Lenovo IdeaPad Chromebook closeup
Lenovo

What to Look For in a Chromebook in 2022

Chromebooks have risen in popularity due to their simplicity and affordable price tag. They’re popular in school settings and for people who don’t need full-fledged computers and are great lightweight secondary devices. What should you look for when buying one?

Just like with Android phones, there’s a laptop out there for everyone. Should your laptop be a Chromebook? That depends on how you use computers. For productivity, a Chromebook can be the perfect device.

If you mainly browse the web, write emails, stream music, and watch movies on your computer, a Chromebook can easily handle those tasks and more. You’ll likely get better battery life at a more affordable price than a Windows PC or Mac as well.

However, those looking at a heavier workload may want to look into what other laptops are on offer, in addition to Chromebooks. Due to the price, Chromebooks typically cannot handle gaming or resource-heavy applications, such as those for 3D modeling.

We’ve compiled a list of Chromebooks that hit a few key categories. Whether you’re a student who needs something portable, a parent looking for something durable, or you just want the best Chromebook money can buy, we’ve got you covered.

Note: Due to supply chain issues, you may find some of the Chromebooks temporarily out of stock. You may be able to find availability at other retailers than the ones listed here.

Best Chromebook Overall: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Acer Chromebook Spin
Acer

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Big, beautiful touch screen
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Pricier than most laptops

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is the cream of the crop when it comes to Chromebooks. Its price tag, while expensive for the Chromebook market, is still more affordable than most Windows laptops, and the features you get are second to none.

The premium price tag—which hovers around $550—gets you a high-quality keyboard and touchpad. Solid build quality and high-end input devices can be hard to find in Chromebooks, but you’re getting just that with the Spin 713.

This Chromebook has a 2256×1504 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. That means it’s taller and narrower than a typical laptop screen, which is perfect for web browsing. The display is also a touch screen and it can be flipped around into a tablet mode. The Spin 713 is just extremely versatile.

Chromebooks generally run fine on even low-end specifications, but the Spin 713 has plenty of power. It has an 11th-gen Intel processor and you can get the i5 or i7 if you want, so you’ll be able to handle productivity as well as Android apps. This is just a very solid laptop, let alone a Chromebook, and it’ll get the job done.

Best Chromebook Overall

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The Chromebook Spin 713 is more than a solid Chromebook, it's a solid laptop that will complete most productivity tasks with ease.

Best Budget Chromebook: Acer 315 Chromebook

Acer chromebook on green background
Acer

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Big display
  • Durable

Cons

  • Doesn't feel premium
  • Sluggish performance

The majority of Chromebooks would be considered “budget” compared to MacBooks and Windows laptops. However, there are some Chrome OS laptops that are especially affordable, like the Acer 315.

Let’s start with the big thing—the Acer 315 costs less than $200. That’s insanely affordable for a computer, but you are making some sacrifices for it. First, the plastic build quality may look nice but it is certainly not a “premium” feeling. The benefit of plastic is it’s durable and the Acer 315 comes with a protective sleeve as well.

You’re not skimping on display real estate, though. The 15.6-inch display is solid and the keyboard is spacious. The Intel Celeron processor struggles with Android apps but is perfectly fine for web browsing.

This is a Chromebook you can be happy with and not mind if it eventually breaks down, due to the low price.

Best Budget Chromebook

Acer 315 Chromebook

You’d be hard pressed to find a better laptop for under $200. There are some sacrifices made, but the Acer 315 is perfect for web browsing.

Best Chromebook for Kids: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 on blue background
Lenovo

Pros

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Solid battery life
  • Nice keyboard and touchscreen

Cons

  • Middling performance

When it comes to Chromebooks for kids, going with our budget pick would be perfectly acceptable. However, if you’d like something a little nicer, the Lenovo Flex 5 is a good upgrade. It’s cheap, light, durable, and has a battery that can handle a kid.

Kids may not notice a bad keyboard as much as you, but the Flex 5 has a nice and spacious one. It’s perfect for someone learning how to type. Another bonus is plenty of ports—the Flex 5 has two USB-C ports and one USB-A port as well as a MicroSD card slot.

