The best Chromebooks for your needs can be hard to find because there are so many options, from cheap, low-cost Chromebooks to more powerful premium models with bigger, brighter screens, better build quality and beefier components.
Many provide amazing battery life, and most run Android apps thanks to Chrome OS support for the Google Play Store. Oh, and if you're unfamiliar with Chrome OS, it's easy to learn, as it's an extremely lightweight alternative to Windows 11 and macOS. Chromebooks are a popular choice for students and teachers because they're typically cheap and easy to use. Everything you do on a Chromebook, unless you're emulating Android apps or one of the experts running Linux on a Chromebook, will happen in a Chrome window.
All that being said, the best Chromebooks are great laptops. Some are among the best 2-in-1 laptops, with touchscreens that are ideal for Android apps (which are not as good when used with a mouse and keyboard alone). And while Chromebooks are mostly seen as devices for students, the category now includes multiple elegant models that are viable replacements for business laptops. In fact, some Chromebooks are even starting to support Steam games.
What are the best Chromebooks?
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the best Chromebook overall for multiple reasons. It's thin and light, lasts a solid eight hours on a single battery charge, and sports a vibrant QLED display. Plus, the speakers sound great and it looks great in red. The price isn't too bad either, ranging from just over $500 to as high as $700 for the top-of-the-line model.
If you're looking for something more affordable and don't mind a tablet consider the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, which debuted in 2020 as a surprisingly long-lived and good-looking 2-in-1 running Chrome OS. It's still a great investment if you need a cheap Chrome tablet that comes with a free detachable keyboard bundled in.
If you like the idea of a Chrome tablet that can double as a laptop but can afford a bit more power, the new Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook has what you're looking for. It's a bit over $100 more expensive than the original Duet, but it delivers a bigger, brighter screen, more USB-C ports, and a beefier Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chip.
No matter which Chromebook you buy, make sure you check out our best Chromebook deals page to save money.
The best Chromebooks you can buy today
Taking away the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook's 4K display was probably the best thing Samsung could have done to make this Chromebook a hit. Now it's way more affordable, but still sports a great QLED display and longer battery life — 7:50 vs the previous gen's 5:55. It's also going to sound great, plus its Core i3 configuration provides a ton of speed for Chrome OS.
We weren't as happy with the vertical travel in its keyboard, which is a bit shallow. This creates a slight learning curve you'll adapt to over time. But to get a Chromebook that looks this good — wow that Fiesta Red color option stands out in a sea of silver Chromebooks and PCs. Plus, at under $450, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a pretty good value.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 review.
The Lenovo Duet 3 (or Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3, depending on where you buy it) is a great Chrome tablet that can be yours for as low as $359. This is effectively a bigger, more expensive follow-up to the Chromebook Duet Lenovo released in 2020, a surprisingly capable and inexpensive Chrome tablet that's still on this list.
We loved the original Duet for its great battery life, solid performance and decent packed-in keyboard cover, all of which could be had for roughly $250. Lenovo's new Duet 3 costs a bit more, but it also delivers a bigger, brighter display, more ports, and the added power of a beefier Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chip. It's one of the best Chrome tablets you can buy, and the fact that Lenovo includes the keyboard cover at no extra cost helps it double as a surprisingly effective 2-in-1 Chromebook. While the original Duet further down this list is a better buy if you're short on cash, those who can afford it will be well-served by this excellent Chromebook.
Read our full Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook review.
When it comes to finding a great Chromebook, you are always looking for an affordable (enough) mix of performance, design and endurance. That's due in part to its Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, which provides a ton of speed for Chrome OS (anything more would be overkill), and 8GB of RAM for managing all the Chrome tabs you can throw at it.
Plus, its sharp 2256 x 1504-pixel screen provides bright and vibrant picture output. On top of that, it lasted 11 hours and 54 minutes on our web-browsing based battery test. The only major issue you could have with the Spin 713 is its size, but that's going to be an issue for all 13-inch laptops.
Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review.
