If you are an Android fan, and like its simplicity, but still want something more, Chromebook might be what you are looking for. Although Chromebook isn’t a regular laptop and has its limitations, it can be a nifty thing. Its lightweight Chrome OS is designed to support the Google Play apps (at least all the latest Chromebook releases are, or will be in the close future), and work with the web-based services providing a great tool for both your work and pleasure.
Finding the best Chromebook for your needs can be a tricky task, but great things always deserve a bit more effort, therefore – enjoy the ride.
How to Choose the Best Chromebook
As mentioned, a Chromebook isn’t a notebook. It is more of a smartphone that looks like a laptop. It is heavily dependent on the internet because the majority of apps and services need web connectivity. Also, CAD, Adobe Photoshop, and similar, more complex applications will be a “Mission Impossible” on a Chromebook.
Keep that in mind when you are deciding whether or not you are going to purchase it. Luckily, there are devices for every pocket and every purpose. Just pay attention to a couple of important details before you start looking for the best Chromebook for your needs.
Screen resolution, its size, whether it’s a touchscreen or not, are all important aspects of your device. Resolution of 2.400 x 1.600p will provide a great experience when playing videos, although even the FHD of 1.920 x 1.080p will be more than enough for the majority of the videos.
14” or 15” in size will provide a more comfortable use of multiple windows, while 11” in size will deliver more portability and ease when carried around. Same goes for the touchscreen that guarantees easier and faster use of a Chromebook.
Performance (Processor and Memory)
When talking processors, more GHz’s is always better, but don’t forget about the cache that is equally important as a processor’s speed. More megabytes in that department will provide a faster responsiveness and completion of the tasks. Celerons are the weakest processors but are enough for modest requirements. Ordinary work asks for m/i3’s Pentiums, while high performance requires m/i5s or m/i7s.
Multi-cores will allow for a simultaneous use of multiple applications, while more GB of memory allows for more fluid work. For instance, 1080p YouTube videos will suffer from a 2GB’s of RAM, but the 720p ones will go smoothly.
If you are not a fan of games that can be 2GB in size or more, and you have a huge collection of music that needs to be with you 24/7, even 16GB of storage will be enough. Don’t forget that many of the applications are online-based and don’t require a big storage space and that Google provides additional 100GB of storage on Google Drive for every newly bought Chromebook.
If your budget allows it, go for bigger numbers; if not, calculate. Keep in mind that everything between 32GB and 64GB of storage is normal. The presence of an SD card slot is also a handy thing that can give you additional 64GB of storage or more, so think through all the options.
The presence and number of an HDMI or USB connectors maybe aren’t crucial but can prove to be, if you are planning to connect your Chromebook to another device, or other devices to it – such as a mouse or an external hard drive. The more options you have, the better, right?
If your work asks for a practicality of a tablet, but also a presence of a regular keyboard, a 2-in-1 feature is what you should look for. On the other hand, if you are old-school, and have no real need for additional portability that a tablet delivers, the choice should be pretty simple.
When talking about battery life, it can be put into one sentence: between 7 and 8 hours of work is expected, and everything above 9 hours is excellent.
Luckily, Chromebooks are relatively cheap. Yes, there are ones for above $1000, but the majority is in the budget category, in the range from 200 to 300 dollars. It is all up to your budget and demands. There is a choice for every pocket.
9 Best Chromebooks to Buy in 2018
The Best Chromebook Money Can Buy
Aluminum chassis, Gorilla Glass, the thickness of only 0,4 inches, and a backlit keyboard, combined with a sleek design, make this Chromebook a one-of-a-kind premium device, that can be compared to the best Ultrabooks on the market today.
A mixture of a built-in Google assistant, a native run of Google Play apps, a bright 2400x1600p 12.3” touchscreen display with 360° capability, its powerful i5, combined with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and 2 USB Type-C connectors… and much more lead to the conclusion that the Pixelbook is simply above the competition and it is one of the best Chromebooks out there right now. You should have no problems when working with it – everything runs smoothly, it’s fast, and will give you a feeling like working with the high-end full-grown laptops. It is priced at about $1000 but is worth every cent.
- Excellent design
- Amazing keyboard
- Pen is sold separately
- Modest battery life
- Poor audio
Great Performance for Affordable Price
A great Chromebook, delivered with more than capable Intel m3 and m5 processors, full 12.5” HD screen, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, 2 USB Type-C connectors, and a battery that can stand for 10 hours, gives an outstanding performance for half the price of a Pixelbook. If you like the previously mentioned Chromebook’s most important features, but you are not ready to spend a small fortune on it, Chromebook Flip should well suit your needs.
Aluminum chassis, a cool looking keyboard, its lightweight polished design combined with its fluidity and 2-in-1 capability will make any video or app use a real pleasure for all your senses. Being cool and practical at the same time will attract any student’s attention, making it a prime contender in the best Chromebook for college category.
- Sleek design
- No Android apps straight from the box
- Moderate speakers
The Best Chromebook for Work and Portability
Samsung is the name for itself in the IT industry, and there is practically no segment of the market in which they are not present with their competitive products. Of course, the Chromebook department is no exception. Chromebook Pro delivers the Samsung vision of this device: a combination of great features and quality hardware. M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, 12.3″ QHD touchscreen with 360° hinge, and 2 USB Type-C connectors, along with the practical design of Samsung, make this one a device worth having.
