Best Chromebooks in 2018
Chromebooks are great devices for people who don’t need a full-blown OS like Windows or Mac. Most people these days live primarily in a web browser, and for a lot of people, that browser is Chrome. These devices are not only limited to the browser and web apps. You can also download Android apps directly from the Play Store. There’s never been a better time to get a Chromebook. Here are 4 of the best options available right now.
Best Overall: Samsung Chromebook Plus
The Samsung Chromebook Plus is a great all-around Chromebook. It balances the line between being too pricey for a Chromebook while still having powerful hardware. The Chromebook Plus is a 2-in-1, which means it has a touchscreen that can flip around into tablet mode. Samsung also includes a stylus. The magnesium alloy design makes this device really stand out among Chromebooks.
The 12.3-inch display has the 3:2 aspect ratio that is becoming more popular on laptops. That makes it great for web browsing because you can see more on the screen. Unsurprisingly for a Samsung device, the 1600p display looks great. The nondescript processor is Hexa-core and clocked at 2GHz. It has 4GB of RAM and a 32GB hard drive.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus (not to be confused with the more expensive Chromebook Pro) can be found for around $400-450. It’s not the cheapest Chromebook you can buy, but it’s not the most expensive either. For most people, this is a nice middle ground.
Best Premium: Google Pixelbook
If you want the absolute best Chromebook money can buy, the Google Pixelbook is the obvious choice. The Pixelbook has specs that can rival a lot of high-end Windows laptops. The premium design and build quality set it apart from other Chromebooks, but so does the high price tag.
The Pixelbook has a touchscreen and 360-degree hinge. You can also purchase an optional stylus to go with it. It has a 12.3-inch 3:2 display with 1600p resolution, Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and even fast charging. The lightweight design is super premium and easy to carry around all day.
The stand out feature for many Pixelbook users is the keyboard. Chromebooks are notorious for cheap, sucky keyboards, but the Pixelbook has one of the best you’ll find on any laptop. The keys are well-spaced and very tactile. Even the touchpad is premium since it’s made out of glass.
The base model (no stylus or extra charger) will cost you around $1,600. The most expensive model is around $1,800. That’s a lot to pay for a Chrome OS device, but it’s the best one you’ll ever use.
Best Convertible: HP Chromebook X2
People have called the HP Chromebook X2 the “Microsoft Surface with Chrome OS.” That’s a fair description as this device is a full convertible. The touchscreen display can be completely detached from the keyboard. HP also includes a handy stylus with the Chromebook X2. The design may not wow the average user, but it’s a step up from the bargain bin devices.
The 12,3-inch display has a 3:2 aspect ratio and 1600p resolution. It’s powered by the Intel Core M3-7Y30 Kaby Lake processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. Chrome OS has seen a lot of updates recently to get ready for touchscreen-only input. If you’re ready to hop on that train, the HP Chromebook X2 is a good entry point.
The Chromebook X2 is on the pricier end of Chromebooks. It costs $599 and the stylus is included. Not the cheapest Chrome OS device you can buy, but not the astronomical price of the Pixelbook either.
Best Budget: Acer Chromebook 14
Chrome OS is great because it can run speedy on very low-end hardware. But that doesn’t mean every cheap Chromebook is good. The Acer Chromebook 14 is both cheap and powerful enough to get the job done. On the surface, it doesn’t look like a cheap laptop. The aluminum build feels sturdy and surprisingly premium. Even the keyboard, which usually suffers on cheap laptops, is surprisingly clicky and reliable.
The 14-inch display is the usual 16:9 aspect ratio and 1080p resolution. There’s nothing special about it, but it’s still a perfectly fine display. The device is powered by an Intel Celeron Quad-core processor clocked up to 2.24GHz. It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
Depending on where you shop, you can find the Acer Chromebook 14 for around $250. That’s a very good price for a 14-inch laptop with an aluminum body. You’re not getting a touchscreen, stylus, fancy 3:2 display, or any extras, but you are getting a perfectly capable web-browsing and Android app-using machine.