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The 5 Best Chromebooks - Spring 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 70 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 released in 2019, it's still a great choice if you want something high-end. It's getting hard to find through marketplaces and large retailers, but you can still get it directly from Google. You can get this laptop with an Intel Core M3, i5, or i7 (8th Gen.) processor, up to 16GB of memory, and 256GB of storage. The CPUs are a few generations behind Intel's current offerings; however, since Chrome OS doesn't require much processing power, the system still feels relatively smooth and responsive.

    What makes this laptop stand out is its build and overall user experience. It has a sturdy magnesium alloy chassis, and thanks to its thin and light design, it's very easy to carry around. Plus, the battery lasts over 13 hours of light use, so you won't need to bring the charger around. Its 13-inch display is bright and colorful, and above it sits an excellent 1080p webcam for video calls. The touchpad is large and responsive, and the keyboard feels spacious and tactile, although its short, Macbook-like key travel might not be to everyone's taste. The main downside of this laptop is its port selection; you only get two USB-Cs and a headphone jack.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Chromebook

    If you don't need a premium laptop and would rather save some money, go with the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). This model replaces the popular Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020), which we recommend if you want something cheaper. The Spin 714 has a slightly larger 14-inch screen than its predecessor, giving you more room for multitasking. It gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings, and it's flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain on those long work or school days. Naturally, since this is a 2-in-1 convertible, you can set it up in tent mode for media consumption or flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. It also supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into its charging slot for transport.

    Spec-wise, while it's available with various Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, the Core i5 configuration with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage is the easiest to find in stock. This model is more than adequate for general productivity tasks, but you may experience slowdowns if you run many applications simultaneously. You get all-day battery life and can charge the laptop over USB-C. Speaking of ports, it has one USB-A, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, and an HDMI port. The webcam is surprisingly good and among the best on the market. Unfortunately, there's no fingerprint sensor or a facial recognition IR camera for quick logins.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Chromebook

    Our best budget Chromebook pick is the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020). This 2-in-1 convertible feels well-built and is easy to carry around. You can get this laptop with an Intel Pentium Gold or Core i3 CPU, which are getting long in the tooth but still fast enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. You can only get a maximum of 4GB of memory, so heavy multitaskers have better options. The battery lasts easily through a typical day of light use and charges over USB-C.

    The overall user experience is good for such an affordable laptop. The display looks decently sharp and provides plenty of room for multitasking; it just doesn't get very bright, which is typical for most budget laptops. The keyboard feels great to type on, and although the touchpad is on the smaller side, it's responsive to all movements and gestures. 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

  4. Best Cheap Chromebook

    If you want to spend as little as possible, consider the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020). Thanks to its compact design, it's easy to carry around, 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 (with support for charging and video output), and an SD card reader.

    You can choose between a 720p or 1080p display (with or without touch input); we highly recommend the 1080p option because 720p just isn't good enough for a 15.6-inch screen. As for the quality of the display, 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 don't expect to do anything remotely intensive.

    See our review

  5. 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

Notable Mentions

  • Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020): The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020) is a good alternative to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). The Spin 713 is an older device, so you can likely find it at a lower price, and while its CPU is slower, it's still more than adequate for Chrome OS. The webcam isn't as good, though, and you also lose Thunderbolt 4 support. 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
  • 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. May 24, 2023: Verified that all picks are still valid and available. No change in recommendations.

  2. Apr 28, 2023: Minor structure change. Added the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) as the 'Best Cheap' pick.

  3. Mar 31, 2023: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.

  4. Mar 03, 2023: Replaced the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020) with the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) because it performs better and is easier to find.

  5. Feb 02, 2023: Minor text changes to provide more information regarding the Acer Chromebook Spin 713's availability. 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.