The 7 Best Chromebooks of 2022

Chromebooks are a cheap, easy to use alternative to a traditional laptop

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If you need an inexpensive and versatile machine for routine tasks like checking email, streaming media, or doing schoolwork, a Chromebook could be the perfect laptop for you.

Lifewire's pick: Best Chromebook

The Google Pixelbook Go is a great choice for most people, and is powerful and brilliantly designed, albeit at a relatively high price. The Lenovo Duet Chromebook 2 is a good budget alternative.

Chromebooks are affordable, portable, and run on a version of Google's Chrome browser rather than running Microsoft's Windows or Apple's macOS. That means you have access to almost everything you need that's web-based, as long as you have a stable Wi-Fi connection and a Google account.

While you can’t install any software like Photoshop or Microsoft Word, Chrome offers free alternatives to a lot of popular software. They're limited yet versatile devices that are well worth considering if you're on a tight budget, and we've got a full guide to What is a Chromebook? if you're still not sure.

Here are our top picks for the best Chromebooks.

Best Overall: Google Pixelbook Go

4.2
Google Pixelbook Go Lightweight Chromebook Laptop

Amazon

What We Like
  • Extremely light and portable

  • Superb battery life

  • Excellent keyboard

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Since Google is responsible for creating Chrome OS, it makes sense that their own devices are the best for these lightweight laptops. The Pixelbook Go easily beats the competition in most respects, with a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and a high-resolution 13.3-inch display with a better-than-average webcam.

The only caveat is the price, which is more in line with Windows-based laptops. While a similarly priced laptop might seem like a better deal, Chromebooks tend to remain fast and responsive because of the lightweight operating system. The better build quality also means the Pixelbook Go can survive longer than other Chromebooks with cheaper designs.

Overall, the Pixelbook Go is a more capable gadget than you'd typically expect from a Chromebook. If you're looking for the best Chromebook out there, this is it.

CPU: Intel Core i7 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB | Display size: 13.3 in. | Weight: 2.93 lb.

Tested by Lifewire

"I tested the PixelBook Go for 40 hours and enjoyed almost everything about using it, especially the slim but durable build. Even though this Chromebook is only about 0.5 inches thick, it showed no signs of flexing when I picked it up at the edges. The ribbing on the bottom of the device also helped prevent any sliding around while I worked. While it doesn't have a lot of storage, this Chromebook excels in other areas compared to most competitors. It comes with decent speakers, a top-notch keyboard that's easy to type on, and impressive battery life. While Google predicts 12 hours of battery life, I easily reached 13 hours." —Jonno Hill, Product Tester

Google Pixelbook Go

Lifewire / Jonno Hill 

Best Budget: Lenovo Chromebook Duet

3.8
Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Amazon

What We Like
  • Rock bottom price point

  • Excellent screen

  • High-quality build materials

  • Attractive, light, and portable design

What We Don't Like
  • Outdated Bluetooth hardware

  • No audio port

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the more attractive laptop/tablet hybrids in an affordable price range. It combines the flexibility of a 2-in-1 device with a bright and beautiful 1920x1200 touchscreen display and a high-end design.

Overall, the Duet isn't that powerful, with only 4GB of RAM and a MediaTek Helio P60T processor, but that's plenty for the browser-based applications Chrome OS supports. For a wallet-friendly price, you also get a reasonable 128GB of solid state drive (SSD) storage, which is more storage than most Chromebooks offer.

CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Display size: 10.1 in. | Weight: 2.0 lb.

Tested by Lifewire

"I put the Lenovo Chromebook Duet to the test for 20 hours and found the build to be well-made and pretty solid. Like most devices in the dual laptop and tablet category, the Duet comes with a protective magnetic case that doubles as a stand. The magnetic cover is very strong and showed no signs of slipping when I used it to prop up the 10-inch display, which is surprisingly crisp and great for productivity. However, the Duet is let down by its detachable keyboard, which I found to be cramped and difficult to type on and has an annoying tendency to malfunction when it becomes partially disconnected from the rest of the device. Since the Duet is more of a tablet with an optional keyboard than a real laptop/tablet hybrid, it has outstanding value—and the flawed detachable keyboard isn't necessarily a dealbreaker." Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Andy Zahn / Lifewire

