Once considered a novelty by many technology enthusiasts, Chromebooks broke the "just a browser" mold to become legitimate laptops. They are lightweight and complete machines that can do everything most users need. Best of all, they are safer and often more affordable than the competition.
Because they've gained such popularity, there's a ton of Chromebooks to choose from at this stage. There is no shortage of choice, from the meager devices to the high-end ultra-premium segment. While this is a good thing, it is also difficult to find the right one for you. So we chose the cream of the crop at different prices to help you refine your search.
Is a Chromebook good for me?
Before looking at some of the best books on the market today, there is a big hurdle to overcome: is a Chromebook a feasible option for you?
In short: it depends.
You need to take a closer look at how you actually use your computer to make this call. The biggest question, I think, is: do you live in the browser? If Chrome is your most used app and more than 95% of what you do on the computer revolves around Chrome, then yes, a Chromebook will work exceptionally well for you. There are more than likely Chrome-based apps to cover the other five percent of your computing needs, but again, that's something you'll need to do a bit of research.
The other half is hardware. Think of your devices or anything else you plug into the computer. Most printers and scanners will work seamlessly with a Chromebook, but you will not be able to do things such as syncing your iPhone data to your local hard drive. No iTunes means no local access, which could be a disruptive factor for some users.
Similarly, and this can go without mentioning (but I do it anyway), you must keep your expectations in check. You will not be editing video or images on a Chromebook. Not only is the hardware just too limited for that, but there is not a lot of software right now either. Do not get me wrong: minor image edits are certainly possible (and even easy) on a Chromebook, but if you do it often, you may want to look elsewhere.
Basically, if you spend more than $ 500 on a laptop, better look in the lower range of Windows machines. Again, you will need to consider your expectations when it comes to raw power, but they will be at least more versatile.
That said, Chromebooks have definitely filled another niche in the electronics market that none of us knew we wanted until Google told us we could have it. 39; have. These laptops constitute a constantly evolving range of affordable and robust productivity machines that can quickly slide out of a briefcase or backpack, start instantly and get us tapping or slipping in seconds.
And from my experience, if a Chromebook is right for you, you'll really like it.
Best Chromebooks on a Budget (Under $ 300)
There are many affordable Chromebooks, some of which are only $ 99! That said, you get what you pay for this price under $ 150, so unless you're really looking for savings, I recommend staying away from this segment of the market. When it comes to Chromebooks budget, spending a little more goes a long way. Here is the best sub-arena of $ 300.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C101: $ 299
As for low-budget Chromebooks, the ASUS Flip C101 could well be the king rightly since it's the successor to the C100's Flip C100 Last year. ASUS has done a great job of reducing costs where it makes sense – for example, the C101 uses a very cost-effective Rockchip processor that does the job beautifully. Coupled with 4 GB of RAM, it resists very well to the daily tasks. ASUS also knows exactly where to cut corners: the quality of construction. For the price, the C101 has a surprisingly strong aluminum chassis and a very robust overall construction.
And it's as good as a Chromebook: its 10.1-inch convertible design and its ability to run Android apps make it an excellent tablet replacement. True, it is slightly bulky in tablet mode, but if you do not have a tablet or if you are looking to replace and age the unit, you can easily kill two birds with one stone by simply grabbing a C101 .
The only place the C101 can miss some users is the display size. This 10.1-inch touch panel (with a resolution of 1280 × 800 display) can make it difficult to use as a full-time laptop, especially for users whose eyesight is not perfect.
The ASUS Flip C101 is available on Amazon for $ 299 . If you are looking to save a little money, you can also opt for C100 last year for around $ 260 which features a slightly slower Rockchip processor but by elsewhere very similar components.
Acer Chromebook R11: $ 199-299
If you're looking for a convertible Chromebook with a slightly larger screen, look no further than the Acer R11 . This 11.6-inch Chromebook can run in full tablet mode (with full access to the Google Play Store for Android apps), but you can still spend a day snapping keys and plugging in spreadsheets if you have one need.
