One of the best Chromebooks you should buy in 2023

Selecting one of the best Chromebook, given your wants and your finances, may be exhausting to do given the plethora of fashions available on the market in the present day. The mix of years value of software program updates and laptop computer producers making extra highly effective and better-built laptops means there are a ton of fine Chrome OS machines that work nicely as on a regular basis drivers. However there are some particular components to Chromebooks that you must take note earlier than selecting one. From the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, our high picks will assist you determine which Chromebook goes to be value it for you.

What’s Chrome OS, and why would I exploit it over Home windows?

That’s in all probability the primary query about Chromebooks. There are many cheap Home windows laptops available on the market, so why trouble with Chrome OS? Glad you requested. For me, the straightforward and clear nature of Chrome OS is an enormous promoting level. Chrome OS relies on Google’s Chrome browser, which suggests a lot of the packages you possibly can run are net based mostly. There’s no bloatware or undesirable apps to uninstall such as you typically get on Home windows laptops, it boots up in seconds, and you’ll utterly reset to manufacturing unit settings virtually as rapidly.

In fact, the simplicity can also be a significant downside for some customers. Not having the ability to set up native software program is usually a dealbreaker when you’re a video editor or software program developer. However there are additionally loads of individuals who do nearly all of their work in a browser. However Google and its software program companions are getting higher yearly at supporting extra superior options. For instance, Google added video editing tools to the Google Pictures app on Chromebooks – it received’t substitute Adobe Premiere, however it must be useful for lots of people.

Google has additionally added help for Android apps on Chromebooks, which drastically expands the quantity of software program accessible. The standard varies extensively, however it means you are able to do extra with a Chromebook past simply web-based apps. For instance, you possibly can set up the Netflix app and save movies for offline watching. Different Android apps like Microsoft Workplace and Adobe Lightroom are surprisingly succesful, as nicely. Between Android apps and a basic enchancment in net apps, Chromebooks are greater than only a browser.

What do Chromebooks do nicely?

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Put merely, something net based mostly. Searching, streaming music and video and utilizing numerous social media websites are among the many commonest every day duties folks do on Chromebooks. As you may anticipate, additionally they work nicely with Google providers like Pictures, Docs, Gmail, Drive, Hold and so forth. Sure, any pc that may run Chrome can try this too, however the light-weight nature of Google Chrome OS makes it a responsive and secure platform.

As I discussed earlier than, Chrome OS can run Android apps, so when you’re an Android person you’ll discover some good ties between the platforms. You may get a lot of the similar apps which might be in your cellphone on a Chromebook and preserve information in sync between them. You can too use some Android telephones as a safety key in your Chromebook or immediately tether your laptop computer to make use of cell knowledge.

Google continues to tout safety as a significant differentiator for Chromebooks, and I believe it’s undoubtedly an element value contemplating. The primary line of protection is auto-updates. Chrome OS updates obtain rapidly within the background and a quick reboot is all it takes to put in the newest model. Google says that every webpage and app on a Chromebook runs in its personal sandbox, as nicely, so any safety threats are contained to that particular person app. Lastly, Chrome OS has a self-check referred to as Verified Boot that runs each time a tool begins up. Past all this, the straightforward reality that you simply typically can’t set up conventional apps on a Chromebook means there are so much fewer methods for dangerous actors to entry the system.

As for when to keep away from them, the reply is straightforward: When you rely closely on a particular native utility for Home windows or a Mac, likelihood is you received’t discover the very same choice on a Chromebook. That’s most true in fields like picture and video modifying, however it can be the case in legislation or finance. Loads of companies run on Google’s G suite software program, however extra nonetheless have particular necessities {that a} Chromebook won’t match. When you’re an iPhone person, you’ll additionally miss out on the way in which the iPhone simply integrates with an iPad or Mac. For me, the large draw back isn’t having the ability to entry iMessage on a Chromebook.

Lastly, Chromebooks will not be the best gaming machine, though they’re turning into a barely extra cheap choice with the rise of cloud gaming. In late 2022, Google and a few {hardware} companions introduced a push to make Chromebooks with cloud gaming in thoughts. From a {hardware} perspective, which means laptops with greater screens which have larger refresh charges in addition to optimizing these laptops to work with providers like NVIDIA GeForce Now, Xbox Recreation Move and Amazon Luna. You’ll clearly want an web connection to make use of these providers, however the excellent news is that enjoying fashionable video games on a Chromebook isn’t inconceivable. You possibly can set up Android video games from the Google Play Retailer, however that’s not what most individuals are pondering of once they wish to sport on a laptop computer.

