The 8 Best Chromebooks of 2020

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The Rundown
"The lofty price is backed by some cutting edge features and technology."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
Asus Asus Chromebook Flip C434 at Amazon
"The Chromebook Flip C434 is Asus’ best foot forward for a Chromebook that checks all the boxes for most users."
"A truly premium option for those who want a portable device running on the Chrome OS."
"One of the most affordable ways to get into a really capable Chromebook."
Best Tablet Style:
Google Pixel Slate at Amazon
"The Google Pixel Slate is a direct response to the detachable laptop market that has been kicking around for a few years."
"HP’s clamshell-style Chromebook line is a fantastic value."
"When it comes to specs, the Chromebook 4 from Samsung checks a lot of boxes, but really doesn’t stand out in a whole lot of ways."
"Lenovo is a brand that has long been focused on the professional market, particularly with the no-nonsense Thinkpad line."

Chromebooks serve a lot of fringe purposes for laptop users. Most commonly, you’ll find Chromebooks satisfying budget needs as a wallet-friendly, secondary laptop. They’re also great for students because they tend to run light thanks to the Chrome OS while maintaining a light physical weight. In 2020, there tends to be a much wider range in quality among Chromebooks, thanks in part to the evolution of the iPad Pro. There’s now a much larger market for super-premium tablets and laptops that don’t require a full Windows or Mac operating system.

When you’re in the market for a Chromebook, you should first determine the form factor of the device you need. Do you want a standard, clamshell-style laptop without a touchscreen? Or do you prefer a fully articulating 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid? You might even be in the market for more of an iPad-style device with a detachable keyboard. Once you’ve made this choice, you’ll need to determine your price point, because if you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, you can get a truly premium screen, high-end processing power, and an excellent fit and finish. However, if processing power doesn’t need to be top-of-the-line, you can actually save a lot of money and get a laptop for far less than a full Windows device. And, because Chrome OS is a much lighter, faster operating system, you don’t particularly need a high-end processor. In this guide, we’re breaking down the full range of Chromebooks available right now, from splurge-worthy, high-end laptops to budget-friendly devices perfect for students.

Best Overall: Google Pixelbook Go

What We Like
  • Premium, light form factor

  • Excellent processor options

  • Superb battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Pretty expensive

  • 4K display only available at the higher price point

  • Only two color options

Released just a few years ago, the Pixelbook Go is Google’s latest attempt at competitive hardware in the laptop space. The Pixel Slate, though premium in build, lacked the features to account for a high price tag. That’s why the Pixelbook Go starts at around $649—higher than many budget-focused Chromebooks, but not quite as high in price as other laptops with the RAM and processing capability. You can spec the Go with an Intel Core m3 processor for that entry-level price, all the way up to a later-generation Intel Core i7 processor for more than double the price. The lower-end models come standard with 8GB of RAM, but if you plan on using the device for media production or heavy browsing, go for a pricier model offering 16GB of RAM.

The 13.3-inch LCD is the place where you’ll see the biggest difference because the entry price point gets you a standard HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, but if you want the highest-quality, 4K option you’ll have to shell out the highest price tag. One huge benefit of opting for the lighter Chrome OS is that you’ll tend to get better battery life, and that fact is on display here with up to 12 hours of use on a single charge. This is a lot better than full Windows laptops tend to give you, especially at this form factor. That ultra-thin, two-pound build also makes this one of the lightest, slimmest options out there, making it a supremely portable device. This isn’t the best Chromebook in all categories, but on processing power and design alone, it tops our list as the cleanest vision you can get straight from Google—but you will pay a premium for it.

"If you’re confident your needs don’t exceed the capabilities of a Chromebook and you’re a fan of the design, I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed by the Pixelbook Go." — Jonno Hill, Tech Reviewer

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Asus Chromebook Flip C434

What We Like
  • Beautiful, versatile form factor

  • Bright LED display

  • Great RAM and CPU options

What We Don't Like
  • A bit pricey

  • Only one color option

  • No Intel i7 options

The Chromebook Flip C434 is Asus’ best foot forward for a Chromebook that checks all the boxes for most users. It offers a choice between an Intel m3 processor to save a few bucks, or a core i5 processor if you need a bit more power—not quite the oomph from an i7, but still plenty of range. You can spec the rest of the package with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB or internal storage, which again aren’t the most robust options we’ve seen, but should be sufficient for most average users. The 10 hours of battery life also make for a pretty solid laptop if you’re looking for something to last the majority of a long trip or workday.

Where the C434 really shines is in the form factor, and that’s for two reasons. First of all, the keyboard with a solid 1.4mm of travel manages to feel a lot more like a true office keyboard without causing the chassis to get too thick. The large trackpad has plenty of real estate. The other aspect of the form factor is the display—the 14-inch LED sports a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and full flips around, making this Chromebook a true two-in-one. This gives it a bit more flexibility than laptop-only Chromebooks, making it much more entertainment-friendly. In fact, Asus has taken the time to offer an immersive speaker system that works well when the device is propped up in “tent” mode. The whole package starts at around $550, putting it firmly in the mid-to-high part of the range.

Best Splurge: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

What We Like
  • Beautiful display and design

  • Latest-gen processor

  • S Pen functionality

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Only one configuration available

  • Lackluster speaker performance

With the introduction of Samsung’s newest Chromebook and its newest member of the Galaxy line, there’s a truly premium option for those who want a portable device running on the Chrome OS. And Samsung has not skimped on features. Front and center is a truly impressive display—not surprising considering Samsung makes most of the displays you see in all devices. This 13-inch 4K AMOLED display has an insane resolution of 3840 x 2160, making it one of the most pixel-dense Chromebook options on the market. Running the system is a 10th-gen Intel i5, giving plenty of oomph to the performance, especially with the lighter Chrome OS.

One of the reasons that the Galaxy Chromebook appears so expensive on the surface is because the brand only offers one configuration featuring 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. So, while it will run you $999 new, when you compare it to other high-spec Chromebooks, it’s not that much more expensive. Just know that you can’t get a budget version of the Galaxy Chromebook. The design and functionality also really set this device apart, with a fully rotating nearly 360-degree display, vibrant color options (including one with a super sharp orange finish), and the super-functional Galaxy S Pen tucked right inside the laptop chassis. The battery capacity will give you an estimated 8 hours of battery life, which puts this laptop right in the middle of the pack in that category, but with that many pixels on the display, that number is actually pretty impressive. The whole package is less than a half-inch thick and weighs just over two pounds, making it just about the sleekest option available.

Best 2-in-1: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i

What We Like
  • Affordable price tag

  • Great-looking display

  • Solid I/O

What We Don't Like
  • Mid-range processing power

  • Slower-speed storage technology

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i is one of the brand’s newest offerings, and it also happens to be one of the most affordable ways to get into a really capable Chromebook. The Intel Celeron N 4000 series processor isn’t the fastest option on the market, but it’s nice to see that Lenovo put in an Intel chipset, rather than a less expensive brand. There’s 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM included—not quite as substantial as the preferred 8GB on more premium Chromebooks, but considering Chrome OS is so light, it should do fine here. You can configure the internal storage up to 64GB but Lenovo cut some cost by going for eMMC storage rather than the faster, more reliable SSD. The 11.6-inch, fully rotating display is one place where you really get a premium impression because of its high-gloss coating and the 1366x768 resolution. While that isn’t the high density of a Surface or iPad display, for an 11-inch screen, it’s plenty of pixels for a great visual experience.

The form factor is a key standout aspect of the Flex 3i. That fully articulating display means that this Chromebook, like a lot of others, can act like a tablet. And even though the device is more than a half-inch thick (the unofficial threshold for a truly thin laptop), it weighs quite a bit less than three pounds. That means that it’s totally natural to use it both as a laptop and as a tablet. The sub-$400 price point also makes it a really attractive buy for a 2-in-1, a category of product that runs the risk of taking a beating. Lenovo has managed to put a lot more ports here, too, with a fast-transfer USB-C port, two full-sized USB-A ports, and a micro-SD card slot to expand the storage. This all amounts to a really versatile package for a 2-in-1, while still managing to stay in the budget-friendly side of the Chromebook range.

