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Best Chromebook: Top 5 Chrome OS laptops

Over the decade-long period ChromeOS has been around, the humble Chromebook has become a fantastic alternative to Windows devices, especially considering their more affordable prices.

Our team of product experts test a wide range of Chromebooks every year, ranging from the more affordable web-browsing machines to more premium-ultrabook style offerings. From these, we’ve assembled this list of the very best Chromebooks money can buy.

Not every Chromebook is going to fit everyone’s needs, which is why we’ve included a good spread of laptops that people can consider. These can range from premium Chromebooks with vibrant displays and a notebook-grade performance to functional and affordable options to suit everyone and anyone.

With Chromebooks, we’ve made sure to focus on the features that matter the most to people. These include how good the port selection and connectivity options are, alongside how good a laptop’s display is for those long Disney Plus marathons and whether the processor can cope with general productivity tasks. We also test whether the battery life will be enough to get you through a working day.

To get these real-world results, our team of experts has used each Chromebook on this list for a least a couple of weeks as their main work machine, as well as using benchmark software in order to get accurate and comparable results. There isn’t much of a need to agonise over any incremental point differences if you’re taking benchmark results into your buying decisions, but it is interesting to see which CPUs perform the best from each manufacturer, be it AMD, Intel, Qualcomm or otherwise.

If you can’t find a Chromebook from the list you like at the moment, feel free to bookmark the page, as we’ll be updating this frequently as more Chromebooks pass through our Trusted Labs. It’s also worth checking out our Best LaptopBest UltrabookBest Student Laptop and Best Budget Laptop pages for a more general look, if a Chromebook specifically isn’t what you fancy.

How we test

Learn more about how we test Chromebooks

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513

Best Chromebook overall
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Pros

  • Super-light and portable design
  • Sharp display with decent colours
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Whisper-quiet performance

Cons

  • Flat speakers
  • Mediocre performance
  • No keyboard backlight

If you’re looking for the absolute best Chromebook that you can buy today, look no further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 513.

It’s one of the most lightweight Chromebooks available, weighing in at just 1.2kg. This means it looks sleek and modern, and we found that it was quite the portable laptop during testing. In addition, the Spin 513 is a convertible laptop, meaning you can flip the display over and using it as a tablet with the bundled stylus, which we found to be mighty convenient. The hinge didn’t feel rattly and wobbly either, with the construction of the Spin 513 underscored by a general sturdiness.

Inside, it packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c processor. Our performance tests showed that this chip can breeze through basics tasks with ease. For instance, it meant the Spin 513 featured some excellent thermal performance and remained quiet, even under have workloads. And if you want, you can even plug in a compatible SIM card and take advantage of 4G connectivity when you’re out and about.

The display on offer here is pretty good too, with the Spin 513 featuring a 13-inch IPS panel that offers some great viewing angles, while we also found that its Full HD resolution served up good quality output, complete with 318 nits of brightness that meant colours were punchy. There’s also some excellent battery life, with this particularly Chromebook lasting for 13 hours and 5 minutes in our battery test, meaning you could even stretch to let the Spin 513 last for nearly two working days, which is fantastic.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 513 review

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Best 2-in-1 Chromebook
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Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Bundled keyboard offers versatility
  • Superb screen for video content
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Lack of headphone jack
  • Poor speaker quality
  • Keyboard is uncomfortably small

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a fantastic option for those craving a 2-in-1 device, giving you the dual functionality of a laptop and a tablet in one convenient package.

Its Media-Tek Helio P60T processor features eight cores, which we found to make it nippy during testing when we were using it for general web browsing. The battery life of around 13 hours is also stellar, and puts it up against more expensive laptops, even beating off the likes of the Dell XPS 13 OLED.

We also found that the 2-in-1 design means it’s extremely portable and great for those on the move, weighing just 450g. The keyboard cover it comes with is also detachable, so if you want to use the Chromebook Duet as a tablet, then you most certainly can.

We found its 10-inch touchscreen to offer up some really good colours, which worked great for everyday usage, whether we were indulging in some cloud gaming, or were enjoying episodes of BoJack Horseman. In some darker scenes though, the Chromebook Duet did struggle a little during testing. But overall, its display performed reasonably well, and is a major plus point with this particular Chromebook. There are plenty of other Chromebook laptops that flaunt a 2-in-1 design, but the Lenovo Chromebook Duet remains our favourite due to the bargain price and extremely lightweight design.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Lenovo Chromebook Duet review

Acer Chromebook 314

Best budget Chromebook
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Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Sturdy construction
  • Good port selection
  • Fantastic battery life

Cons

  • Flat colours and dim display
  • No touchscreen
  • ChromeOS could provide some limitations

The Acer Chromebook 314 is the cheapest Chromebook on our list, but for the price, you’re getting a candidate that offers up features that Chromebooks double the price can’t necessarily compete with.

