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The best Chromebooks you can buy in 2023 — Google, ASUS, Lenovo, and more
Since its launch in 2011, Chrome OS has come a long way. Chromebooks are great PC alternatives today and the better choice of a general computing machine for most folks. They have gone from being the netbook alternatives that were cheap and underpowered to the versatile computers that they are today.
There are a ton of Chromebook options available on the market across various segments. As such, we’ve rounded up the best Chromebooks to buy in 2023.
Buying the best Chromebook for your needs
Chrome OS is a Linux-based OS that centers around the Google Chrome browser. The app library was pretty limited up until a few years ago, but Chromebooks can now run Linux apps, as well as Android apps. Chromebooks weren’t initially meant for intense workloads like gaming and professional-grade content creation. However, some higher-end models have plenty of power and can do things like edit photos and videos. More recently, some manufacturers have also been releasing cloud-gaming Chromebooks with potent specs and interesting designs.
Sadly, the Chrome OS platform isn’t quite there in terms of software availability. After all, cloud gaming can be done on nearly any modern Chromebook. Many professionals still prefer desktop-level applications, as opposed to web apps or Android apps. The real Chrome OS benefits continue to primarily cater to casual users who do most tasks on a browser.
Chromebooks are perfect for run-of-the-mill home, office, and educational use. While that is the case, these machines are not limited to the lower end. You can get some great specifications with these devices, with options for more powerful processors, better screens, and more.
It is important to narrow down your use cases and budget before you look at Chromebook options.
The screen size, weight, and form factor are important things to consider, depending on your portability and usage requirements. If you consume much media, a convertible two-in-one design or Chromebook tablet is the way to go. There are typical laptop design options also available, if that’s more aligned with your usage. For media consumption, a good display is also important, and there are quite a few options there, with some Chromebooks even sporting 4K displays.
These devices also come with a range of CPUs, ranging from low-power ARM-based CPUs to more powerful x86 CPUs from Intel and AMD. If you plan on making one your primary computer, you’ll be better served by a more powerful CPU. However, having a more powerful CPU will likely come at the cost of lower battery life, so make sure you find the right balance for your needs.
Many big computing brands make Chromebooks, so brand preference shouldn’t be a big issue while shopping for one.
If you’re still unsure which Chromebook would be the best for you, below are our picks of the best Chromebooks to buy in 2023 across multiple categories and price points.
The best Chromebooks to buy in 2023
- The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is the best Chromebook overall, with a solid build, punchy keyboard, excellent performance, and battery life.
- The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (2H) is the best convertible Chromebook, with a 4-in-1 design, a solid processor, and great build quality.
- The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 is the best Chromebook on a budget, packing a great design and feel in a lightweight chassis.
- The Lenovo 5i Chromebook is the best Chromebook for students and professionals who want a good design, build, and don’t want to spend much.
- The ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip is the best gaming Chromebook. It is powerful, has a great screen, good audio, and fun gaming design.
- The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is the best Chromebook tablet you can buy, with an excellent battery life packed into a flexible form factor.
- The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the best-looking Chromebook mixing a great design with a great screen and respectable performance.
Acer Chromebook Spin 714: The best Chromebook overall
Chromebooks are practical computing devices that get work done, and that’s what the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 does. It puts function over form and performs well enough to be our pick of the best overall Chromebook. It has an aluminum chassis that meets the MIL-STD 810H durability standard.
It’s a rather capable machine and packs a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB of storage. So far, this is the only version available in the USA, but there are plans to release other iterations with an i5 processor or 16GB of RAM, as well as 512GB of storage. The screen is also good, with a 16:10 aspect ratio display running at 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. A 1,920 x 1,200 version is also in the plans. It has a flip design, which means you can turn this device into a tablet with a flip. You’ll also enjoy a backlit keyboard and 10 hours of battery life.
This model costs $999.99 MSRP, making it one of the most expensive Chromebooks. It’s definitely a powerful, well-built, and overall great Chromebook, though.
- Rugged build
- Great performance
- Good battery
- Backlit keyboard
- Somewhat heavy
- The design is simple, but also pretty boring
Check out our hands-on review of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 to learn more.
Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (2H): The best convertible Chromebook
Solid specs and a beautiful aluminum body are the names of the game with the Acers Chromebook Spin 513 (2H). It slots in just below our top overall pick but offers just as much flexibility in terms of the four-in-one setup. It doesn’t quite match other high-end options in terms of specs or raw performance, but it makes up for it with the ability to flip into tablet mode at a more reasonable price point.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 packs an impressive 13.5-inch Full HD display, and antimicrobial Gorilla Glass should stand the test of time. While the port selection is limited to just a pair of USB-C options and a USB-A port, the sleek form factor and good battery life make the Spin 513 a good choice for life on the go.
Other specs include a MediaTek Kompanio 1380 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a nice 13.5-inch screen with a 2,256 x 1,504 resolution.
- Flexible setup
- Great design
- Solid screen and speakers
- Mid-range processor
- Slow charging
Check out our full review of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (2H) to learn more.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360: The best budget Chromebook
There are plenty of affordable Chromebooks out there, but you don’t want to get one of the absolute cheapest either. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 strikes a perfect balance between quality, price, and acceptable specs. It has a $449 MSRP and can often be found discounted.
You would overlook its budget nature if you didn’t know better. It is designed beautifully, offering an alloy frame and a spill-resistant keyboard. The screen can still flip all the way around, giving it more functionality across different settings. And if you care about the screen, this one comes with a 12.4-inch panel and a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution.
The specs are much less impressive, though. It comes with an Intel Celeron 24500 processor and 4GB of RAM. You still get a 10-hour battery life, which is fairly good. And storage is capped at 128GB.
- Display flits all the way around
- Gorgeous design
- Outstanding screen
- More accessible price
- Performance could be improved
- 128GB of max storage
Lenovo 5i Chromebook: The best budget Chromebook for students and office dwellers
Lenovo has a strong presence in offices and schools, and the tradition continues with the Lenovo 5i Chromebook. Though it’s pretty affordable, it touts a great-looking design that will look at home in any serious setting.
The unit actually launched with a not-so-affordable $519.99 MSRP, but it can often be found at a much more accessible price point. As such, it has some specs that you wouldn’t otherwise see in budget Chromebooks. These include a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,200 display, 10 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi 6E, and a great design and build.
All that said, the Intel Pentium Gold processor and 4GB of RAM are not much to write home about. These should be plenty for documents, browsing, and other casual tasks, though.
- Solid design and feel
- The screen flips all the way back
- Good display
- Wi-Fi 6E
- Basic processor
- It could use more RAM
Check out our full review of the Lenovo 5i Chromebook to learn more.
ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip: The best gaming Chromebook
ASUS has a long history of releasing gaming computers, peripherals, and other accessories. It’s a popular brand in the gaming world, so it’s no surprise to see it jump with both feet into the recent gaming Chromebook movement. The ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip is one heck of a machine.
For starters, it looks the part. You get a white design that is very nicely thought out, and the keyboard features colored WASD keys to identify the most commonly used keys in gaming. The company has also thought of other factors that make gaming more enjoyable. The Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip has a nice 1,920 x 1,200 LED display with a smooth 144Hz refresh rate. The panel can display 100% of the sRGB color spectrum, too. And the speakers are tuned by Harman/Kardon.
You’ll also get plenty of performance, as you can get up to a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 chip, as much as 16GB of RAM, and Wi-Fi 6E. It’s pretty big and bulky, but it’s also as powerful as Chromebooks get. And it even has a MIL-STD 810H rating.
- Stunning design
- Powerful performance
- Great display with 144Hz refresh rate
- MIL-STD 810H rating
- Wide port availability
- Battery life is average
Check out our full review of the ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip to learn more.
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook: The best Chromebook tablet
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is a sequel to the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. The company has upgraded the display from a 10.1-inch to a 13.3-inch screen, and it is one of the best things about this Chromebook tablet. It’s a solidly built Chromebook tablet that uses high-quality hardware and gets a performance boost thanks to the upgrade to Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 SoC.
