The best Chromebooks in 2024 - our top picks

Best Chromebooks: Quick Menu

The best Chromebooks for your needs can be hard to find because there are so many options, from cheap, low-cost Chromebooks to more powerful premium models with bigger, brighter screens, better build quality and beefier components. 

Many provide amazing battery life, and most run Android apps thanks to Chrome OS support for the Google Play Store. Oh, and if you're unfamiliar with Chrome OS, it's easy to learn, as it's a simplified alternative to Windows 11 and macOS. Chromebooks are a popular choice for students and teachers because they're typically cheap and easy to use. 

However, there's a key limitation you need to keep in mind: Everything you do on a Chromebook, unless you're emulating Android apps or one of the experts running Linux on a Chromebook, will happen in a Chrome window. And you'll almost always need an Internet connection to use a Chromebook to the fullest.

All that being said, the best Chromebooks are great laptops. Some are among the best 2-in-1 laptops, with touchscreens ideal for Android apps (which are not as good when used with a mouse and keyboard alone). And while Chromebooks are mostly seen as devices for students, the category now includes multiple elegant models that are viable replacements for business laptops.

The quick list

In a hurry? Here's a brief overview of the laptops on this list, along with quick links that let you jump down the page directly to a review of whichever laptop catches your eye.

Written by
Alex Wawro
Written by
Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong journalist who's spent over a decade covering tech, games and entertainment. He oversees the computing department at Tom's Guide, which includes managing laptop coverage and reviewing many himself every year.

The best Chromebooks you can buy

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The best overall

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 on a table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Chromebook overall

Specifications

CPU: Intel Celeron | Core i3 processors
RAM: 4GB, 8GB
Storage: 64GB, 128GB
Display: 13.3-inch QLED (1080p)
Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.7 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design
+
Gorgeous QLED display
+
Improved battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Key travel could be better
-
Touchscreen input can be inconsistent

Taking away the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook's 4K display was probably the best thing Samsung could have done to make this Chromebook a hit. Now it's way more affordable, but still sports a great QLED display and longer battery life — 7:50 vs the previous gen's 5:55. It's also going to sound great, plus its Core i3 configuration provides a ton of speed for Chrome OS.

We weren't as happy with the vertical travel in its keyboard, which is a bit shallow. This creates a slight learning curve you'll adapt to over time. But to get a Chromebook that looks this good — wow that Fiesta Red color option stands out in a sea of silver Chromebooks and PCs. Plus, at under $450, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 delivers solid value for the money. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 review.

The best cheap Chrome tablet

Lenovo Chromebook Duet review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best cheap Chrome tablet

Specifications

CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60T
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB eMMC, 128GB eMMC
Display: 10.1 inches, 1920 x 1200 pixels
Dimensions: 9.64 x 6.66 x 0.71 inches (docked)
Weight: 2 pounds (docked)

Reasons to buy

+
Lengthy battery life
+
Excellent screen for its price
+
Affordable, plus keyboard included

Reasons to avoid

-
Keyboard is best for small hands
-
Hinge could be stronger

Sometimes, it's amazing how much you can get for $300 or less. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet, for example, is a 2-in-1 Chromebook that offers something Microsoft's Surfaces and Apple's iPads won't: it's keyboard is included by default.  Not only do you get that value, but the Chromebook Duet's tablet display is excellent in its own right, with a surprising amount of color output and a crisp 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution.

Smaller hands may find the Chromebook Duet's keyboard a little on the tight side, but at this price, any keyboard is a surprise and a steal. Making things even better, the Chromebook Duet features ChromeOS tablet optimizations that are long overdue to take advantage of all of its screen space. On top of all of that? It lasted for 12 hours and 47 minutes, nearly 13 hours

Read our full Lenovo Chromebook Duet review.

The best Chrome 2-in-1

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 open on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best 2-in-1 Chromebook

Specifications

Display: 13.5-inch, 2256x1504
CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U
GPU: Intel UHD
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB SSD
Size: 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.0 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life
+
Affordable
+
Bright and colorful display
+
Amazing performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Mediocre speakers
-
Small-sized keyboard

When it comes to finding a great Chromebook, you are always looking for an affordable (enough) mix of performance, design and endurance. That's due in part to its Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, which provides a ton of speed for Chrome OS (anything more would be overkill), and 8GB of RAM for managing all the Chrome tabs you can throw at it. 

