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The 5 best Chromebooks for 2024

The 5 Best Chromebooks for 2024
Acer, Asus, Lenovo, HP, Samsung

Looking to save money on a laptop? Here's a handy hack: Many of the best Chromebooks cost a lot less than a typical Windows- or Apple-based laptop. And latest Chromebooks run using Google's ChromeOS operating system, which means they work with Android applications, the Google Play Store, and Google cloud-based services and a ton more.

There's a trade-off, of course. These devices have scaled-down hardware configurations and rely heavily on cloud applications, and storage. But if you know you'll typically have internet access when using a Chromebook, these are a viable and low cost option.

Our picks for the best Chromebooks for 2024

Chromebooks run all of the Google Workspace apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Meet and others), as well as Google Photos. You also get access to Google Assistant, seamless integration with any Android phone, plus access to the 3.4-plus million apps on the Google Play Store. 

You can stream video and audio from virtually any service -- YouTube and YouTube Music, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Audible, Spotify and the list goes on. And while a Chromebook specializes in easy access to online-based apps and content, certain documents, spreadsheets, presentations and email, for example, can be accessed offline. 

Our in-house consumer tech experts have compiled this curated list of the five best Chromebooks available right now. Most offer a touchscreen display, long battery life and easy portability. 

Best Chromebook overall: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus (Gen 7)

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus Gen 7

Design: 2-in-1 | Display Size: 14-inches | Display Type: WUXGA IPS Touchscreen | Processor: 13th Generation Intel Core i3-1315U | Graphics: Intel UHD | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery Life: Up to 10 hours | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1 | Size: 12.4 x 9 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 3.57 pounds | Stylus: Optional Lenovo USI pen

One of the great things about Chromebooks is that finding one that's chock full of features, but that's priced below $500, is easy. This Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus Gen 7 is a perfect example. It offers 2-in-1 (tablet and laptop) functionality, a 14-inch HD display, a battery with up to 10 hours of life and the processing power of the 13th Generation Intel Core i3-1315U processor (with integrated Intel UDH graphics).

This Chromebook is also configured with a 128GB SSD for internal storage and has two built-in stereo speakers. You also get a 1080p resolution webcam, a microSD memory card slot and a decent collection of ports (including two USB Type-C ports). We also like that this Chromebook supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 for fast wireless connectivity.

This Lenovo IdeaPad provides just about everything you could want from a Chromebook, including an impressive amount of versatility, fast Wi-Fi connectivity and a decently quick processor -- all bundled into a device that's easy to transport. This makes it ideal for students, business people, remote workers or just about anyone looking for an affordable Chromebook. And like almost all Chromebooks, this Lenovo offers almost instant start up.

Best budget Chromebook: Asus Chromebook CX1 (CX1101)

ASUS Chromebook CX1

Design: Traditional laptop | Display Size: 11.6-inches | Display Type: HD NanoEdge | Processor: Quad-core Intel Celeron N4020 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery Life: Up to 13 hours | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1 | Size: 11.48 x 7.91 x 0.77 inches  | Weight: 2.73 pounds | Stylus: No

There's a lot to like about this low-cost Chromebook, including the fact that it's built for durability; it even meets the U.S. military's MIL-STD 810H standards. While this is not a 2-in-1 device, the display's hinge rotates up to 180-degrees, so the keyboard and display can lie flat. This Chromebook also includes a full-size keyboard featuring chiclet keys with 1.5mm key travel and a generously sized touchpad. 

Of course, you also get a generous collection of preinstalled apps, but it's the vast selection of optional apps on the Google Play Store that allow users to truly customize this device. While we would have preferred to see Wi-Fi 6E support (instead of just Wi-Fi 5), we are impressed with the device's collection of ports, which include two USB Type-C and one USB Type-A port, along with a microSD memory card slot and an audio jack. 

Also built into this Asus Chromebook are a pair of stereo speakers, a 720p webcam and a Titan C security chip. What you get for less than $300 is a Chromebook that'll be able to handle your everyday, basic computing tasks that rely heavily on the cloud for application access, content streaming and file storage.

Best 2-in-1 Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 514

Acer Spin 514 2-in-1 Convertible Chromebook

Design: 2-in-1 | Display Size: 14-inches | Display Type: FHD IPS touchscreen | Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3250C | Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery Life: Up to 10 hours | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 | Size: 12.7 x 8.88 x 0.68 inches | Weight: 3.42 pounds | Stylus: Yes

Here's another great example of a feature-packed, 2023 model Chromebook from Acer that offers 2-in-1 functionality and that's priced below $350. It offers military-grade durability (MIL-STD-810H) and is easy to carry. The touchscreen rotates 360 degrees and the full-size keyboard offers backlit keys. 