Sometimes, it's amazing how much you can get for $300 or less. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet, for example, is a 2-in-1 Chromebook that offers something Microsoft's Surfaces and Apple's iPads won't: it's keyboard is included by default. Not only do you get that value, but the Chromebook Duet's tablet display is excellent in its own right, with a surprising amount of color output and a crisp 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution.
Smaller hands may find the Chromebook Duet's keyboard a little on the tight side, but at this price, any keyboard is a surprise and a steal. Making things even better, the Chromebook Duet features ChromeOS tablet optimizations that are long overdue to take advantage of all of its screen space. On top of all of that? It lasted for 12 hours and 47 minutes, nearly 13 hours.
Read our full Lenovo Chromebook Duet review.
After Google hit a home run with the super premium Pixelbook, the company returned with one of the best Chromebooks ever, the Pixelbook Go. More affordably priced (but still on the high-end of this list) this Chromebook is a case-study in why it can be worth it to spend more and invest in your next laptop.
Not only is this Chromebook elegant, with a slim chassis and grippy ribbed underside, but it's got a great screen that's brighter (368 nits) and more colorful (108% sRGB rating) than most screens. Plus, the Pixelbook Go has a great, clicky keyboard that enables comfortable typing. On top of that, it lasted nearly 11.5 hours on a single charge. The only real knocks against the Pixelbook Go are its lack of a USB-A port and how it's not a convertible. That being said, those who can afford the Pixelbook Go will love it.
Read our full Google Pixelbook Go review.
It might not have the battery life you expect from a Chromebook, but that can be excused when you take a look at how the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook breaks so many of the other typical rules of what a Chromebook should be. Its Fiesta Red chassis goes beyond eye-catching and hits drool inducing before you can say "wow that's a Chromebook?" It even comes with Samsung's S-Pen stylus, which is best used in tablet mode.
Its Core i5 CPU is so fast I watched four 1080p YouTube videos on it, without any stutter, just to see if I could. Oh, and it's crazy thin and light, competing on size and weight with the MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13. Its best feature, though, is its gorgeous 4K AMOLED display that makes colors pop and offers bright hues. It's so great that it reminds us that Netflix needs to add Chrome support for 4K video.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Chromebook review.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311's solid battery life and great keyboard help it stand out in a market overflowing with small, budget-friendly Chromebooks.
With 1.6mm of travel distance the Spin 311's keys are surprisingly comfortable to type on for extended periods, and the battery held up for nearly twelve hours in our tests, making this a great choice for kids, students, and anyone in the market for a cheap 2-in-1 Chromebook to get some writing done.
Anyone else may want to look elsewhere though, as the Acer Chromebook Spin 311's 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display tends to leave videos looking washed-out and dim.
Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 311 review here.
How to choose the best Chromebook for you
Finding the best Chromebook these days begins with a simple question: do you need a touchscreen? An increasing number of Chromebooks offer 2-in-1 designs with a touchscreen, allowing you to use Android apps from the Google Play store. However, those systems tend to be on the pricier side. If you want just a basic laptop on the cheap, a Chromebook without a touchscreen is the way to go.
As for screen size, an 11-inch display is good for younger kids, but a 13-inch display is better for older students and business users on the move. If you want a Chromebook as a primary home laptop, we would opt for a 14-inch or 15-inch display..
Then, think about performance. Are you buying this for a kid who's got modest needs? A Pentium or Celeron processor should be enough. A Core M or Core i5 CPU is better for those who want more performance. Most budget Chromebooks start with 4GB of RAM, but we would get 8GB or more if you plan to work with a lot of tabs open. Because Chromebooks rely on the cloud, local storage isn’t that important, which is why 32GB tends to be standard. You’ll find 64GG to 128GB on more premium models.
One last thing to consider: do you need a Chromebook, or do you just want Chrome OS? Because if it's just the software you like, Google is starting to offer Chrome OS Flex, an education/enterprise-focused version of Chrome OS that you can install yourself on a Mac or PC. If you're of a technical mindset and have an old laptop that could use some up-to-date software on it, you could always give this a try.