Best Chromebook

Laptop Computers

To have the best user experience with a Chromebook, you need a Google account — preferably one that employs two-factor authentication for security.

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WHICH CHROMEBOOK IS BEST? 

Not every computer debate must be answered with Mac or PC. There are other options that are often more affordable and just as versatile.

The Chromebook is a device that redefines how a laptop works and what it can do. The appeal of a Chromebook is its streamlined design that cleverly takes advantage of the internet.

If you’re unfamiliar with how a Chromebook works, our buying guide can introduce you to the key features to consider when shopping for a model. Additionally, we’ve put together a list of the best Chromebooks of the year.

BEST CHROMEBOOKS

1. Google Pixelbook Go i5 Chromebook: Lightweight and powerful, this top-performing and high-end Chromebook is designed to be used anywhere and everywhere you need it. This one is a long-standing favorite of ours.

2. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2: A newcomer to our shortlist, this 2-in-1 model features a 360-degree rotating touchscreen so it can be used as a laptop or a tablet.

3. Asus Chromebook Flip: Another new entry on our list, this solid model offers a synthesis of flexibility and power to create a high-quality machine worthy of being distinguished as a top choice.

For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY A CHROMEBOOK 

If you haven’t noticed, rather offering a download, many apps are moving to an online subscription service. This is how the Chromebook has always worked, although a number of the best apps are free. This method of computing allows for a streamlined operating system in a laptop that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost.

Storage 

While storage shouldn’t be an issue (most of your files are saved to a cloud and your applications are cloud-based as well), the RAM is important. A Chromebook that features 4GB is adequate for most but moving to a model with 8GB may reduce frustrations with efficiency. 16GB is even better but can significantly raise the price.

Processor

In general, the better the processor, the faster your Chromebook. The latest or best processor has a higher number. For example, if you have a choice between an Intel Core i3 and an Intel Core i5, the i5 is the better option. However, a better processor raises the price of your Chromebook.

User interface

As far as the user interface goes, perhaps the most important choice to make is deciding if you want a model that functions solely as a laptop or one with a touchscreen that can be rotated 360º to turn the device into a tablet. Also, think about how large a screen you’d like to have.

HOW MUCH YOU CAN EXPECT TO SPEND ON A CHROMEBOOK

A very basic Chromebook starts at $200 or less. However, it might not have sufficient speed and power for anything more than light-duty tasks. The average user likely needs a model in the $500-$800 range. If you want a top model, expect to spend around $1,500.

CHROMEBOOK FAQ

Do I need to be connected to the internet to use my Chromebook?

A. While working online by far offers the best user experience on a Chromebook, it’s possible to do almost everything in an offline mode that saves your work locally (on the Chromebook). The next time you access the internet, the app will sync with your online account.

Do I need to purchase virus protection for my Chromebook?

A. Chromebooks have built-in virus protection that automatically updates so you never need to purchase additional software. The unique web-based design of the operating system also makes your Chromebook impervious to any known viruses. This is not to say you can’t have information compromised; you must always be wary of suspicious-looking sites and unfamiliar links.

WHAT ARE THE BEST CHROMEBOOKS TO BUY? 

Top Chromebook 

Google Pixelbook Go i5 Chromebook

Google Pixelbook Go i5 Chromebook

What we like: This unit starts up quickly and has an 8th Gen Intel Core processor for power and speed. The impressive battery can last for up to 12 hours, while the built-in virus protection offers peace of mind.

What we dislike: Not a con, just understand that you’re purchasing a Chromebook, which runs on Chrome OS. It’s a different user experience.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top Chromebook for money 

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 

What we like: This model has an impressive battery life, a built-in pen, and 32GB of internal memory. It features an Intel Celeron processor and a 13MP camera.

What we dislike: With only 4GB of RAM, heavier-duty tasks may execute a little more slowly.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Asus Chromebook Flip

Asus Chromebook Flip

What we like: This Chromebook has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage combined with a 360-degree rotating touchscreen. For security, it features an integrated fingerprint sensor.

What we dislike: While it’s a matter of personal taste, some users don’t like the spongy feel of the keyboard.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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