard could use some improvement.
The best Chromebooks are kind of synonymous with education in 2018. And, with the Acer Chromebook Spin 13, Acer wants them to be ubiquitous in the business sector, as well. Beautifully built from aluminum with a beautiful QHD screen, it will not only fit into any office, but it might actually draw some envious glances. It’s more than just a pretty chassis, though – the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is backed by full-fat Ultrabook processors, so it can get work done, and look good while doing it.
If the Samsung Chromebook Pro is all about versatility, the Dell Chromebook 11 is about value. Reinforced by a 180-degree hinge, sturdy design and a sealed keyboard and trackpad in addition to a punchy typing experience, this Chromebook is a perfectly portable package. Not only adequately suited for school and work, the Dell Chromebook 11 even packs a set of loud stereo speakers for listening to music or watching videos. Don’t worry about dinging it, either, as this device remains the most rugged Chromebook on our list.
One of the most compelling use cases for the best Chromebooks is that of the student laptop – and the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a perfect example. If you’re a student, or even a parent of a student that’s looking for a cheap, capable and, more importantly, durable machine to get some homework done on the go, you shouldn’t need to look further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 11. You won’t be able to do any hardcore gaming or video editing on this thing, but if you just need something to write some papers and watch some YouTube in your downtime – you should give it a look.
With a pristine build quality that rivals a MacBook, it’s easy to forgive the Acer Chromebook 15’s aversion to 2-in-1 form factors. However, given that most Chromebooks releasing this year are fully convertible, thanks to the wide adoption of Android app support, the Acer Chromebook 15 had to prove itself to us with more than good style. And, beyond its ability to lay flat using a 180-degree hinge, this beautiful 15-inch Chromebook makes a great impression with its battery life, too, lasting nearly 17 hours in our battery test.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see Acer replacing the Chromebook R11 – at least, judging by the recent release of the Chromebook Spin 11, but it still holds up to this day as one of the best Chromebooks on the market. It isn’t the most powerful option out there, but it still gives you full access to Android Apps on the Google Play store. What’s more, it does so on a touchscreen display that can be rotated around into tablet mode, complemented by an all-metal finish that you won’t be ashamed of.
In our mind, the best Chromebooks are the ones that balance a rock-bottom price and speedy use of Chrome OS – and the HP Chromebook 14 is a perfect example. While it’s similar to the Acer Chromebook 15 in a lot of ways, this 14-inch Chromebook is a bit more compact and even looks better. Complemented by a bright blue finish and a screen made to astonish, the HP Chromebook 14 boasts the best value of any Chromebook out there. Even if the battery life and performance are average – the HP Chromebook 14 is easily one of the best Chromebooks on the market right now.
The HP Chromebook 13 is way better than anyone would expect from a Chromebook. You’re getting a 1440p display, two USB-C ports and, if you’re willing to shell out a bit more cash, you can get yourself an INtel Core M processor rather than a Pentium. All of this is complemented by incredible style and a metallic design that exudes Pixel influence. It might not be as powerful as the Google Pixelbook, but it’s still one of the best Chromebooks when it comes to sheer style.
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Juan Martinez and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.