Friday, September 17, 2021

The Best Chromebook

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What’s a Chromebook?

A Chromebook is a laptop computer that runs Chrome OS, a working system that makes use of the Chrome internet browser as its major interface. Chromebooks are perfect for college students and children, however, you also need to contemplate one in the event you spend most of your pc time in an online browser, in the event you’re on decent funds, or if you have already got a good desktop PC. A superb Chromebook can do nearly something an everyday laptop computer can do—so long as that process is feasible in a web browser or in Android apps. And Chromebooks are low-cost: A $400 Chromebook is quicker, lighter, and sleeker, and blessed with higher battery life, than a $500 Home windows laptop computer. Chromebooks are additionally secure and easy to maintain.

However, Chromebooks can’t run Photoshop, Home Windows-specific video games, or lots of the applications you may be used to having in your Mac or Home windows pc. They don’t have a lot of native storage, and so they work finest with a full-time web connection—although there are offline options for Gmail, Google Drive, and other apps. In the event you use web-based e-mail, if you may get by with Microsoft’s Office 365, Google’s workplace internet apps, and Android app alternate options, and in the event, you stream your music and films over the web, a Chromebook ought to do nearly the whole lot you want it to.

Most Chromebooks have 32 GB or 64 GB of onboard storage, however, Google additionally supplies 100 GB of free online Google One storage for 12 months. (As soon as your 12 months are up, you’ll pay to maintain that cloud storage. Proper now, 100 GB costs $2 monthly or $20 per 12 months.) Most Chromebooks additionally embody USB ports and a microSD card slot that you should utilize to develop the storage.

Why you must believe us

Senior workers author Kimber Streams has examined a lot of the Chromebooks launched since 2014 after they started researching and testing Chromebooks for Wirecutter. They’ve examined and reviewed a whole bunch of laptops, together with Chromebooks, low-cost Home windows laptops, gaming laptops, and fancy ultrabooks.

How we picked

A Chromebook mustn’t be exceptionally highly effective or look fancy. But when gradual efficiency, poor battery life, a horrendous display screen, or a foul keyboard or trackpad will get in the best way of your utilizing the web, the Chromebook has failed at its sole job. Right here’s what we seemed for:

Efficiency: An honest processor and sufficient reminiscence (RAM) collectively make the distinction between a Chromebook that feels fast and responsive and one which suffers from gradual load instances and frustratingly laggy inputs.

Good-enough efficiency, for a Chromebook, requires Four GB of RAM and a minimum of a 10th- or 11th-generation Intel or 3000-series AMD Ryzen processor.2 Individuals who work with plenty of tabs, run a number of Android apps, or use Linux apps on their Chromebook ought to spend extra for Eight GB of RAM and a minimum of an Intel Core i3 processor. Some low-end processors are quick sufficient to get by in a funds Chromebook—we’ve present in our testing that processors with a minimum of 4 threads can deal with operating Zoom video calls and different duties concurrently.

Keep away from most Chromebooks that run on Intel’s N-series Celeron or Pentium processors, on ARM-based processors from corporations like MediaTek or Qualcomm, or on AMD’s Athlon A4 and A6 processors; in our testing over time, we’ve come away annoyed by their laggy, inconsistent efficiency. Additionally keep away from any Chromebooks with lower than Four GB of reminiscence, whatever the processor they use.

Worth: As of mid-2021, Chromebooks that meet our efficiency necessities sometimes price a minimum of $400, and you may get an excellent one for lower than $500. Choices with higher efficiency are likely to price a minimum of $600.

Keyboard and trackpad: A keyboard and trackpad ought to be ok to not get in the best way of your work. A backlit keyboard is a pleasant luxurious, and most Chromebooks priced over $400 have them.

Battery life: A Chromebook ought to final for a full eight-hour day of courses or work so that you don’t must hunt for an outlet or be caught with a useless laptop computer.

Dimension and weight: The lighter and extra compact a laptop computer is, the better it’s to lug on an aircraft, to an espresso store, or to class. And for Chromebooks with 360-degree convertible hinges, being lighter makes them simpler to carry in pill mode—lower than Three kilos is right.

Display: We advocate a 1920×1080 decision for a 13- to 15-inch display screen—any greater isn’t well worth the trade-off in battery life, and any decrease seems to be noticeably worse. A 1366×768 decision is appropriate on a smaller display screen in a less expensive Chromebook.

