Are you tired of carrying your bulky laptop everywhere? Or is the low battery life that you find extremely annoying? Or do you not want to spend thousands of dollars on a new laptop?
If any of the above problems resonates with you, say hello to a Chromebook. Sleek, lightweight, cheaper, super-fast, and yet powerful enough to handle your day-to-day shenanigans be it work or play, Chromebooks have been a game-changer in the tech world.
And in this guide, we’ll make finding the right Chromebook a whole lot easier for you. Whether you need one for serious work or just to stream videos, watch movies, etc. our list of the best Chromebooks for 2020 covers one for each need and budget.
- In-Depth Chromebook Reviews for 2021
- How to choose the best Chromebook for you
In-Depth Chromebook Reviews for 2021
#1: Google Pixelbook (for Business Use)
If you’re willing to pay top dollar, we promise you, the Google Pixel will leave you in awe. With a sleek and sexy design and features to die for, it’s the Chromebook of your dreams (one, that’s custom-made for serious businesses).
Now, have your own virtual assistant at your service anytime and anywhere as the Pixel comes with built-in Google Assistant. Say the magic words ‘OK Google’ and book a hotel, get an appointment at a salon, etc. and it does it all just like any human assistant would.
To handle all your heavy applications and programs the Pixel is backed by an i7 processor and 16 GB RAM so expect buttery smooth operation. Plus, the 512 GB Flash Storage storage isn’t just the most any Chromebook offers but is also super-fast (just what you’d expect from an SSD).
And even with so much to offer, the Pixel gives you a battery life of a whopping 10 hours (now work a whole day without running around looking for the charger). But even if you run out of battery, with the fast charge feature, it takes a mere 2.5 hours to be fully loaded again.
Also, with a 4-in-1 design, you need not be sitting at a desk all day long. Turn it into a touchscreen tab, tent, or use the entertainment mode to enjoy your favorite movie, sports, etc. (everything you need to liven up a boring weekend).
The Pixelbook is also built to last with an aluminum body and a corning gorilla glass (this baby can even take a little beating as well). And to add to the comfort, it also features a backlit keyboard perfect for the night owls and takes no more than 10-15 seconds to start up.
Lastly, to add to that, all updates are made automatically without you even having to press a button (easy peasy, just the way we all like it).
The Bad/What I don’t like
There’s not much to fault about the Pixelbook except its high price. But with features like that, that’s a Chromebook I don’t have to think about twice.
- The battery runs up to 10 hours and recharges in 2.5 hours
- It can also be used as a tablet, tent, etc. due to its touchscreen feature
If the Pixelbook is out of your budget don’t worry, we’ve got you well covered. The ASUS Chromebook is right there amongst the best and for a good reason.
Just like the Pixelbook even the ASUS Flip can be used as a tablet so you won’t be stuck at your desk all the time. And more so since one charge will give you 8-10 hours of uninterrupted usage (forgot your charger? No problem).
You can also kiss goodbye to long startup times. Get on with that all-important presentation or even playing games in a mere 3-5 seconds (yup, it’s that freaking fast).
The Intel Core m5 processor in tandem with the 4 GB RAM is super fast and can take on anything you have to throw at it (the big games, the programs, it can take them all on).
And providing you ample room and more speed is the 64 GB SSD Drive but in case you do run short on space you always use up the 100 GB of free Google Drive space.
Apart from that, the durable aluminum build makes the Flip a solid workhorse but yet, is lightweight making carrying it around easy during your business or even leisure trips.
Plus, the backlit keyboard and the 12.5-inch crystal clear screen makes working even in the dark hassle-free. We also listed the best laptops with backlit keyboards here.
The Bad/What I don’t like
On the downsides, the ASUS lacks some high-end features like that of the Pixelbook. While the 4GB RAM performs quite well, it’s no match for a 16 GB one.
It also doesn’t feature a fast charge thus charging takes a little longer. But considering its top-notch performance and the comfort it offers at a lower cost, the Flip is definitely a great buy.
#3: Samsung Chromebook 3 (Best budget Chromebook)
If you’re not interested in the fancy frills and thrills and would rather prefer something on the cheap, the Samsung Chromebook should serve you well, and here’s why.
Don’t you just hate it when your laptop runs out of battery just at the most crucial of hours? Well, not anymore. With 11-hours of battery life, the Chromebook 3 sure steals the show.
You also do not have to worry about spilling your coffee or tea as the keyboard is water-resistant (the perfect Chromebook if you’ve got kids around). And since it’s backlit, you can work comfortably even in the dark.