Best Value: Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

Amazon

What We Like
  • Flexible, affordable form factor

  • Compatible with Lenovo digital pen

  • Narrow bezels

  • Good speakers

What We Don't Like
  • Only 4GB of memory

  • Pen sold separately

The Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook offers excellent value. Its high-definition 13.3-inch display features thinner bezels (borders around the display) than you often find on budget-oriented laptops, and its front-facing speakers provide surprisingly decent audio. It only has 4GB of RAM, which isn't a lot of memory, but it's not such a big deal in an affordable device running Chrome OS. Similarly, the 128GB SSD is plenty for a primarily web-based computer system that doesn't need a ton of internal storage.

The 2-in-1 system of the Flex 5 offers plenty of flexibility, allowing it to transform from a laptop into tablet mode. This versatility is particularly handy if you buy the compatible Lenovo digital pen (unfortunately sold separately). This Chromebook also offers an ample selection of ports, with USB-C and USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a microSD reader. Lenovo estimates up to 10 hours of battery life, which isn't the longest, but certainly enough to get you through the day.

CPU: Intel Core i3 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Display size: 13.3 in. | Weight: 2.97 lb.

Best Design: Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Amazon

What We Like
  • Beautiful, versatile form factor

  • Bright LED display

  • Great RAM and CPU options

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Speaker placement is less than ideal

The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is a stylish, well-rounded device with ample flexibility for everyday use. It offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which should be plenty for daily tasks like web browsing, and is perfectly adequate for a Chromebook. The most noteworthy feature is the flexible 360-degree hinge, which allows you to operate it in laptop mode, as a tablet, propped up at an angle with the keyboard underneath it, or in a tented orientation.

The all-aluminum build has a premium feel that's both durable and lightweight. The high-resolution 14-inch display is bright, has thin bezels, and is touch-responsive. One slight design drawback is that speakers are bottom-facing, which is less than ideal for sound quality. However, the responsive keyboard, sizable trackpad, and decent 10-hour battery life make it an excellent machine for getting work done.

CPU: Intel Core i5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Display size: 14 in. | Weight: 3.19 lb.

Best 2-in-1: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

4.6
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Courtesy of Best Buy

What We Like
  • Excellent build quality

  • 2-in-1 functionality

  • Great keyboard

  • Snappy overall performance

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive for a Chromebook

With the impressive build quality and a slick user experience, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a compelling Chrome OS-powered budget alternative to more expensive Windows and Mac devices. Its 2-in-1 functionality is well done, with a solid hinge allowing you to easily switch between tablet and laptop modes.

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is powered by a modest 4GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron CPU5205U processor. Though these specs won’t win any awards for computing power, it's is an excellent choice for a 2-in-1 Chromebook.

CPU: Intel Celeron 5205U | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Display size: 13.3 in. | Weight: 2.71 lb.

Tested by Lifewire

"The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is budget-friendly and flexible. It features a particularly excellent keyboard, which felt very comfortable to use during my 20 hours of testing. I also found the touchpad to be roomy and the touchscreen responsive in tablet mode. The 13.3-inch 1920x1080 resolution screen was also very clear. It uses Quantum dot display (QLED) technology, which means it delivers deep blacks, bright colors, and crisp details. While Chromebooks aren't known for having great speakers, I noticed that the Galaxy Chromebook 2 produces high volumes and good audio quality, which is a bonus for streaming music or movies. My testing also confirmed Samsung's claim of 13 hours of battery life, which is more than enough to last a typical workday." —Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Best Splurge: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
What We Like
  • Beautiful display

  • S Pen functionality

  • Excellent design

  • Extremely thin and portable

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Lackluster speaker performance

  • Relatively low battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is a sharply designed 2-in-1 device with bells and whistles many Chromebooks don’t offer. The first is a brilliant 4K resolution active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) 2-in-1 display that's really quite stunning. The built-in S Pen (Samsung's digital pen) has a convenient resting place when you’re not using it to sketch or take notes, and the fingerprint reader provides extra security and quick access to your computer. It’s also incredibly thin (0.39 inches) and lightweight (2.2 pounds), making it extremely portable.

