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Chrome OS is more than "just a browser" these days. This cloud-focused operative system is now running on everything from tablets and laptops to All-in-One Chromebases and desktops. As basically the only mainstream alternatives to inconsistent Windows laptops and ungodly expensive MacBooks, Chromebooks have turned into the "it just works" laptops for millions of consumers as well as tens of millions of students, educators, and business users.

Chromebooks may have started as budget-minded netbooks, but plenty of powerful and premium options now exist. So whether you need a powerhouse to work on, an affordable kid-proof laptop, or even a Chrome OS tablet as a longer-lasting alternative to the best Android tablets, we'll help you find the best one for your needs.

Our favorite Chromebooks in 2023

Source: Lenovo
Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13")
Best overall

Perfect for work and play, for adults and students alike

$360 $430 Save $70

One of the most popular and beloved Chromebooks around, the Lenovo Flex 5i defies its low price and understated design to be a wonderful workhorse. After working hard, you can kick back with up-firing speakers and tap through your favorite web or Android games on the 13.3-inch touchscreen.

  • Solid jack-of-all-trades laptop
  • Frequent deals on top of great list price
  • 8GB RAM models much easier to find this generation
  • Pentium models are underpowered
  • Hinge could be a little stronger

Lenovo's Duet 5 might be stealing all the limelight with that 400-nit touchscreen and the detachable keyboard. That said, when you need to get down to business, that's when the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook shines with its power and practicality. The 2-in-1 convertible may not be as sexy as a detachable, but it's worlds better to use on the couch, the bed, the bus, and anywhere you aren't sitting immediately in front of a table or desk. Better stability and backlit keys improve productivity, further spurred by its 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM.

We warmly welcome the memory upgrade, as 8GB RAM models of its predecessor were notoriously hard to find. The extra memory comes in handy when you're trying to multitask during video calls or juggling multiple monitors. Even with the extra performance of the 11th Gen i3, battery life should last a full workday and then some. While an i5 model would have been nice to see — and would've been eligible for the Steam on Chrome OS Alpha test — the i3 is more than enough for most workloads. (While we're on the subject, please ignore any underpowered Pentium models you might come across; the i3 models sell for about the same price.)

Source: Acer
Acer Chromebook Spin 714
Premium pick

Amazing screen and performance

The successor to our former favorite Chromebook, the Acer Spin 713, the Spin 714 offers a larger screen and a garaged stylus included far more frequently for your sketching, document signing, and precision spreadsheet navigation. 12th Gen Intel processors and plenty of SSD storage ensure that things run smoothly, even if the fan can sometimes get a little bit loud.

  • Wonderful, large screen perfect for work
  • Excellent durability
  • Expensive (but frequently on sale)
  • Speakers are subpar

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 improves on the previous model as the year's best 2-in-1 convertible in 2023. It comes packed with Intel's newest 12th generation Core i5 processor and 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, paired with 256GB of high-speed storage, adding up to a machine that can tackle almost any task. The screen has jumped to 14 inches, now at a 16:10 ratio, which is great for watching content and split-screening multiple windows. The webcam and microphones are better than most Chromebooks, and Wi-Fi 6E means that no matter how new the network, you'll get the top speeds for your conference calls or that championship live stream you've been waiting months to see.

USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports allow the Spin 714 to work with just about any docking station, dongle, and accessory. The built-in USI stylus allows you to navigate and interact with complex Excel forms or Android games. (I confess I play far too much Stardew Valley and Merge Dragons on my Chromebook.) It can also go a full workday and then some before you'll need to find a charger. While $700 is expensive for a Chromebook, we've often seen the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 $100-$150 off quite frequently at Best Buy, and Amazon's pricing dips even more regularly.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311
Best Value

Best for children and best for international travel

$169 $249 Save $80

Acer proves great things can come in small packages with the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. While it may not be powerful, it can last a solid sawn-to-dusk day and still have battery left at the end. It's just right for casual computing or a backup laptop for anyone in the family.

  • Widely available and almost always on sale
  • Unbeatable battery life
  • Ultra-portable
  • Older, dimmer, lower-resolution touchscreen
  • Limited storage

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 isn't the most cutting-edge device, but for kids you might not trust to take care of their things — or if you're just clumsy like me — it does the job just fine. Yes, the 11.6-inch touchscreen display at 1366x768 pixels is old, and its bezels are chunky. However, those beefy bezels come in handy while using the 311 as a tablet, which you can feasibly do with this Chromebook because it's small enough and light enough not to kill your hand after 15 minutes of holding it. And I've gotten over 15 hours of battery life on a single charge with it, so its battery claims are no joke.