Backing the durability and slim design of the Chromebook 3 with decent speed are the Celeron Processor N3060 and the 4 GB RAM. This makes it an ideal Chromebook for students or casual users.
And lastly, since it comes with a 16 GB SSD, you know it’s going to be smooth and quick. Plus, it’s also lightweight and slim thus can be carried around in any backpack with ease.
The Bad/What I don’t like
I won’t beat too much around the bush. The Chromebook 3 isn’t built for the big stuff. From the RAM, Disk space to even the processor, it’s not the Chromebook any professional needs but is the best Chromebook for students not looking to spend the big bucks just yet.
#4: Acer R11
New to the market, the Acer R11 has quickly climbed up the charts to become one of the most prominent Chromebooks in 2020 and we know exactly why.
With a 360-degree flip and fold design, the R11 lets you use it as a tablet or even in a tent position for comfortable viewing and usage from anywhere at any angle.
Another killer feature of the R11 is the LED backlight that saves you tons on the battery ensuring it runs up to 10-11 hours for hassle-free usage all day long.
The Dual-Core N3060 Processor and 4 GB RAM provide plenty of power to the R11 for fluid operation whether you’re using Google Docs for work or streaming a video. Plus, further adding to that fluidity is the 16 GB SSD.
And lastly, it’s also lightweight, boots up fast, and comes with multiple USB ports, an HDMI port, webcam, etc. In short, it’s pretty much everything you’d expect from a standard mid-range Chromebook.
The Bad/What I don’t like
The R11’s Trackpad isn’t as smooth as one would like. The pressure required to make a click is inconsistent which means wrong clicks are common.
#5: ASUS C202SA-YS02 11-inch Chromebook (Most Durable Chromebook)
ASUS is a powerhouse when it comes to laptops and the C202SA-YS02 is just another example of why the brand has created such huge waves in the tech industry.
Are you a clumsy person? Then you’ll what ASUS has to offer. Not only is the keypad water-resistant (now you can have your coffee tension-free) but its rugged build means it can handle drops from a height of about 4 feet (there’s no breaking this bad boy).
The 11-inch display can be tilted to a 180-degree for comfortable viewing and since it’s anti-glare, your eyes won’t feel strained either even after hours of work or gameplay.
Powering the ASUS are the Intel Celeron 3060 Processor and a 4GB RAM which make it capable of handling light to medium workload (perfect for newbie programmers, students, or for everyday web browsing).
Lastly, it also comes with pre-installed anti-virus and both the OS and anti-virus receive automatic updates making the task hassle-free. And lastly, with a quick boot, your system gets up and running within a matter of seconds.
The Bad/What I don’t like
One of the main drawbacks of this Chromebook is the 16 GB eMMC storage. While that’s the standard space a Chromebook offers, the eMMC isn’t going to be as fast as an SSD.
Also, it isn’t a Chromebook that’s ideal for businesses or high-end graphics work as it lacks the power needed.
But that aside, if you’re looking for a rock-solid Chromebook that can take even a fall or spills, you’ve just found your new partner in crime.
If a bigger display and more disk space are what you are looking for without paying over the odds prices, the R13 is perfect for daily use. Find out more about it below.
The 360-degree flexibility and touchscreen mean it can be used as a tablet, tent, etc. So whether you’re on the bed, in a flight, or at the bus stop, with the multiple modes, the R13 can be used anywhere at any angle.
And ensuring you don’t get interrupted by low battery notifications at those times, the R13 lives up to its promise of providing 12 hours of runtime on a single charge.
The 13.3-inch Full HD display is not only bigger than standard Chromebooks but is also quite relatively clear making watching movies, streaming videos, etc. a delightful experience.
The ARM Quad-Core Processor and 4GB RAM mean the R13 can handle the load of multiple tabs, Android apps, Google Docs, etc. This is further aided by a 32 GB disk which guarantees you enough storage while maintaining excellent speed.
But if you need more space or want to back up your files, the 100 GB free Google Drive space should come in handy.
And lastly, we were also quite impressed with the boot time which takes no more than a few seconds. And since all updates are made automatically to beef up security and remove bugs, you can worry about the more important stuff at hand.
The Bad/What I don’t like
On the negative side, the 32 GB disk is an eMMC. This means compared to an SSD, it lacks speed.
Another factor that has an impact on the speed of the system is the ARM processor which in comparison to an i5 or i7 is a little slow.
All in all, it’s not the best-performing Chromebook but if you want a flexible model with a large display and long battery life for regular usage, the R13 is worth consideration.