Its plastic shell does not scream "I'm a premium budget device" as the C100 / 101's aluminum shell does, but it has some more powerful hardware under the hood – the Intel Celeron N3150 will go a long way keeping the slowness at bay, allowing you to do more in less time. I do not know anyone who can not appreciate it.
The R11's 1366 × 768 touchscreen should offer a little less eye strain than the C100's screen, since it's not just a matter of time. a slightly lower resolution (on the vertical axis), but with a larger screen. first place.
There are two variants of the R11, depending on your needs: one with 2 GB of RAM and one with 4 GB of RAM. I will always recommend the latter, especially since it is only $ 20 more than the 2GB model. Easily worth the extra room.
You can get the Acer R11 Chromebook from Amazon .
Best Midrange and Premium Chromebooks ($ 300 and up)
Budget Chromebooks are great and integrate very well into most people's lives. If you do not need a laptop, the budget scene is where it is. But if you're looking for more power, larger screens, and a more overall enjoyable machine that can fill the void of the laptop, the list below covers the Chromebooks that fit the bill.
I decided to combine high-end and high-end Chromebooks in the same category for one main reason: depending on the selection you make, each of these machines can go both ways. For example, there are several versions of the HP Chromebook 13, priced between $ 499 and $ 819. The entry level model is a solid midrange device, but if you mount it (and above) the $ 599 model, you have a top quality Chrome OS machine.
Aside from the obvious screens – larger, superior workmanship, etc. – the most notable differences you will find in this premium line will be what is under the hood: processors and RAM. While the ARM-based chips found in most cheap Chromebooks can do the work for many people, the more advanced processors found in the books you'll see below pack a lot harder. Although many of them still use ARM chips, these are not of the "smartphone-in-your-computer" type; they are often designed from scratch with Chromebooks in mind. That means they're made to push more power while staying cool, you know, exactly what you want in a laptop. And of course, the Intel mobile chips used in Chromebooks are the same as those found in many current Windows laptops, and the already impressive performance will be further enhanced when you launch one in a lightweight Chromebook.
In addition, the problem of RAM is still at stake here, just like on a more traditional PC. In short, the more RAM you have, the more tasks you can perform at the same time. If you're like me, there's nothing more than 20 open Chrome tabs at once, which can be a lot on just 4GB of RAM, that's why I highly recommend looking more towards something with 8 GB. But, on the other hand, if you are a type of person from two to three people, 4GB should be more than enough.
Acer Chromebook 14 for Work: $ 480
If you're looking for a Chrome OS laptop that works without problems, the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work can be your huckleberry … assuming you're not looking for a laptop convertible. use as a tablet. It should also be noted that the Chromebook 14 for Work is the only Chromebook in this list that does not run Android apps (and probably will never be). These are certainly things to consider.
All that said, if you just need Chrome OS and nothing more, the Chromebook 14 for Work is a workaholic. It incorporates an Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM – almost unprecedented specifications for a Chromebook, but especially one at this price. The 14-inch screen runs at full 1080p resolution, which should be a lot crisp.
It is also a bit more robust than the other Chromebooks in this list because it includes a Gorilla Glass protection, as well as an internal routing that channels the liquid away from the components and through two vents on the bottom if something spills. It's clean.
Finally, it has a USB Type-C port for charging and transferring data, as well as two normal sized USB A 3.0 ports. As I said, if you're looking for a proven Chromebook that will spin circles around the majority of the competition, the Chromebook 14 should at least make your choice.
You can get it back on Amazon for $ 480.
ASUS Flip C302: $ 499 +
Newcomer to CES 2017, the Flip C302 is the biggest and most powerful brother of the Flip C100 / 101. This gorgeous machine takes all the great things about the C100 / C101-aluminum construction and design convertible and brings it into a larger form factor of 12.5 inches. There will be two versions that use the Intel Core m3 and m7 processors respectively.