Best Tablet Style: Google Pixel Slate

What We Like
  • Excellent display

  • Great CPU options

  • Nice build quality

What We Don't Like
  • Pretty pricey

  • Limited storage options

The Google Pixel Slate is a direct response to the detachable laptop market that has been kicking around for a few years, but has reached new heights with Apple’s new iPad Pro focus and the evolution of the Surface line. Google has tried a few times, to varying success, to create a high-end Chromebook—and considering Google is the company that created the software that goes with it, there are expectations that the hardware should work well with Chrome OS. The Pixel Slate was originally released with mixed reviews, mostly because of some software kinks, but the fact remains even today—if you want a high-end tablet with true Chrome OS, the Slate is basically your only option without dipping into the Android Tablet market. But though it looks like a tablet, the Slate actually has options that pack a lot more power under the hood. The entry-level configuration comes in at around $500 with an Intel m3 processor, if you don’t need a ton of power, but you can step up to an 8th-gen i5 or i7 processor for more juice.

You’ll have an option for 8 or 16GB of RAM; both options should be more than sufficient for basic Chromebook use, but as you often see with premium devices, you can’t get the 16GB unless you shell out for the highest-end processor. Another area that Google has put a lot of time and money into is the screen technology. What they’re calling a 12.3-inch Display is basically just a super-high-definition (3000x2000) LCD with really impressive dynamic range. Paired with the Pixelbook Pen, it’s actually an intuitive interface that rivals what Microsoft and Apple have on offer. The DuoCam is another category that’s all over Google’s advertising. This 8MP, f/1.9 camera system is capable of 1080p video and 30 fps, making it a truly capable camera for video calls. For all of these premium features, you won’t find a Google Slate cheaper than $500, and because the device runs on Chrome OS, it’s limited in its third-party software capabilities, but the fit and finish is in keeping with the high-end price point.

Best Budget: HP Chromebook 14

What We Like
  • Reasonable CPU performance

  • Excellent I/O

  • Very affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Cheap-feeling peripherals

  • Washy, budget display

  • Low storage capacity

HP’s clamshell-style Chromebook line is a fantastic value. While the x360 options make it feel a bit more like you’re using a tablet, the standard 14-inch model here gives a ton of features for your price range. This particular configuration also features an AMD A4 processor, which isn’t quite as efficient as an Intel N-series, but gets the price well below the $300 mark. The 14-inch display sports a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is just sharp enough to give you a decent browsing experience, but isn’t winning any resolution awards. The IPS tech with WLED backlight should make it plenty light, but in our experience, that tends to wash things out—so you’ll find better performance if you tweak the color temperature when you get the laptop (found in the Night Mode settings menu).

The 4GB of DDR4 RAM should be plenty for basic browsing and entertainment, and the 32GB of storage space is about the minimum you’d expect for a Chromebook. Thankfully there’s a microSD card slot to expand the storage, though, because it will go a long way toward making sure you don’t outgrow the system. While the device runs a bit thick, that size allows HP to put in a lot of ports, including two USB-C ports featuring USB 3.1 tech and two full-sized USB-A ports. HP has also enlisted the help of B&O for the speakers, tuning them to give you a better sound stage and a fuller response. The keyboards and trackpads on these budget HP laptops tend to show the price point a bit with cheap-feeling plastic and clunky key/click travel. But if you’re looking for something that will get most of your basic needs done without breaking the bank, then this laptop is a great place to look.

Best for Students: Samsung Chromebook 4

What We Like
  • Solid battery life

  • Student-friendly price point

  • Decent build quality

What We Don't Like
  • Not the thinnest laptop

  • Barebones processor

  • No touchscreen functionality

When it comes to specs, the Chromebook 4 from Samsung checks a lot of boxes, but really doesn’t stand out in a whole lot of ways. There’s an Intel Celeron N-series processor with an adequate 1.1 GHz speed, bolstered by a solid 6GB of RAM. Paired with the lighter Chrome OS, these stats should be enough for the average user, but for a student these specs help to keep the cost down on the laptop while allowing for note-taking and studying. At about 0.7 inches thick and just over 2.5 pounds, it may not be the smallest device we’ve seen, but the 11.9-inch device footprint is plenty portable for the scholar on the go. Samsung is billing the keyboard as “spill-proof” which usually mean that there’s a basic membrane under the keys to prevent too much damage for succumbing with accidents, and in general, even though the chassis is all plastic, Samsung does a really good job of making their clamshell-style laptops very durable.