With 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor, the Galaxy Chromebook is more powerful than many Chromebooks, and its 256GB SSD provides ample storage for such a device. However, there are a few drawbacks, and the most significant is its high price. It also has disappointing speakers and low, eight-hour battery life. However, it's one of the best Chromebooks for its extra features and power.

CPU: Intel Core i5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display size: 13.3 in. | Weight: 2.29 lb.

Best for Students: HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

Amazon

What We Like
  • Functional design

  • Excellent array of ports

  • Very affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Low storage capacity

  • Low power components

While 2-in-1 laptops are great for switching between work modes, a more traditional laptop-only design is often more stable and practical, particularly for students who mainly just need to write papers and attend online classes. The HP Chromebook 14 is ideal for students with limited budgets. It's cheap and functional, as well as light and portable. It doesn't have a ton of power: only 4GB of RAM and an absolutely tiny 32GB SSD. However, its 14-inch screen is a great size for writing and productivity.

The HP Chromebook 14 also has a great selection of ports, so you can plug in plenty of external accessories such as USB drives, mice, or keyboards. It's a bit cheap feeling and is definitely a "bare minimum" sort of device in many ways, but it's the perfect laptop for cash-strapped students.

CPU: AMD A4-9120C | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Display size: 14 in. | Weight: 3.4 lb.

Final Verdict

The Google Pixelbook Go (view at Amazon) is the overall best choice for a Chromebook because it offers a great mix of performance, value, and quality. It's sleekly designed and lightweight and provides a high-quality webcam—something seldom found in laptops. You also get excellent battery life, which is a key selling point of Chromebooks in general. The Lenovo Duet Chromebook 2 (view at Amazon) is a good alternative if you need to save some money. Despite its low cost, it's a remarkably well-made laptop.

Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

What to Look for in a Chromebook

RAM

The amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) you have essentially dictates how much you can do at a time on your computer. In Windows or macOS laptops, it's important to have a lot of RAM for various demanding tasks. However, on Chrome OS, you can get away with having only a fraction of the RAM you need in a more traditional laptop. A minimum of 4GB is just fine, though it's never a bad thing to have more.

Storage

A perk of choosing a Chromebook is the included 100GB of Google Drive storage. However, since you may not always be connected to the internet while using it, it's important to have some onboard storage. Most Chromebooks have at least 64GB of storage space, which is adequate since there's not much need to store large quantities of data on these laptops. Many Chromebooks only offer 128GB or 256GB of storage capacity.

2-in-1 design

Many Chromebooks have a 2-in-1 design for transforming from a laptop to a tablet. It can be a handy trick, though the primary use case for these devices is in their laptop format. The option to use a Chromebook as a tablet offers a great way to enjoy compatible Android apps, drawing, or reading e-books.

HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
Lifewire / Andy Zahn
FAQ
  • Can a Chromebook run Android apps?

    Since Google is behind both the Chrome OS and Android operating systems, there is some crossover between the two. Many Chromebooks can access the Google Play store. However, some cannot, and app compatibility is often limited.

  • Can Chromebooks play games?

    Chromebooks are just about the last device you'd choose to play games on, aside from the games you can play in a web browser. If you want to play high-end games on your Chromebook, a potential workaround is to stream them from a gaming PC via the Steam Link app.

  • Why don't Chromebooks have dedicated graphics cards?

    You'll find graphics cards (also known as GPUs) in many high-end desktops and laptops. They allow you to play graphics-intensive video games and do power-intensive tasks such as editing videos. However, Chromebooks don't do those things, so they don't require such expensive hardware.

About Our Trusted Experts

Andy Zahn has written for Lifewire since 2019 and covered a wide range of products including laptops and Chromebooks. As an avid outdoorsman, he was a fan of the extra portability offered by several of the devices on this roundup.

Jonno Hill is a writer who covers tech such as computers, gaming equipment, and cameras for Lifewire and publications including AskMen.com and PCMag.com.

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