The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is, without a doubt, the best Chromebook money can buy right now. With a stunning 3:2 screen that rivals the quality of some more expensive competitors, you’ll have a significant amount of additional vertical space for your work and multitasking.
In addition to having a comfortable and quiet feel, the keyboard also has a pleasing backlighting effect. An HDMI port is included, which is uncommon on a thin Chromebook of this size and configuration. And, perhaps most importantly, the 11th-Gen Intel processors are capable of handling a large number of tabs with ease. The speakers on the Spin aren’t particularly good, and there is no biometric login option, but those are reasonable trade-offs for a laptop of this quality and price.
In a market where the primary differences between Chromebooks in this price range are their screens and, in some cases, whether or not they come with a stylus, Acer distinguishes itself by manufacturing an affordable laptop that is excellent in almost every way.
Those looking for an affordable device for work on the go will find the Lenovo Chromebook Duet to be an excellent choice because of its low price and high value. It’s a 10.1-inch 2-in-1 device with a detachable keyboard and kickstand cover that’s both ultra-portable and powerful.
When it comes to performance, the Duet has a MediaTek Helio P60T processor, 4GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of storage. It works well if you’re just browsing and don’t intend to put a lot of strain on the device. A version of Chrome OS tailored specifically for its convertible form factor, including the first version of Chrome that is optimized for tablet use, is also employed. As soon as the Duet is unplugged from its keyboard, it activates an Android-style gesture navigation system that makes switching between applications a breeze. However, the battery life is the most impressive feature; I was able to get close to 11.5 hours of use under moderate conditions.
There are, of course, some disadvantages. In addition to the small touchpad and keyboard (and only one USB-C port), the 16:10 screen is a little dim. However, those are reasonable trade-offs to make in exchange for such a low price point. It’s a great secondary device for schoolwork or browsing on the go while on the go.
The Chromebook Detachable CM3 is Asus’s attempt to compete with Lenovo’s highly praised Chromebook Duet, which was released earlier this year. The CM3 is a 10.5-inch Chrome OS tablet with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a fabric cover, as well as a kickstand and a keyboard that can be popped on and off. This model is slightly more expensive than the Duet, but it also includes a few additional features.
One unique feature is that the kickstand can be folded in two different ways: you can fold it in half the long way to stand the tablet up like a laptop, or you can fold it in half the short way to stand the tablet upright horizontally. We’re not sure how useful this functionality is in practice, but it is available in case you have a specific use case in mind.
There’s also an integrated USI stylus, as well as spacious keys with a surprising amount of travel. However, it was the battery life that we found to be the most impressive: We worked on the device for an average of nearly 13 hours straight on average.
The CM3 will not be the best Chromebook for everyone for the following reasons: It only has two ports (one USB-C and one audio jack), and its MediaTek processor felt a little sluggish when compared to more expensive options on the market. For those who are looking for a convertible Chrome OS device and find that the Duet does not quite meet their requirements, the CM3 is likely to be a good fit with their needs.
People may be put off by the price of the Chromebook Flip CX5, which is understandable, but it is truly exceptional. While it’s durable enough to withstand the jolts and jostles of everyday life in a backpack or briefcase, it also has a unique velvety texture that’s extremely comfortable to hold. Combining an extensive port selection, a smooth and comfortable keyboard, and an impressive display, you’ve got an enclosure that can compete with the majority of midrange Windows laptops on the market.
The CX5’s performance is just as impressive as its looks. During our testing, we never once heard the fan on the device, despite the fact that we were pushing a workload that would normally slow most devices. The battery life is very good, and we were able to use it for the majority of the day. The CX5 also had the loudest audio we’ve ever heard from a Chromebook, which was a pleasant surprise. While the CX5 is not a perfect device, it is a reliable performer in almost every aspect.
