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The 7 Best Chromebooks Available Right Now

Best Chromebooks of 2023: Top Picks for Every Budget and Use Case

Remember when Chromebooks were considered little more than glorified web browsing machines? Well, those days are long gone. Over the past few years, Chromebooks have evolved into highly capable, versatile, and dare I say it – exciting – computing devices that can meet the needs of everyone from students to traveling professionals to hard-core gamers.

Thanks to huge advancements in web technologies, plus support for Android and Linux apps, modern Chromebooks are productivity powerhouses that can handle all your day-to-day computing tasks while providing stellar battery life, portability, and value for your money. All while retaining the core benefits of automatic updates, rock-solid security, and a delightfully simple user experience that have made Chromebooks so popular.

Whether you‘re in the market for a flexible 2-in-1, a beastly cloud gaming rig, or just a dependable everyday laptop that won‘t break the bank, there‘s a Chromebook out there with your name on it. Read on for my top picks for the very best Chromebooks you can buy in 2023.

Best Overall Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 714

When it comes to the total package – performance, design, features, and value – the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is in a league of its own. This sleek aluminum 2-in-1 is equipped with a speedy 12th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, making it one of the most powerful Chromebooks you can buy.

That cutting-edge hardware is put to good use powering the gorgeous 14" 1900×1200 touchscreen display. Whether you‘re spreadsheet wrangling, browsing the web, or kicking back with some Netflix, everything looks fantastic on this high-res, 16:10 screen. Plus, with the included USI stylus, you can easily jot notes and sketches when using the Spin 714 in tablet mode.

Other niceties include a backlit keyboard (still a rarity on Chromebooks), a 1080p webcam, dual Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, Wi-Fi 6E, and incredibly fast charging that nets you 4 hours of battery life in just 30 minutes. All this in a durable, mil-spec tested chassis weighing just 3 pounds. The only real downside is the price tag, but if you want the best, you have to be willing to pay for it.

Best for battery life: Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

If you prize battery life above all else, the Asus Flip CX5 is the Chromebook for you. This 15.6" convertible regularly achieved 13-14 hours in my real-world usage tests, making it one of the longest-lasting laptops I‘ve tested, period.

That epic endurance doesn‘t come at the expense of performance, though. Packing an 11th gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, the CX5 never felt sluggish or overmatched no matter how many tabs or apps I threw at it. The 1080p touchscreen is bright, colorful, and responsive, and the backlit keyboard is a joy to type on.

At 4.3 pounds, the CX5 is a bit hefty to use as a tablet for extended periods, but the upshot is you get a roomy 15.6" screen that‘s great for multitasking and media consumption. Rounding out the package are a fingerprint sensor, Wi-Fi 6, an excellent port selection including HDMI out. For a do-it-all Chromebook that won‘t have you hunting for an outlet, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is tough to beat.

Best for Students: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i

The ideal student Chromebook should be portable, durable, have excellent battery life, and not cost a fortune. Lenovo‘s IdeaPad Flex 5i ticks all those boxes and then some. Weighing just under 3 pounds and sporting a slim, fanless design, this 13" 2-in-1 is perfect for tossing in a backpack. And with up to 10 hours of battery life, it will easily last through a full day of classes.

Performance-wise, the Flex 5i punches well above its weight class. The Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM provide plenty of oomph for schoolwork, while the 128GB SSD offers ample storage for files and apps. The 1080p touchscreen is crisp and vibrant, with slim bezels that keep the overall footprint compact.

Lenovo didn‘t skimp on the keyboard either – it has a satisfying tactile click and includes backlighting for late-night cram sessions. You also get a surprisingly capable 720p webcam, a rare treat at this price point. And perhaps best of all, the Flex 5i is frequently on sale for under $500, making it a stellar value.

Best for Cloud Gaming: Acer Chromebook 516 GE

Looking to get your game on without spending serious coin on a gaming laptop? Enter the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, the first Chromebook designed from the ground up for cloud gaming. It‘s outfitted with a 12th gen Intel Core i5 processor, a whopping 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD to reduce load times and eliminate lag.

The star of the show is the gorgeous 16" WQXGA display with its gaming-centric 120Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB color coverage. Paired with surprisingly good bottom-firing speakers, the 516 GE delivers an incredibly immersive gaming experience for a Chromebook. The RGB backlit keyboard is another nice touch that adds some gamer flair.

Of course, the 516 GE‘s talents aren‘t limited to gaming. With support for Wi-Fi 6E and such powerful internals, this is one of the highest-performing Chromebooks on the market, period. The only real downsides are the 1080p webcam (which struggles in low light) and a rather meager port selection. But if cloud gaming is a priority, the 516 GE is the clear choice.