It’s powered by an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM. That’s not the best, but it’s enough to handle web browsing and some light Android gaming. Speaking of web browsing, you’ll do that on the 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen display.

For a little more than $300, that’s not a bad package for a Chromebook for a child.

Best Chromebook for Kids

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

A durable Chromebook with a nice keyboard, lightweight design, touchscreen, and good battery life makes it perfect for kids.

Best Chromebook for Students: Samsung Chromebook 4

Samsung Chromebook 4 on pink background
Samsung

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Not the greatest performance

All of the Chromebooks in this list would work for students, but the Samsung Chromebook 4 is another solid option. It has a bright screen, good battery life, and it’s super portable. Plus, it only costs around $200, which is great for students buying their own gear.

The Chromebook 4 has an 11.6-inch display and comes in at only 2.6 lbs. It’s made of plastic, which may not feel the greatest, but it adds some durability. This is a laptop you can toss carelessly into a bag and not worry too much about it.

Performance is one area where the Samsung Chromebook 4 can struggle. It has only 4GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron processor. That’ll be plenty for web browsing and basic note-taking, but don’t expect to kill time with heavy Android games between classes.

Best Chromebook for Students

Samsung Chromebook 4

A super affordable, lightweight, and durable Chromebook with enough power to get your through a full day of note-taking.

Best Touchscreen Chromebook: Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Lenovo

Pros

  • 10-inch touchscreen
  • Removable keyboard
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Keyboard could be better
  • Mid-range performance

Lenovo’s Duet series has been one of the most popular lines of Chromebooks. The Duet 3 continues that with a great touchscreen, lightweight design, and detachable keyboard.

The Duet 3 has a 10.1-inch touchscreen with 1920×1200 resolution. You may actually prefer using the touchscreen as the keyboard leaves a little to be desired, but it is nice to have. It includes a kickstand for using it in laptop mode.

Lenovo is powering the Duet 3 with a MediaTek processor and 4GB of RAM, which is pretty solid mid-range performance for a Chromebook. The battery life should be able to easily get you through a full day of web browsing and streaming.

Perhaps the best thing about the Duet 3 is the price. Starting at just $225, it’s a great buy for the budget-conscious who want a touchscreen laptop and tablet.

Best Touchscreen Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

The Chromebook Duet 3 is a super affordable Chromebook with a great touchscreen and detachable keyboard.

Best 2-in-1 Chromebook: Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga C13
Lenovo

Pros

  • Very premium feel
  • Hardware features usually reserved for high-end PCs
  • Great performance
  • Beautiful display

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Expensive for a Chromebook

The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga could be an alternative to our top overall pick. It’s unabashedly a “premium” Chromebook, and it demonstrates the 2-in-1 form factor perfectly.

Many Chromebooks make sacrifices to keep the price down, but the ThinkPad C13 Yoga is aiming to be a high-quality laptop that just so happens to run Chrome OS. It has the red Trackpoint in the middle of the keyboard, a fingerprint sensor, a webcam shutter, and many features you’d find on Lenovo’s Windows laptops.

The ThinkPad C13 Yoga is powered by the Ryzen 3000 Mobile C-Series processors. Performance is very good, but battery life suffers a bit compared to other Chromebooks. You can get it with 4 or 16 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage. The C13 Yoga is perfect for productivity as well as running Android apps.

The 13.3-inch display is a touchscreen and it can flip all the way back into tablet mode. That also allows you to prop up the laptop in several different ways. Depending on the configuration, the ThinkPad C13 Yoga costs between $450 and $950. That’s pricey for a Chromebook, but you’re getting top-notch quality if you’re willing to pay extra.

Best 2-in-1 Chromebook

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga

The ThinkPad C13 Yoga is more than just a Chromebook, it’s a laptop that runs on Chrome OS. You’ll get all the features you’d expect from a productivity laptop for a premium price.

The Best Linux Laptops of 2022

Best Linux Laptop Overall
Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition
Best Budget Linux Laptop
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Best Premium Linux Laptop
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 With Linux
Purism Librem 14
Best Linux Laptop for Gamers
System76 Oryx Pro
Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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