The 7 Best Chromebooks and Netbooks to Buy in 2017

Shop for the top chromebooks and netbooks

Chromebooks and netbooks are small yet powerful, and can stand in for a tablet, a laptop or even a desktop under some circumstances. Chromebooks run on the Chrome OS, which is not for everyone and takes some getting used to (and it doesn’t run most software, including applications like Adobe Creative Suite). But if you're after something that runs with a bit more oomph, you may want to spring for a netbook. These devices are almost identical to Chromebooks, but run Windows OS. To help you decide which machine would be best for you (as well as flesh out the differences between both), we've compiled the top Chromebooks and netbooks on the market.

The ASUS C201 goes above and beyond the basic Chromebook specs, yet stays true to the lightweight and inexpensive roots that make them such a hit. It departs from the drab black design most Chromebooks opt for, and instead sports an attractive pearl white and light blue design. The light blue fades in a gradient to white, framing a 11.6-inch glossy HD display screen that looks excellent.

It has a 1.8GHz Rockchip processor, a 16 GB solid state drive, 4 GB RAM and a host of connectivity options including two USB ports and a Micro SD drive. You can store extra data on the cloud, because the C201 comes with 100GB of Google storage for two years. The cloud storage helps keep the build small, as it weighs a compact two pounds. It also lasts an impressive 13 hours, thanks to the lithium-ion battery

The latest Chromebook from Asus focuses on the basics to deliver a practical and inexpensive laptop for Web browsing. The 13.3-inch LED HD backlit display is bright and crisp, and you can confidently watch videos and perform basic computing tasks, thanks to a respectable 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 4GB DDR3 SDRAM.

This Chromebook is slimmer and more portable than most budget options, weighing just three pounds. Other perks include a 32GB eMMC drive, 802.11ac WiFi connectivity, an HD webcam, Bluetooth 4.2, USB and HDMI ports and a 15-hour lithium ion battery. It has a simple and unassuming black design, but it is an all around great buy for the price.

Convertible laptops are great all-in-one solutions for those who want to get the most functionality out of a device. The Chromebook R 13 has a touch screen, 360-degree flexibility and a fan-less design to make a device that is easily adaptable to any circumstance. You can use it as a notebook for productivity, a tablet for apps, display mode for movies and tent when you are in tight spaces like an airplane. 

No matter what mode fits your mood, you will be greeted with a 13-inch Full HD display with IPS technology for bright colors. The R 13 is powered by a MediaTek MT8173C Quad-Core ARM Processor and 4GB LPDDR3 memory, giving you more processing power than your standard Chromebook. It also has an attractive metal chassis and a sturdy build. Other specs are competitive, including 32GB storage, 12 hours of battery life and 802.11ac wireless connectivity.

The Lenovo ThinkPad 11E is one of the finest netbooks ever produced, and it includes a powerful Intel Celeron Quad-core N2940 1.83 gigahertz processor with 4 GB of RAM (which can be expanded to 16 GB) and a 128 GB SSD. The generous 11.6” screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 and has an anti-glare coating. The lithium-ion battery provides up to 6.6 hours of life when not connected to a power source and it's just 0.87” thick (and weighs less than three and a half pounds), so traveling with it is a breeze.

Unlike other netbooks, it comes equipped with a wide array of connectivity options, including a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI, and RJ-45. The 802.11A/C wireless connection gives you fastest wireless connectivity, rivaling laptops at much higher price tags. This Lenovo is well worth the money, especially considering the durability of the model. 

This no-frills budget laptop from HP might look bland, but it sports respectable specs for the price and comes with useful extras, making it a great option for everyday use. It has a large 15.6” HD touchscreen with 10-finger multi-touch support, making it great for games downloaded in the app store. It also has enough power to handle most basic processes, thanks to a 2.4GHz 7th Gen Intel Core i3-71000 processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM.

You can store just about anything you want on the 1TB hard drive, and it has all the standard USB ports, plus Bluetooth. It goes beyond the basics with DTS Studio Sound for an enjoyable listening experience, while 4K support makes movies look great on the wide screen. 

This small netbook from Lenovo sports an 11.6-inch screen and weighs just under three pounds, making it an excellent companion on business trips or for getting work done out of the office. It has Bluetooth connectivity, a nice feature for a netbook, and great casting files. It has a 2.1GHz Intel Celeron N3050 processor with 4GB DDR3 RAM. A built-in webcam with microphone helps for conference calls. The battery lasts for 10 hours, which is enough to last through a cross country flight, and the HD LED-backlit screen has anti-glare display so you can work on the coffee-shop patio.

Powered by a SSD, this 2-in-1 netbook boasts a powerful speed in a 360-degree flip-and-fold design. Use it as a tablet or as a notebook, enjoying the performance of an Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core processor and 4GB DDR3L-1600 SDRAM. The touchscreen is a petite 11.6 inches, but has an HD resolution of 1366 x 768 and bright LED display.

When you are using it as a notebook you can use one of the three USB ports, the HDMI port or the SD card reader to transfer and store files. You can do your homework or office work, thanks to the one-year trial of Microsoft Office 365, and Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to sync up with speakers and other devices.

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