Plus, its sharp 2256 x 1504-pixel screen provides bright and vibrant picture output. On top of that, it lasted 11 hours and 54 minutes on our web-browsing based battery test. The only major issue you could have with the Spin 713 is its size, but that's going to be an issue for all 13-inch laptops. 

Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review.

The best Chrome tablet

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook open on desk showing home screen

(Image credit: Future)
The best Chrome tablet

Specifications

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2
RAM: 4-8GB
Storage: 64-128GB eMMC
Display: 11 inches, 2,000 x 1,200 pixels
Dimensions: 10.16 x 6.48 x 0.31 inches
Weight: 1.2/2.1 lbs (tablet only/tablet + cover)

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, sharp display
+
10+ hours of battery life
+
Packed-in keyboard cover is decent
+
Surprisingly loud for a Chrome tablet

Reasons to avoid

-
Still no headphone jack
-
Lackluster cameras
-
Keyboard cover uncomfortable for sustained typing

The Lenovo Duet 3 (or Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3, depending on where you buy it) is a great Chrome tablet that can be yours for as low as $359. This is effectively a bigger, more expensive follow-up to the Chromebook Duet Lenovo released in 2020, a surprisingly capable and inexpensive Chrome tablet that's still on this list. 

We loved the original Duet for its great battery life, solid performance and decent packed-in keyboard cover, all of which could be had for roughly $250. Lenovo's new Duet 3 costs a bit more, but it also delivers a bigger, brighter display, more ports, and the added power of a beefier Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chip. It's one of the best Chrome tablets you can buy, and the fact that Lenovo includes the keyboard cover at no extra cost helps it double as a surprisingly effective 2-in-1 Chromebook. While the original Duet further down this list is a better buy if you're short on cash, those who can afford it will be well-served by this excellent Chromebook.

Read our full Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook review.

The best for gaming

Acer Chromebook 516 GE on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best Chromebook for cloud gaming on the go

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-1240P
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS
Dimensions: 14 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 3.9 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive performance
+
Lightweight design
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Underwhelming display
-
Poor sound quality
-
Limited by Chrome OS

Advancements in ChromeOS and cloud gaming services have made the idea of a "gaming Chromebook" that can play the latest and greatest games a viable option, and the Acer Chromebook 516 GE was one of the first to hit the market.

With a starting price of $649, a big 16-inch (2,500 x 1,600 pixels) display and a surprisingly low (for a 16-inch gaming laptop) weight of 3.9 pounds, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a solid big-screen Chromebook for not a lot of money.

Admittedly, the 12th Gen Intel CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD in our review unit didn't give it a lot of horsepower or space to run games, but since you're meant to mostly play games via cloud gaming services like Amazon Luna, GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass you just need a rock-solid Internet connection. And since it sports an Ethernet jack (a rarity on Chromebooks) you can count on being able to plug into wired Internet for optimal gaming. 

Read our full Acer Chromebook 516 GE review.

The best for DIYers

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition open on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
The best Chromebook for DIYers

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-1240P
Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.3-inch, 4K AMOLED
Size: 11.9 x 8 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Modular design offers tremendous flexibility
+
Slim, light package is still tinker-friendly
+
Excellent keyboard and trackpad

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upgrade options for ChromeOS variant
-
Loud but otherwise unimpressive speakers

The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is a ChromeOS variant of Framework's signature 13-inch laptop, which is more repairable and upgradable than anything else on the market. Each laptop Framework ships comes with a screwdriver so you can crack open the case and swap out parts yourself, and everything from the memory to the screen bezel to the mainboard is user-replaceable.

It's not for everyone, but if you're the DIY type and love the idea of being able to tinker with your laptop's innards this is the best laptop for you. The Framework laptop is currently only available for purchase from the Framework website, and the price tag starts at around $1k — though you can pay even less for the DIY Edition if you're willing to assemble your laptop yourself and provide your own memory, storage, operating system, and Wi-Fi card. It's a great ultraportable that doubles as a learning device you can take apart and fix or upgrade yourself.

Read our full Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition review.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best looking Chromebook

Specifications

Price: $999 (starting) $1,299 (as tested)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5
Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.3-inch, 4K AMOLED
Battery: 5:55 (tested)
Size: 11.9 x 8 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous red design
+
Speedy performance
+
Bright and vibrant 4K screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Low battery life, even for a 4K laptop
-
Hinge should be stronger
-
Gets a bit warm

It might not have the battery life you expect from a Chromebook, but that can be excused when you take a look at how the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook breaks so many of the other typical rules of what a Chromebook should be. Its Fiesta Red chassis goes beyond eye-catching and hits drool inducing before you can say "wow that's a Chromebook?" It even comes with Samsung's S-Pen stylus, which is best used in tablet mode.

