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 55 laptops, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best Chrome OS devices you can get. You can also see our recommendations for the best laptops under $300, the best laptops under $400, and the best laptops under $500.
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 tend to be more budget-friendly models with a cheap, plastic build. The Pixelbook Go feels very premium with sturdy magnesium alloy chassis, and it's easy to carry around thanks to its thin and light design. The display is sharp, bright, and colorful and supports touch input. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on and doesn't cause fatigue, and the touchpad is large and responsive.
The main downside 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 an external display. The battery life sits around 13 to 14 hours of light use, meaning you probably won't need to charge it on a typical 8-hour school or workday. You can configure the laptop up to an Intel Core i7, although for most people doing light work like web browsing, text formatting, and video playback, the base Core M3 model is likely more than enough.
If you don't need the most premium device and prefer to save money, get the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020). It's a well-built, portable 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge and remarkably long battery life. Its QHD display looks sharp and gets bright enough to combat intense glare, even outdoors in broad daylight. The screen's 3:2 aspect ratio gives you a bit more vertical space in landscape mode so that you don't have to scroll as much when reading a document, and it also makes it feel less narrow when using the device as a tablet in portrait mode. The Intel Core i3 CPU provides a smooth experience on Chrome OS; you just have to be mindful of the number of applications or Chrome tabs you run simultaneously with only 4GB of memory. You can get a model with more RAM but expect to pay a little more.
This model is a little hard to find because it's discontinued. If you have trouble finding it, you can check out the newer 2021 model with Intel 11th Gen processors, which we haven't tested but expect to perform similarly.
Our budget pick is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021). It's 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 isn't comfortable to type on as it feels cramped, so it isn't the best for typing out long essays. The feature that stands 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. The display supports pen input if you want to take notes or draw, but you have to buy the stylus separately.
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, so you don't have to worry about bringing the charger. 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 at once.
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.
Sep 23, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.
Aug 25, 2022: Restructured article to better match user expectations.
Jul 14, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.
Jun 14, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.
May 24, 2022: Structure change. Added HP Chromebook 14 (2021) to Notable Mentions.
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.