Another key reason that this laptop is great for students is the battery life. There’s a 5,000 mAh battery on-board, which is physically much smaller than you might expect on a laptop (another factor that happens to help keep the weight down, too), but because of measures Samsung has taken on the software front, you can get about 12 hours of continuous use out of the device. That is thanks to their “Battery Life Extender” baked into the OS. A lot of manufacturers offer some sort of “power save” mode but Samsung’s take here is a lot more holistic, and should provide plenty of life for a full day of classes. The 11.6-inch LED screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768, but the color reproduction appears to be pretty accurate and vibrant—a really impressive factor considering how much battery life they’ve squeezed out. The laptop comes in at just over $200, putting it squarely in the “budget” category, but still provides enough power and focus for student use. That way, you have enough features to satisfy your needs, but aren’t super-concerned if it gets dinged up when moving between classes.

Best for Business: Lenovo Chromebook C340

What We Like
  • Large, vivid display

  • 2-in-1 versatility

  • Decent processing power

What We Don't Like
  • Limited RAM and storage

  • Lacks a bit of screen resolution

  • Only one full-sized USB port

Lenovo is a brand that has long been focused on the professional market, particularly with the no-nonsense Thinkpad line. The C340, 15-inch Chromebook gives you some interesting features that you wouldn’t expect on a business laptop while also maintaining all the professionalism you’ll need. For starters, this is a 2-in-1 device, so it works great if you’re looking to kick back and use it like a tablet, but we like it for the fact that you can set it up in tent mode and use it when giving a presentation or running a meeting. The 15.6-inch display offers plenty of real estate to boost your productivity, though the 1920 x 1080 resolution does feel stretched a bit thin for a screen of this size. Lenovo has managed to keep the size of the device pretty small, with a super-thin bezel style and only about 0.7 inches of thickness. Considering this is a 15-inch screen, it’s impressive to see how small of a footprint they’ve managed to get at this price point, making it an excellent option for business trips.

Powering the system is an Intel Gold-series processor capable of around 2.3GHz, but only with 2 cores. This setup seems like a nice middle ground between providing enough processing power for most business uses, without driving the price up so high. This configuration offers a budget-friendly 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage, so if you store a lot of files locally, you’ll want to use the microSD card slot included for extra storage. The 10-hour estimated battery life should also offer enough juice to get through a workday (in the office or on the go) without issues. The price tag isn’t the cheapest around, but at around $500, for the screen size and the touchscreen versatility, this really is a great option for business-first.

Final Verdict

The Google Pixelbook Go was an easy choice for our top pick. While historically Google has missed the mark with their hardware, either pricing it too high or shipping it with too little functionality, the Pixelbook Go strikes an excellent balance between premium functionality and reasonable price point. While the “Go” would imply that it’s a budget-friendly device, it isn’t exactly “affordable,” as it starts at $500. But because Google is the developer of Chrome OS, and has finally found a way to provide a top-notch physical device, the two marry in a way that is hard to find outside of something like Apple’s lauded ecosystem. Be sure to check out our in-depth review of the Pixelbook Go here.

How We Tested

Our expert reviewers and editors evaluate Chromebooks based on design, hardware specs and performance, display quality, and features. We test their real-life performance in actual use cases, both as on-the-go devices we commute with and take home from the office every day, and for a variety of roles from simple productivity to more advanced tasks. We also consider each unit as a value proposition—whether or not a product justifies its price tag, and how it compares to competitive products. All of the models we reviewed were purchased by Lifewire; none of the review units were furnished by the manufacturer or retailer.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jeremy Laukkonen has written about tech for major trade publications for years and written for Lifewire since 2019. As a tech generalist, he's covered products across all categories, including phones, laptops, desktops, and Chromebooks. He personally owns a Asus Vivobook Flip 14 and an HP Spectre x360 15t. He reviewed several of the Chromebooks on this list, but particularly liked the design, display, and battery life of the Acer Chromebook R11

Andrew Hayward has written about tech since 2006 for a variety of publications. He's reviewed a number of gadgets, includig wearables, games, smart home devices, laptops, and Chromebooks. He liked the Asus Chromebook C320CA for its stylish design, the high-resolution 1080p display, and solid performance.

