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Monday, May 27, 2024

Best Chromebook 2023

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Chromebooks have made leaps and bounds from being the affordable cookie-cutter laptops that completely rely on the Internet to function. These days Chrome OS devices can cost anywhere from $100 to upwards of $1,000. Even their form factors can vary from tablets to clamshell laptops and convertible notebooks. Meanwhile, processing power and storage have become much more important as almost all Chromebooks are capable of running Android apps. That means these machines have managed to become little powerhouses, though their graphics and internals still aren't ready to hang with Mac OS or Windows just yet. You'll still be able to get tons of work done on these devices, making them a perfect companion for students and in business.

There’s a whole lot to consider when buying a Chromebook, but we’ve managed to keep our finger on the pulse of this developing Chrome OS world. Whether you’re looking for a good, all-around Chromebook, something that’ll survive the rigors of the classroom, or a high-end device that’ll make Ultrabook owners jealous, we've got a Chromebook for you in our picks below.

TL;DR – These are the Best Chromebooks:

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i

Best Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5iLenovo Chromebook Flex 5i

The Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook is the affordable, high-quality Chromebook you’ve been waiting for. It combines all the features you’d expect from a Chrome OS device for a mid-range price under $450. With an Intel Core i3 processor, this is a very capable machine perfect for school or work. This simple-to-use machine offers a sharp and vibrant 1080p IPS panel plus the bright 250 nit display pairs well with the all-day battery life. You'll find a solid user experience whether you're home or elsewhere. And, you can rest assured that all of your precious data remains safe with its ability to detect malicious changes.

Better yet, the Lenovo Flex 5i is flexible – hence the name – and you’ll be able to flip the screen over the bottom of the laptop for a tablet-like experience. This makes it perfect to use with your Chrome apps and any Android apps from the Google Play Store. There's even great connectivity on board including two USB-C 3.2 ports for fast data transfers and battery charging. Plus, it uses Bluetooth 5.1 and WiFi 6 for a seamless wireless connection. A whole lot is packed into this Chrome OS device that should make you like it as much as we do.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3

Best Budget Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3

For under $300, you can snag the compact Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 with its sturdy chassis, responsive 10-point touch screen, and solid keyboard perfect for use when you’re on the move. This isn’t the beefiest machine, though the MediaTek MT8173C ARM processor should play nicely with Android apps, especially when you compare it to other models. Combining that processor with 4GB of RAM, everything should boot up quickly and keep up to speed when browsing websites and preparing Google Documents. Using programs that do work in the Cloud also takes the burden off the more modest internals of the device. For the price, it’s nice to see 64GB of storage instead of the 32GB some comparable models come with.

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is packing a few surprises for such a small and affordable model. As the Flex in the name suggests, this Chromebook can fold, letting you use it as a traditional laptop, folded open like a tablet, or half-folded in tent mode as a display. It’s also packing loads of ports, including a USB-C, USB-3.1, HDMI, and SD card slot. Unfortunately, the 11.6-inch IPS display’s resolution is nothing to rave about, but there is still easy visibility from different angles. And, the all-day battery life along with a lightweight design make it a great on-the-go companion.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go

Best Chromebook for Students

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook GoSamsung Galaxy Chromebook Go

As a student, you need a machine that can go the distance, hold up against the occasional accident, and avoid weighing you down. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go does all of that for well under $300. This Chromebook offers a thin and light design that measures just 0.63 inches thick and weighs just over three pounds. Plus, Samsung has built it sturdy, with the toughness to withstand the occasional mishap and even small spills. So, you'll have no worries tossing it in your bag between classes or dropping some of your meal on it during a lunchtime study sesh. And, with a 12-hour battery life, you can keep going all of the school day and finish up assignments at night on one charge.

The Galaxy Chromebook Go has modest specs overall, with an Intel Celeron N4500 processor and 4GB of LPDDR4x memory as well as a 14-inch HD display. But, Samsung has given this Chromebook a boon with updated connectivity. It supports Wi-Fi 6, so if you use cloud services for more demanding tasks than the Galaxy Chromebook Go can handle on-device, that Wi-Fi 6 connection will seriously improve the experience.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5

Best Chrome Tablet

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5

While most Chromebooks offer screens that flip over to turn themselves into makeshift tablets, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is one of the few true Chrome OS tablets on the market. It has an ultra-thin, lightweight chassis with an integrated kickstand and detachable fabric folio keyboard, making it perfect for you to use anywhere. Plus, the 15-hour battery life means it should last as long as you need it to.

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 comes loaded with a brilliant OLED 1080p display which emits 70% less blue light, preventing eye strain, making it perfect for long work sessions or marathoning your favorite shows. Its ‎2.55 GHz Snapdragon processor keeps this tablet running at a peppy pace and is more than capable of multitasking as you run all your favorite Android apps. Though a bit pricer than other tablets on the market, this Chrome OS device will impress you with all it has to offer.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Best High-End Chromebook

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

While you can find a lot of Chromebooks offering just a pittance of memory to feed a meager CPU all alongside a basic display in a ho-hum chassis, Samsung takes things to the max. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is something special right from the metal design and optional Fiesta Red finish to the unique display.