Its Core i5 CPU is so fast I watched four 1080p YouTube videos on it, without any stutter, just to see if I could. Oh, and it's crazy thin and light, competing on size and weight with the MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13. Its best feature, though, is its gorgeous 4K AMOLED display that makes colors pop and offers bright hues. It's so great that it reminds us that Netflix needs to add Chrome support for 4K video. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Chromebook review.

The best student Chromebook

Best Chromebooks: Samsung Chromebook 4

Samsung Chromebook 4 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

7. Samsung Chromebook 4

The best Chromebook for students

Specifications

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB
Display: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel
Dimensions: 11.3 x 8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Long battery life
+
Thinner and lighter than competitors
+
Decent performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Dim display without touch
-
Mediocre audio

The best student Chromebook, the Samsung Chromebook 4 impresses with its battery life. This laptop lasted for more than 10 and a half hours of web browsing on a single charge. The Chromebook 4’s aluminum top makes it look like a much more expensive computer — though it has a plastic base. This Chromebook’s performance is another highlight, enabling much faster multitasking than expected at this price point.

The Chromebook 4 is also lighter and thinner than competing 11.6-inch Chromebooks, though we wish its display supported touch input. Its screen is acceptable for plowing through work, but don't expect to see colors pop or a lot of detail when watching movies or bingeing on YouTube. The speakers are okay, but you may want to supply your headphones.

For students who have a limited budget, this Chromebook offers plenty for a relatively small price tag. It's ideal for learning at home, while also offering some features that you can make use of when your work is complete.

Battery benchmarks: comparison

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LaptopBattery life (tested)
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) 9:51
Dell XPS 15 OLED8:58
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio10:30
MSI Cyborg 155:05
Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra10:01
Alienware m184:33
Asus Zenbook 13 OLED15:00
MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022)18:20
MacBook Air 15-inch M214:59
M1 MacBook Air14:41
MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch)14:09
Framework Laptop10:17

How to choose the best laptop for you

How to choose the best Chromebook for you

Finding the best Chromebook these days begins with a simple question: do you need a touchscreen? An increasing number of Chromebooks offer 2-in-1 designs with a touchscreen, allowing you to use Android apps from the Google Play store. However, those systems tend to be on the pricier side. If you want just a basic laptop on the cheap, a Chromebook without a touchscreen is the way to go.

As for screen size, an 11-inch display is good for younger kids, but a 13-inch display is better for older students and business users on the move. If you want a Chromebook as a primary home laptop, we would opt for a 14-inch or 15-inch display.. 

Then, think about performance. Are you buying this for a kid who's got modest needs? A Pentium or Celeron processor should be enough. A Core M or Core i5 CPU is better for those who want more performance. Most budget Chromebooks start with 4GB of RAM, but we would get 8GB or more if you plan to work with a lot of tabs open. Because Chromebooks rely on the cloud, local storage isn’t that important, which is why 32GB tends to be standard. You’ll find 64GG to 128GB on more premium models.

One last thing to consider: do you need a Chromebook, or do you just want Chrome OS? Because if it's just the software you like, Google is starting to offer Chrome OS Flex, an education/enterprise-focused version of Chrome OS that you can install yourself on a Mac or PC. If you're of a technical mindset and have an old laptop that could use some up-to-date software on it, you could always give this a try.

How we tested these laptops

How we test these laptops

To find the best Chromebook, we run every machine we review through a rigorous suite of benchmarks and real-world tests to gauge how it will perform during everyday use. 

We measure the average brightness and color quality of each laptop's display using our in-house light meter and colorimeter. For general performance, we run our machines through tests that include JetStream 2 (a Web-based benchmarking suite that runs over five dozen tests designed to measure how well systems handle the kind of applications they’re most likely to encounter on the Internet) and a custom battery test that tasks the machine with browsing the internet over Wi-Fi until it runs out of juice.

