The 8 Best Chromebooks to Buy in 2018

See our best budget-friendly alternatives to a PC or Mac

Samsung Chromebook 3
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Google’s launch of the Chromebook in 2011 marked the beginning of a PC revolution. Fast forward to today and Chromebooks have not only captured the hearts and minds of the education market, but they provide general computer users with a simplified computing experience that’s unmatched by any of their Windows or Mac rivals. Inexpensive and portable with great battery life, take a look at our choices for the best Chromebooks to buy right now.

Best Overall: Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA

Widely regarded as one of the best Chromebooks ever made, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is a 12.5-inch touchscreen machine that’s close to perfect. Sporting a 360-degree hinge and 12.5-inch Full-HD touchscreen, the C302CA is functional right out of the box for both laptop and tablet mode. The slick aluminum body is both attractive and sturdy, while the Intel Core m3 hardware with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage gives it plenty of horsepower. Like all Chromebook hardware, the C302CA starts up in seconds and lasts all day long, thanks to a real-world battery life of around 10 hours with average use. Add in Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac and a bright HD display and it’s easy to see why this Chromebook is an across-the-board winner. It weighs 2.65 pounds.

Best Budget: Samsung Chromebook 3

While Chromebooks tend to be more budget-friendly overall, few can match the value and performance of the Samsung Chromebook 3. With an 11.6-inch anti-reflective HD display, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC memory and a spill-resistant keyboard, this Chromebook offers quite a punch without breaking the piggy bank. Supported by 11 hours of battery life, it’s easy to see why the Chromebook 3 is so popular. For its price tag, the machine’s plastic build quality is surprisingly well put together and feels durable enough to stick in a bag and carry it with you all day, thanks to its 2.5-pound weight. An SD card adapter offers easy upgrading for more storage.

Best Splurge: Samsung Chromebook Pro

Undoubtedly, the best bang for your buck is the Samsung Chromebook Pro that was designed to be both tablet and laptop in one. The Chromebook Pro immediately separates from the pack by offering a built-in Pen for writing, drawing, sketching or even unlocking the 360-degree 12.3-inch (2400 x 1600) QHD touchscreen display. The quality screen pairs great with an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of memory for outstanding day-to-day performance. The Chromebook has enough power under the hood to tackle 3D games or video editing. Running multiple apps at the same time (even Android ones) while enjoying the Chromebook Pro’s quick startup and shutdown make this a superb splurge.

Best for School: Dell Chromebook 11 3189

Chromebooks have long been applauded as an ideal computer for education and the Dell Chromebook 11 3189 personifies that very reasoning. The kid-proof design includes a spill-resistant keyboard, rubberized edges and drop protection. Beyond its durability, it's powered by a Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 16GB eMMC drive. The 2-in-1 design allows it to fold back completely flat to work as both tablet and laptop. All of this durability and functionality is helped by nearly 11 hours of battery life, more than enough to last for an entire school day. Weighing only 3.22 pounds, the Dell is equally compact enough to comfortably fit into a backpack and tote around school.

Best 2-in-1: Samsung Chromebook Plus

There’s no shortage of 2-in-1 Chromebook options, but few offer the value and performance of the Samsung Chromebook Plus. The less expensive sibling of the Chromebook Pro, the Plus offers the same gorgeous 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 WLED touchscreen, including the (stylus) pen. The pressure-sensitive pen allows for simplified options such as unlocking the display or more complex work (read: sketching or doodling full designs) on its best-in-class display. Powered by a 2GHz Hexacore OP1 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB eMMC drive, the 360-degree profile offers three use cases (tent mode, laptop and tablet modes). It weighs 2.38 pounds, is just .5 inches thin and has eight hours of battery life.

Best for Professionals: Acer Chromebook for Work

When it comes to being a workhorse, the Acer Chromebook for Work answers the call with a 14-inch display, plenty of power and a wallet-friendly price tag. Powered by a 2.3GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 14-inch Full HD widescreen IPS display, this Chromebook is definitely suited for an office environment. The Acer means business with an HD webcam perfect for video conferencing, Bluetooth 4.2 for easy connectivity and dual band 2x2 wireless-AC MIMO technology for exceptional Wi-Fi performance. With up to 10 hours of battery life, there’s enough power to last through a workday and enough left over to catch up on your favorite shows in the evening. The Gorilla Glass 3 makes the display durable and damage-resistant, while the spill-resistant keyboard means your Chromebook keeps working even if you accidentally spill that fourth cup of coffee.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best business laptops​ can help you find what you're looking for.

If it’s battery life you’re after, Acer’s Chromebook 14 adds a slim package that’s complemented by a class-leading 12 hours of battery life. Powered by a 1.6GHz Intel N3160 quad-core processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB of drive space, the Chromebook 14 features a 14-inch HD ISP display (1920 x 1080) that's great for binge-watching videos. The 100 percent aluminum build feels both durable and lightweight enough at 3.42 pounds. The MIMO 2x2 802.11ac connectivity boosts Wi-Fi speeds nearly three times faster than previous generations.

Best for Portability: Asus C100PA

Weighing an ultra-lightweight two pounds and only .6 inches thin, the Asus C100PA is a terrific Chromebook model that’s portable enough fit into a purse or backpack. The 10.1-inch display is more commonly associated with tablet-sized devices, but the 1280 x 800 WXGA touchscreen allows you to use the Asus in tablet, stand or laptop mode, thanks to its 360-degree hinge. Powered by a Rockchip 1.8GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC memory, the Asus starts up in seconds and lasts nearly all day with 10 hours of battery life. Even with its slim size, the C100PA packs a host of built-in ports, including micro HDMI for connecting to a display and a USB and microSD card reader for transferring data or adding more storage (up to 64GB of extra space).


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