Samsung offers a modest model with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage or a beefier version with an Intel Core i3, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. In either case, you'll be getting a machine that can slowly sip at its 45.5Wh battery for up to 13 hours so you can get a ton done away from the power outlet. When you're done working, you'll get a special treat for enjoying media with the Galaxy Chromebook 2's 13.3-inch 1080p display by way of its QLED technology, which lets the display offer a wide color gamut and excellent brightness. You can draw on that display as well using any USI pen.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Best 4K Chromebook

Samsung Galaxy ChromebookSamsung Galaxy Chromebook

If you’re looking to buy a Chromebook for streaming 4K media and making Ultrabook owners envious, you’ll want to check out the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. To date, this machine is the only Chromebook with a 4K display. What’s more, it uses an AMOLED screen for true blacks while also covering 100% of the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color spectrums. This cinema-quality screen even incorporates Ambient EQ technology to adapt the color temperature and brightness of the display just like Samsung’s smartphones.

Aside from incorporating a stunning display, this Chromebook runs on an Intel Core i5-10210U processor and 8GB of memory. Storage space meanwhile starts with a 256GB SSD, so you’ll never have to worry about not having enough power or space to run your Android apps. The cherry on top of this premium 4K Chromebook is the included, stowable S-Pen for one of the best digital writing experiences you can have on Chrome OS.

Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

Best 2-in-1 Chromebook

Asus Chromebook Flip CX5Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

For a great laptop and tablet all in one convenient package, grab Asus Chromebook Flip CX5. This machine functions as a traditional laptop or flip it around to use as a tablet thanks to the durable 360-degree hinge. You’ll also love its 14-inch nano-edge Full HD display that supports not only touch inputs but a USI stylus, making it especially handy for creatives.

The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 offers powerful internals that won't slow you down, including a recent Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM. The 128GB of internal storage is hefty for a Chromebook, so you won't have to juggle files to find space for your work. And all this capability is packed into a thin, light aluminum frame that weighs just over three pounds for optimal portability.

HP Chromebook x2 11

Best Detachable Chromebook

HP Chromebook x2 11 HP Chromebook x2 11

The best of both worlds comes in the form of the HP Chromebook x2 11. This compact, lightweight device functions as a laptop, or the display will detach from the keyboard to become the perfect tablet. The 11-inch “edge to edge” touch screen display offers its own separate kickstand to enjoy content or get work done sans keyboard, and a USI stylus is included. You’ll find it has a great viewing experience too, with a 1440p screen resolution, a 3:2 aspect ratio for more vertical screen space, 400 nit peak brightness for easy viewing outside, and even solid speakers designed by Bang & Olufsen.

Now, similar to most Chromebooks, the HP Chromebook x2 11 doesn’t come packing the most powerful internals. A modest Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c processor is onboard, but the unexpected 8GB RAM should help the device with multitasking and maybe even some light editing. Plus, if you forget to charge it up the night before, you can just plug in the Chromebook while getting ready in the morning, as it’ll charge to 50% in just 45 mins.

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Best Convertible Chromebook

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Chromebooks are generally known for their simplicity and basic functionality, but with the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, you get something a bit more versatile This 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook gives you the typical laptop experience with a complete keyboard and trackpad paired with a 12.2-inch display. On this model, Samsung offers a Full HD screen, so you'll get exceptionally sharp visuals at this display size. It also can last over 13 hours on a full charge, so it's ready for your longest days of work.

When you want to do even more, you can flip the Chromebook Plus V2 over into tent or tablet modes and use it with the touchscreen. Or, you can show off your artistic skills with Samsung's included stylus, which offers both fine pressure sensitivity as well as tilt recognition, so you get life-like control over your drafting. The stylus conveniently tucks away into the chassis of the Chromebook Plus V2 so you never lose it and never need to recharge it.

Samsung Chromebook 4+

Best 15-inch Chromebook

Samsung Chromebook 4+Samsung Chromebook 4+

Many Chromebooks aren’t the most powerful workhorses, but they can make for a handy entertainment device for streaming your favorite shows and movies, and they can do a solid job with word processing, all assuming they’ve got a big enough screen. The Samsung Chromebook 4 delivers just that. This convertible Chromebook offers a 15.6-inch Full HD display, giving you plenty of space and clarity for productivity and entertainment alike.

Inside, the Samsung Chromebook 4 packs a dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 processor, enough for light work, and 4GB of LPDDR4 memory. These lower-power parts help the Chromebook muster up to 8 hours of battery life. Though the unit only comes with 32GB of built-in storage, a microSD card slot and high-speed USB ports offer a few ways to expand storage as needed. Samsung has packed this all into a compact design with a stylish aluminum lid. It also manages to be fairly light at under four pounds.

Acer Chromebook 516 GE

Best Gaming Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 516 GEAcer Chromebook 516 GE

If you’re searching for a budget-friendly gaming laptop, Chromebooks have become highly capable workhorses that especially shine in the cloud gaming arena. The best example of that endurance and stellar performance is the Acer Chromebook 516 GE with its 12th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU that totes 12 cores and 16 threads alongside 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. Unfortunately, you get an integrated graphics card to help keep the price lower, but its other internals allow this laptop to cruise through your favorite titles.

All that good under the hood pairs well with the Acer Chromebook 516 GE’s 16-inch WQXGA display featuring a 120Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB coverage for smooth and vibrant graphics. Though, it isn’t a touchscreen. However, unlike most Chromebooks, you get multi-zone RGB lighting and anti-ghosting on the keyboard, which gamers will appreciate.


Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

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