Ports: We respect when a Chromebook consists of each USB-C port and conventional USB-A ports to attach older peripherals.

Touchscreen and 360-degree hinge: A touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge are good perks since Chromebooks also run Android apps, and an included stylus is a bonus. Since these options add price, we don’t require them for all of our picks.

Assist: Google ensures eight years of software program updates—together with new options and safety fixes—for each new Chromebook launched after 2020.2 We don’t advocate any Chromebooks with an assist date that expires earlier than 2025. You may verify how lengthy every Chromebook mannequin has assured assist on Google’s support site or verify in your Chromebook itself by following these steps. (This assist is separate from a {hardware} guarantee offered by the laptop computer’s producer.)

How we examined

We lived with every Chromebook for a minimum of a full day of labor to get a really feel for the keyboard, trackpad, display screen, and audio system, in addition to for every laptop computer’s real-world efficiency. We checked Gmail and Google Calendar, ran Slack, streamed music, labored in massive Google Drive spreadsheets and textual content paperwork, chatted on Zoom, and paid consideration to enter lag whereas typing in Google Docs. We additionally watched streaming videos on Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube.

To quantify how briskly a Chromebook felt to make use of, we gathered outcomes from the JetStream 2 benchmarking software to measure efficiency, combining these outcomes with what we noticed in our real-world testing. This step additionally highlighted the efficiency hole separating fashions with Intel and AMD’s typical laptop computer processors from those with low-budget Intel or AMD chips, in addition to ARM-powered Chromebooks.

To check the battery life of every Chromebook, we used a custom-made model of the Chromium battery test designed to emulate regular-looking habits. The primary 60% of the check includes loading a brand new website each minute, scrolling down, and again up the web page. The following 20% of the check masses a Gmail tab with audio streaming in a background tab. For the following 10%, the Chromium check masses numerous Google Docs gadgets; the ultimate 10% of the check performs a full-screen YouTube video. We ran the check till every Chromebook died.

Our pick: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (13″)

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Advisable configuration

Processor:Intel Core i3-10110UDisplay:13.3-inch 1920×1080 contact
Reminiscence:Four GBWeight:2.97 kilos
Storage:64 GB SSDExamined battery life:10 hours

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (13″) is a distinctive Chromebook—it’s quick, it has a wonderful keyboard and trackpad, it’s compact and light-weight, and its 1080p touchscreen is shiny and vivid. And someway, it’s nonetheless comparatively cheap. The battery life is simply lengthy sufficient to final by way of a day of labor or courses, however, it may be a decent squeeze, and it’s the one space through which our different picks do higher. Lenovo additionally has a barely cheaper model with a Celeron 5205U processor and half the native storage, however, most individuals are higher off spending a bit of extra for the efficiency and storage bump.

The Best Chromebook

The Flex 5’s keyboard is comfy and a delight to sort on. Picture: Michael Murtaugh

The Flex 5’s backlit keys supply a deeper journey than these of many laptops and really feel comfy to sort on, and the keyboard general is likely one of the finest we’ve seen on a Chromebook in years. Many Chromebook keyboards are merely serviceable, and others really feel cussed, mushy, and ugly to sort on. The Flex 5’s trackpad, like most Chromebook trackpads these days, is correct and dependable.

The Flex 5 is way lighter and extra compact than most Chromebooks on this worth vary. The truth is, at around Three kilos and 12.2 by 8. Four by 0.7 inches, it’s nearer in weight and dimension to our upgrade pick, although the Flex 5 is a bit thicker.

The Best Chromebook

The Flex 5 has a 360-degree hinge, so you’ll be able to flip the display screen round to make use of the Chromebook as a pill or in any mode in between. (Tent mode pictured right here.) Picture: Michael Murtaugh

In our productiveness and media testing, the 13.3-inch 1920×1080 touchscreen show seemed good. Gentle colors in spreadsheets appeared distinct and weren’t washed out on the Flex 5’s display screen. The reviewer for Android Police experienced vital mild bleed on the edges of the display screen on their overview unit, however, we didn’t have the identical downside; blacks seemed darkish in films and TV reveals in our testing. (In the event you do encounter this downside, we advocate returning or exchanging your Chromebook.) The Flex 5 has a 360-degree hinge, but it surely’s too cumbersome to carry comfortably in pill mode, regardless that it’s smaller and lighter than most Chromebooks.

