Best Chromebooks for school: ASUS, Acer, Samsung, and more

Best Chromebooks for school: ASUS, Acer, Samsung, and more

Back to school is just around the corner. If you’re looking for a new school laptop for yourself or your child, you should consider a Chromebook. Chrome OS is an incredibly fast operating system with excellent security and parental controls in place. On the hardware side, Chromebooks are incredibly cost effective. Indeed, many Chromebook models cost under $300. This is much less than entry level Mac or Windows hardware.

Since Chrome OS is cloud-based, you can buy a Chromebook with lower available storage. You can also get away with much lower RAM configurations. Of course, you’ll also want durability when selecting a Chromebook for school. Many of the leading manufacturers offer models with military grade durability and drop/spill resistance. In this article we’ll look at the best Chromebooks for school — from elementary to the university level, we’ve got you covered.

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Best battery life: ASUS Flip CM3

ASUS Flip CM3

Those that care more about battery life than performance will love the Flip CM3. The ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3 strikes the balance between work and play. The 360 degree hinge enables multiple modes and provides the versatility to work or study using the orientation you like the best. Featuring a 12 inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and thin bezels, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3 provides an expanded view in the portrait orientation to inspire you to see the world from a new perspective.

ASUS Pen (USI) support enables intuitive writing with an active stylus for enhanced productivity. The ultra-portable design and long-lasting battery life are tailored to an on-the-go lifestyle, and the silky-smooth palm rests and ErgoLift hinge design ensure comfort when typing.

The amazing battery life and 3:2 aspect ratio make this a unique choice for those that need portability to work on the road. Inside, this Chromebook is powered by a MediaTek 8183 Processor 2.0 GHz (1M Cache, up to 2.0 GHz, 8 cores), up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 128 GB eMMc storage. While the processor isn’t the beefiest one out there, the average of 16 hours battery life on a single charge is worth the trade-off. This is undoubtedly the best ASUS Chromebook for amazing battery life.

    ASUS Flip CM3
    Amazing battery life is something you expect with a Chromebook. But with the Flip CM3 you get up to a whopping 16 hours of usage on a single charge. If you don't mind a MediaTek processor, this is the Chromebook that lasts all day and night.

Best style on a budget: Samsung Chromebook Go

Galaxy Chromebook Go in white and black

The Galaxy Chromebook Go is a new entry in Samsung’s Chromebook lineup. Announced just a few weeks back, this 14″ Chromebook has a solid display and attractive white on black design. This Chromebook also passed Mil-STD-810G testing, making it a very durable choice for younger children. On the inside you get an Intel Celeron N4500 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB eMMc storage.

Samsung also included plenty of connectivity, with 1 USB3.2 port, 2USB-C ports, microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack. If you care about portability, this Chromebook weighs just 3.2lbs making it fairly light for a 14″ device. Since this is a newer device, you’ll also get Chrome OS updates for a long time, making this a device students can use throughout their school years.

    Galaxy Chromebook Go
    Samsung recently announced the Galaxy Chromebook Go and it's a beautiful device. The white on black contrast makes this one of the best looking Chromebooks under $300. You also get a quality display and a newer Intel Celeron processor inside.

Best with built-in stylus: ASUS Flip C214

ASUS Flip C214

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is built to deliver an innovative and inspirational learning experience. As well as a versatile touchscreen display and a built-in stylus, there’s also a 360 degree hinge and a world-facing camera. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 has classroom-ready durability to reassure teachers and students alike, with an all-round rubber bumper, spill-resistant keyboard and ultra-tough hinge. With its school day-long battery life and time-saving, easy-to-service modular construction, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is ready for anything. This laptop isn’t really about the internal specs, but you get an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB eMMc storage inside.

Accidents happen, and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is ready for them. It’s built to withstand everyday classroom knocks, bumps, drops and spills without damage. Built to surpass demanding military-grade MIL-STD-810G durability standards, it’s also torture-tested to pass stringent ASUS quality tests. It can withstand occasional drops of up to 120cm — more than standard desk height — and the hinge and I/O ports are fully tested to endure the stresses and strains of everyday use.

