If there's one area where Chromebooks are undeniably dominating, it's in education. Chromebooks made up 60% of mobile device purchases by K-12 schools in the US last year, and since 2014, they have led classroom notebook and tablet shipments. As it turns out, schools love cheap computers that back up everything to the cloud and can be easily reset.

Chromebooks aren't just great for schools; they're great for students as well. The laptops are faster than comparable Windows PCs, and the combination of Chrome and Android apps should handle just about every classroom assignment. The browser-centric nature of Chrome OS also encourages students to save their work in Google Docs or Office Online, so they're less likely to lose important files.

If you want to buy a Chromebook for school, this guide should help you find the best model for your needs and budget.

Best for portability: ASUS Chromebook Flip 101PA

If portability is the highest priority, and you're not going to be doing anything more complicated than typing up a book report while streaming music, the 10.1-inch Chromebook Flip 101PA is a great option. Its Rockchip "OP1" RK3399 processor is decently fast, and there's enough memory (4GB) for most tasks. The 101PA is a 2-in-1 laptop, so you can flip around the screen and use it like a tablet.


Processor Rockchip "OP1" RK3399
Storage 16GB
Display 10.1" 1280x800 IPS
Battery 38Whr, advertised "up to 9 hours"
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB Type C 3.1 (Gen 1), 1x microSD card reader, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack
Dimensions 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.6"
Price $250-299 (depending on retailer)

As far as connectivity, you get two USB Type-C ports, a standard USB Type-A connector, a headphone/microphone jack, and a microSD card slot. The single USB Type-A port is definitely helpful in the classroom, where most equipment is still using the legacy connector. If you need to copy files from a flash drive or plug in a mouse, you won't have to use an adapter.

The main disadvantage to the 101PA is the screen. Not only is it rather small at 10.1 inches, it also has a resolution of only 1280x800. That means you don't get much screen space to work with. It's acceptable for single-window tasks, like typing a paper or editing a presentation, but split-screen productivity is difficult.

Still, if portability is your main concern, the 101PA is a well-built Chromebook that also makes for a great Android tablet. You can find our full review of it here.

Buy: Amazon, ASUS

Best for productivity: Acer Chromebook 15 (2017)

If you regularly do split-screen multi-tasking or need as much screen space as possible, a tiny 10-inch Chromebook isn't gonna cut it. The 2017 Acer Chromebook 15 is perhaps the best model when it comes to productivity, thanks to its large display and great battery life.


Processor Intel Pentium N4200
Storage 32GB
Display 15.6" 1920x1080 IPS LCD
Battery 3,220 mAh, advertised "up to 13 hours"
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 2 x USB Type-C, 2 x USB Type-A, 1x microSD, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack
Dimensions 14.9" x 10.1" x 0.7"
Price $320

In our full review, Jordan said, "While the display may have dull colors and awkward viewing angles, the larger screen size, good performance, and outstanding battery life help set the Chromebook 15 as a strong competitor in the mid-range territory."

Buy: Amazon, Best Buy

Best for durability: ASUS Chromebook Flip C213SA

All the Chromebooks on this list are built well, but if you need something stronger, the Asus Flip C213SA is probably the best option. It features a spill-resistant keyboard, a 360-degree display hinge, and a Mil STD durable construction. Asus primary sells these to schools, so they're designed to survive drops and spills from careless students.


Processor Intel Celeron N3350
Storage 32GB
Display 11.6" 1366x768 LED
Battery 46Whr, advertised "up to 12 hours"
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 2 x USB 3.0 Type-C, 2 x USB Type-A, 1x microSD, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack
Dimensions 7.8" x 12.1" x 0.8"
Price ~$300 (without stylus), ~$350 (with stylus)

The main downside to this Chromebook is the processor. The Intel Celeron N3350 is a rebranded Atom CPU, making this the least-powerful laptop on this list. It will still handle basic productivity, especially since Chrome OS is optimized for low-end hardware, but don't expect fantastic performance.

Because of the slower processor and slightly high price of ~$300, this is only the best Chromebook if you value durability above all else. It's not a bad product by any means, but the above-mentioned Asus C101PA has slightly better hardware at a lower price.

Buy: Amazon

Best for big budgets: Google Pixelbook

The Google Pixelbook is undeniably the best Chromebook you can buy right now. The build quality is excellent, it's lightning fast, the battery life is great, and the keyboard is extremely good. The major downside used to be the price, but the base model now costs $250 less than it did a year ago.


Processor Intel Core i5-7Y57 or Core i7-7Y75
RAM 8 or 16GB
Storage 128, 256, or 512GB
Display 12.3" 2400x1600 (235 ppi) LCD
Battery 41Whr, advertised "up to 10 hours"
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 2 x USB Type-C, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack
Dimensions 11.4" x 8.7" x 0.4"
Price $750+

There are three configurations available. The $750 base model has an Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. The $1,199 version has the same CPU and RAM, but with 256GB of storage. The most expensive model costs $1,649 and has a Core i7, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

The Pixelbook has all the bells and whistles that Chrome OS has to offer, including stylus support and Linux app compatibility. It may even be able to run Windows at some point, but that hasn't been confirmed.

It's worth pointing out that the Pixelbook has no standard USB ports, only USB Type-C. Much like with the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros, you'll need a dongle to use most existing accessories.

In summary, if you can afford it, the Pixelbook is an excellent laptop. A new model may be on the way, so if you can hold off on buying a high-end Chromebook until October, you might have more options.

Buy: Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy