In recent years Chromebooks have entered the mainstream. No longer are they used to just run Google apps or access the internet. Chromebooks are capable of just about every productivity task a Windows or MacOS laptop is, and often for a more affordable price. They are also renowned for having long battery life and solid designs. Google has done a great job developing Chrome OS to be perfect for everyday tasks such as working on documents and spreadsheets, browsing the web, and checking email. So if affordability and ease of use are what you’re after, a Chromebook is likely to be the answer.
We understand that Chromebooks come in all sorts of varieties so with that in mind we’ve curated a list of our favorites based on different price points, feature sets, and intended use. Whatever your needs may be the PCWorld has you covered with the best Chromebook options on the market today. Below our picks you can find helpful buying advice as well.
If you’re still not sure whether a Chromebook is the right choice for you, take a look at our in-depth comparison of Chromebooks vs. Windows laptops to help you decide. And before you pull the trigger on a new computer, be sure to double-check our best laptop deals and our latest back to school deals while they last—both are updated daily. Finally, check out our complete guide to the best laptops to see our top picks across all operating systems.
Updated 11/20/2023: Check out our latest review of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714. This well-built premium 2-in-1 comes with tons of RAM and storage and a excellent connectivity, but the high price keeps it from being something special.
Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 – Best Chromebook under $500
Beautiful design and color scheme
Average battery life for a Chromebook
One of the best things about Chromebook is how affordable they are, with many even coming in under $500. There are quite a few options in this price range, but the experience for the cheapest of Chromebooks can be pretty subpar. If you’re on the hunt for a Chromebook under $500, sitting firmly at the top of the pile is the Asus Chromebook Plus CX34. It’s a powerful, reasonably priced everyday laptop. Inside it packs a Core i3-1215U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard SSD storage. It’s aesthetically pleasing too, with a sleek, pearl white minimalist design. Asus even threw in a 1080p webcam incase that wasn’t enough.
Sure, the battery life isn’t the best and the speakers are rather weak. That’s to be expected though as at this price you’re going to need to accept some sacrifices and all things considered those two aren’t that bad. The Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 shows that even with some extra bells and whistles, a nice Chromebook still doesn’t need to break the bank.
Read our full
Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 review
Acer Chromebook Spin 514 – Best Chromebook overall
Great processor performance
Sturdy, premium design
Top-notch keyboard and touchpad
Two USB-C ports with Power Delivery
Long battery life
A bit heavy for a 2-in-1 device
Display could be brighter
Android game performance is unreliable
Expensive compared to Windows alternatives
If you’re looking for a great convertible laptop, the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 assuredly fits the bill. You can either prop it up like a tent or fold the screen all the way back and use it like a tablet. We were also impressed with its vibrant display, all-day battery life, and connectivity options. It’s a bit heavy for a convertible and the price tag is high, but this is one of the fastest and most powerful Chromebooks currently available.
Plus, the Spin 514 has a fantastic keyboard that is a joy to type on and a battery life that will last upwards of 13 hours without a charge. Add to this the addition of two USB-C ports that should future-proof connectivity and you’re getting an excellent all-around Chromebook.
Read our full
Acer Chromebook Spin 514 review
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Gaming – Best Chromebook for gaming
Large, bright 2560×1600 display
Ideal wireless and wired connectivity
Good display, strong speakers
Mediocre keyboard and touchpad
Lackluster webcam and microphone
After Google decided to shut down its Stadia cloud gaming service, most people wrote off Chromebooks as viable options for gaming. But Lenovo is keeping the hope alive for gaming Chromebooks with its IdeaPad 5 Gaming. It comes with a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Lenovo also gave the IdeaPad 5 Gaming a bright 16-inch 2560×1600 display and surprisingly good speakers.
Sure, it might not be able to handle the most graphically demanding games. You’ll also need to do most, if not all, of your gaming through a cloud gaming service, as ChromeOS doesn’t support most modern games. But the IdeaPad 5 Gaming Chromebook is more than capable of streaming games from the cloud at good resolutions and up to 120Hz. If you don’t mind paying the monthly fee for a cloud gaming service, this Lenovo Chromebook will having you gaming with the best of them.
Read our full
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Gaming Chromebook review
Acer Chromebook CM34 Flip – Best battery life
Spectacular battery life
Heavier than expected
Display is too reflective in outside environments
The Asus Chromebook CM34 Flip could give the Energizer Bunny a run for its money. In our testing the battery on this Chromebook lasted an unbelievable 19 hours on a single charge—we even had to run the benchmark twice just to make sure. That’s positively wild. If a laptop battery can eek out 10 hours on a single charge it’s considered long-lasting but the CM34 Flip almost doubles that number.
This affordable 2-in-1 Chromebook is no slouch when it comes to performance either, featuring