The Best Chromebook

The Flex 5 has a mixture of new and previous USB ports, so it ought to accommodate a lot of the equipment and cables you have already got. That blend consists of two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port, an audio jack, and a MicroSD slot for extra storage. The Flex 5’s webcam is about nearly as good as most laptop computer webcams, and the Flex 5 has a helpful {hardware} privateness shutter that you would be able to slide throughout the webcam once you’re not utilizing it to make sure nobody can see you. The Flex 5 additionally helps the most recent Wi-Fi normal, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). It comes with a one-year producer’s guarantee and 100 GB of Google One storage for one year, and it has update support through June 2028.

Flaws however not dealbreakers

Chromebook mannequinExamined battery life
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (13″)9:52
HP Chromebook x360 14c (i3 mannequin)10:13
Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (CP514-1H-R4HQ)11:03
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 (i3 mannequin)11:08
Asus Chromebook Flip C53611:38
Asus Chromebook Flip CM511:57
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-2W-5874)14:17
Google Pixelbook Go15:11

Our battery life check mimics atypical looking habits by scrolling by way of websites, Gmail, audio streaming, Google Docs, and YouTube movies. We run the check till every Chromebook dies.

In our web-browsing battery check, the Flex 5 lasted 10 hours, about two to 3 hours in need of most Chromebooks we examined in 2020 and 2021. That’s nonetheless sufficient battery for the Flex 5 to final by way of a full day of labor or courses, however, that’s pushing it, particularly in the event you crank up the display screen brightness. We’d desire a pair of extra hours of battery life, however, the Flex 5 excels in so many different ways in which it values this small trade-off.

The lid generally is a little difficult; I discovered myself incessantly needing two fingers to open the Flex 5. We want it to have a lip, as on a few of Lenovo’s Yoga fashions, to offer a little bit of buy and make the laptop computer simpler to open. In any other case, the Flex 5 affords wonderful construct high quality.

The charger that got here with our overview unit emitted an annoying coil whine when it was plugged in and charging the Flex 5. The issue is just not a dealbreaker, and we haven’t seen sufficient evaluations on the market but to know if this can be a widespread subject or only a case of our getting a lemon, however it’s irritating.

Runner-up: HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0065nr

The HP Chromebook 14c is displayed in full view, sitting open on a purple table.

Advisable configuration

Processor:Intel Pentium 6405UDisplay:14-inch 1920×1080 contact
Reminiscence:Four GBWeight:3.64 kilos
Storage:64 GB eMMCExamined battery life:10 hours

We examined the 14c with an Intel Core i3 processor, not the Pentium processor we advocate. We anticipate the battery life to be comparable, however not precisely identical.

If the Flex 5 is unavailable, or if a much bigger display screen is vital to you, the next-best possibility is the HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0065nr. It’s quick sufficient for on a regular basis work, and it has a strong keyboard and trackpad. The 14c is a bit heavier than the Flex 5 and has comparable battery life, however in contrast with most Chromebooks on this worth vary, it’s quick, compact, and blessed with a spacious and vivid display screen. The HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0053dx, which has a quicker processor, is an excellent higher possibility, and it’s incessantly on sale; get whichever is cheaper.

The HP Chromebook 14c's backlit keyboard is shown.

The HP 14c keyboard is unremarkable, however in a great way. It’s not as good to sort on because of the Flex 5’s, however, the keys really feel snappy and responsive and aren’t mushy or disagreeable. The additional-wide trackpad is dependable and correct.

In our assessments, the HP 14c lasted 10 hours 13 minutes, which is in the identical ballpark because the Flex 5. (We examined the mannequin with a Core i3 processor as a substitute for the Pentium processor we advocate, however, we anticipate each variation to have comparable battery life in on a regular basis use.) Though that is on the low finish of the Chromebooks we examined in 2020 and 2021, it ought to be lengthy sufficient to get by way of a full day of labor or courses.

The 14c is a surprisingly dense-feeling laptop computer. At 3.64 kilos, it weighs about half a pound greater than the Flex 5, but it surely’s solely a bit greater than our prime decide to accommodate its bigger, 14-inch display screen. Each fashion is notably extra compact than the opposite Chromebooks we thought about on this worth vary.

