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There are a lot of "cheap" Chromebooks out there, but if you want a good cheap Chromebook, you'll really have to dig. In fact, they're few and far between, and between old models, soon-to-be unsupported chipsets, and "gotchas" like legitimately terrible display panels, it's legitimately difficult to separate the genuine competitors from laptops deserve to be in the proverbial trash heap. But Lenovo's C340 is a great follow-up to the success of the previous C330, and it's Android Police's Most Wanted budget Chromebook pick.
Lenovo's Chromebook Duet sounded like a winner the moment we first heard about it. It's a 2-in-1 detachable tablet running Chrome OS, and though it might not pack the fastest chipset, the rest of its hardware impresses — especially given that it starts at just $280 and comes with a keyboard cover. While the Surface-style form factor has its issues when it comes to usability, this the first Chrome OS-powered tablet that's actually made sense.
Premium Chromebooks are a niche product category; most Chromebooks in any price range can do pretty much all the same things. The difference comes in how well a particular device handles those tasks — and while HP's Chromebook x360 14 G1 is unlikely to convert anyone already against high-end Chrome OS devices on principle, it's an extremely competent laptop that's worth a look for anybody interested in a quality Chrome machine.
We've said before here at Android Police that Asus makes some of the best Chromebooks on the market, but bumps in the road are inevitable. Take the last one we reviewed, the C223NA. Corbin came away under-impressed, so we hoped that Asus' next offering would hearken back to what made us fall in love in with the Flip C302. Unfortunately, what I have here, the C423, does not accomplish that.
High-end Chromebooks have been attracting all the news recently, but it's products like this, Lenovo's C330, that bring the platform back to its roots. For many, the appeal of a $700 Chromebook is lost if all you need is a cheap internet-connected machine for the kids, kitchen, or grandma. But historically, those cheap Chromebooks have had a bundle of compromises to weigh and compare. Thankfully for the budget-conscious, Lenovo's C330, with its IPS display and surprising build quality, makes arguably the fewest compromises for a sub-$300 Chromebook.
Acer's Chromebook Spin 13 is arriving a bit later than it was initially expected, but based on what we've seen, it will be worth the wait. The 2-in-1, Wacom stylus-equipped Chromebook delivers category-topping performance, but tempers that speed with some unfortunate design shortcomings. Altogether, it's one of the best Chromebooks you can't buy right now. (Update: And now you can.)
CTL is virtually unknown in the consumer market, but the company has been manufacturing computers for schools and government facilities since 1989. It now mainly focuses on Chrome OS devices, like the Chromebox we previously reviewed.
The 'NL7TW-360' (excellent name, I know) is CTL's latest education-focused Chromebook. It has an 11.6-inch touch screen with Wacom stylus support, a durable 2-in-1 design, a water-resistant keyboard, and plenty of ports.
There is no shortage of durable Chromebooks designed for classrooms, like the Lenovo N22, Asus C213SA, and Acer 11 N7. CTL's newest entry is definitely a decent product with a competitive price, but it only makes sense if you absolutely need a tough Chromebook.
We've all heard the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none," and there's a distinctly negative connotation to it. The more something tries to do, the worse it is at any one task. Unfortunately, it still holds true today. But some products, like this one, are starting to toe the line.
ASUS' latest Chromebook Flip C101PA combines performance with excellent build quality in a convertible package. So not only do you get a great Chromebook, to a certain degree, you also get a good Android tablet. And it will only cost you $299 — and a somewhat disappointing screen.