Chromebooks have come a long way since they first burst onto the scene some years ago. What once used to be considered low-powered, glorified netbooks, have now earned a seat at the table as some of the more affordable, yet capable laptops that your hard-earned money can buy.
With the ability to run Linux apps, access to offline apps through the Google Play Store, and hardware that — in some cases — rivals that of top-tier laptops, Chromebooks are great for a wide variety of users. In this post, we take a look at the best Chromebooks for students.
The new school year is rapidly approaching, and a new Chromebook is an essential tool as schools decide whether to head back to the classroom or teach remotely. Any device you grab on this list should last for many school years to come.
Just looking for a great deal? Check out the best Chromebook deals available.
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Chromebooks for students regularly as new devices launch.
1. Google Pixelbook Go
It’s hard to curate a list of best Chromebooks for any buyer without mention of the Google Pixelbook Go. While it’s clear that the price of this device is far beyond the average of the others we have on our list, the intersection of specs, design, and performance clearly justifies the price tag.
Learn more: Google Pixelbook Go review
What makes this a great overall Chromebook for students starts with its weight. Coming in at just over 2lbs, and only 3mm thick, this is an easy device to stick into a bookbag and carry around campus. The Pixelbook Go also backs a punch compared to other Chromebooks with the 8th Gen Intel CPU and seeing as it is configurable with up to 256GB of storage, you will have plenty of space and power to download and run your favorite apps.
Google Pixelbook Go specs:
- Display: 13.3 Full HD, Touch-Enabled
- Processor: Intel Core i5-8200Y
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Ports: 2x USB-C, 3.5mm jack
- Battery life: Rated at 12 hours
2. Acer Chromebook 715
We ask more and more of our machines as time progresses, and the same rings true for students of all ages. For college-age students, in particular, a Chromebook most likely will serve as their one and only machine for the life of their education. In that case, the Acer Chromebook 715 is one to consider, as it has a larger-than-most 15” touch-enabled display which means more room for productivity.
Learn more: Acer Chromebook 715 hands-on
The Acer Chromebook 715 also has an HD webcam and two built-in microphones. The backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader are nice touches and the Intel Pentium Gold processor packs enough power to run Chrome OS without any trouble. It’s backed up by 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of storage.
Above all of this, though is the battery life. Even with the large 1080p touch-enabled display, the Acer Chromebook 715 is rated at up to 12 hours of battery life which will get most students through a day of classes, and maybe into a bit of homework as well.
Acer Chromebook 715 specs:
- Display: 15.6-inch, Full HD, Touch-enabled
- Processor: Intel Core i3-8130U
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, Micro SD, 3.5mm jack
- Battery life: Rated up to 12 hours
3. Asus Chromebook Flip C214
I have two kids of my own, and while they aren’t quite school-aged yet, leave a trail of destruction wherever they go. If this sounds like a student you know, you should consider looking for a ruggedized Chromebook. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is just that – ruggedized and built to withstand some damage.
This Chromebook has been given the classification of Mil-STD 810G durability which can be up for debate when used as a credible durability classification. However, regardless of the classification, it has rubberized corners, textured surfaces, and a spill-proof keyboard. All of these features go a long way in helping the Chromebook survive everyday usage by not-so-careful kiddos.
There’s a lot to praise with this Chromebook, but its primary pitfall is the sub-par storage. At only 32GB of storage, a student would have to rely nearly 100% on cloud storage. And even if that is possible, you won’t be download many apps on the device. Note that this is now an older model and means you’ll get it used/refurbed, but it’s at a great price and still very much worth it.
Asus Chromebook Flip C214 specs:
- Display: 11.6″, 1366px x 768px, Touch-Enabled
- Processor: 2.6 GHz Intel Celeron
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 32GB
- Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, Micro SD card slot, 3.5mm jack
4. Samsung Chromebook 4 Plus
Keeping the price low, you can grab a new Samsung Chromebook 4 Plus with 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. It’s equipped with a large, 15.6-inch Full HD display that matches the quality you’d expect from Samsung. Samsung’s Chromebook 4 Plus is thin and light, and 10 hours of battery life should be plenty for your workday.
As I was eluding to, this Chromebook is a budget-friendly buy, and with that, it’s a great looking device, and it feels great as well. The bezels are a bit large for my taste, but the quality of the screen itself outshines many of its competitors, and the keyboard and trackpad reflect the price tag.
In terms of the device’s usability for students, the Samsung Chromebook 4 Plus is a bit light on ports with just two USB-C options. It makes up for that shortcoming with Gigabit wi-fi speeds and an Intel Celeron N4000 processor along with Intel UHD graphics.
Samsung Chromebook 4 Plus specs:
- Display: 15.6-inch Full HD
- Processor: 1.10 GHz Intel Celeron N4000
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, Micro SD Slot, 3.5mm jack
- Battery: Rated up to 10 hours
5. Lenovo Chromebook C340
Rounding out our list is the Lenovo Chromebook C340. Aesthetically speaking, this Chromebook is one of the best looking on the market. It’s minimal and sleek, but the 2-in-1 design allows for plenty of creative flexibility.
Learn more: Lenovo Chromebook C340 review
The C340 has 32GB of storage which should be plenty of room to install your favorite Android apps. Its 15.6-inch Full HD display has tiny bezels on three sides, and the full-metal design has a premium feel to it. Lenovo chose an Intel Pentium Gold 4417U processor and Intel HD Graphics 610 to power the C340 too.
The Lenovo Chromebook C340 offers up to 10 hours of battery life, which is enough to get through a full day of work or binge your favorite shows. It’s equipped with a full-size backlit keyboard that has a 1.4mm travel distance.
Lenovo Chromebook C340 specs:
- Display: 15.6-inch, Full HD Touchscreen
- Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 4417U
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 32GB
- Ports: 1x USB-A, 2x USB-C, 3.5mm jack
- Battery life: Rated up to 10 hours
The Chromebook segment continues to thrive, and the lines between Chromebook and full blow laptop keep getting blurrier. For students, Chromebooks are almost a no-brainer these days. Save some cash, and, in most cases, get all of your work done by leveraging the Google ecosystem plus Android apps. For even more Chromebook buyer’s guides and how-tos, check out the links below.