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 the Lenovo Chromebook C330 and HP Chromebook x360.

Ajay Kumar is Tech Editor at Lifewire and has spent seven years reviewing all manner of products, including tablets, laptops, and Chromebooks. He personally owns and enjoys using an Asus Chromebook C302CA to write his novel and watch a bit of Netflix.

Taylor Clemons has three years of experience writing about consumer technology and video games for outlets like TechRadar and GameSkinny. She has also worked in e-commerce, product management, and digital marketing, allowing her to break down technical terms into easy to understand language.

The Ultimate Chromebook Buying Guide

Chromebooks have come a long way since the first models hit the shelves in 2011. While these early models certainly had their shortcomings, the pioneering Chromebooks were game-changers in the established laptop industry, offering consumers a quality machine with ample cloud storage at competitive prices. Over the ensuing years since this initial rollout, Chromebooks have evolved exponentially and are now much more than a basic option for web browsing and minimal word processing tasks.

Who Are Chromebooks For? 

Today, with more people working remotely, Chromebooks are an increasingly choice option for business professionals working from the home office or coffee shop. These more than capable laptop computers aren’t all work and no play by any means. Many of the latest Chromebook iterations on the shelves also serve as versatile multimedia platforms, easily transitioning from a standard clamshell laptop to a lightweight tablet in no time. This makes 2-in-1 laptops ideal for more casual offerings such as streaming your favorite shows and app play.

Before going all-in on a particular Chromebook, it’s best to understand your exact wants and needs. As an impulse shopper knows, a hasty decision during the shopping process could leave you with a woefully insufficient machine. Personal preferences and computational needs will play a key role in the decision-making process, so know what you need first and foremost. For example, busy college students on the move who are perpetually stowing their Chromebook in a backpack or satchel may prefer a compact, lightweight model. If this computer is for a child, it may be wise to shop for a durable model with thoughtful design touches such as drop protection and a reinforced exterior.

With these concepts in mind, we’ve boiled down the basics and curated this buying guide to assist you during the shopping process and help you make the right decision when you buy your next Chromebook. Without further ado, let’s take a digital dive into our definitive Chromebook buying guide.

Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Form Factor: What Do You Plan To Do?

Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a regular electronic version of the Cambrian explosion within the niche laptop computing market. As consumers have added dedicated ebook readers, tablets and more to their portable electronics quiver, manufacturers have looked to entice consumers by offering various 2-in-1 and even 4-in-1 models. That said, there are numerous nimble and capable multi-purpose Chromebooks on the market today.

Design

For those looking for a Chromebook with tablet potential, some models include 360-degree hinges allowing the Chromebook to put the roof back and go full convertible. There are even Chromebooks with entirely detachable displays to help lighten the load when it’s tablet time. At the upper tier of maneuverability (and also price), the Pixelbook can quickly transition from tablet to laptop to entertainment mode in a snap. Then again this eye-catching model does cost nearly a grand, far more than affordable 2-in-1 options like the Chromebook Flip series.

As for other design specifications, parents, in particular, may want to look for a Chromebook engineered to take a beating and keep on computing. Some models on the market are built with spill-resistant keyboards and rubberized exterior components. Other rugged extras include drop protection and Gorilla Glass casings for added durability. If a Chromebook is going to be in-and-out of a child’s backpack multiple times a day, take a long look at a Chromebook constructed to effectively absorb the inevitable drop. (In all fairness, many of us are guilty of eating lunch at our laptops every now and then, so the spill-resistant keyboard is virtually a must for most at this point.)

Additionally, there is also an aesthetic element involved in the purchasing decision for some shoppers. And while most Chromebooks have largely plastic exterior shells there are more elegant models on the market with MacBook-esque aluminum builds like the Asus Chromebook Flip we recently reviewed. Regardless of your general preference, the overall design and functionality portion of the decision is a great starting point for shoppers, as this will help streamline the rest of the process and save invaluable time.