For instance, we found its battery life to be excellent, with the Chromebook 314 lasting for thirteen and a half hours in the office benchmark before it conked out. This means it’s got some serious endurance, and will last comfortably for a working day before needing to be recharged.

According to our test results, its dual-core Intel Celeron CPU offers up a snappy real-world performance for some basic productivity tasks. The 4GB of RAM is enough for opening a few Chrome tabs and apps such as Slack and Spotify without too much of a noticeable slowdown, although the 32GB of eMMC storage will likely fill up quickly. For expansion though, you will find a good selection of ports, including USB-A, USB-C and microSD.

The Acer Chromebook 314 has a noticeable weakness. Its 14-inch display features a low resolution of 1366×768, which is just above 720p, resulting in a sub-par and grainy picture quality. On-screen colours look flat and dull too, which means this isn’t the best option for watching Netflix. There’s also no touchscreen here, which may well be a deal breaker for some.

But if you just need a Chromebook for writing essays and don’t care about the screen quality, then this is one of the very best laptop bargains currently available.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Acer Chromebook 314 review

Google Pixelbook Go

Best premium Chromebook
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Pros

  • Fantastic keyboard
  • Attractive, understated look
  • Impressive battery life
  • Android apps on Chrome can be useful (even if buggy)

Cons

  • Can get far too expensive if you upgrade the specs
  • No fingerprint scanner/facial unlock
  • Have to get the top model if you want a 4K screen

The Google Pixelbook Go is a brilliantly designed laptop with a minimalistic, matte black frame. Tipping the scales at just over a kilogram in weight also means we found it to be a great option for those wanting something wonderfully portable.

The mid-tier model, complete with an eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB, offers a speedy performance for ChromeOS, but it’s really the software that restricts the Pixelbook Go. Google’s own premium Chromebook occupies an odd position where it’s a premium laptop on the outside with a less powerful OS on the inside, and splashing out on a high-class laptop for simple tasks seems like a backwards purchase.

A 4K model is available if you’re willing to spend four figures on a Chromebook, but our sample’s 1080p panel is perfectly functional with crisp colours and touch input. It’s serviceable for day-to-day usage, but if having a top display on a Chromebook is a top priority, then the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook with its 4K OLED panel may be a better bet.

We found the Pixelbook Go’s battery life to be stellar too, with it offering a good amount of endurance. During testing, we found it lasted for nearly 12 hours before conking out in our battery loop test, and lasted for a working day comfortably with around 20% juice to spare.

The Google Pixelbook Go hits the sweet spot between performance and price, making it a great alternative to more expensive laptops such as the Dell XPS 13 and Surface Laptop 4 for those who only need a machine for web browsing, video streaming and word processing.

ReviewerMax Parker
Full review: Google Pixelbook Go review

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

Best performance Chromebook
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Best performance Chromebook

Pros

  • Pleasant screen
  • Comfortable, quiet keyboard
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Value of high-spec models is questionable
  • Plastic touchpad
  • Weak speaker

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is a brilliant high-powered Chromebook for those who want more oomph to power their ChromeOS experiences.

We found its Intel Core i5-10210U processor to deliverer a good performance for tasks that a Chromebook is traditionally designed for: web browsing, video streaming and basic office tasks. The 8GB of RAM also provides good headroom for multitasking, with no real faltering even with a load of of browser tabs open simultaneously.

The 13.3-inch Full HD panel on the Flex 5 is also a major plus point. As well as offering a peak brightness of a respectable 350 nits, it’s also a touchscreen, which we found make this a very versatile laptop. In actual fact, it’s a better display than some Windows laptops that occupy the same £500 or so price point, including one of our favourite budget laptops, the Surface Laptop Go from Microsoft.

The Flex 5 also features a good battery life too. We measured it to last nearly 13 hours before conking out in our video loop test, which puts it firmly ahead of similarly-priced Windows laptops, and allowed it to smash Lenovo’s own quoted 10 hours of battery life.

Overall, this is a great Chromebook with good performance to back it up. Just watch out for the thin-sounding speakers and plastic trackpad, which we weren’t big fans of. But if you after power in a Chromebook at a more affordable price, the Flex 5 is an excellent option.

Reviewer: Andrew Williams
Full review: 
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook review

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FAQs

What is difference between Chromebook and laptop?

A Chromebook uses Google’s ChromeOS software, while a more conventional laptop uses Windows. ChromeOS doesn’t offer as much freedom as Windows, relying instead on Google’s app store for software, but is arguably more user-friendly. Chromebooks are often cheaper than Windows laptops, but offer a basic performance for productivity. This isn’t a good option for gamers and creators, but great for students and casual use.

Can you use Word on a Chromebook?

Yes, you can find Microsoft Word in the app store, while you also have the option of Google Docs.

Can you use Chromebook without WiFi?

Absolutely, although you’ll need an internet connection to download and use apps such as Netflix and Spotify.

Trusted Reviews test data

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Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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