There’s one other potential change on the horizon, as Valve and Google are working to deliver the huge Steam catalog to Chromebooks. Proper now, Steam is just accessible as an early alpha on a handful of units with larger specs, however it works so much higher than I anticipated. In fact, you’re nonetheless not going to run probably the most demanding video games on primary laptops, however the Steam catalog is so huge that there are many titles that labored on the Chromebook I examined it with. Hopefully, Steam can be supported on extra units quickly, but the list is considerably restricted in the meanwhile.

What are a very powerful specs for a Chromebook?

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Chrome OS is light-weight and normally runs nicely on pretty modest {hardware}, so a very powerful factor to search for won’t be processor energy or space for storing. That stated, I’d nonetheless advocate you get a Chromebook with a comparatively latest Intel processor, ideally a Tenth-gen or newer Intel i3. Most non-Intel Chromebooks I’ve tried haven’t had terribly robust efficiency, however that’s beginning to change – as we consider extra of those Chromebooks, we’ll advocate ones which have sufficient energy to be good on a regular basis computer systems.

As for RAM, 8GB must be the goal, until you’re on the lookout for a finances mannequin and know that your wants are pretty modest. Space for storing is one other place the place you don’t must spend an excessive amount of; 64GB must be nice for nearly anybody. When you plan on storing a variety of information domestically or loading up your Chromebook with Linux or Android apps, get 128GB. However for what it’s value, I’ve by no means felt like I’d run out of storage when utilizing Chrome OS.

Issues just like the keyboard and show high quality are arguably extra vital than sheer specs. The excellent news is that yow will discover cheaper Chromebooks that also have fairly good screens and keyboards that you simply received’t thoughts typing on all day. Many low-cost Chromebooks nonetheless include tiny, low-resolution shows, however at this level there’s no purpose to accept something lower than 1080p. (When you’re on the lookout for a particularly moveable, 11-inch Chromebook, although, you’ll in all probability find yourself with a lesser display.) Clearly, keyboard high quality is a little more subjective, however there are many inexpensive choices that provide robust typing experiences.

Google has an Auto Replace coverage for Chromebooks, and whereas that’s not a spec, per se, it’s value checking before you purchase. Mainly, Chromebooks get common software program updates robotically for about six years from their launch date (although that may differ from machine to machine). This support page lists the Auto Replace expiration date for nearly each Chromebook ever, however rule of thumb is to purchase the latest machine you possibly can to maximise your help.

How a lot ought to I spend?

Chromebooks began out notoriously low-cost, with listing costs typically coming in underneath $300. However as they’ve gone extra mainstream, they’ve transitioned from being primarily fashionable netbooks to the type of laptop computer you’ll wish to use all day. As such, costs have elevated a bit over the previous few years. At this level, you must anticipate to spend no less than $400 if you would like a strong every day driver. There are nonetheless many finances choices on the market which may be appropriate as secondary units, however Chromebooks that may be an all-day, every-day laptop computer will value a bit extra.

There are additionally loads of premium Chromebooks that method and even exceed $1,000, however I don’t advocate spending that a lot. Usually, that’ll get you a greater design with extra premium supplies, in addition to extra highly effective internals and additional space for storing. In fact, you additionally typically pay for the model identify. However, the specs I outlined earlier are normally sufficient. That stated, if cash is not any object, there are a couple of actually fabulous choices on the market.

See Additionally:

Finest bang in your buck: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i

Finest bang in your buck
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i

Photograph by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i

The Ideapad Flex 5i hits the candy spot for a big majority of Chromebook patrons on the market, offering a stage of high quality and efficiency that’s fairly uncommon to search out at this value level.

Lenovo has been making a few of the greatest inexpensive Chromebooks you should buy for a number of years now, and the IdeaPad Flex 5i is an inexpensive laptop computer that gives nearly every little thing you might need in a primary Chromebook. The 13.3-inch, 1080p touchscreen is extraordinarily vivid and pretty sharp; I want it had a taller facet ratio than 16:9, however it’s fairly frequent in Chromebooks. This Lenovo Chromebook runs on a Eleventh-generation Intel Core i3 processor and consists of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Whereas the processor is beginning to present its age, it ought to nonetheless be enough for many duties. Eight hours of battery life is fairly good for a laptop computer on this value vary, and the backlit keyboard is great for such an inexpensive machine. The important thing caps really feel just a little small underneath my fingers, however that’s the one actual grievance I’ve.