You can get 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage or 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. Both variants get eMMC 5.1 storage. It carries the same superb usability that the Chromebook Duet did, despite having a bigger footprint. It also has a 42Wh battery that gave between 11-12 hours of battery life during our testing, which is rather impressive for a device of this class.
You also get the promise of eight years of Chrome OS updates, so it’s safe to say this is a future-proof Chromebook tablet as well.
- High-quality hardware
- Bright and colorful display
- Great battery life
- Average performance
- Limited port selection
- Weak webcam and speakers
Check out our full review of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook to learn more.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2: The best-looking Chromebook
Chromebooks aren’t exactly the most fashionable computing device, with most of them geared towards performance. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 thus sticks out, giving us a taste of what a premium Chrome OS device can be in a sea full of low-key devices.
It has an elegant design that exceeds expectations for a Chromebook but doesn’t look too flashy, even in the bright red colorway. You also get a rather great-looking QLED touchscreen display and a convertible design. The hardware power on offer isn’t the best you can get, with options limited to Intel Celeron and i3 CPUs, a maximum of 8GB of RAM, and up to 128GB eMMC storage. It suffices for what it is, though, and in this case, the choice leans more toward form than function.
- Great design
- Solid QLED display
- Good performance and battery life
- Limited ports
- The keyboard is not for everyone
- Limited configurations
Check out our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 to learn more.
Chromebooks vs laptops
Chromebooks are great for light usage, but should you be picking one over a Windows laptop? The fact is that you get a lot more options with Windows, but Chromebooks have started getting more diverse in recent years. Chrome OS is still not a full equivalent to Windows, though.
Coming to macOS, we know gaming isn’t a big factor there, but you can still use them for heavy content creation workloads. Chromebooks just can’t handle those kinds of tasks yet. And if they can, they fall behind on software, which is mostly mobile apps in the case of Chromebooks.
The bottom line is that if you want to use your machine for intensive tasks like gaming, video editing, and such, Windows laptops and MacBooks are still better options. You could get one of the higher-end Chromebooks if you don’t mind using web and Android apps for the most part. Those are plenty powerful, and often up to par with traditional laptops. Sadly, though, these cost the same (and sometimes more) compared to some very capable Windows and MacOS machines.
The higher your budget, the lesser sense it makes to get a Chromebook over a laptop.
Chromebooks offer a much lighter experience than traditional laptops, putting Google Chrome at the center of the ecosystem. They can run Linux apps and Android apps, but at the end of the day, they’re not the best option for folks looking to replace a full-featured laptop for intensive tasks. Not to forget, you often get a ton more storage options with laptops. These Chrome OS counterparts get much fewer options since they’re mostly designed to work with the cloud.
Budget matters, too. The higher your budget, the lesser sense it makes to get a Chromebook over a laptop. It’s not a rule or anything, but costlier Windows laptops and MacBooks will give you a lot more room for additional productivity.
If you’re still not sure whether to go with a laptop over these Chrome OS devices, check out our detailed Chromebook vs laptop comparison.
Picking the best Chromebook accessories
Now that you have a feel for the best Chromebooks to buy, you might want to check out some accessories to complete the setup. Here are some of our favorite Chromebook accessories, cases, and chargers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chromebooks are available in varying price brackets, with many options available under $200, and some going over a thousand dollars. The sweet spot for these devices lies between $350 to $600, though, as you can get a solid price-to-performance ratio in this bracket. The most affordable Chromebooks aren’t too great but work better than laptops available in the same price bracket.
We have a list dedicated to the best Chromebook tablets, but our top recommendation is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5.
A Chromebook is a type of laptop that runs Chrome OS, in contrast to traditional laptops that run Windows, or MacBooks, which run macOS.
Chromebooks are not as susceptible to viruses as, say, Windows computers. However, it’s still possible that your Chromebook can get infected with malware. Chromebooks are not impervious to viruses and malware.