Five Acer Chromebook Spin 311 models are running around out there — Acer, I love you, but at least use generations in the name — and we recommend the CP311-3H for those looking for the best price possible while still getting the longest support life. If you need extra kid-proofing, you'll want the education edition, the R722T, which usually costs $100-$250 more and isn't quite the value the 3H is. Both use the efficiency-focused Mediatek MT8183, 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, as well as featuring the same ports.

Source: HP
HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook
Business-casual Chromebook

High-end price, high-end specs

HP's Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is a premium laptop with a stunning display, quality speakers and camera, and strong performance hardware. It costs a lot, but it's the right choice for professionals and power users.

  • Gorgeous 1200-nit display
  • Loud Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • Premium design with recycled material
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • Fans can get loud
  • Battery life could be better
  • Screen viewing angles could be wider

Much like the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook released last year, the latest HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is built for enthusiasts and perfectionists. This time around it's gone for more of a business-casual notebook look than a full formal convertible design. It also has a locked-in configuration with 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U CPU, 16GB of LPDDR5-5200MHz RAM, 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, and a 14-inch touch display with 2560x1600 resolution, 1,200 nits brightness, and 100% sRGB color. Although more affordable than the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, it's still a high-end laptop with a lot to love. Did we mention it has an RGB keyboard?

Our Dragonfly Pro Chromebook review noted that "The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook was made with a lot of care (the engineers told me how much) and is definitely an enjoyable computer." You can easily tackle productivity work thanks to the strong performance, you can deal with color-sensitive work thanks to the gorgeous touch display, and the speakers and camera are top-notch. It will even handle some light gaming and makes the cut as one of the best gaming Chromebooks. Expect about six to seven hours of battery life when going about regular work.

The Dragonfly Pro Chromebook has so far seen a limited release on the official HP website, and you might find that models are out of stock. Continue checking back, as this laptop is still fresh and will be receiving restocks.

Source: Acer
Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (3H)
Best Ryzen Chromebook

Finally, an Acer Chromebook with great audio

The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (3H) might be made for business, but it's a great choice for normal users looking for performance without spending too much. The AMD Ryzen 3 5125C handles medium to heavy workloads pretty easily, and with loud, up-firing speakers, it's great for binging YouTube after that work is done.

  • Great performance for the price
  • Strong up-facing speakers
  • Screen is a bit dim
  • Battery life is just average

Intel Core processors might have a reputation, but they also carry a prestige you end up paying for. For budget-focused buyers, Ryzen-powered Chromebooks can give you the same dependable performance for much less. The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 gives us impressive performance while regularly dipping under $500 with frequent deals. While the 14-inch touchscreen "only" being 1080p may seem like it's not a benefit, it allows the Spin 514 to have a better gaming experience now that Ryzen processors are eligible for Steam on Chrome OS's beta program. (FHD screens don't have to deal with scaling issues that 2K Chromebooks like the Acer Spin 713 or HP Elite Dragonfly do.)

This laptop also fixes a flaw that plagues many other Acer Chromebooks, including our beloved Acer Chromebook Spin 714 listed above: it has speakers you can hear properly. Up-firing speakers are almost standard from any laptop over 11.6 inches from HP and Lenovo, but Acer's stubbornly kept to down-firing speakers that are easy to block and don't get loud enough — until now. And that new configuration makes all the difference in the world, whether you're listing to a webinar lecture or just binging the latest season of your guilty pleasure.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3
Source: Lenovo
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3
Best on a budget

The classic compact 2-in-1 Chromebook

Durable, dependable, and just powerful enough for casual browsing and homework, the Lenovo Flex 3 is the go-to Chromebook for anyone needing an expendable yet reliable laptop. The Flex 3 may take many colors and models, but there's almost always one on sale, and it'll outlast any Windows laptop at this price.

  • Frequent sales make it extra-affordable
  • Built to take a beating
  • Idea for casual computing and portability
  • Limited processing power
  • Screen is lower resolution and a bit dim

Lenovo has kept its crowd among the cheap compact Chromebook market for several years, first with the IdeaPad C330 and over half a dozen generations of the Flex 3 and Flex 3i Chromebook. In fact, we're eagerly awaiting the upcoming Flex 3i Chromebook Gen 8 — which will finally bring an upgrade to a 12-inch 1080p screen! — but as that's still not here, the Flex 3 is the budget Chromebook to beat so long as you can find the right one on sale. (The right ones have the Mediatek MT8183 or Intel Celeron N4020 as their processor.)