The HP Chromebook 14c is shown in tent mode, displaying its 360-degree hinge.

Just like the Flex 5, the HP 14c (pictured right here in tent mode) has a 360-degree hinge. Picture: Michael Murtaugh

The 14-inch 1920×1080 touchscreen is a bit greater and supplies a bit extra room to work than the Flex 5’s 13.3-inch show. And the 14c’s display screen is vivid, not like the uninteresting and desaturated shows on the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 and Chromebook 714. The 14c additionally has a 360-degree hinge, but it surely’s too heavy to carry comfortably in pill mode, and the border across the display screen dug into my fingers.

The right side of the HP Chromebook 14c is shown, displaying the microSD slot, headphone jack, USB-C port and USB-A port.

The 14c has identical ports because of the Flex 5, so that you’ll haven’t any hassle connecting most equipment. It supplies two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port for connecting older peripherals, an audio jack, and a microSD slot. Its webcam isn’t fairly nearly as good because the Flex 5’s is low mild, however, in any other case, it’s completely effective for distance studying or video calls. And identical to the Flex 5, the 14c helps Wi-Fi 6, comes with a one-year guarantee, consists of 100 GB of Google One storage for one year, and has guaranteed update support through June 2028.

Improve decide: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Zoom in on Front Zoom. Samsung - Galaxy Chromebook 2 - 13.3" QLED Touch-Screen - Intel® Core™ i3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB eMMC - Fiesta Red.

Advisable configuration

Processor:Intel Core i3-10110UDisplay:13.3-inch 1920×1080 contact
Reminiscence:eight GBWeight:2.71 kilos
Storage:128 GB eMMCExamined battery life:11 hours

As somebody who assessments laptops for a residing, I’d get the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 with the Core i3 processor, and in the event, you’re prepared to pay extra for a smaller, lighter, and quicker Chromebook with longer battery life, you must too. Most individuals don’t must spend extra over the Flex 5, however in the event, you incessantly have dozens of tabs open, run a number of Android apps, or use Linux, the additional reminiscence is value paying further for. Not like our different picks, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 lacks USB-A ports for connecting older peripherals; you’ll want a dongle or dock to connect these. (We don’t advocate the Celeron mannequin, it’s too gradual for its worth.)

Zoom in on Alt View Zoom 13. Samsung - Galaxy Chromebook 2 - 13.3" QLED Touch-Screen - Intel® Core™ i3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB eMMC - Fiesta Red.

The Galaxy Chromebook 2’s keyboard is shallow however nonetheless satisfying to sort on. Picture: Michael Murtaugh

The Galaxy Chromebook 2’s backlit keyboard is shallow, but it surely’s nonetheless satisfying to sort on. And whereas some laptop computer keyboards emit a clicking noise as you sort, the Galaxy Chromebook 2’s keyboard is quiet, which makes it preferred for a shared workspace. The trackpad is easy and correct, and although it’s a bit smaller than the Flex 5’s trackpad, we didn’t run into any points with its dimension.

In our mid-2021 battery life assessments, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 had strong battery life—the Core i3 mannequin we advocate lasted 11 hours Eight minutes in our assessments. We anticipate it would final a full day of labor or faculty with no need to be plugged in. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is only a bit smaller throughout than the Flex 5, and it weighs simply 2.71 kilos. It’s not fairly the lightest and most compact Chromebook we’ve examined—that honor goes to our earlier improve decide, the Google Pixelbook Go. However, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is mild sufficient to make use of comfortably in pill mode, not like any of our different picks.

Zoom in on Alt View Zoom 25. Samsung - Galaxy Chromebook 2 - 13.3" QLED Touch-Screen - Intel® Core™ i3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB eMMC - Fiesta Red.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 has a 360-degree hinge, and it’s mild sufficient to make use of comfortably in pill mode, too. Picture: Michael Murtaugh

The 13.3-inch show seems to be crisp and vibrant, and since it will get a bit brighter than the Flex 5’s display screen on the very best settings, it’s higher fitted to working outdoor in daylight. The Galaxy Chromebook 2’s touchscreen affords the identical 1920×1080 decision as on most of our picks, plus it has a 360-degree hinge for tent and pill modes, not like the Pixelbook Go, which solely works as an everyday ol’ clamshell laptop computer.