With a $1,000 price tag, an OLED display, a stylus included, and a premium build, Samsung’s first Galaxy Chromebook was designed to take you to the moon and back. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 isn’t so much a follow-up to the original as it is a more affordable and simplified version of that device. While it lacks a fingerprint sensor, a stylus, and an OLED display, the device is quite functional, and at a starting price of less than $600, it’s a much more affordable purchase.
The Chromebook 2’s most distinguishing feature is its exterior finish: It is available in a vibrant “fiesta red” color that will make it stand out wherever you place it in your home. (There’s also a gray option if you’d prefer something a little more subtle.) Also notable is that it is the world’s first Chromebook to include one of Samsung’s QLED displays. Although QLED is not an OLED display — it is simply a fancier LED — it still manages to produce one of the most beautiful displays I’ve ever seen on a Chromebook.
Beautiful screens can have a negative impact on battery life, but that is not the case here. I was able to work on the Chromebook 2 for an average of seven hours and twenty-one minutes per day, which means you shouldn’t have to plug it in all that frequently. The Core i3 processor, while not the most powerful chip you can get in a Chromebook, is more than adequate for most office tasks.
The Google Pixelbook Go is a no-frills 13.3-inch laptop that weighs only 2.3 pounds and is attractive to look at. With a durable magnesium chassis and a ridged grip on the bottom, it is less likely to slip when used on slanting surfaces.
Apart from being portable and stylish, the Pixelbook Go also offers solid performance and supports fast charging via either of its two USB-C ports. Aside from that, the battery life is excellent. In our testing, the Go lasted for more than eight hours, so you should have no trouble getting through a full workday with it. The keyboard, on the other hand, is a standout feature. It is quiet, has good travel, and has a springy feel to it. Dieter Bohn, the editor of The Verge, declared it to be his “favorite thing to type on by a long shot.”
As far as Chromebooks are concerned, the Go is an expensive product, and it doesn’t make our top five because the Chromebook Flip C434 offers similar specs and features at a slightly lower price point. However, we believe that many shoppers who place a high value on long battery life and a lightweight design would prefer to spend a little more money on this device.
Many modern Chromebooks are geared toward children and students, but this particular model is not. The C13 Yoga Chromebook is a high-quality, high-priced convertible Chromebook designed for adults. It’s a member of Lenovo’s renowned ThinkPad business line, and it comes with all of the ThinkPad bells and whistles, such as a red Trackpoint, discrete touchpad clickers, a fingerprint sensor, a webcam shutter, and an aluminum design, to name a few. If you put this Chromebook next to any number of Windows ThinkPads, we might not be able to tell which one it is at first glance.
The C13 is also unique in that it is the first Chromebook to include AMD’s Ryzen 3000 Mobile C-series processors, which are designed specifically for Chromebooks and are only available in the C13 configuration. The chips are capable of running a wide range of programs, including mobile games, with relative ease. We did wish the battery life was a little longer, as we only got an average of slightly more than six hours on a single charge. We got an average of seven and a half hours from our top pick, the Chromebook Spin 713, and many of the devices on this list easily go over eight hours without a hitch.
The Lenovo Flex 5 appears to be a much higher-quality device than its sub-$400 price would suggest. In addition to being built to withstand all kinds of jolts and jostles while in a backpack or briefcase, it also has a smooth, soft-touch texture that’s comfortable to hold. A sleek backlit keyboard, a physical webcam shutter, and front-facing speakers round out the package, which has the appearance of a much more expensive device.
There are some additional benefits as well. On a Chromebook, let alone a Chromebook in the midrange price range, the Flex 5 has one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used on a Chromebook. The device also comes with a convenient port selection that includes a microSD reader and a USB-C port on each side, in addition to a sharp 1920 x 1080 touch display.
The one caveat is that the Flex 5’s battery life is a little disappointing, with an average of just over five and a half hours in our testing, according to the manufacturer. The 45W charger should be brought along if the device will be used while you’re on the road or in an unfamiliar environment.
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