Acer Chromebook R 11
Lifewire / Jordan Provost 

Size and Weight

Whether you’re a busy business professional or a college student going from classroom-to-classroom, in the realm of laptop computing, portability is key. Larger screens will make far better personal home theaters for media viewing, however, these exceptionally bulky builds can be a pain to lug around, even in the most ergonomic backpack. Smaller lightweight 2-in-1 devices may be more appropriate for younger children, especially if these units are also intended for use during the school day. In general, slimmer convertible 2-in-1 Chromebooks make far less cumbersome tablets for casual use around the home. Again, this is a largely preferential detail, but one that is certainly worthy of note nonetheless.

Screen features (touchscreens, resolution, display types)

Choosing the right screen is one of the most crucial decisions for anyone shopping for a new laptop. Some Chromebooks on the market today have massive 15-inch displays, perfect for gaming or use around the home as mobile mini-home theaters. Larger full HD screens will offer beautiful high-resolution clarity for stunning media viewing, however, these units aren’t exactly the most portable laptops out there. As a result, many will prefer a smaller screen and there are plenty of travel-friendly 10-inch displays to do the trick.

Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181
Lifewire / Jordan Provost 

There are other more technical factors to keep in mind as well. For example, to reduce glare some devices, like the Samsung Chromebook 3, include anti-reflective displays. Smaller Chromebooks often come with rather lackluster resolutions and those looking for a sharper display may prefer to make the leap to a model with 920x1080 resolution. To accommodate multiple viewing angles and for greater clarity in direct sunlight perhaps consider an in-plane switching (IPS) panel. Lastly, Chromebooks with 2-in-1 versatility as touchscreen tablets are very popular, especially among children. Some of these touchscreen models have reinforced Gorilla Glass screens to reduce the risk of scuffs, scratches and all-out shatters.

Ports

The evolution of the personal laptop has seen quite a bit of change over the last decade. Manufacturers slowly transitioned from the classic USB-A to slimmer USB-C ports to accommodate increasingly more compact laptops. Can you manage without USB-A ports? Do you absolutely need a microSD slot? Expanded storage ports a la microSD are ideal for convenient plug-and-play maneuverability with downloaded Google Play apps and other media files. Either way, be sure to check the spec sheet before you smash the “Add to Cart” button, as a missing port or two could be a major deal-breaker for some.

Overlooking these specific specs can be a fateful error that will quickly transform your Chromebook into a regular dongle party in no time. Those who want to utilize dual monitors many want a dedicated HDMI port although this isn’t completely necessary with the Chromebook “cast.” This feature allows you to “cast” your full screen or an individual tab to a compatible TV. In general, understand your port needs upfront and then shop with these in mind. 

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02
 Lifewire / James Huenink

Hardware: How Much Power Do You Need? 

Processors

The central processing unit (CPU) known more colloquially as simply the “processor” is essentially the brain of your Chromebook. The necessary sophistication of this brain will squarely depend on how you plan to use the computer on a typical day or even during infrequent bursts (we’re looking at you seasonal binge gamers). For example, more advanced Intel Core processors are better suited for that HD streaming video session. Individuals looking for more of a bare essentials processor will be just fine with a slower CPU. Many people simply need a Chromebook for the basics such as web browsing, some word processing action and the occasional streaming video, however, those looking to utilize the ever-expanding list of compatible apps will need a more powerful processor.

Memory

The amount of RAM (random access memory) is also a major consideration for anyone in the market for a new Chromebook. Many of the models included on this roundup come with 4GB of RAM which is enough for standard web browsing and streaming, however, those who regularly play more intensive games will consequently require more RAM (typically 12GB minimum) on their devices to optimize performance and minimize frustrating lag times. (Take it from us, don’t “pwn” yourself by either short-changing or overlooking your RAM needs.) Video editing programs will also perform much more swimmingly with more RAM available onboard. Connoisseurs of browsers brimming with bountiful open tabs will also greatly appreciate the enhanced performance of a Chromebook with ample RAM.

