Best Chromebooks you can buy in May 2021: Acer, Lenovo, Google, Samsung, and more!
Looking for something a bit more powerful than a tablet, but don’t want a bulky laptop? A Chromebook may be the device you’re looking for. If you’re invested in the Google ecosystem, ChromeOS is the way to go, and it is quite easy to use. It doesn’t have the same software compatibility as other, more popular operating systems. In fact, Chromebooks were originally conceived as machines that would run only Chrome and be used for online-based services. But the devices have become so much more. They can now run Android apps that you can download from the Google Play Store, and you can even use Crostini or Crouton to install and run Linux applications. Whatever your needs, a Chromebook can likely help, and here are the best options to buy right now!
Navigate this guide to the best Chromebooks:
- Best overall: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Best detachable: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
- Best for endurance: Google Pixelbook Go
- Best Chromebook on a budget: Acer Chromebook 514
- Best display on a Chromebook: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
- Best value: ASUS Chromebook Flip C434
Best overall: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a budget gaming laptop, not just a Chromebook. It has a 13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 touchscreen, a 128GB NVMe SSD, a 10th-gen Intel Core i5-10210U processor, and 8GB LPDDR4 RAM. These are pretty beefy specifications for a device of which competitors can frequently feature eMMC storage and much, much weaker chipsets. If that’s not enough, you can bump that up to a Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. A bit overkill for a Chromebook? Maybe.
If you think you’re going to be using Linux applications a lot or think you’re going to want the best of the best in terms of performance when it comes to all of your web-based applications, then the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is probably the best overall Chromebook that money can buy today. Oh, and it’s Project Athena certified, meaning Intel says it has good performance and good battery life.
Best detachable: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Detachable laptops differ from 2-in-1’s, wherein you can entirely remove them from their keyboard and use them as a tablet. They tend to be a lot less bulky, although they may compromise on specifications as a result. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the best detachable Chromebooks on the market, though it features a MediaTek Helio P60T, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage. It has a full HD screen too, so it’s a perfect media streaming machine when it’s engaged in tablet mode.
Want to use it for work? Reconnect the keyboard, and it turns back into a laptop with a fully functioning keyboard. It’s not going to be the fastest or the best, but it’ll get the job done. It’ll do it without breaking the bank too, as it starts at $230 from Lenovo’s website.
Best for battery life: Google Pixelbook Go
Maybe the most important part of a Chromebook to you isn’t the performance but its endurance. The Google Pixelbook Go offers modest specifications as it’s powered by an 8th gen M3, M5, or M7. However, you do get up to 256GB of SSD storage and up to 16GB of RAM, so it’s not as if you’re going to have any noticeable lags or stutters. The base model has a 13.3-inch full HD touchscreen, though there’s a 4K screen option too. What’s more, it comes in at just over 1kg for the FHD model.
The M3 series of Intel chipsets run fanless, which means they also use a lot less power. That, coupled with the 41.41 watt-hour battery, means that you’ll get up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge. When it runs out of battery, it has a 45W USB-C fast charger to quickly charge it back up. Google says 20 minutes of charge is enough for two hours of usage. With a starting price of $649, this may be well worth a look.
Best Chromebook on a budget: Acer Chromebook 514
If you’re looking for the best Chromebook on a budget, then look no further than the Acer Chromebook 514. As you’ve seen here, many Chromebooks like to pack everything and the kitchen sink into a specification sheet, despite ChromeOS not being all that intensive. If you’re looking for a basic media machine with a touch screen that can get the job done, then the Intel Celeron N3450-powered Acer Chromebook 514 may do the job.
Packing 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, a Full HD 14-inch touchscreen, and 64GB of eMMC storage, it’s got all the basics covered for an excellent Chromebook experience on a budget.
Best display on a Chromebook: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
The new Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the first Chromebook ever with a QLED panel. It offers excellent contrast and punchy colors easily making it the best Chromebook for multimedia consumption. It has a 13.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) QLED touchscreen with stereo speakers, making it the perfect setup for media streaming. Like the previous model, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 supports the Samsung Pen stylus that can expand your productivity by letting you take down notes faster or help you with your creative side by letting you sketch with intricate detailing.
The laptop is available with either an Intel Core i3-10110U or Intel Celeron 5205U processor with up to 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which is more than enough for note-taking and media streaming. If you’re doing more intensive tasks, you can set up Crouton or Crostini to use some Linux applications.
Best value: ASUS Chromebook Flip C434
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 was our choice for the best Chromebook that money can buy in terms of value. But it now has an update, and it’s better than ever. The new Flip C436 comes with a slimmer magnesium chassis compared to the last model and while it retains the 14-inch full-HD touchscreen with a 2-in-1 design, the insides have been upgraded. You get the option of a 10th-gen Intel processor with either Core i3, Core i5, or even a Core i7 with up to 16GB of memory and 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD storage. Other notable features on the Flip C436 include a backlit keyboard, a microSD card reader for expandable storage, a fingerprint scanner, and standard 45W USB PD charging.
Which Chromebook should you go with? It depends on what you’re looking for of course, but you can’t deny the appeal of the Google Pixelbook Go. It may not have the best specs but with long battery life and made by Google, you know it’s going to do everything you need it to with a Chromebook. If you are looking for more affordable options, we also have a list of the best Chromebooks for students. Need more power? Then have a look at some of the best laptops that you can buy today.