#7: HP Chromebook
Over the years, HP has built a name for itself through its powerful and durable laptops and their Chromebook doesn’t disappoint either especially if a good budget model was your top priority.
The standout feature of the HP Chromebook is the build. With molded rubber edges and a keypad that’s spill-resistant, this Chromebook is tailor-made for the clumsy you and me.
Also, the WLED backlight and the antiglare display are the other notable features of it. So your weekend movie marathon won’t result in tired, aching eyes and neither will need to charge it every 2-3 hours.
And lastly, the 4 GB RAM, the Intel Celeron 3060 processor, and the 16 GB eMMC disk provide you both space and speed enough to keep you entertained all day long.
The Bad/What I don’t like
As you may have already noticed, this Chromebook is a no-fancy model and not one that can run your heavy programs.
And as you may already know by now, an SSD disk is the faster option when compared to an eMMC disk.
But if a low costing and durable Chromebook is your need, this one’s a bargain.
How to choose the best Chromebook for you
Below are some of the features that separate the best from the rest and are a must if you want a fast and smooth operating Chromebook
If you’re into hardcore programming or graphics designing and want to use a Chromebook as your primary workstation, then you’d something powerful like an i5 or i7 processor. And that’s why the Pixelbook is our top pick as the best Chromebook for businesses as it features an i7 processor but keep in mind, the processor has a bearing on the cost too.
Standard Chromebooks come with a Dual-Core processor which can easily handle streaming videos, movies, etc., and won’t slow down even when multiple tabs are opened.
ARM processors are also quite popular like in the case of the Acer R13 but Intel processors are just a shade ahead when it comes to performance (we’d call this one a photo finish).
Like the processor, even the RAM affects the speed and fluidity of a Chromebook and that’s why we’d say, the more, the better. The Pixelbook offers the highest RAM configurations with 16 RAM whereas most mid-range Chromebooks come with either 2 or 4 GB RAM. In the end, the choice of RAM comes down to your needs and usage.
Hard Disk Type and Space
Chromebooks either come with an SSD (Solid State Drive) or an eMMC. This is because compared to traditional hard disks, these are blazing fast. But on a head to head comparison, SSD outdoes an eMMC when it comes to both speed and durability.
A 16 GB disk is quite common in Chromebooks with some of the higher-end models providing you 64 GB. So the question arises, why the less disk space?
Well, there are 2 main reasons for that. One, it keeps the cost low. The second reason being, Cloud Storage. With almost all Chromebooks you get about 100 GB of Google Drive space which not only saves you disk space but is also one of the best ways to have your system backed up.
A durable Chromebook ensures you get your money’s worth and even though often lightweight and compact, these devices too ‘can take a punch’.
For that, most Chromebooks are armed with a water-resistant keypad which means your little coffee or water spills have little to zero impact on the performance.
Some Chromebooks like the ASUS C202SA-YS02 also come with special molding etc. on the edges to help protect against any slips and falls.
Long battery life is one of the main reasons for such popularity of Chromebooks. On average, most Chromebooks come with a battery life of 8-10 hours while the higher-end models can easily run for about 10-12 hours.
But keep in mind, battery life varies depending on the workload and will start to decrease over time.
Apart from all the features mentioned above, if you’re buying a Chromebook, you would also want it to be lightweight and compact.
If you’re looking for more comfort and versatility, you can also opt for a convertible model that can also be used as a tablet, in tent mode, etc. but these tend to be costlier as well.
Lastly, display size and resolution are also important. A full HD display is a must if you plan to stream videos and movies otherwise is it even worth it?
Also read: Pros and cons of Chromebooks
Can Chromebooks run Office?
A Chromebook’s greatest limitation is that it can’t run any Windows software that you might be accustomed to. Despite the web-based suite and Android apps, full versions of Microsoft Office won’t run on a Chromebook. Google Docs is an awesome alternative to Microsoft Office, with better online collaboration features than the other one.
Do Chromebooks run Android apps?
Today, all the latest Chromebooks are capable of running Android apps. It’s best to verify whether it supports them or not before buying an older model, however.
What is the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop?
Chromebooks are laptops that run Chrome OS, as opposed to traditional laptops that run Windows or MacBooks that run macOS.
Can you play Minecraft on a Chromebook?
Minecraft Education Edition is officially supported on Chromebooks. The Google Play Store no longer supports Minecraft Bedrock Edition on Chromebooks, but it can be installed on Chromebooks that support Android apps.
From being used for general everyday web surfing to handling more complex tasks, Chromebooks have matured over the years. So if you ever wanted to get your hands on one, now is definitely the time to do so and our team of experts has made the choice easier than ever.