Unlike other premium options, ASUS opted for a FHD display resolution (1920 × 1280), which is probably the best for the least pixels, the best performance and the duration of battery life. . Although I'm sure QHD panels are nice, I'll admit openly that they might be exaggerated on relatively small screens. I realize that there are many opinions on this subject, however, I am just going to stop there.
To compensate for the relatively lower display resolution, the C302 has other unique features, such as an ambient light sensor. Just like your phone, the C302's screen automatically adjusts the brightness according to the lighting of the room, which, I think, is a nice feature. It also has a backlit keyboard, which Samsung units are surprisingly (and disappointingly) lacking.
The price of the Flip C302 will start at $ 499 for the Core m3 model with only 4GB of RAM, without one knowing how much the m7 / 8GB model will work. For more information on the C302, head here or go here to buy the m3 / 4 GB model from Amazon. Again, we will update more information about the m7 / 8GB model.
Samsung Chromebook Plus / Pro: $ 449 / $ 549
Another group of CES newcomers, this duet is a pair of medium machines. The Pro and Plus models feature nearly identical hardware features, including a 12.3-inch 2400 × 1600 touch screen, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a stylus that closely resembles Samsung's famous S Pen.
Why the stylus? Well, because these two convertible machines are "built for the Google Play Store." Just like the other convertibles on this list, these are laptops and tablets in one with full access to the Android Play Store, and only 2.38 pounds are light enough to fit the bill.
The main difference between the Pro and Plus models will be the processor: the Plus comes with an ARM hexa-core processor designed by Samsung, while the Pro incorporates an Intel Core m3 chip. The price of the first will be $ 449, and the second $ 549.
While the Pro and Plus models are solid, there are a few things that Samsung should do at the wrist: no 8GB RAM option, limiting both devices to 32GB of storage, and no Backlit Keyboard. These are high-end Chromebooks designed to deliver a premium experience, which can be difficult to achieve with limited specifications. Still, processors should help provide a better experience than the smaller and more affordable Chromebooks we've reviewed above, so there's that.
Google Pixelbook: $ 999- $ 1650
If you're looking for a high-end Chromebook, the Google Pixelbook is definitely the answer. The low-end model sports an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The high-end model is getting a little crazy with a Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and a whopping 512GB of storage – probably more than one would really need a Chromebook.
But that's Google's point of view on what should be a high-end Chromebook. The fit and finish are top quality from top to bottom, with the Pixelbook sporting an ultra-thin 10.3mm chassis. It is designed in and out for convertible form factor, has full access to the Play Store for Android apps, and promises up to 10 hours of battery life. Really, it's a beast.
Just like the Samsung Chromebook Pro / Plus, the Pixelbook also comes with a stylus, called Pixelbook Pen. This $ 100 extension is a bit heavier and more cumbersome than the Pro / Plus stylus, but it's more like a full pen size, and there's nowhere on / in the laptop to store it. In other words, it floats somehow. Its price of $ 99 also questions how much you will actually need this kind of feature in addition to an already expensive Chromebook, but if you have dreamed of writing on the screen of your computer, then the option is available for you.
If you own a Pixel phone, the Pixelbook will also feature a unique feature that will not be clear if it will be available on other Chromebooks: the instant connection. Basically, when it is combined with a Pixel phone, the Pixelbook attaches instantly and automatically (via Bluetooth) to the phone when it is remote from Wi-Fi, allowing it to use the data connection available to stay always connected. It's great. But as I said, this may or may not happen to other phones and Chromebooks – only time will tell.
If you're all-in on this ultra-premium Chromebook, you can find more information or pre-order directly from Google or Amazon from $ 1,000. The Pixelbook will also be available in retail chains like Best Buy from October 31st if you prefer to first familiarize yourself with the subject.
If you're holding a new laptop and you're considering a Chromebook as your next machine, there's never been a better time to make that jump. All the high-end features available on these modern Chromebooks make it an excellent choice for just about everyone, especially those looking for a powerful simplicity and a secure system always up-to-date. For what it's worth, I've chosen the ASUS Flip C302 as my main laptop (for now, the Pixelbook is terribly tempting) – it has the best balance between features and price of this writer.