These days the laptop market is full of options. You can find both Windows and macOS machines at pretty much any price, power level, or spec. But some users are looking for something a little leaner and more affordable. In that instance, Chromebooks are an excellent alternative to Mac or Windows.
In the past, Chromebooks have been seen as a lesser device compared to other laptops but that has changed. Brands like Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung have managed to give customers the affordable, user-friendly device they want with enough power to do more than just surf the web. So, who does it best? We ranked the best Chromebooks money can buy in 2022.
- Release Date
- Original price
- Units Sold
- 30 Million in 2022
Before you can pick the best Chromebook, you should understand what a Chromebook is and what criteria you should be looking for when making a purchase. Chromebooks run on ChromeOS, a speedy, lightweight operating system developed by Google. The OS takes up much less storage space than macOS or Windows, meaning it can operate a lot faster but with some sacrifices.
Chromebook is web-based which means it prioritizes cloud storage over local. You can install some apps locally, but you have to do it from the Play Store similar to an Android device. This isn’t to say that Chromebooks can’t be powerful, some models can compete with lower-end PCs and Macs. However, none are as powerful as your typical high-end Windows or macOS machine.
So, that’s what a Chromebook is, but what makes a Chromebook good? The best metrics to use are hardware, display, price, and design features. We have ranked the five below as our best Chromebooks of 2022:
- Best Overall: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Best Display: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
- Best Design: Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
- Best Budget-Friendly: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
- Best Bang for Your Buck: Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
Best Overall: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Portable and Ultra-thin design Chrome OS operating system; 11th Gen Intel i5-1135G7 Quad Core Processor (2.4GHz up to 4.2GHz; 4 cores; 6MB Cache) – Latest Iris Xe Graphics; Backlit Keyboard
- 13.3in 2K (2256 x 1504) Gorilla Glass Touchscreen IPS ComfyView, Wide Viewing Angle, low reflection anti-glare screen; Two built-in stereo speakers and built-in digital microphone
- 8GB memory; 256GB Solid State Drive; Precision Touchpad; HD Webcam; Long Lasting battery
- Powerful WiFi Intel IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax Gigabit Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0; 1-HDMI, 1- USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A Port; 2- USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C Ports (up to 5 Gbps) USB Type-C port supporting: DisplayPort over USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, USB charging 5 V; 3 A, DC-in port 5 or 9 or 15 or 20 V; 45 W
There is only one real spot for the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and it’s at the top. It ticks all the boxes of what makes a Chromebook great. It has a gorgeous 3:2 display, killer performance, and a 2-in-1 design, making it extremely versatile.
Even with the thin, compact design, it has a lot of power under the hood. It has an Intel Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM so it can easily handle all the tabs you can throw at it. The 2256 x 1504 display panel renders color beautifully and gives the user extra vertical space to use when working.
While the screen is nice, it’s only 10.1 inches, and not everyone is a fan of the 3:2 aspect ratio. Despite the killer performance, you may want to look elsewhere if you are interested in some light gaming. But if you’re looking for something light and compact for an affordable price, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has you covered.
Best Display: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
- Aspect Ratio:16:9
- Awarded Best Chromebook by CNN Underscored
- The power & speed you deserve: Whether your working, studying or relaxing, Galaxy Chromebook 2 has you covered. With the latest Intel Core processor, you'll get super-fast speeds. Plus, Wi-Fi 6 GIG+ that’s up to 3x faster than standard Wi-Fi gives you a super smooth performance
- Sleek design to make you stand out: Featuring an ultra-thin design , the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is compact and ready for impact. With technology as slim, sleek and savvy as this, it’s no wonder they’re staring. Whether your working, studying or relaxing, Galaxy Chromebook 2 has you covered. With the latest Intel Core processor, you'll get super-fast speeds. Plus, Wi-Fi 6 GIG+ that’s up to 3x faster than standard Wi-Fi gives you a super smooth performance
- A Battery That'S Above & Beyond: Stay dialed in on-the-go with an all-day battery that keeps up no matter how many checkmarks your to-do list demands
Samsung is known for creating beautiful displays, and that is no different from the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. It features a 13.3-inch, 1080p, QLED display panel. Technically this is a downgrade from the original Galaxy Chromebook which sported a 4K OLED panel. However, this display still delivers rich, vibrant colors that look amazing, and with the reduction in price from $1000 to $799.99, it was a good call by Samsung.
The design is thin yet sturdy, with the same flip abilities as the Spin 713. It also has a very stylish look with the striking red color, although it does come in a more muted gray as well. The speakers are also very solid making this a great Chromebook to watch movies, but I wouldn’t recommend it for AAA gaming. The battery life is also improved from the previous model, but it is still outpaced by many others on this list.
