The best Chromebooks have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Don’t let the name “Chromebook” fool you. These may have started out as budget, lightweight laptop alternatives, but they have since evolved into capable multitaskers that can compete with the best laptops in terms of performance and value.
What exactly is a Chromebook, and should you buy one for your computing needs? Essentially, a Chromebook is a device that runs on the more lightweight ChromeOS, as opposed to Windows 10 or macOS. And, it’s designed to handle less demanding, less processor-intensive tasks, which makes it ideal for most people, especially those who don’t require a full-fledged OS to take full advantage.
While most of the things you do on a Chromebook is via the Chrome browser, Chromebooks can now install apps – including Android apps – so you can use them (to an extent) without an internet connection. This capability makes them more versatile than ever.
As long as you can do it on Google Chrome or download an app for it from the Chrome Web Store, there’s no task that the best Chromebooks cannot handle – from browsing the web to editing images. Combine that with their affordable price tags and impressively long battery lives to last you a whole work day – plus, some movie watching – on a single charge, and you’ve got excellent devices that give many Windows laptops a good run for their money.
When it comes to performance, multitasking capabilities and features, the best Chromebooks can easily hold their own against many popular laptops out there. From some of the best 2-in-1 laptops to the more premium Google Chromebook models, one of the best Chromebooks might just be the perfect portable for you.
Check out our top picks for 2020, if you’re ready to jump on the Chromebook bandwagon. If you want more in-depth information about whether or not you should buy a Chromebook, check out our Chromebooks vs laptops article.
If you’re looking for a great back to school device, make sure you check out our best student Chromebooks guide as well. We’re also rounding up the latest cheap Chromebook deals if you’re feeling thrifty.
Google continues its tradition of making the best Chromebooks in the world. While it’s older Pixelbook used to occupy the top spot, it’s been replaced by Google’s latest Chromebook: the Pixelbook Go. This is a Chromebook that proves that these devices can be just as stylish and powerful as traditional laptops, and the Pixelbook Go brings a lot of the original Pixelbook’s premium features to a more affordable device.
One of it’s most impressive features is the fantastic battery life, which can outlast many traditional laptops with ease, and means you can go a full work or school day without needing to charge it. We also love the fact that you can close the lid, leave it for a few days, and when you pick it up again, it’s still got plenty of battery life left – something Windows 10 laptops never achieve.
Its brilliant keyboard is also worth pointing out. It feels fantastic to type on, and makes working on it incredibly comfortable. In fact, this has meant we’ve stopped using much more powerful (and expensive laptops) in favor of the Pixelbook Go – it really is that good.
Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go
Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you won’t have to decide with the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. True to its name, this Chromebook delivers two form factors in one, while utilizing the versatility of the Chrome OS and setting you back much less than many of the top Windows tablets out there.
Of course, like all the best Chromebooks, its battery packs an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours – so you could pull an all-nighter, work through the day and mid-afternoon, and you’ll still pass out before it runs out of juice.
For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally – the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isn’t as reliable, and the charger and headphones share one port. However, if budget is your top priority, those are definitely not deal-breakers.
Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
The best Chromebooks balance a bargain price and efficient use of Chrome OS – and the HP Chromebook 14 is the perfect example of that.
While it’s similar to the Acer Chromebook 15 in a lot of ways, this 14-inch Chromebook is a tad more compact and looks slightly better. Complemented by a bright blue finish and a screen made to astound, the HP Chromebook 14 offers the best value of any Chromebook out there. Even if the battery life and performance are average – the HP Chromebook 14 is easily one of the best Chromebooks to date.
We were particularly impressed with how slim and light this Chromebook is, and it means the HP Chromebook 14 is a great device for anyone who wants a long-lasting laptop that they can comfortably carry around with them. If you want a laptop to work on while lounging on a sofa, this is a great choice as well.
Also, unlike some other Chromebooks, the HP Chromebook 14 comes with plenty of ports, including HDMI-out, USB 3.0 and a microSD card slot, making this a brilliantly versatile Chromebook for the price.
Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14
The Asus Chromebook Flip is a brilliant Chromebook that proves that these devices can be sleek, stylish and premium – and not just budget.