The core configuration of this Chromebook gives you enough processing power to handle multitasking, while handling everyday computing tasks. The touchscreen display offers 1,920 x 1080 pixel (1080p) resolution and features an anti-glare coating. You also get a 720p resolution webcam; two USB Type-C and two USB Type-A ports; a microSD memory card slot; and a headphone/microphone jack combo. 

This is more of an entry-level Chromebook, but it'll run all of your favorite Android apps and cloud-based applications, including Google Workspace apps.

Best Chromebook for students: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360

Galaxy Chromebook 2 360

Design: 2-in-1 | Display Size: 12.4-inches | Display Type: WQXGA LED Touchscreen | Processor: Intel Celeron N4500 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB or 128GB | Battery Life: Up to 10 hours | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 | Size: 11.33 x 8.13 x 0.67 inches | Weight: 2.82 pounds | Stylus: Yes

Featuring a 12.4-inch WQXGA LED touchscreen display with 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 offers an excellent design and configuration for high school or college students, but can be used by just about anyone needing a competent, versatile and durable Chromebook.

This device provides a nice collection of ports, built-in stereo speakers and a 720p webcam. Because it's part of Samsung's Galaxy ecosystem, it's designed to work seamlessly with any Samsung Galaxy smartphone, smartwatch or tablet. And with its 2-in-1 display that flips around 360 degrees, you can go from writing a research paper, to streaming a blockbuster movie, to taking handwritten notes during a class in a matter of seconds. This Chromebook is also designed with durability in mind. It's housed within a shock-resistant alloy casing.

At the time of purchase, you can choose between 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. (We recommend the 128GB option so you can store more content for working offline.) But keep in mind, you can always use the device's built in microSD memory card slot to add additional storage space with an optional memory card. For the student who already needs to carry around a bunch of heavy textbooks between classes, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 is lightweight (just 2.82 pounds) and a mere 0.67 inches thick, so it's easy to transport. 

Best Chromebook for business: HP Elite Dragonfly 13.5" Chromebook

HP Elite Dragonfly 13.5" 2 in 1 Chromebook

Design: 2-in-1 | Display Size: 13.5-inches | Display Type: WUXGA+ Touchscreen | Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1265U (with other options available) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB | Battery Life: Up to 14 hours | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 | Size: 11.59 x 8.83 x 0.65 inches | Weight: 4.35 pounds | Stylus: HP Digital Pen included

From a hardware standpoint, this HP Elite Dragonfly is one of the most souped up Chromebooks on the market, and it's highly configurable. What you get is a beautiful, 13.5-inch touchscreen display with a maximum brightness of 400 nits, up to 512GB of internal storage and your choice of Intel processors. 

You also get the current fastest standards when it comes to wireless connectivity, with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. Other features: an option for cellular connectivity, a fingerprint reader for security, stereo speakers designed by Bang & Olufsen and an included HP Digital Pen stylus. 

As for ports, this Chromebook is equipped with two Thunderbolt USB Type-Cs and one USB Type-A, an HDMI 2.0 port, a stereo headphone/microphone jack and a microSD memory card slot. It uses the Google Titan C chip for security. The biggest drawback to this Chromebook is that, with its highest-end configuration, its price can exceed $3,000. This puts it in the high range, even for a Windows laptop computer. But if you need the extra processing power and want to stick with the ChromeOS, we definitely recommend this HP 2-in-1 Chromebook.

What to look for when buying a Chromebook

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 360

First, determine what you'll use the Chromebook for and what display size would meet your preference. Next, consider if you require a touchscreen display, 2-in-1 functionality or a stylus (so you can handwrite or draw on the screen when using compatible apps). Another important consideration is the connectivity. In terms of Wi-Fi, ideally you want support for Wi-Fi 6E for the fastest internet connectivity, but you also want to consider which version of Bluetooth is offered. 

Yet another thing to consider is the selection of ports built into the Chromebook. Having access to USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports, a microSD memory card slot and a headphone/mic jack will all be useful. The speed of the processor (CPU) and capabilities of the GPU are also worth considering, especially if you'll be performing tasks that require extra processing power. Finally, take into account the Chromebook's battery life, size and weight. 

There are literally hundreds of Chromebook models available from well known brands, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung. All run the ChromeOS operating system and have the same core functionality. What differentiates the various Chromebooks are things like their display size and type; overall size and weight; battery life; design; connectivity speed; port selection; CPU and GPU; and price. Once you know what tasks you'll be using a Chromebook for, choosing the best one to meet your personal or professional needs will be much more straightforward.

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