Different issues within the Flex 5i’s favor embrace that it has each USB-C and USB-A ports, a microSD card slot and a safety lock. At three kilos and 0.66 inches thick, it’s not the lightest or slimmest choice on the market, however it’s completely cheap contemplating the worth. Lastly, the Flex 5i will obtain software program and safety updates till June of 2029, so you should buy this pc and have it lined for years to return.

Finally, the Ideapad Flex 5i hits the candy spot for lots of Chromebook patrons on the market, offering a stage of high quality and efficiency that’s fairly uncommon to search out at this value level. That stated, given this laptop computer has been out for over a 12 months now, we’re conserving a watch out for a alternative from Lenovo, in addition to comparable choices different producers launch.

The Lenovo Flex 5i is not accessible instantly from Lenovo, however you possibly can generally discover it on Amazon for about $400 (as of this writing, it’s promoting for $368). That’s an excellent worth.

Improve choice: Acer Chromebook Spin 714

Improve choice
Acer Chromebook 714


Acer Chromebook 714

Acer’s Spin 714 is overkill for many, however when you’re a severe multitasker, need a greater show and keyboard, or simply need a pc that’ll final so long as potential, it is simple to advocate.

Acer’s Chromebook Spin 714 has lengthy been the most effective premium Chromebook choices on the market, and this 12 months’s replace is not any exception. It’s a modest tweak to the 2022 mannequin, however given how good that pc is I’ve no points recommending the newest version. We haven’t examined it but, however Acer can have a evaluation mannequin for us quickly.

The Spin 714 incorporates a 14-inch, 1900×1200 touchscreen. That works out to a taller 16:10 facet ratio than you’ll get from the 1080p panels on most Chromebooks. I’m an enormous fan of taller laptop computer screens, and whereas this isn’t as luxurious because the few 3:2 ratio Chromebooks available on the market, it’s nonetheless a cushty and prime quality display.

One noteworthy new function is the 2K webcam included within the Spin 714. In a world the place we’re all doing extra video calls than we’d like, having a digicam that doesn’t scale back you to a blurry spot is certainly appreciated.

As for the remainder of the {hardware}, the Thirteenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor must be greater than sufficient energy for many duties, and the keyboard and trackpad on the 2022 mannequin are strong, if not one of the best. The identical may be stated for battery life: I obtained about seven hours utilizing the Spin 714 in my regular every day routine. That’s not distinctive, however it’s consistent with what I’ve seen on different i5-powered Chromebooks. Rounding out the {hardware} is 8GB of RAM and a beneficiant 256GB of space for storing. The most recent Spin 714 mannequin isn’t listed on Google’s help web page, however final 12 months’s mannequin is supported till June 2030; the newest mannequin’s window ought to run via June of 2031.

One other bonus is that its {hardware} meets Google’s beneficial specs to run Steam, so avid gamers may wish to give it a shot and see what video games they’ll set up.

Simply because the identify suggests, the Spin 714 has a 360-degree hinge which helps you to use the laptop computer in pill mode. I’m not a fan of this convertible design – I don’t know who needs to make use of a 3-plus pound pill, however Acer did embrace a built-in stylus for handwriting notes or drawing in apps just like the built-in Chrome Canvas.

The most recent Spin 714 prices $700 – not an unreasonable value for a pc with these specs and constructed high quality. For most individuals, the Lenovo mannequin can be sufficient. However, when you’re a severe multitasker, need a greater show and keyboard, or simply need a pc that’ll final so long as potential, the Acer Spin 714 is straightforward to advocate. We’ll replace this information as soon as we obtain our check mannequin from Acer so we can provide up to date impressions, significantly on battery life.

A very good large-screen choice: Acer Chromebook 516 GE

A very good large-screen choice
Acer Chromebook 516 GE

Photograph by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Acer Chromebook 516 GE

Acer launched the Chromebook 516 GE within the fall of 2022 as a part of Google’s push to make units appropriate for cloud gaming, however you don’t should be a gamer to understand this laptop computer.