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 includes a special world-facing camera so students can explore and learn in a totally new way, allowing them to capture photos and videos in tablet mode. There are also plans for the world-facing camera to support versatile apps, giving both students and teachers an exciting new learning aid.

    ASUS Flip C214
    ASUS has quite a few solid options for students. This particular model is perfect for younger kids as it has a ruggedized design that's spill and drop resistant. The affordable price and convertible form-factor also make it an appealing option for college students as well.

Best 11 inch option: Lenovo Chromebook C340

Lenovo Chromebook C340

This 11″ Chromebook is portable enough to move around the classroom, but durable enough to withstand a few bumps. The lightweight Chromebook C340 11″ boasts an ultraportable, 360° convertible design and all-day battery life. It’s just 2.65lbs / 1.2kg and takes up less space than a piece of printer paper, but Intel processing gives it power that defies its size. The laptop comes in two snazzy colors, Platinum Grey and Sand Pink.

Inside you’ll find an Intel Celeron N4000 Processor (1.10 GHz, up to 2.60 GHz with Turbo Boost, 2 Cores, 2 Threads, 4 MB Cache),4 GB LPDDR4 2400MHz (Soldered) RAM, and 64 GB eMMC storage. It’s also easy to connect to other devices, thanks to its two ultrafast USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and audio jack. Built-in 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 make connecting wirelessly at school a breeze.

    Lenovo Chromebook C340
    Unlike most compact Chromebooks, the C340 Chromebook comes in a refined silver finish that offers a premium feel. In addition to working in the classroom, it’s also a great work from home pick, with a 720p webcam and two 2W speakers.

Best for high school/college: Galaxy Chromebook 2

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 in red on orange background

The first Chromebook with a QLED display, this is the best option for users looking to make Chrome OS their go-to platform. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 continues the overall design of the original Galaxy Chromebook, but reduces some of the premium features to attain a more reasonable price. The most impressive feature here is definitely the display. Get awestruck by every image with the world’s first jaw-dropping QLED display on a Chromebook, which produces over 100% volume.

The processor options are not quite as high-end as the original Galaxy Chromebook, but the Intel Core i3 should do the job for most users. Storage on this device tops out at 128GB, but this is still ultra-fast SSD storage we’re talking about. You also retain 8GB of RAM, and get improved battery life. While the S-pen is still supported, it’s not bundled with the laptop so you’ll need to purchase it separately. This also means there’s no slot for storing the S-pen in the body of the Chromebook.

Overall, this is the best Samsung Chromebook for you if you can live with the removal of the 4K display and fingerprint sensor. The highly attractive price will sway most users to choose this 2nd-generation device.

    Galaxy Chromebook 2
    With the Galaxy Chromebook 2, Samsung removed a few premium features but also drastically reduced the price. As the first Chromebook with a QLED display, this machine still packs plenty of power and style for most users.

Best for durability: Dell Chromebook 3100 Education Edition

Dell 3100 EDU

Dell has an Education Edition of the popular 3100 series that’s designed to withstand the rigors of the classroom. Featuring the same specs as the 3100 2-in-1 series, this laptop was redesigned to improve durability. The Chromebook 3100 Education Series is rigorously tested to endure the school day and beyond. Students can learn uninterrupted with tamper- and spill-resistant keyboards and a long battery life. It’s tested to survive 5,000 free-fall micro-drops and 30-inch drops onto steel, while rubberized edges minimize impacts from drops and bumps.

Students can learn, discover and share without worry thanks to the spill and tamper-resistant keyboard that withstands up to 12 ounces of liquid. Plus, its top mounted design ensures the entire palm rest doesn’t need to be replaced in case of damage to the keyboard. Ports are covered and secured with reinforced brackets, and they’re tested to ensure students can connect and disconnect as many times as they need. Dell also has the option to add LTE connectivity for learners in remote areas without WiFi access.

    Chromebook 3100 Education Edition
    The Education Edition of the 3100 series offers additional reinforcement to the chassis of this popular Chromebook. The rubberized corners and spill resistant keyboard make it perfect for use in any classroom.

