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The 5 Best Chromebooks - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Chromebooks

Chromebooks are increasing in popularity as more people work or attend classes remotely. Although they aren't powerful computers that can handle demanding workloads like video editing or 3D rendering, they're more than adequate for those who can access their work or class material online through a web browser. Because Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system designed to run on lower-end hardware, Chromebooks also tend to be more affordable than Windows and macOS laptops, making them a great option for students or those on a tight budget.

We've tested more than 105 laptops, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best Chrome OS devices you can get. You can also see our picks for the best laptops for battery life, the best student Chromebooks, and the best travel laptops.

  1. Best Chromebook

    The best Chromebook we've tested is the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022), a 2-in-1 convertible. It has a sturdy build, a thin and light design, and a battery that lasts over 13 hours on a full charge. The display looks sharp and provides just enough space for split-screen multitasking. It also supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into the side of the laptop. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on, and while the touchpad is on the smaller side, it tracks all movements and gestures well. Its 1080p webcam is surprisingly good, among the best you can find on Chromebooks. You get Wi-Fi 6E wireless connectivity and a decent port selection, including two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s. No biometrics, unfortunately.

    If you're new to Chrome OS, know that this operating system is limited in the type of applications you can install, so you must ensure you can do everything through a Chrome browser or Android app. As for this model's configurations, you can get this laptop with an Intel 12th Gen Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage. However, availability is scarce as it's a discontinued model, and a newer 2023 version is available. While we haven't tested the 2023 model, we expect it to be very similar. Plus, it's often cheaper than the 2022 model. The upgrades include a faster Intel 13th Gen CPU and a higher resolution 1440p webcam. You can get the 2023 model on Amazon or at Best Buy.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Chromebook

    The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023) is our best budget pick. This affordable 14-inch model feels reasonably well-built and is easy to carry around. It's a good choice for younger students or anyone needing a simple device for light productivity tasks, web browsing, and video playback. You can configure it with an Intel N100, N200, or a Core i3-N305 CPU; we recommend the latter, as the N100 and N200 are much slower and only suitable for those with an extremely light workload. The Core i3 configuration (with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage) is often on sale for around $400 USD on Lenovo's website.

    This model sports a 1080p touch-sensitive IPS panel that gets bright enough for use in well-lit settings. If you're often on video calls, you'd be happy to know it has an excellent 1080p webcam and clear-sounding microphones. The keyboard feels spacious but a bit mushy, and unfortunately, the touchpad is small and not always responsive. The Intel Core i3-N305's performance is okay. It can handle most general productivity tasks like text processing and web browsing; just don't expect to do anything remotely intensive. None of the available CPUs are anywhere as fast as the ones on the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 above. Battery life is outstanding at around 13 hours of light use or 12 hours of video playback.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap Chromebook

    If you want to spend as little as possible, consider the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020). This 15-inch device is great for younger students or anyone needing a simple laptop for emails and web browsing. It's easy to carry around due to its compact size, and its battery lasts a full day of light use, so you don't have to worry about bringing a charger. It has a full-size keyboard with a Numpad, a reasonably large touchpad, and a decent 720p webcam. Ports include two USB-As, two USB-Cs, and an SD card reader. The USB-Cs support charging and video output.

    For the display, you can choose between a 720p or 1080p panel (with or without touch input). We recommend the 1080p option, as a 720p resolution just doesn't look that great on a 15.6-inch screen. The 1080p panel looks decently sharp and provides plenty of space for multitasking, but it doesn't get very bright, meaning you might have some visibility issues in well-lit settings. This laptop is only available with Intel Celeron CPUs. They can handle light workloads just fine, but you'll likely experience some slowdowns, more so than on the models we recommend above.

    One more thing to bear in mind: all Chromebooks have an expiration date, meaning the date at which they stop receiving software updates. This Chromebook's end-of-life is in June 2026. It'll still work after that date, though you'll miss out on important security updates and bug fixes.

    See our review

  4. Best Chromebook For Multimedia

    For media consumption, we recommend the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021), a 13-inch Chrome OS tablet with a kickstand and detachable keyboard. This form factor lets you take the keyboard off when viewing content, which is convenient in tight spaces like an airplane, and it also makes the device easier to hold and use as a tablet. You can pop the keyboard back on when you need to type something out; however, it feels cramped, so there are better options for typing long essays.

    The feature that makes this device amazing for viewing media is its OLED display. It's sharp, bright, and colorful, and like all OLEDs, it displays deep, inky blacks. The speakers get reasonably loud. However, they don't have much bass and sound slightly unnatural. The battery lasts around eight hours of video playback or 10 hours of light use, and it charges over USB-C, so you don't have to deal with a proprietary charger. The display supports pen input if you want to take notes or draw, but you must buy the stylus separately.

    See our review

  5. Best Gaming Chromebook

    The best gaming Chromebook we've tested is the Acer Chromebook 516 GE (2022). Chrome OS isn't typically associated with gaming, as there aren't any Chromebooks with a discrete GPU, and most popular titles are designed for Windows. However, with internet speeds increasing, cloud gaming is a viable option, which is what this device is for. Cloud gaming services like NVIDIA GeForce NOW and Xbox Cloud Gaming (currently in Beta) do all the processing on their servers, and the image streams to your device.

    As for games from the Google Play Store, some will run just fine, but some might not because the creators designed them for Android smartphones and tablets with an ARM chip. Also, you may come across titles with no keyboard, mouse, or controller support. The laptop's overall build quality is good, and while it's on the bulkier side, it isn't too heavy. It sports a 16-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a good response time, giving you a clear image in fast-moving scenes.

    You get Wi-Fi 6E wireless connectivity and an Ethernet port for a fast and stable internet connection, though remember that you need a Wi-Fi 6E router to take advantage of the new wireless standards. The keyboard feels spacious and tactile, doesn't get hot under load, and has RGB backlighting. Its Intel 12th Gen (P-series) CPU is fast but power-hungry; you can expect the battery to last around six hours of light use or an hour of gaming.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Acer Chromebook Plus 515 (2023): The Acer Chromebook Plus 515 (2023) is a good alternative to the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023) if you need a Chromebook with more processing power. It has a better keyboard and touchpad; however, its battery life is much shorter at around eight hours of light use, and its display doesn't get as bright to combat glare. It's also more expensive, with the base Core i5 model typically costing $599 USD. See our review
  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 (2022): The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 (2022) is a good alternative to the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021) if you want something more compact. The downside is that it uses an IPS panel, so you won't get the deep blacks you would get on the Duet 5's OLED display. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 07, 2024: Added the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 (2023) as a Notable Mention. No changes in product picks.

  2. Jan 11, 2024: Small text changes to provide information about the Acer Chromebook 315's OS support expiration date. No change in recommendation.

  3. Dec 07, 2023: Verified that all picks are valid and available. No change in recommendations.

  4. Nov 09, 2023: Replaced the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) with the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023) because the C340 is near the end of its OS support.

  5. Oct 12, 2023: Small text changes to provide more information about Chrome OS app support and the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020)'s end-of-life. No change in recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Chrome OS devices you can get. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here's the list of all of our Chromebook reviews, sorted by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it's best to see the full review for information about other variants.