Best Design: Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
- Touch Screen Type :Capacitive.Aspect Ratio:16:9
- Powered by the Intel Core i3-1110G4 Processor 2.5 GHz (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 2 cores)
- 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.0
- 14-inch Touchscreen Full HD 1920x1080 NanoEdge Display with Garaged USI Stylus
- A durable 360 degree hinge that can be used to flip the touchscreen display to tent, stand, and tablet mode
Even with the Samsung’s loud red color, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 stands out from the crowd. It has a super smooth finish that Asus calls “electro-deposition coating.” Whatever it is, it feels like nothing else out there. Not only does it feel great, but it also looks great, too. It has a sleek 2-in-1 design with a sturdy build quality.
It performs quite well, too. It has an Intel Core i5 processor and 16GM of RAM. The display is 16:9 like most 15-inch laptops, but it renders rich colors with little glare. The Flip CX5 is expensive, putting it out of reach for a lot of students.
Best Budget-Friendly: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
- 【Octa-Core Processor】MediaTek Helio P60T processor with 8 cores and 8 threads, the right combination of fast performance and power efficiency. It allows rapid multitasking, delivers smooth response, and boasts amazing graphics.
- 【10.1" FHD Touchscreen】10.1" Full HD IPS Glossy Touchscreen with 1920 x 1200 resolution, integrated ARM G72 MP3 800GHz Graphics.
- 【Plenty of Onboard Storage】Internal storage is upgraded to 128GB which offers faster and enormous space for photos, videos, documents and more.
- 【Dual Cameras】2.0MP fixed-focus front-facing camera with LED indicator and 8.0MP autofocus rear-facing camera, perfect for photos and face-to-face chat.
- 【2-in-1 Chromebook】Ultraportable 2-in-1 Chromebook includes a fast and stable plug-and-play detachable keyboard. Chrome OS, Up to 10 hour battery life, 802.11AC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Type C, come with GalliumPi MousePad.
You could also make a strong case that this is the best option for students. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is very affordable at $299 but doesn’t feel cheap. The compact 2-in-1 design makes it very portable and versatile in work or school environments. It also has a decent amount of power at this price point with the MediaTek P60T processor and 4GB of RAM. I mean, you won’t be using lightroom or playing Battlefield anytime soon, but it performs pretty well with a lot of tabs open.
It is small at 10.1-inches which can be a drawback for some. The keyboard and touchpad are cramped which can cause some discomfort when typing. But if you are looking for something to tackle that late-night essay, this is probably the Chromebook for you.
Best Bang for Your Buck: Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box
The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 packs a lot of power. It has the biggest screen on this list at 15.6-inches, which is also a touchscreen. The base model offers a 1080p resolution, but there is an available upgrade for 4K if you are willing to pay the extra $250.
It also has beefy performance with a Core i5 and 8GB of Ram. On top of general use, you can run creative programs like Lightroom or Photoshop with no problem. The size makes it less portable than others on this list but if you need the extra performance this is the way to go.
How To Pick The Best Chromebook: Step-by-Step
So, that’s our rankings for the best in each category. But how do you know which Chromebook is right for you? Let’s go through some of the key factors you should consider when making a selection of Chromebooks.
Portability is one of the things that separate Chromebooks from other laptops. You should consider not only the size of the Chromebook but the weight as well. Most Chromebooks weigh less than regular laptops. That said, you are going to see a difference between smaller Chromebooks and one of the 15-inch models we’ve talked about here.
Even if you aren’t using Chromebooks for heavy-lift programs, performance is still a consideration. Chrome can be a very demanding program especially when you have as many tabs open as I do (trust me, it’s obscene.) Even for general use, performance is a key indicator of whether a Chromebook is worth the price. If you are just browsing Chrome and doing some light streaming, making sure that the processor is decent can be enough. If you are hoping to use some apps, then more RAM is going to be your friend. For more intensive programs like Lightroom, you are going to what 8GB minimum.
Even on a Chromebook, this is more important than you might initially think. Because of most Chromebooks’ portable nature, you might be using yours outside, so it is important to know if the screen is bright enough to view in the sunlight. It is also important that you have a good display for things like photo editing or illustrating programs. Even if something is a touch screen you are going to want to ensure that you are looking at the truest colors possible.
What to Know Before Buying A Chromebook
Finally, before you buy, there are some things you need to know going in. Some Chromebooks allow you to use them offline, but all Chromebooks are optimized for cloud storage. Having easy access to Wi-Fi is important if you want to get everything you can out of your Chromebook. Also, since this is a Google device you are going to have to agree to Google’s terms of service. Those take the form of Chrome OS terms of service and Google Play store terms of service.
Size can be an issue as well. Most smaller Chromebooks have equally tiny keyboards and trackpads. Some include touch screens and stylus’ to alleviate this but not all. Making sure you have something that isn’t just affordable, and capable but also comfortable is key.
Last update on 2022-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API