With an Intel Core processor and a full-HD display, the Asus Chromebook Flip is a powerful performer that will keep up with any day-to-day task you require it to perform, and offers plenty of value without compromising on performance – a tricky balancing act that many other Chromebook makers fail to achieve.
This is a Chromebook that’s been out for a while now, but it still impresses with brilliant performance and an excellent build quality that’s thin and light, and puts many more expensive laptops to shame. If you’re on a budget, this is one of the best Asus laptops to consider.
Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip
If you’re looking for a Chromebook that really gives you excellent value for money, then the Acer Chromebook 314 is the best Chromebook for you. It’s easy to use, reliable, and has a wonderful screen and battery life (up to 12 hours) combo – not to mention, a 14-inch crisp and bright display that gives you more screen real estate for your productivity needs.
It also has a keyboard that is satisfying and a joy to use, as well as a touchpad that interacts well with all your fingers’ movements and commands. More importantly, it strikes a great balance between design, usability, features, battery life and performance, while being comfortable with its own limitations.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 314
If versatility is a top priority, then look no further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. This all-rounder has all the makings of a great Chromebook, from its good battery life to its robust build and solid usability.
However, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 takes it further with its impressive levels of versatility, thanks to its abundance of ports considering its size, 2-in-1 design, portable size and excellent touchscreen display. It also boasts a keyboard and a touchpad that are not only reliable, but also satisfying to use. That’s a rare thing in a machine at this price point.
The small size of this Chromebook means it’s really easy to carry around with you, so if you’re looking for the best Chromebook for travelling with, this is it. However, that small size may mean some people find it uncomfortable to use for long periods of time, especially if you’re more used to larger laptops.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 311
Premium Chromebooks occupy their own space in the laptop market, bridging that gap between powerful traditional laptops and super lightweight Chromebooks.
And, the Asus Chromebook Flip C436F is perhaps one of the very few examples of these out there, with its combination of superb power, terrific feature set, premium build and a price tag that’s cheaper than its rivals.
During our time with the Asus Chromebook Flip C436F, we were really impressed with its gorgeous design, with a magnesium alloy body, stunning 1080p screen, and wonderful keyboard. This could easily rival premium laptops like the Dell XPS 13 or MacBook, and it even comes with features like Wi-Fi 6 support and a fingerprint sensor.
If you’re looking for a lightweight OS machine that touts more power than the rest of the clan, this is one of the best Chromebooks 2020 has to offer.
Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip C436F
The best Chromebooks make the most compelling student laptops, and that’s exactly where the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 excels. Whether you’re a student or a parent of one, this is a cheap, capable and durable laptop that will let you get some schoolwork done while commuting or traveling.
You might not get any hardcore gaming or proper video editing done on it. However, if you only need to write up some papers and stream videos or shows in your downtime, then the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 should be at the top of your list.
When we reviewed the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, we were impressed with how sturdy it was, despite its plastic body. It means that it’s light and affordable, but it’s going to withstand knocks and bumps as well. Add in a brilliant keyboard that’s comfortable to work on and a decent collection of ports, with two USB-C ports, two USB 3.0 ports and a microSD slot, and you’ve got a winner.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 11
With a solid build quality that rivals a MacBook, it’s easy to excuse the Acer Chromebook 15’s aversion to 2-in-1 form factors.
Still, given that the best Chromebooks rolling out this year are fully convertible, thanks to the wide adoption of Android app support, the Acer Chromebook 15 had to prove itself with more than great style.
Beyond its aptitude for laying flat using a 180-degree hinge, this beautiful 15-inch Chromebook also makes a great impression with its battery life, lasting nearly 17 hours in our battery test.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15
The best Chromebook for professionals to come out in 2020 might just be the Acer Chromebook 714 whose premium and seriously solid chassis is just the ticket for the business-oriented bunch. It’s not especially stylish, sadly, but that decent performance and strong battery life makes up for its lack of fashion sense. And, aren’t those all the more important if you’re meeting with clients, tackling paperwork and balancing the books all day? In fact, the quad-core processor is good enough for light content creation tasks, making it a boon for those starting out in the content creation industry as well.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 714