It's a long-lasting Chromebook in every sense of the word. It can take a few small falls and bangs in stride. It'll get updates for six more years, and the battery usually lasts well over 9 hours on a single charge before it needs to find a USB-C power delivery charger. It's usually on sale in the range of $215-$280, but make sure the version you grab has the MT8183 and a touchscreen. Being popular also means you'll find hundreds of Lenovo Flex 3 listings on Amazon, so check who's selling and shipping the device and the specs to ensure that you're getting a real laptop — and the right Flex 3.

Source: Framework
Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition
Most novel Chromebook

The dream of every DIY fan: A completely upgradeable laptop

From the motherboard to the memory and beyond, Frameworks's Laptop Chromebook Edition brings its repairable and upgradeable vision to Chrome OS after its initial Windows/Mac/Linux options. While this assuredly won't be everyone's favorite, it definitely fills a very specific niche.

  • Extremely upgradeable, from the entire internals to the screen and keyboard
  • Choice of ports, you can hot-swap to the ports you need at any time
  • Underpowered
  • Design sometimes doesn't measure up to the price

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is a unique device that offers modular ports and full upgradability down to the motherboard and CPU. Not only does this versatility allow for a heavy dose of future-proofing, but you can pick and choose the four ports on the device, whether you require an SD slot, multiple USB-C ports, or wish to use an ethernet port on the go. And you're not locked in after making these choices since you can swap ports with the click of a button any time you wish.

Of course, being able to upgrade your laptop is incredibly awesome, but this comes at a cost since not all components are easily purchased. Sure, you can slap in more RAM or upgrade the M.2 drive for more storage anytime you wish, and you can buy this hardware from many different stores, but the mainboard in the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is another story. If you want to replace this, you are dependent on Framework to supply one, so the choices are limited, they are expensive, and if Framework ever goes under, well, there goes your ability to upgrade your motherboard and CPU.

Still, what Framework has accomplished with the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition and the rest of its fully upgradeable laptops is pretty remarkable. Laptops have rarely been known for their upgrade paths. Still, in this case, the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is easily an incredibly interesting laptop, making it a solid contender as one of the best Chromebooks to be released this year.

Source: Lenovo
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5
Best Chromebook Tablet

Big enough to actually work on

One of the earliest arrivals on the Chrome OS tablet scene, the Lenovo Duet 5 fixed the problems of its predecessor. The keyboard magnetizes shut properly, the quad speakers sound great, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c helps it keep out full, long days without seeking out the charger.

  • Nice, bright touchscreen
  • Battery for days
  • Best Chrome OS tablet keyboard to date
  • Qualcomm 7c feel undertimes
  • 15 inches is huge for a tablet

The original Lenovo Chromebook Duet remains one of the best tablets under $300 even almost three years later. It can run Android apps and has the full desktop version of Chrome, and will be getting eight years of system updates. But it wasn't all that powerful; the speakers were quiet, and the keyboard was uber-cramped, given the ultra-compact 10.1-inch size. Lenovo fixed every one of those complaints with the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook.

Sporting a 13.3-inch, 16:9 touchscreen with 1080p resolution and 400 nits of brightness, and four much louder speakers, the Duet 5 is an even better tablet for content consumption than its predecessor. The full-size keyboard now magnetizes to the screen when closed instead of flopping around. Plus, we have the option for 8GB of RAM instead of being stuck with 4GB, a real boon for multitasking.

While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compute platform may not be the most powerful processor, it knows how to sip battery like 50-year-old whiskey. I've gone two light workdays on the Duet 5 before, and on weekends of e-reading and solitaire, I've managed to eke it out to 2.5 days. You can do light-to-medium work on the Duet 5, but know upfront that the 7c Gen 2 will not match an Intel Core i3 — and it isn't trying to. This is more of a leisure/tertiary device that can double for a laptop in a pinch.

Asus Chromebook CX1
15-inch FHD display

Affordable 15-inch Chromebook

The ASUS Chromebook CX1 comes with a 15.6-inch FHD display, full keyboard with number pad, and a durable notebook design. It's affordable and should be great as long as you aren't trying to maximize performance.

  • 1080p resolution for the 15.6-inch screen
  • MIL-STD 810H durability certification
  • Keyboard with number pad
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage isn't ideal for power users
  • Not as versatile as a convertible

A lot of the best Chromebooks climb in price beyond the affordable range. If we're keeping it within the $300 range — which is where most people will be shopping — the ASUS Chromebook CX1 is a great option. It has a 15.6-inch display with a 1920x1080 (FHD) resolution for a crisp look, a number pad for easier productivity, and MIL-STD 810H durability certification.

