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The 3 Best Student Chromebooks - Summer 2023 Reviews

Best Student Chromebooks

If you're looking for a school laptop, Chromebooks are worth considering, as they're usually cheaper than Windows laptops and MacBooks. They're also easier to use, as Chrome OS has a simpler, more user-friendly interface. When looking for a Chromebook, here are a few tips to help you find the right one for your needs. To begin, you'd want to look for a Chromebook that feels reasonably well built, as kids don't always treat electronics with care, so you'd want one that can take a few bumps. You'd also want one that's easy to carry around, with enough battery life to get through a typical school day.

A large screen isn't necessary but is nice for multitasking, and of course, you'd want a good keyboard and touchpad. Performance usually isn't a problem since Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system that runs well on low-end hardware, but you'd want to make sure there's enough RAM so the system won't get bogged down during heavy use. The main thing to remember is that Chrome OS doesn't support x86 Windows programs, so ensure that you can do all your schoolwork through a Chrome browser or Android app.

We've bought and tested over 90 laptops. Below are our recommendations for the best student Chromebooks you can buy. You can also see our recommendations for the best budget and cheap laptops, the best 2-in-1 laptops, and the best Windows laptops.

  1. Best Student Chromebook

    The best student Chromebook we've tested is the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). This 2-in-1 convertible feels well-built and is easy to carry around. It has a nice 14-inch FHD+ display, a spacious keyboard, and a decent port selection, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports. If you like taking handwritten notes, this laptop supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into the side of the laptop. Performance is excellent; its Intel 12th Gen U-series CPUs are powerful enough for anything you'd need to do on a Chromebook. A full battery gets you around 13 hours of light use, and you can charge over USB-C.

    Spec-wise, you can get this laptop with a Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage. However, availability is scarce. The Core i5 configuration with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is the most widely available, and even that model is getting hard to find. There's a newer 2023 version of this laptop that you might want to check out. Although we haven't tested it, it looks to be largely the same as this model. The upgrades include a newer and faster Intel 13th CPU and a higher-resolution 1440p webcam, but it no longer comes with a stylus. You can see this 2023 model on Amazon or Best Buy.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Student Chromebook

    Our best budget Chromebook pick is the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020). Like our top pick, this is also a 2-in-1 convertible, meaning you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. It doesn't support pen input, though. It's a bigger device at 15.6 inches but is still portable, thanks to its thin and light design. You won't have to worry about bringing the charger, as the battery lasts around 12 hours on a full charge. CPU configuration options include an Intel Pentium Gold or Core i3 CPU; both are long in the tooth but fast enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. The downside is that you can only get a maximum of 4GB of memory, so it's best suited for someone with a very light workload, like a high-school student.

    As for the overall user experience, it's good. The display looks decently sharp, the keyboard feels great to type on, and the touchpad is small but responsive to all movements and gestures. Ports include one USB-A, two USB-Cs, an SD card reader, and a headphone jack. The fan never gets loud, which is great for quiet classrooms or offices. The only thing that might be a dealbreaker is the device's end-of-life. As you may know, Chromebooks typically have an expiration date at which they stop receiving updates. The C340 is good until June 2025, which means it has less than two years left. It's unfortunate, but it's not too bad considering its low price.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap Student Chromebook

    If you're shopping for a younger grade-school student or want to spend as little as possible, consider the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020). It's very portable for a 15.6-inch laptop, and its battery lasts easily through a full school day with plenty to spare. It sports a full-size keyboard with a Numpad, a reasonably large touchpad, a wide port selection, and a surprisingly good 720p webcam. You can choose between a 720p or a 1080p display (with or without touch input); we recommend the 1080p option, as a 720p resolution is low for a 15.6-inch screen.

    Naturally, there are a couple of tradeoffs to consider, specifically the display's brightness and CPU performance. The display only gets bright enough for indoor use, and even then, you might struggle with visibility in well-lit rooms. As for the CPUs, the only available options are Intel Celeron processors that can only handle light workloads, so don't expect to do anything remotely intensive. There's no biometrics like a fingerprint sensor or facial recognition IR camera, although that's typical for a cheap laptop.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip (2023): The ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip (2023) is a good alternative to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). It has a brighter 144Hz display and a slightly better touchpad; however, it lacks Thunderbolt 4 support, doesn't support pen input, and lasts only around eight hours on a full charge. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 20, 2023: Small text changes to improve clarity. No change in recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Chromebooks for students to buy. 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.