The best chromebook, based on our hands-on testing, is the Samsung Chromebook Pro. We base this recommendation on this model’s many strengths, including its high-res panel, embedded stylus, flexible hybrid design, and great overall performance for the price. At $549 it’s priced out of entry-level, but it’s worth it.
Chromebooks seem to come in three categories: super affordable, mildly expensive, and then there’s the $1,000 Google Pixelbook which is in a different universe due to its price and design. We’ve yet to do hands-on testing with the Pixelbook, but it seems unlikely a lot of people would want to pay that kind of money for a laptop designed for web browsing and office productivity.
That leaves us with two categories of Chromebooks to consider; the affordable ones that are around $200, and the midrange models that are somewhat fancy and cost around $500. We sampled five overall, including the following:
Of those five the Samsung, Asus, and Acer are all around $500, while the Dell and HP are around $200. What you get for that extra bit of change is typically a better display, a bit more horsepower, more onboard storage, and extra features like bigger speakers, convertible design, etc. If you just need something basic there’s really no reason to drop a ton of coin on a Chromebook. Just get something basic as it’ll fit your needs quite well. However, if you are looking for the very best Chromebook, do yourself a favor and give the Samsung a look.
The Best Chromebook – Samsung Chromebook Pro
The Samsung Chromebook Pro delivers everything you could want from a Chromebook and then some. First of all it features a 2-in-1 design so you can flip the screen around to use it either in “tablet” or “tent” mode, which is semi-rare in the world of Chromebooks, and one of the reasons why it’s more expensive than other models. It also has a high-resolution 2400 x 1600 display, which is gorgeous and grants you more desktop real estate than you get with most Chromebooks. Finally, what really pushes it over the edge in terms of “bang for the buck” is the included stylus, which pops into a port on the laptop’s side when not in use. It’s awesome for doodling, screenshots, and accessibility functions, and it has a slick interface too. Also if you’re thinking, “I would never use a stylus and don’t want to pay extra for it,” examine our next pick.
Also Great – Asus Chromebook Flip C302
If you like the thought of a convertible Chromebook, but don’t need a stylus, you can’t go wrong with the Chromebook Flip from Asus. This Macbook-esque 2-in-1 has it all; great connectivity options, a stylish design, 64GB of storage and a great HD display with Gorilla glass. It’s just as fast as the twice-as-expensive Google Pixelbook, and has surprisingly loud speakers as well. Its battery life is pretty decent too at just shy of seven hours. At $500 it’s expensive for a Chromebook, but you get a premium design, Android app support, and it’s just fun to use every day.
Best Budget Option – Dell Chromebook 3180 Education Edition
Dell’s Education Edition Chromebook is a very basic 11″ machine designed for kids to use in school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy one for yourself. At just $189 they are incredibly affordable, and also designed to be rugged too, so just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it’s cheap. At that price you get just the basics of course, including a paltry 16GB of storage, but since it’s mostly for web browsing or basic word processing that shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. All in all it’s just a well-built, affordable Chromebook with decent connectivity and enough horsepower to keep things humming right along. There’s a convertible version too, but it costs twice as much.