Zoom in on Alt View Zoom 24. Samsung - Galaxy Chromebook 2 - 13.3" QLED Touch-Screen - Intel® Core™ i3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB eMMC - Fiesta Red.

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 has two USB-C ports that carry information at 5 Gbps, energy, and show, in addition to one 3.5 mm audio jack and a microSD slot. It doesn’t have any USB-A ports for connecting older peripherals; if you wish to try this, you might want to connect a dongle or dock. The Galaxy Chromebook 2’s webcam seems to be a bit higher than the Flex 5’s, but it surely’s nonetheless not as sharp because of the Pixelbook Go’s wonderful 1080p webcam. Like our prime picks, it helps Wi-Fi 6 and it has guaranteed update support by way of June 2028, a one-year guarantee, and 100 GB of Google One storage for one year.

The best 15-inch Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip CM5

The Best Chromebook

Advisable configuration

Processor:AMD Ryzen 3 3250CDisplay:15.6-inch 1920×1080 contact
Reminiscence:Four GBWeight:4.Three kilos
Storage:64 GB eMMCExamined battery life:12 hours

If you would like a bigger display screen and a quantity pad, we advocate the Asus Chromebook Flip CM5 (CM5500FDA-DS344T). Its 15.6-inch touchscreen supplies extra room to get work executed or take pleasure in media, and the quantity pad is helpful in the event you enter numerous information. This massive display screen makes the entire laptop computer heavier and bulkier, although, so the CM5 is way much less moveable than our different picks—we don’t advocate it in the event you want a laptop computer to take to work, class, or perhaps an espresso store. If the CM5 is unavailable, or in the event, you don’t thoughts paying a bit extra for a quicker laptop computer, the nearly similar Asus Chromebook Flip C536 (C536EA-BI3T3) can also be an excellent possibility.

The Flip CM5’s greatest attraction is its spacious 15.6-inch 1920×1080 touchscreen, which is right if you’d like more room to work on paperwork and spreadsheets, or in the event, you merely desire a bigger display screen for watching reveals and films. Its colors are vibrant, and we didn’t see any noticeable coloration tints. The CM5 additionally has a 360-degree hinge for some motive, but it surely means too heavy and ponderous to flip around and use comfortably in different modes.

The Best Chromebook

The Flip CM5 is the one considered one of our picks with a quantity pad, although the quantity keys are slim. Picture: Michael Murtaugh

The Flip CM5’s backlit keys are pleasing to sort on, with a deep journey and springy suggestions. It’s the one considered one of our picks with a quantity pad, so if that’s a must-have for you, that is the Chromebook to get. (We don’t know why the CM5’s WASD keys are outlined in fluorescent orange although. This isn’t a gaming laptop computer the place these keys are important and infrequently accented — it’s a Chromebook.) The additional-wide trackpad is responsive and correct; the underside corners of our unit’s touchpad wiggled a bit underneath strain, like poking at an unfastened tooth, but it surely didn’t intervene with regular use. We suspect this can be a manufacturing error since our unit of the largely similar Asus Chromebook Flip C536 didn’t have the identical looseness. In the event, you encounter this downside and it bugs you, we advise exchanging the laptop computer underneath guarantee.

Although the CM5 will final a very long time away from an outlet—we recorded 11 hours 57 minutes in our battery check—it’s too massive and heavy to hold around regularly. At 4.Three kilos it’s by far the heaviest of our picks, and in contrast with the Flex 5, it’s about 2 inches wider, an inch deeper, and a bit thicker. In the event you want a transportable Chromebook to take to courses, to commute or journey with, and even to often take to a restaurant, you must contemplate our different picks as a substitute.

The Best Chromebook

Like our prime picks, the CM5 has two USB-C ports that carry information at 5 Gbps, energy, and show, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a microSD slot, and an audio jack. It additionally has an HDMI 1.Four-port, whereas the dearer Flip C536 mannequin has HDMI 2.0a. The webcam is about nearly as good as these of our different picks, and the CM5 helps Wi-Fi 6 and has guaranteed update support by way of June 2029. It comes with a one-year guarantee and 100 GB of Google One storage for one year.

