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The 4 Best Chromebooks - Winter 2023 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 60 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 under $300, the best laptops under $400, and the best laptops under $500.

  1. Best Chromebook

    The best Chromebook we've tested is the Google Pixelbook Go (2019). Although it was first released in 2019, it remains the best option if you're looking for something high-end, as most Chromebooks are more budget-friendly models with a cheap, plastic build. The Pixelbook Go, on the other hand, feels very premium and sturdy, and it's easy to carry around, thanks to its thin and light design. It sports a sharp, touch-sensitive IPS display that gets bright enough for use in well-lit settings, a spacious and tactile keyboard, and a large and responsive touchpad. You get a 4k display if you opt for the Core i7 model; however, the increased resolution will drain the battery much faster.

    It's available with an Intel Core M3, i5, or i7 processor, which are all powerful enough to handle light tasks like web browsing, text processing, and video playback. The battery life sits around 13 to 14 hours of light use, meaning you probably won't need to charge it on a typical eight-hour school or workday. The main downside with this laptop is that it only has two USB-C ports, one of which is for charging, so you'll likely need a dock if you want to plug in multiple peripherals or external displays. Lastly, this is a fanless device, so you won't need to worry about loud fan noise in a quiet classroom or office.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Chromebook

    If you don't need a premium device like the Google Pixelbook Go (2019) and prefer to save money, get the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020). It's a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree hinge, meaning you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. Its 3:2 QHD display looks incredibly sharp, provides just enough room for split-screen multitasking, and gets bright enough to combat glare. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on and doesn't cause much noise, and the touchpad is decently large and responsive. Its port selection is good; it includes one USB-A, two USB-Cs, an SD card reader, and an HDMI port. The laptop charges over USB-C, so you don't need to carry a proprietary power adapter.

    Unfortunately, as this is an older discontinued model from 2020, it's getting harder to find in stock, especially the base Core i3 model. At the moment, the Core i5 model is available on Amazon, and it's a better deal than a base model of the Pixelbook, as you're getting a more capable CPU and more storage space. The most notable differences between this laptop and the Pixelbook above have to do with the overall build and user experience. The Pixelbook feels sturdier and more premium and has a better touchpad, speakers, and webcam. If you have trouble finding this laptop, you may want to consider the 2021 model with Intel 11th Gen. CPUs. It's essentially the same laptop, just with a faster CPU and Thunderbolt 4 support.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Chromebook

    Our budget pick is 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, although the keyboard itself feels cramped, so it isn't the best for typing long essays.

    The feature that makes this device stand out 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 have to buy the stylus separately.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Chromebook

    If you want to spend even less, the best cheap Chromebook we've tested is the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020). This 2-in-1 convertible feels well-built, and its battery lasts a little over 12 hours of light use. Its Intel Core i3 CPU is powerful enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. However, you can only get a maximum of 4GB of memory, so you might experience some stutters and slowdowns if you run too many things simultaneously.

    Like most budget laptops, the display doesn't get very bright and looks washed out, but images and text still look decently sharp, and you get plenty of space for multitasking. You get a keyboard that feels great to type on, and although the touchpad is on the smaller side, it's responsive to all movements and gestures. Its port selection is okay; you get one USB-A, two USB-Cs, an SD card reader, and a headphone jack. It isn't a fanless device, but the fan never gets loud, which is great for quiet classrooms or offices.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020): The Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020) is a smaller and cheaper alternative to the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021). It has a sharp and colorful screen, but it's an IPS panel, so you won't get the deep blacks you would get on the Duet 5. Also, its smaller size makes it even more uncomfortable to type on. See our review
  • Acer Chromebook 315 (2020): The Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) is a cheaper alternative to the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) and one of the best budget Chromebooks we've tested. It has a slightly longer battery life than the Lenovo, but it isn't a 2-in-1 convertible, and its Intel Celeron processor is slower. See our review
  • HP Chromebook 14 (2021): The HP Chromebook 14 (2021) is a cheaper and more compact alternative to the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020). It has longer battery life than the Lenovo but a slower CPU, so it might stutter a bit if you have too many things running simultaneously. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 02, 2023: Minor text changes to provide more information regarding the Acer Chromebook Spin 713's availability. No change in recommendations.

  2. Jan 03, 2023: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.

  3. Nov 24, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.

  4. Oct 25, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.

  5. Sep 23, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; 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.