Smooth work and quality build are the trademarks of Samsung, and this is no exception. Chromebook Pro has a built-in Google Play support and delivers speedy performance that outdoes most similar devices, and can even match the regular laptops. This makes its price of about $500 worth paying.
- Stylus support
- Attractive design
- Weak speakers
- Only 16GB of storage
One of the Best Chromebooks for Regular Users
HP Chromebook 14 is one of the best representatives of the Chromebook family. Compact, nicely designed and equipped with a fairly big 14” HD screen, Celeron N3350 processor, 16GB or 32GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, 2 USB Type-C and 2 USB 3.1 connectors, this HP will guarantee for hours and hours of comfortable work and entertainment. Chromebook 14 is not a high performer, but it will do a decent job.
When its price tag of only around $250 is put into the equation, this guy shines even brighter and surely becomes the best Chromebook under $300, if not the best value for money Chromebook you can buy. One of its few downsides is its battery life of only 6 and a half hours, but this obviously doesn’t affect its already established popularity.
- Amazing keyboard and trackpad
- Nice finish
- Modest battery
- A bit slow
- No 2-in-1 capability
The Best Chromebook for Kids
One thing is certain, Dell Chromebook 3189 is a machine made for kids and students. Thanks to its enduring design that includes durable chassis, a keyboard that is sealed and resistant to spilling, rubberized edges, drop protection, and a Corning Gorilla Glass, this Dell is designed for backpacks and all-day-long mistreatment.
Its Celeron N3060 Processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, 11.6″ HD IPS touchscreen, 2-in-1 capability, HDMI and 2 USB 3.1 connectors, combined with 9 hours of battery life, will fulfill all the needs of an average kid or student. With more than a fair price of about $300, a decent performance and a kid-proof factor, would there be anything else that the best Chromebook for kids should have?
- Great speakers
- Good battery life
- Robust construction
- Adjustable configuration
- Screen is dim
- It doesn’t serve well in multitasking
Combines the Best Parts of the Chromebook and the Laptop World
The thing that separates this one from the crowd is certainly its FHD 15” IPS multi-touch screen and the quality of a MacBook. This screen size is more expected in an ordinary laptop than in a Chromebook, and it guarantees for a comfortable use of multiple windows and full enjoyment in video streaming.
Other hardware doesn’t fall behind and includes a Pentium N4200 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 2 USB Type-C and 2 USB3.0 connectors, and a battery that can last for the unbelievable 12 hours. When we combine that with its price of about $400, this device can compete for both “the best cheap laptop” and “the best cheap Chromebook” titles.
- Amazing battery life
- Eye-catching design
- Big IPS screen
- Old fashioned trackpad
- Not 2-in-1
The Best Multipurpose Chromebook Made for Action
Lenovo N23 is a Chromebook based on mobile heritage. Its MediaTek M8173C ARM processor is intentionally made for mobile devices, contrary to Intel processors that were primarily meant for PCs. It has a 11.6″ HD IPS multi-touch screen, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, HDMI, USB Type-C and USB 3.1 connectors with a battery life of 10 hours will make all your demands to be fulfilled.
Created to withstand 3D games, HD videos, with a native Google Play support, fairly robust build, and the 360-degree hinges that can turn it into a tablet in seconds, all for the modest price of a bit below $300, make this one a bargain when compared to other best 2-in-1 laptops or the best Chromebooks under 300 dollars.
- Survives minor drops
- Durable build
- A bit heavy
- The keyboard could be more comfortable
A Chromebook That Proves Cheap Doesn’t Mean Bad
A Samsung quality for the small price of just under $200 dollars is a good opportunity for anyone who wants a reliable Chromebook for everyday activities. The 11.6” HD screen, Celeron N3060 processor, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage are not the state of the art components, but with the amazing 11 hours of battery life and compact size that will suit even kids’ hands, this is a good deal.
If you have a restricted budget but want a decent performance, Chromebook 3 is made for you. There are not that many machines that can fulfill these two requirements, which makes this the best Chromebook for under $200. It’ll give you a full Chromebook experience at an affordable price.
- Precise screen
- Great battery life
- Good overall performance
- Sound from the speakers isn’t clear
- Its bottom can overheat
- Strange position of some buttons
The Best Budget Chromebook That Offers Real Value for Money
Dell Chromebook 11 is another device that offers reasonable performance for a reasonable price. With an 11.6” HD screen, Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage (depending on the model), 2 USB 3.1 and HDMI connectors, 10 hours of battery life, and for only around $200 dollars, you will get what you paid for and much more.
A bulky design, sealed keyboard, and reinforced hinges promise that this gadget will last for a long time and that it will withstand a lot of abuse, making it adequate for your kids too. Maybe this is the best Chromebook for kids or the best budget Chromebook, it doesn’t really matter which category you will place it into – it is only important that Chromebook 11 offers real value for money and no matter for what it is intended for, it will do the job.
- Reinforced 180 degrees hinge
- Durable design
- Small keyboard
Choosing the best Chromebook for your needs will be a difficult task, especially if you are not quite sure what it is that you need. So, first review the characteristics that set them apart, find ones that are important to you, and then go through our list again to find the best option.
Good luck and have fun with it!