Internal storage

One of the more well-known “perks” of choosing a Chromebook is the included 100GB of Google Drive storage. Regardless, many individuals will still prefer to store media and other files locally and this magic gigabyte number will vary for each user. For a regular comparative digital vault, the aforementioned Google Pixelbook touts 128GB of internal flash storage, far more than the average Chromebook on the market. Many of the models included on this list have either 32GB or 64GB of available storage. In general, 64GB of internal storage may be a bit light for some, but this, of course, depends on your digital appetite. It’s important to remember that larger downloads will quickly gobble up this limited space. Those who need to regularly access and store massive media files such as graphic illustrators will also need more room to work with.

Lenovo Chromebook C330
Lifewire / Andy Zahn 

Battery life

How long will the Chromebook last between recharges? That’s an important question for many consumers, as most of us know all-to-well the despair that is needing to painstakingly lug a computer over to the nearest outlet for a little juice. Thankfully, many of the Chromebook models available today offer exceptional battery life, allowing you to easily power through a full workday with enough energy left to wind down with a little streaming in the evening on a single charge.
In fact, one of the models we tested touted more than 13 hours of use on a single charge. Again, not everyone will need this kind of stamina some, but some folks will definitely appreciate it. With ample battery life, parents can rest assured their child’s computer will accommodate a full school day even if they forgot to pack the charger.

Connectivity

For those who want to sync all of their wireless gadgets to their laptops, Bluetooth connectivity is imperative. That said, most Chromebooks will work with Bluetooth, however, not all devices on the market do. Again, Chromebooks are heavily reliant on the Internet, so, of course, Internet connectivity is important. Fortunately, many models come with 802.11ac Wi-Fi offering blazing fast speeds compared to some other models with 802.11n.

Webcams

At one point in time, webcams were a tremendous novelty component for desktop and laptop users. However, in a world where an increasing number of us are working remotely and using different apps to interact with our friends in different cities, webcams are a necessity for many consumers in 2020. Unfortunately, not all Chromebooks come with a webcam. If you are telecommuting to the office or looking to interact face-to-face over the interwebs, a webcam is a must. Make sure to check the specs on these cameras as well. Some cameras can only muster grainy, low-quality video while models with more advanced HD webcams are better suited for professional settings.

HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Operating systems (OS)

On the standard laptop buying guide checklist, the timeless debate over preferential operating systems (OS) is at least nullified from this particular decision. That’s because Chromebooks all run Google’s Chrome OS. As an added bonus, Google will automatically (and rather expeditiously, if we may add) update the OS as these are made available, further simplifying the process. This operating system is a bit more similar to Windows than MacOS, however, if you’re used to traversing the standard Chrome browser, acclimating to Chrome OS is easy enough.

Brands and Manufacturers

There are numerous Chromebooks manufacturers to choose from, each with its own market niche. While Chromebooks were once marketed as basic budget options, these models are now peppered across the entire pricing spectrum. Regardless, there are still plenty of affordable models to choose from and Samsung offers one of the best econo-models with its Chromebook 3.

Those who simply can’t imagine functioning in a world without their favorite digital assistant should consider the Pixelbook with Google Assistant already built-in. If durability is your main consideration, Dell has assembled one of the beefier builds on the market with its Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181. The not-so-svelte model certainly prioritizes longevity over compact portability, but this model was born for the backpack and can definitely take a direct hit, although the bulk may turn off some shoppers.

Google Pixelbook Go
Lifewire / Jonno Hill

In today’s increasingly remote workplace, business professionals and teleworkers are looking for highly portable devices with exceptional performance. In this regard, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA our pick for the best Chromebook of 2020. As an added bonus, the highly responsive touchscreen is ideal for hands-on projects and even a little leisurely app play. Quality engineering, thoughtful design touches and aesthetic appeal round-out this solid across-the-board Chromebook.

Conclusion: How To Pick The Best Chromebook To Buy 

Again, there are currently dozens of quality Chromebooks to choose from and that’s the real kicker when it comes to buying a new Chromebook: everyone will have their own expectations and tastes. As the saying goes, there are simply different keystrokes for different folks. There’s no one-size-fits-all Chromebook on the market although jack-of-all-trades Chromebooks do have a broad appeal for generalists. Nonetheless, specialized professionals and rabid gamers will need to shop with features and performance parameters in mind. As you’re digitally window shopping, remember to give that spec sheet a long, hard look before making that final decision, and when in doubt, resort to your buying guide training. Our advice won’t steer you wrong.