Different good Chromebooks

The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (CP514-1H-R4HQ) is an all-around strong Chromebook, with a snug keyboard, responsive trackpad, and 11 hours of battery life. Nevertheless, it’s bigger and heavier than our prime picks, it sometimes prices a bit extra, and its processor has decrease efficiency when the laptop computer is unplugged. It’s nonetheless quick sufficient for typical pc duties, however, we advocate our prime picks over this feature in the event that they’re accessible.

The Asus Chromebook Flip C536 (C536EA-BI3T3) is nearly similar to our 15-inch Chromebook pick, the Flip CM5. The C536 has a quicker processor, extra reminiscence, and sometimes prices about $70 extra, and it doesn’t have the CM5’s garish, fluorescent orange define on the WASD keys. It additionally has HDMI 2.0a as a substitute for HDMI 1.4 (which gained matter typically). The CM5 is quickly sufficient for most individuals’ wants and cheaper, however, if you’d like a quicker mannequin or can’t abide fluorescent orange, get the C536 as a substitute.

Google’s Pixelbook Go was our earlier improve decide as a result of its compact and light-weight and has top-of-the-line construct high quality and longer battery life. We nonetheless love this mannequin—and it has a greater webcam than the Galaxy Chromebook 2—however its assist runs out in June 2026, two years prior to Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 and the opposite premium Chromebooks on this part. At the time of this writing, that’s about 5 years of safety updates, however by the point you learn this it’ll be even much less. 5 years is the minimal lifespan we anticipate from a laptop computer, and we are able to advocate a high-end Chromebook with a shorter lifespan until you are feeling comfy installing CloudReady otherwise you’re positive you’ll improve sooner.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-2W-5874) is a wonderful Chromebook, with longer battery life, a dependable keyboard and trackpad, and a vivid show. In contrast with the equally priced Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 and Pixelbook Go, the Spin 713 has a taller display screen, extra ports, and a 360-degree hinge. Nevertheless, it’s noticeably heavier and bulkier, and the opposite premium choices have higher construct high quality. In the event you discover the Spin 713 on sale—otherwise, you don’t thoughts the additional weight—the Spin 713 is value shopping for.

The HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0053dx is an extra highly effective and dearer model of our runner-up; at $630, and with a Core i3 processor and eight GB of reminiscence, we contemplate it a premium Chromebook. The 14c is a good Chromebook, however, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is sort of a pound lighter and has longer battery life, so we advocate the 14c provided that the opposite high-end Chromebooks are unavailable, or if there’s an excellent sale. (We’ve seen it all the way down to $450 fairly frequently, and it’s a great get at that worth.)

The Acer Chromebook 712 (C871-C85K) might be a great possibility for younger children, if you’ll find it in inventory, due to its sturdy physique and spill-resistant keyboard. Nevertheless, it’s a bit slower than our prime picks—it may possibly deal with distant schoolwork or a video chat, however can’t do each at a similar time gracefully. It additionally suffers from a horrible, low-resolution, non-touch display screen, and its keyboard is mediocre.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R853TA-C7KT) and Chromebook Spin 511 (R753T-C59J) are each similar to the 712, however with quicker processors that may really feel higher for college work and video calls. Each has sturdy bodies, spill-resistant keyboards, and small, low-resolution shows. At their present costs of $480 and $450, respectively, we wouldn’t advocate them over our prime picks. However, they’re each good choices if you’ll find one at or under $350, or in the event you are worth that spill-resistant keyboard above quicker efficiency and a bigger, better-quality display screen.

What to look ahead to

In June, Lenovo announced two new Chromebook fashions, the IdeaPad 5i-14 Chromebook and the IdeaPad Flex 5i-13 Chromebook. Each fashion begins at $440 and we plan to check them in opposition to our prime picks as quickly as potential.

Acer also announced an up-to-date model of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 that we plan to check quickly, and a brand new Chromebook 514 that will probably be accessible in October.

The competitors

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 with a Celeron 5205U is just too gradual for its $550 full worth, and even its $450 sale worth. Our prime picks have higher efficiency for the same worth, and our funds decide with identical processor prices around $300.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513’s ARM-based processor struggled to run a Zoom name and work on a spreadsheet at a similar time. Its display screen additionally had a blue forged and seemed washed out.