Best 14 inch value: Acer Chromebook 314

Acer 314 Touch

Education users need a good mix of everything on their Chromebook. The Acer Chromebook 14 delivers just that with a nicely sized display, durability, and excellent battery life. The Intel Celeron N4000 processor Dual-core at 1.10 GHz powers this Chromebook, with 4 GB, LPDDR4 RAM, and 64 GB of flash storage. While this processor is the same one found on the 315 Touch, the battery life is quite a bit better with the small display panel. Featuring over 12 hours of use on average, this machine should get you through the day.

If you plan to gift this Chromebook to a child for school, it’s also incredibly durable and can withstand short drops. A good mix of portability, power and durability make this a solid option in the classroom or at home for assignments.

    Acer Chromebook 314
    Students need a good mixture of specs, durability, and portability. The Acer Chromebook 314 features a 14 touchscreen display with 64 GB flash storage for files and apps. This Chromebook is also durable enough to stand up to a few bumps and bruises.

Best for engineering majors: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Acer Spin 713 on a green background

Every Chromebook manufacturer has a hero device — for Acer that device is the Chromebook Spin 713. Inside you’ll find the impressive Intel Core i7-10510U processor Quad-core at 1.80 GH. Along with this powerful processor, the Spin 713 also packs 16 GB, DDR4 SDRAM and a 128 GB SSD for storage. In terms of display, you get a 13.5″ 2K (2256 x 1504) 3:2 IPS Touchscreen panel with excellent maximum brightness and clean viewing angles. The display is also protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass, as is the trackpad. With its 360-degree convertible modes, you can work in space-limited environments such as in-flight or on the train, while also easily making presentations or sharing your screen in convenient and collaborative ways.

If you need to stay connected on the go, this Chromebook comes with an insane number of functional features including Wi-Fi 6, a backlit keyboard, a built-in HDMI port, as well as dual USB Type-C ports to deal with productivity needs. Battery life is excellent for a high-performance Chromebook, over 10 hours of usage on average. On top of all of this, you can also run Chrome Enterprise seamlessly out of the box, making this an appealing option for business customers. All of these features are packed in a beautifully designed metal chassis that makes this the best overall Acer Chromebook.

    Acer Chromebook Spin 713
    Acer's Spin 713 is a ultra-premium Chromebook from top to bottom. With good looks and verified MIL-STD-810G military-grade durability, this is an impressive machine. Top of the line specs and a convenient 2-in-1 design give you the power and portability to work anywhere.

Best for younger students: HP Pro Chromebook 11 G8 EE

HP Pro 11 Chromebook G8 EE on red background

If you’re a fan of HP, the Pro Chromebook 11 G8 EE is one the best HP Chromebooks out there. The relatively low cost and general durability makes this Chromebook an excellent choice for students. If you’re an educator or parent choosing a Chromebook for students, the HP 11 G8 is an excellent option. This machine has a pick and spill-resistant, full-size, chalkboard gray and pebble gray keyboard with skirt anchored keycaps. Younger students can easily use this Chromebook, with the lay-flat design and 122 cm drop-tested design for durability.

Most education Chromebooks don’t blow anyone away with the spec sheet, and the HP 11 G8 is no exception. You get 4GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron processor that handles basic tasks with ease. Ports match those found on more premium models, and the display is sufficiently bright at a max of 220 nits. At under $300, this is an excellent option for student use at home or in the classroom.

    HP Chromebook 11 G8 Education Edition
    If you're an educator looking for Chromebooks for the classroom, look no further. The HP Chromebook 11 G8 has reinforced metal corners and is 122cm drop-tested.

If you’re looking to go all out, the Acer Spin 713 is an excellent option for power users. Parents looking for a Chromebook for their younger children should check out the HP Pro 11 Chromebook G8 EE and the Dell Chromebook 3100 EE. Overall, Chromebooks make excellent school machines for all ages and are incredibly secure and resistant to malware. Let us know which device you plan to pick up for the new school year.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.