Battery benchmarks: comparison

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LaptopBattery life (tested)
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) 9:51
Dell XPS 15 OLED8:58
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio10:30
MSI Cyborg 155:05
Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra10:01
Alienware m184:33
Asus Zenbook 13 OLED15:00
MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022)18:20
MacBook Air 15-inch M214:59
M1 MacBook Air14:41
MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch)14:09
Framework Laptop10:17

How to choose the best laptop for you

How to choose the best laptop for you

Performance: If you're going to be spending years studying engineering, you're going to need a computer with enough power to handle anything your teachers throw at you. We recommend at least a new mid-range CPU (Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5) and at least 8 GB of RAM, though if you can afford to spend more on on a laptop with better specs it will pay off in the long run.

Graphics and gaming: Most gaming laptops come with discrete graphics cards so they can run the latest games well, but the same card can be equally vital to engineering students who will be using CAD (computer-assisted design) and 3D analysis programs. These kinds of applications really benefit from the power of a good GPU, so if you're expecting to do any graphics or 3D work it's a good idea to invest in a laptop with a discrete Nvidia or AMD graphics card.

Operating system: Laptops typically come in three flavors: Windows (most mainstream PCs), macOS (MacBooks) and Chrome OS (Chromebooks). Chrome OS isn't good for much besides web surfing, file management, and light computing, so a Chromebook isn't a great choice for serious schoolwork. However, a crafty student could install Linux on a high-powered Chromebook to turn it into a decent laptop for engineering work.

Many engineering students spend a lot of time working with specialized or self-developed software, so Windows is often preferable over macOS because it throws up fewer roadblocks when using such tools. However, even Windows can sometimes get in the way of serious engineering work, which is why many engineering students get Windows laptops and install Linux on them so they can dual-boot into either operating system.

As mentioned above, when making your buying decision be sure to consult your teachers and/or the engineering department at your school for more specific advice on what you'll need for your studies. Whichever system you decide on, it's a good idea to pair it with the best mouse for your particular work situation.

How we tested these laptops

How we test the best laptops for students

To find the best laptops we run every machine through a rigorous suite of benchmarks and real-world tests to gauge how it will perform during everyday use. 

We measure the average brightness and color quality of each laptop's display using our in-house light meter and colorimeter. For general performance, we run our machines through tests that include Geekbench 5 (CPU performance), as well as various 3DMark tests to measure graphics capabilities. We also run a file transfer test to measure how fast a machine's hard drive is, and a custom battery test that has the machine browse the internet over Wi-Fi until it runs out of juice.

Plus, we run the graphics benchmark test in Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm to get a sense of how well a laptop can handle basic games. When testing dedicated gaming laptops, we run benchmarks for a number of games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry: New Dawn.

The best looking Chromebook

Specifications

Price: $999 (starting) $1,299 (as tested)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5
Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.3-inch, 4K AMOLED
Battery: 5:55 (tested)
Size: 11.9 x 8 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous red design
+
Speedy performance
+
Bright and vibrant 4K screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Low battery life, even for a 4K laptop
-
Hinge should be stronger
-
Gets a bit warm
Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. 

  • Don 1234567
    Re: the Samsung Chromebook 4, I'm seeing two different models of it, differing by about $15. Tough to figure out what the difference is, but they have different model numbers, and are showing different processors: Celeron N4020 vs N4000. Is that it, just the different processor? The 4020 is the cheaper one.
    Reply
  • Senor Sopa
    I usually look to Tom's Guide for advice, but I wonder about your credibility when you provide 2 links under the Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook that go to the wrong device. Both the Walmart and Microsoft links point to the Duet 3i which is not a Chromebook at all but a Windows 11 device!
    Reply
  • Don 1234567
    Senor Sopa said:
    I usually look to Tom's Guide for advice, but I wonder about your credibility when you provide 2 links under the Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook that go to the wrong device. Both the Walmart and Microsoft links point to the Duet 3i which is not a Chromebook at all but a Windows 11 device!

    I looked into this, and seems there is a Lenovo Duet 3 (and 3i) Chromebook, and a Lenovo Duet 3 (and 3i) Windows models. Tom's Guide linked to some Windows models. Albeit, another possibility is that Tom's Guide initially linked to the correct ones, but Walmart and Microsoft redirected, after Lenovo terminated the Chromebook models (as appears to be the case, on Lenovo's website).

    Ridiculous how complex this has become. And read my comment above. Manufacturers are selling computers with the same name and model on the face of it, but hidden in the full, complex model number are some crucial details that differ from one to another. In this case, which processor is used. Which affects cost and performance.

    Why all of these complex, manipulative games being played on buyers? Seems they are trying to confuse us.

    And unfortunately, Tom's Guide, isn't helping.
    Reply