The Asus Chromebook Flip C433TA is a good Chromebook with one extraordinarily irritating flaw: The lid is held shut by surprisingly aggressive magnets. Even with two fingers, I discovered it a battle to open the lid every single time, and once I requested others to make use of the laptop computer, I overheard some selection phrases from them (I used loads of my very own every time I attempted to pry it aside). The reviewer for Chrome Unboxed encountered the same issue, calling this Chromebook “by far probably the most troublesome laptop computer I’ve ever tried to open”; we additionally tried a ground mannequin at Finest Purchase, and it had the identical downside. Its assist runs out in June 2026, so we don’t advocate it over newer fashions with years of extra assist.

The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 was a former decide due to its strong efficiency, dependable trackpad and backlit keyboard, wonderful battery life, and a spacious 14-inch display screen with tiny borders. However we now do not advocate the C434 as a result of we’ve seen a higher-than-typical variety of owner reports of hardware issues, together with studies of unresponsive touchscreens, shows that will not activate, faulty keyboards and trackpads, and Bluetooth issues. We’ve additionally encountered show glitches on our personal overview unit. Its assist additionally runs out in June 2026.

Improve choices

Lenovo’s ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook (13″) is a good Chromebook, however prices around $650 for a fast-enough processor and are heavier and bulkier than our similarly-priced improve decide. (We don’t advocate the mannequin with an AMD Athlon processor, it’s too gradual.)

The HP Pro c640 Chromebook prices about a lot because the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 with comparable specs, but it surely’s heavier, it had shorter battery life, and its white-backlit silver keys are troublesome to learn.

The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 is an effective Chromebook, but it surely means too costly. Our improved decision is cheaper, lighter, thinner, and blessed with longer battery life and a greater keyboard.

The Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise is just not a Chromebook for most individuals. This business-focused Chromebook has a strong Core i5-8365U processor, eight GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage, in addition to a ton of ports. Nevertheless, it’s cumbersome, it weighs 3.24 kilos, and it sometimes prices around $900.

The Acer Chromebook 13 and its convertible counterpart, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13, begin at around $700. Ours improve decide is smaller, lighter, and cheaper.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook has terrible battery life and prices $1,000.

Finances choices

The Acer Chromebook 317 (CB317-1H-C994) and Samsung Chromebook Go each depend on the Intel Celeron N4500 processor, which is just too gradual for even mild use.

The Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 has a tempting worth, however an abysmally gradual MediaTek processor.

At around $500, the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 is just too costly for a Chromebook that has a 12-inch, 1366×768 decision show and weighs 3.Four kilos.

A number of totally different variations of the HP Chromebook x360 14b can be found from numerous retailers. All of those fashions are much like the x360 14—a now-discontinued mannequin that we beforehand really helpful—however, Chrome Unboxed notes that they “sport lesser processors, not-so-premium shows and extra budget-y construct high quality.” We couldn’t discover any fashions with 1080p screens and fast-enough processors.

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a cheap Chrome OS pill that comes with a keyboard and kickstand cowl. However I discovered the cramped keyboard unimaginable to regulate to—at the same time as somebody who adjusts to weird keyboards for a living—and the processor a bit gradual for on a regular basis work. The Duet additionally lacks a headphone jack. Most individuals ought to spend a bit of extra for the Flex 5 until you simply actually desire a Chrome OS pill.

The Rockchip RK3399 processor within the Asus Chromebook Flip C101 is just too gradual for on a regular basis use, and the C101 is just too small to comfortably sort on.

What we didn’t contemplate

Up to now, Chromebooks with Intel’s N-series Pentium or Celeron processors really feel too gradual even in mild use—we skilled delays with only a handful of tabs open. For a similar motive, we don’t advocate any AMD-based processors like these from MediaTek, Qualcomm, Samsung, Nvidia, or Rockchip for a similar motive. And we don’t contemplate any mannequin with lower than Four GB of RAM.

A laptop computer ought to final a minimum of 5 years, so we additionally don’t advocate any Chromebooks with an assist date that expires earlier than 2025. This consists of previously notable fashions just like the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA, Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, the Google Pixelbook, and Acer Chromebook 11 C771T. Even in the event you discover a whole lot on considered one of these fashions used, they’ll cease getting characteristic and safety updates in lower than 5 years, and also you’ll install CloudReady or improve your laptop computer.

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