Acer launched the Chromebook 516 GE within the fall of 2022 as a part of Google’s push to make units appropriate for cloud gaming, however you don’t should be a gamer to appreciate this laptop. For $650, you’ll get a 16-inch show with a 2,560 x 1,600 decision and a 120hz refresh fee. NVIDIA’s GeForce now gaming service helps as much as 4K visuals at 120hz on its Final tier so that you’ll get to see these advantages. This laptop computer additionally helps Steam, but one more reason avid gamers is likely to be serious about making an attempt it. However even non-gamers ought to benefit from the 516 GE’s crisp and clear display and refined {hardware}.

It additionally consists of Intel’s Twelfth-gen Core i7 1240P processor, 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Given the laptop computer’s dimension, it’s good that Acer didn’t skimp on ports right here: there’s an HDMI port, USB-C, USB-A, ethernet and a headphone jack. The keyboard has gamer-friendly LED lights which you could customise, however extra importantly it’s only a strong and cozy keyboard, whether or not you’re enjoying video games or simply typing up reviews. The trackpad is massive and responsive, as nicely.

The 516 GE solely weighs 3.75 kilos too – fairly mild for a laptop computer with a 16-inch display. Between the highly effective {hardware}, strong design, good trackpad and keyboard and nice display, anybody who needs an even bigger Chromebook will doubtless be pleased with this mannequin. As for help, Google says the 516 GE will proceed receiving updates till June of 2030.

Honorable point out: HP Dragonfly Professional Chromebook

Honorable point out
HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

Photograph by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

When you simply need the nicest Chromebook you should buy, with top-shelf specs and design, the HP Dragonfly Professional Chromebook may meet your wants.

When you simply need the nicest Chromebook you should buy, with top-shelf specs and design, the $999 HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook may meet your wants. For starters, the display is an absolute stand out. It’s a 14-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 touchscreen that maxes out at a particularly vivid 1,200 nits.

The keyboard and trackpad, in the meantime, are in all probability one of the best I’ve examined these days. The keyboard has a particularly satisfying clickiness whenever you’re typing. It’s no mechanical keyboard, however it felt reassuringly strong and there was no actual adjustment interval wanted once I began banging away on this laptop computer. The massive trackpad is great, with nice responsiveness and a strong click on. There’s additionally a fingerprint reader so you possibly can unlock the laptop computer and not using a password, one other premium function that I want I noticed in additional Chromebooks.

From a specs perspective, the Dragonfly Professional features a Twelfth-gen Core i5 i5-1235U processor – not absolutely the newest, however loads of energy nonetheless. That’s matched with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and I undoubtedly observed the additional RAM makes a distinction in responsiveness throughout the board.

Different niceties embrace an 8-megapixel webcam, a shooter that exceeds what you’ll discover on most laptops, whether or not they’re on this value vary or not. HP did this with out resorting to an enormous bezel, both – the highest bezel is thicker than those on the aspect, however not a lot that the laptop computer feels unbalanced. And the Bang & Olufsen quad speaker setup is shockingly good. With quantity set to about 33 p.c, the laptop computer was lots loud to fill my workplace, and it was additionally pretty nicely balanced, with distinguished bass, shocking stereo separation and clear highs. These are undoubtedly a few of the greatest laptop computer audio system I’ve ever heard.

That stated, there’s a main caveat right here. The HP Dragonfly Professional’s battery life is poor — underneath 5 hours poor, which may be very disappointing for a $999 laptop computer. It’s dangerous sufficient that I went forwards and backwards on recommending this machine. Individuals who don’t journey so much and do most of their work at their desk won’t care, however in that case, why trouble getting one of many thinnest and lightest Chromebooks on the market?

The opposite draw back is that you simply don’t get quite a lot of ports right here – simply 4 USB-C, and no headphone jack. That’s not a complete dealbreaker, as I don’t typically discover myself plugging a lot into my Chromebooks, however once more it’s undoubtedly value realizing.

This laptop computer is in any other case a complete delight to make use of, as this can be very nicely constructed, highly effective and options an ideal keyboard and display. I undoubtedly wouldn’t advocate it to everybody with these battery points, however if you would like one of many nicest Chromebooks you should buy and don’t spend a ton of time away from a charger (and have loads of disposable revenue), you’ll in all probability benefit from the Dragonfly Professional.

Trending Merchandise

Add to compare
Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Add to compare
CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black

CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black

Add to compare
Corsair iCUE 4000X RGB Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – White (CC-9011205-WW)

Corsair iCUE 4000X RGB Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – White (CC-9011205-WW)


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart