- 1 The best one to get: It's a toss-up
- 2 Mid-range
- 3 Budget picks
- 4 Beater: CTL NL7TW-360
- 5 Tablets/slates:
- 6 Box/desktop
- 7 Honorable mention
The best smart home devices you can buy right now (Summer 2019)
The best wireless headphones, USB-C earbuds, and smart speakers you can buy (Fall 2019)
The best Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chrome OS tablets you can buy right now (Fall 2019)
The best smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearables for Android (Winter 2019)
The best cheap true wireless earbuds you can buy (Winter 2019)
- View All 7 Articles In This Series
Chromebooks have come a long way from the original CR-48, and for many, a complete workflow is now possible in the confines of Chrome OS thanks to the addition of Android and Linux application support. But there are quite a lot out there to choose from, and some are better options than others. For your convenience, we've put together a small list of some of our favorite picks, categorized based on your primary consideration.
This list is obviously non-exhaustive. There are a lot of Chromebooks and Chromeboxes out there, and plenty of new hardware is always on the horizon, but these are our recommendations for the best Chrome OS-powered devices among a range of prices and utility categories.
The best one to get: It's a toss-up
The current state of high-end Chromebooks is all over the board. As I see it, there's no real "best" right now, just a choice among compromises.
If you want a traditional laptop form factor, the new Pixelbook Go is a good (if slightly expensive) choice, packing in some of the best specs you can get, a lightweight design, good build quality, and one of the best keyboards out there. Processors range from Core M3 up to an i7 (eventually), though there isn't too much reason to get the highest-end version if you don't plan on using it for development work or Linux apps.
At a starting price of $650, though, there are cheaper choices to be made, and this clamshell design means you won't be using it as a tablet, even if it still has a touchscreen.
Later on, there will even be a 4K, i7-powered version, though you can't get it right now and it'll cost a whopping $1,400.
The EOL date for the Pixelbook Go has yet to be published.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C434
If you want a bigger (but still low-res) display, and paying $570 for 4GB of RAM doesn't put you off, ASUS' latest Chromebook Flip C434 could be a decent choice. Its svelte aluminum body packs a 14" display into the shape of a 13" laptop, powered by an 8th-gen Core M3, i5, or i7 processor.
It isn't anywhere near as good of a value as the original C302, and that 4GB of RAM is very nearly a joke, but ASUS' build quality is always premium, the processor in it is faster than most of the Chromebooks on this list, and you get quite a lot more visual space to work in.
The ASUS Flip C434 will stop getting updates in June 2026.
It's over two years old at this point, but despite that age, Google's first-party Pixelbook is a good convertible-style Chromebook if money is no object — or you don't have specific needs like a bigger screen or more powerful CPU. On paper, devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 beat it in pure specifications, but it's still a very good Chromebook, with a great screen, solid design, and fantastic keyboard.
Given the age, we can't recommend this Chromebook at full price anymore, but if purchased on a discount, it's still one of the best convertible-style Chromebooks out there — though we wish it had a true successor.
The Pixelbook will stop getting updates in June 2024.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13
If you need even more CPU power, though, and you're willing to compromise with some other tradeoffs, a higher-wattage device like the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 might satisfy, with up to a quad-core 15W Intel i5 8250U available. That's a lot more power than most folks will need in a Chromebook
It's also got some chonk, which makes it a bit harder to use while folded as a tablet. Acer went with a few confusing design choices, like a stylus that's impossible to pull out while folded up, but it packs a great screen, lots of processing power, and decent battery life. You'll just end up paying a premium for it.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 will stop getting updates in June 2025.
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
Speaking of chonk, if you want the biggest screen possible, the 15.6" Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 is among the highest-end options out there. That huge, high-quality display (available in 4K resolution) is paired with a solid and sturdy build, good keyboard, great performance, and a decent touchpad.
There are some drawbacks, though. You'll be paying a bit of a premium for the privilege, with the 4K model starting around $760-800 (at the time of writing). It's also pretty heavy, fingerprint-prone, and bezel-icious. HP's x360 14 G1 is also worth considering if you have the cash.
The Lenovo Chromebook C630 will stop getting updates in June 2025.
Chromebooks generally aim for the lowest price possible, so until you get down under $350 or so, competition doesn't really heat up too much. That said, the selection has expanded recently at the mid-range price point, and we've got a couple of recommendations.
ASUS Chromebook C425
We haven't had a chance to do a review of the C425, but on paper it shares most of its specs with the more expensive C434, so it should offer a similar experience in a slightly different form-factor.
You get the same "NanoEdge" 14" 1080p display, an eighth-gen Core m3 CPU, and 64GB of storage, plus a bump to 8GB of RAM. What you give up is the convertible design — this is a clamshell-style laptop. It also swaps many of the aluminum parts for plastic to hit the cheaper price point.
While we can't guarantee the performance or experience will perfectly mimic the C434 it seems to be based on, the $380 price (at the time of writing) makes it a steal.
The ASUS Chromebook C425 will stop getting updates in June 2026.
Where to buy the ASUS Chromebook C425
Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
Samsung's Chromebook Plus V2 refresh comes with a few compromises compared to the original, stepping down the implicit V1's insane 2400x1600 display for a pedestrian 1080p panel, and cutting the mostly metal build quality for plastic. But, it's a reasonably powerful mid-range device, with a Y-series Celeron and all the features you'd expect in a modern Chromebook.
Sure, you don't get the Pixelbook's build quality, but you do get a similar transforming form factor, a built-in stylus, and Linux/Android application support, and all for a whole lot less. You can check out our review of the LTE-equipped version for more details, as it's mostly the same (though we don't recommend it, given the increased price).
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 will stop getting updates in June 2024.
If you want a bigger Chromebook, HP's new Chromebook 15 (which we haven't reviewed), might satisfy, though it's a bit expensive for what you get. The AMD-powered Chromebook 14 might be a better choice at a better price (though you still won't get the best performance out of either).
For many targeting this $450-300 price point, a used but higher-end Chromebook may be the way to go.
The Chromebook ecosystem thrives at cheap prices, but cheap doesn't always mean good. There are a lot of inexpensive Chromebooks out there, but only a few we'd recommend.
I've spent a little bit of time using the C330, and for the current ~$250-280 starting price, it's my favorite budget Chromebook. You get a 1.7 GHz MediaTek SoC (I know, but at least it isn't an N-series Celeron, right?), 11.6" 768p IPS display, 4GB RAM, 32-64GB eMMC storage, 2x2 MIMO AC Wi-Fi, and a 45Wh battery. The keyboard is on the shallow side, and in tablet configuration, it doesn't have the requisite magnets to hold itself shut, but build quality is surprisingly good.
It's a bit on the chunky side at 0.77" thick, and decently heavy for a 12" laptop at 2.64 lbs, but the $270 price tag smooths all those concerns. Sure, you can get a cheaper Chromebook, but this is the king of the low-end.
The Lenovo C330 will stop getting updates in June 2025.
Dell Chromebook 11 (3180)
If you want the very cheapest (but still decent) Chromebook you can get, Dell's 11.6" Chromebook could be your best bet. Though it's listed at $250 through Dell, it can be snagged on Amazon for just $150 at the time of writing.
If you find the right model, that gets you 4GB of RAM, an 11.6" "HD" display, dual-core Celeron N3060, and 16GB of storage. We haven't reviewed it, which makes us hesitant to issue a blanket recommendation, but with many Chromebooks at the very lowest prices still offering just 2GB of RAM or other unreasonable compromises, these specs at $150 are a tremendous value.
The Dell Chromebook 11 (3180) will stop getting updates in June 2022.
Beater: CTL NL7TW-360
Sometimes it doesn't matter how cheap something is. If you know you're the clumsy type that's prone to heap abuse on a laptop, durability is prized above all else — and beyond that, a good price comes in handy when it does eventually succumb to your terrors. If that's you, then you might want to consider a brand you may not have heard of: CTL.
We took a look at the poetically named CTL NL7TW-360, and while it's not winning any performance awards, it's a durable and inexpensive Chromebook that still manages to pack in plenty of modern features like USB Type-C ports, a 2-in-1 design, stylus support, and even a built-in retractable handle. The N-series Apollo Lake Intel CPU might grind your gears (and your workflow) a bit, but it does have a spill-resistant keyboard, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, and a durable design, all for just $329.
Sure, it's technically made for education, but we're all kids at heart, right?
The CTL NL7TW-360 will stop getting updates in June 2024.
I feel the need to preface this with a warning: I still believe that there are no objectively good Chrome OS-powered tablets. That said, it's a small list, and there is technically a "best" tablet.
I know. We're sorry.
Google's Pixel Slate has, objectively speaking, the best set of specs for any Chrome OS Tablet, with options covering the more recent m3 up to an i7 (all 8th-gen Y-series 5-7W CPUs), and one of the best screens you can get, crammed into an attractive and solidly built tablet. It even has good battery life and a unique fingerprint scanner.
At launch, the overall software experience was best described as "janky," though some claim most of those issues have since been resolved. Whether they have or not, it also sports some difficult ergonomics, the dubious benefit of a touch-first design on a previously mouse and keyboard-driven OS, and a very high price tag. Google has also canceled its plans for future Chrome OS-powered tablets, and though it claims it will continue to support the form factor, it's not a good sign for the future.
While it's ultimately up to you, the Pixel Slate delivers quite a lot of drawbacks and compromises to merely present a new form factor. Yes, it's the "best," but please don't buy one.
The Pixel Slate will stop getting updates in June 2026.
HP Chromebook x2
HP's Chromebook x2 delivers a similar tablet-first design, but with a stiff hinge on a detachable keyboard, rather than a kickstand. Its 12.3" 2400x1600 display is quite nice, and performance from the 7th gen Intel m3 is good — even if the 4GB of RAM it's paired with definitely isn't.
Although the keyboard has excellent tactile feedback and plenty of travel, it's not the most durable. I wouldn't recommend picking the device up from the front corners, as the deck has entirely too much flex. For $600 it's an okay alternative to the Pixel Slate, even if I personally believe its shortcomings still exceed the price tag, but occasional discounts bring it closer to $400, which makes it a pretty good choice for a tablet.
The HP Chromebook x2 will stop getting updates in June 2024.
Should you want to push cheaper, the education-targeted Acer Chromebook Tab 10 has even less oomph with an ARM SoC, but a correspondingly lower sub-$300 price.
The selection of Chromeboxes is dwindling, and prices on old models (like our previous recommendation) are inexplicably rising. In that case, we'll have to recommend a unit we actually haven't reviewed, since it's the only affordable option left.
ASUS Chromebox 3
Again, we haven't had a chance to review the ASUS Chromebox 3, but most of them these days share a common hardware platform — they should be pretty similar. Starting at just $270, it's also one of the only really affordable models left in the apparently declining Chrome OS desktop market.
That base model gets you an older Celeron 3865U, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Gigabit Ethernet, plus USB Type-C support. If you step it up to $420, you can get a Core i3 processor paired with the same specs, and 8GB of RAM is another $40 on top of that.
The ASUS Chromebox 3 will stop getting updates in June 2025.
Some older Chromebooks are still good options, especially if you can pick one up used, but they don't compare to more recent models. The ASUS C302 and ASUS C101 are both decent (if dated) Chromebooks, and either nabbed at the right price could be a good deal. Just be sure to check the end of life date if you pick up an older model.
We have reviewed plenty of other Chromebooks and Chromeboxes favorably, but a list of the "best" sadly can't include everything, and we're sorry if your favorite Chromebook didn't make the cut.