It's powered by an Intel Celeron N4500 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage. This puts it in the "casual use" arena, though ASUS does list more memory and storage; it's just a matter of finding them for sale. Nevertheless, this should make a great Chromebook for those who want to spend less and still get a sizable screen made for easier productivity work. In addition, the laptop includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless connectivity, as well as dual USB-C, dual USB-A, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Buying the right Chromebook for you

The above selection of Chromebooks is designed to suit most users, and you should find something you love. When buying a new Chromebook, there are three essential factors to keep in mind to help you land the best option possible:

  • 4GB RAM is only acceptable for casual (not used primarily for work) Chromebooks under $300; 8GB is good, but 16GB is better (if you can find it). This is especially vital if you take a lot of video calls or hoard Chrome tabs.
  • Non-touch displays don't save you much money, and touchscreens are worth every penny if you're buying for a kid or regularly using Android apps.
  • Chromebooks have (Auto Update) Expiration dates, after which Google no longer guarantees updates. We list the AUE date for every model in our guide, but should you be drawn to another, please check the AUE date, as that's the best litmus test of whether a Chromebook is new, kind of new, or old.

As a bonus tip, know that a great deal on a Chromebook with a keyboard or touchpad that doesn't suit your style doesn't mean you're stuck using the built-in hardware. Our collections of the best keyboards for Chromebooks and best mice for Chromebooks will get you the best hardware to maximize productivity and, ultimately, help you enjoy the laptop to its fullest each time you sit down. When you need more space to spread things out, you can hook most mid-range and Premium Chromebooks up to an external screen.

The best Chromebooks balance price and power

While most Chromebooks bought today are still budget-minded models like the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 and Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook, more powerful Chromebooks are also becoming more competitively priced. Take the Acer Chromebook Spin 714: its $730 list price is half that of the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook while sporting the same i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, but Best Buy regularly discounts the 714 down to $600 or even down to $530. This allows you to grab a premium Chromebook at a mid-range price.

Things get even more cutthroat in the $300-$500 range: the Lenovo Flex 5i is normally $430, but most of the time, it hovers between $300 and $350, while the Acer Spin 514 and Lenovo Duet 5 bob up and down with their own discounts too, even though both serve different niches. Oh, and to anyone daunted by a 13.3-inch tablet, look at the Duet 5 as a laptop with a removable keyboard rather than a standalone tablet. It comes with a magnetic kickstand for a reason, and I've wasted many a weekend on the Duet playing casual Android games and flicking through webcomics on it.

All of these Chromebooks will see Chrome OS updates until Just 2029 or June 2030, so if you treat them well, they'll last you to the end of the decade, especially the more future-proofed HP Elite Dragonfly and Acer Spin 714. Both models are also some of your best bets for gaming now that Steam on Chrome OS has finally moved from Alpha to Beta and expanded to more models.

If you're on a budget, the Lenovo Flex 3 and the HP Chromebook 11a (na0 series) have list prices of $300-$380 from 2020, but why pay 2022 prices for 2020 Chromebooks? There's almost always a sale on one or both of these models. The Lenovo Flex 3 especially gets deals at least twice a month, like clockwork. Just be careful; the Flex 3 and HP 11a have over a dozen variants with basically the same name and constantly shifting prices, so double-check the processor, the touchscreen, and the AUE date to ensure you get the best value and not an old dud.

Buying a Chromebook for kids and students

For kids you trust to take care of their laptop or those in middle/high school, seriously consider the Lenovo Flex 5i over the 11-inch models. It's usually less than $100 more, has a significantly better screen and processor, and is a solid Chromebook they can feasibly use throughout middle and high school before it stops getting system updates. (Again, assuming they don't break the screen or the battery before that.)

One final buyer tip: leave the in-box 45W charger at home and buy a more compact Chromebook charger. 45W Power Delivery chargers are used for everything from Chromebooks to power banks, phones, and even wireless earbuds. You can find 65W two-port chargers that will charge your Chromebook and your phone simultaneously. So treat that ugly two-piece adapter as an in-case-of-emergency charger while using something more efficient and adaptable. And there are even more amazing Chromebook accessories to complement your new laptop.

Source: Lenovo
Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13")
Editor's Choice

Perfect for work and play, for adults and students alike

$360 $430 Save $70

One of the most popular and beloved Chromebooks around, the Lenovo Flex 5i defies its low price and understated design to be a wonderful workhorse. After working hard, you can kick back with up-firing speakers and tap through your favorite web or Android games on the 13.3-inch touchscreen.