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The 4 Best Student Chromebooks - Summer 2024 Reviews

Updated May 09, 2024 at 09:49 am
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 115 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 Chromebook For Students

    The best Chromebook for students we've tested is the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022), a versatile 2-in-1 convertible. It has a nice 14-inch FHD+ display, a spacious keyboard, and a decent port selection, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports. In addition to touch input, it has stylus support and comes with a pen 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 because it's an older 2022 model, and a newer one is available and often cheaper. While we haven't tested the 2023 model, we expect it to be fairly similar, as the only upgrades are a newer, faster Intel 13th CPU and a higher-resolution 1440p webcam. You can see this 2023 model on Amazon or Best Buy.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Chromebook For Students

    Our best budget student Chromebook pick is the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023). Like our top pick, it's also a 14-inch device; however, it's a traditional clamshell model, meaning you can't flip the screen and use it as a tablet. You can configure this laptop with an Intel N100, N200, or Core i3-N305 CPU. We recommend the Core i3 configuration paired with an FHD, touch-sensitive display, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, which you can regularly find on sale for around $400 to $500 USD on Lenovo's website. It has the most processing power, and its FHD display is better than the other options available, as it looks brighter and more colorful. The cheaper configurations with an Intel N100 or N200 CPU and/or 4GB of RAM are fine if you have an extremely light workload; just know that they'll get bogged down quickly when multitasking.

    This laptop feels reasonably sturdy build-wise. It has Wi-Fi 6E wireless connectivity, an excellent 1080p webcam, and a decent port selection, including two USB-As, a USB-C, and an HDMI port. The keyboard is okay; it feels spacious but mushy, and the keys require a fair amount of force to actuate, which can cause some fatigue over an extended period. Unfortunately, the touchpad is small and not always responsive. On the upside, its battery life is outstanding at around 13 hours of light use, which is more than enough to get through a typical school day.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap Chromebook For Students

    If you 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.

    Lastly, all Chromebooks have a limited number of years of software support, and this Chromebook's end-of-life is 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 Compact Chromebook For Students

    If you need something compact for a younger grade-school student, check out the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 (2022), a Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard. At 10.9 inches, it's about the same size as a regular Apple iPad or iPad Air, so it fits easily into a small backpack. The keyboard comes with the device, so separately buying it is unnecessary. It isn't the most comfortable keyboard to type on; it's fine for kids who only need to type out a few words now and then but not ideal for longer school work.

    This tablet sports an FHD+ display. It gets bright enough to combat glare, and unlike other similarly priced devices, it doesn't look washed out. Unfortunately, there's no headphone jack, so you'll need a USB-C audio adapter or Bluetooth headphones. As for performance, the Snapdragon SoC can handle simple tasks like web browsing and video playback; just don't expect to do any heavy multitasking. Battery life is amazing at around 14 hours of light use.

    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
  • Acer Chromebook Plus 515 (2023): The Acer Chromebook Plus 515 (2023) is a good option if you want something in the same price range as the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023) but with more processing power. It also has a better keyboard and touchpad than the Lenovo, but its display looks dim and washed out. Also, its battery lasts only around eight hours of light use, which is on the shorter side for a Chrome OS device. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 09, 2024: Confirmed that picks are accurate and available. There are no changes in the recommendations.

  2. Mar 12, 2024: Added the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 (2023) as a Notable Mention. No change in recommendations.

  3. Jan 15, 2024: Minor text changes to provide information about the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020)'s OS support expiration date. No change in recommendation.

  4. Nov 17, 2023: Replaced the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) with the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023) because the C340 is at the end of its OS support.

  5. Oct 18, 2023: Verified that all picks are valid and available. 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.