Best 2-in-1 Chromebook: HP Chromebook x360 14c

If you‘re looking for a premium convertible Chromebook that oozes style and refinement, look no further than the HP Chromebook x360 14c. Crafted from sand-blasted aluminum in a sophisticated Mineral Silver finish, this is one of the most attractive Chromebooks I‘ve laid eyes on. But it‘s not just a pretty face.

Pop open the lid and you‘re greeted by a bright, colorful 14" 1080p touchscreen display with ultra-thin side bezels and an 88% screen-to-body ratio. Below that is a superb backlit keyboard with a dedicated numeric keypad (a rarity on 14" laptops) and one of the largest touchpads you‘ll find on a Chromebook.

Powering the x360 14c is an 11th gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, a potent combo that delivers snappy, responsive performance in Chrome OS. Other highlights include a front-facing privacy shutter, a fingerprint reader, and B&O-tuned speakers that sound fantastic. My only gripe is that it‘s a tad heavy at 3.7 pounds, but that premium aluminum chassis is worth the extra heft.

Best Premium Chromebook: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

While the original Galaxy Chromebook pushed the boundaries of what a premium Chromebook could be (and cost!), the second-gen model hits a sweet spot of price and performance. With an MSRP of $699 (and frequent discounts), you‘re getting an awful lot of laptop for your money here.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the jaw-dropping QLED display, the first of its kind in a Chromebook. This 13.3" touchscreen is absolutely stunning, with the most vibrant colors and inky blacks you‘ll find on any laptop, let alone a Chromebook. Combine that with the fire-engine Fiesta Red paint job, and you‘ve got one of the most eye-catching laptops on the market.

Under the hood, you get a respectable 10th gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. While not the absolute cutting-edge (blame the early 2021 release), the Galaxy Chromebook 2 can still chew through Chrome tabs and Android apps with ease. The build quality is top-notch, the keyboard is excellent, and you even get a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Downsides? Battery life is just average at 7-8 hours, and the bottom-mounted speakers are easily muffled. But those are small potatoes when you consider what an incredible package the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is overall. If you‘ve been hesitant to drop serious cash on a Chromebook, this is the one that will make you take the plunge.

Best Budget Chromebook: Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

On a tight budget? It‘s hard to do better than the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, a shockingly capable 2-in-1 Chromebook that can be had for under $400. The secret sauce here is the detachable design – simply pop off the keyboard when you want a lightweight Chrome OS tablet for web browsing or content consumption.

When it‘s time to get some work done, just snap the keyboard back on and you‘ve got a surprisingly well-rounded laptop. The 11" 2K touchscreen is bright and sharp, the keyboard offers a satisfying typing experience (especially for this price point), and the Snapdragon 7c processor keeps things humming along smoothly. You even get a rear 8MP camera for snapping photos, a relative rarity among Chromebooks.

Now to be clear, you‘re not going to be blown away by the specs or raw horsepower of the Duet 3. The 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage are just enough to get by. But at this price point, it‘s hard to complain. For students, kids, or anyone who just needs a basic web browsing/email machine, the Lenovo Duet 3 is an insane value.

Choosing the Best Chromebook for You

As you can see, the days of Chromebooks being cheaply-made, underpowered curiosities are long gone. The latest crop of Chromebooks are legitimate Windows and Mac alternatives, with premium builds, cutting-edge specs, and price tags to match. Of course, there are still plenty of affordable options if you just need a basic web browsing machine.

So how do you choose? Start by considering your budget and your primary use case. If you mainly need a laptop for web-based tasks like email, social media, and streaming video, an inexpensive Chromebook will serve you just fine. The Lenovo Duet 3 and Flex 5i are great options here.

If you want to use a lot of Android apps or play high-end cloud games, you‘ll want to step up to a Chromebook with beefier specs like the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 or 516 GE. For the most premium, head-turning experience, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 and HP Chromebook x360 14c won‘t disappoint. Business users and anyone who values all-day battery life should put the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 at the top of their list.

Regardless of which Chromebook you choose, you‘ll be getting one of the best values in mobile computing. With instant boot times, automatic updates, and all-day battery life, Chromebooks offer a refreshingly simple and worry-free experience. And with more and more high-end models entering the fray, they‘re no longer just for students and casual users. Whether you‘re a road warrior, an artist, a hardcore gamer, or anyone in between, there‘s never been a better time to make the switch to a Chromebook.