The best Chromebooks 2018

Best Chromebooks

Although Windows laptops are finally getting longer battery life, thanks to ARM support, the best Chromebooks continue to impress us with all-day battery life, something that’s still out of reach for most Windows 10 laptops. When Google revealed its original laptop lineup nearly seven years ago, we weren’t sure what to make of the best Chromebooks. However, fast forward to 2018 – there are more than 25 million Chrome OS users in the world who have embraced the best Chromebooks.

Quick performance, low prices and lengthy battery life are the core characteristics of the best Chromebooks. And, while you usually won’t be getting the best processors, the best Chromebooks still continue to improve to this day – just look at two very promising upcoming Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 and the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, as proof. 

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And, new features are being added to the best Chromebooks all the time. For instance, Google is developing a tablet mode for Chrome OS and AltOS – which will allow users to install a second operating system. Plus, at Google I/O, Google showed off a ton of new tricks in the works for Chrome OS, like Linux apps, SD card compatibility for Android apps, and better stylus support.

However, even with the best Chromebook, you’ll still be restrained to what your web browser (and Google’s own Android storefront) can do. So, you’ll want to look elsewhere for all of your gaming and media editing needs. Still, if you spend a large portion of your computer time in word processors, email clients and video streaming services, you might want to look into picking up one of the best Chromebooks.

1. Google Pixelbook

Making good on its Android promises

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 512GB

Sublime design
Awesome keyboard
Pen sold separately
Poor audio performance

Shortly after declaring the end of the Chromebook Pixel, Google brought it back in a way nobody was anticipating before its announcement, and subsequent release back in October 2017. Now, it’s the Google Pixelbook, and it stands completely independently of its spiritual predecessor. That’s because, unlike the Chromebook Pixel, it can natively run Android apps, on top of building upon Chrome OS. And, when you add in the huge storage space, fantastic stylus and Google Assistant, it shouldn’t be surprising when we say the Pixelbook is the best Chromebook available in 2018.  

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip 

2. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

Elegant tablet mode
Tactile keyboard
No out-of-box Android app support
Middling speakers

Before the Google Pixelbook showed up and showed us the full potential of the premium Chromebook, the Asus Chromebook Flip was the best Chromebook you could buy. Rocking a full-fat Intel Core processor and full-HD display, the Chromebook Flip changed everything. With this Chromebook all the features we take for granted came to life. Put simply, if you want the key features that the Pixelbook offers, but you don’t want to drop that much cash, the Asus Chromebook Flip is a great choice.  

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip 

3. Samsung Chromebook Pro

Cultivating the marriage of Chrome OS and Android

CPU: 0.99Ghz Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Stunning, gorgeous design
Stylus support on Chrome OS
Cramped keyboard
Weak speakers

When Google announced that Android apps would be heading to Chromebooks, it was only a matter of time before Samsung took its mastery of the two OSs and crafted something truly beautiful. Boasting a 12.3-inch QHD touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is widely acclaimed for its built-in stylus – the first of its kind to show up in a Chromebook. Not only does it show up a majority of laptops in its own category, but it’s better than most Android devices as well, our issues with the speakers and keyboard aside. 

Read the full review: Samsung Chromebook Pro

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip.

Best Chromebook

4. Dell Chromebook 11

Dell's updated Chromebook is a star in almost every regard

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1366 x 768) touchscreen | Storage: 16GB SSD

Rugged design
180-degree barrel hinge
Touchscreen not standard
Small keyboard

If the Samsung Chromebook Pro is all about versatility, the Dell Chromebook 11 is about value. Reinforced by a 180-degree hinge, sturdy design and a sealed keyboard and trackpad in addition to a punchy typing experience, this Chromebook is a perfectly portable package. Not only adequately suited for school and work, the Dell Chromebook 11 even packs a set of loud stereo speakers for listening to music or watching videos. Don’t worry about dinging it, either, as this device remains the most rugged Chromebook on our list.

Read the full review: Dell Chromebook 11

5. Acer Chromebook Spin 11

A fresh spin

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) IPS touch | Storage: 32GB eMMC SSD

Affordable price 
Durable frame 
Dim screen 

One of the most compelling use cases for the best Chromebooks is that of the student laptop – and the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a perfect example. If you’re a student, or even a parent of a student that’s looking for a cheap, capable and, more importantly, durable machine to get some homework done on the go, you shouldn’t need to look further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 11. You won’t be able to do any hardcore gaming or video editing on this thing, but if you just need something to write some papers and watch some YouTube in your downtime – you should give it a look.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 11 

6. Acer Chromebook 15

Favoring longevity over beefy specs

CPU: Intel Pentium N4200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Unbelievable battery life
Attractive, fanless design
Trackpad feels clunky
Easy to weigh down with tabs

With the build quality of a MacBook, we can look past the Acer Chromebook 15’s aversion to 2-in-1 form factors. But, given that most Chromebooks releasing in 2018 are fully convertible due to the wide implementation of Android app support, the Acer Chromebook 15 had to prove itself to us with more than just a beautiful design. So, on top of its ability to lay flat using a 180-degree hinge, this 15-inch beauty makes great strides with its battery life as well, lasting nearly 17 hours in our own TechRadar battery life test.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Chromebook 14.

Acer Chromebook R11

7. Acer Chromebook R11

360-degree flips for days

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 – N3150 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD

Convertible
Good battery life
HD-only display
Terrible trackpad

Judging by the recent release of the Chromebook Spin 11, we wouldn’t surprised if the Acer Chromebook R11 is replaced, but it still holds up to this day as a great choice for those on the prowl for the best Chromebook around. It isn’t the most powerful Chromebook around, but it still gives you full access to Android Apps on the Google Play store. What’s better, it does so on a touchscreen display that can be rotated around into tablet mode, complemented by an all-metal finish that you won’t be embarrassed by. 

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11

best chromebook

8. HP Chromebook 14

Striking optimal balance between value and design

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView | Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

Excellent keyboard, trackpad
Crisp, vivid screen
Slower than some rivals
Average battery life

The HP Chromebook 14 is basically the perfect Chromebook. Its rock-bottom starting price and speedy use of Chrome OS only begins to exemplify its appeal. While Acer’s Chromebook 15 serves up similar components, HP’s 14-inch Chromebook is a bit more compact and better-looking to boot. Embellished with a bright blue finish and a screen made to surprise. This little Chromebook boasts the best value of any Chromebook you can buy today. Even if it’s a bit average in battery life and performance – the HP Chromebook 14 is still a great choice for anyone looking for the best Chromebook. 

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip 

best chromebook

9. HP Chromebook 13

Flashy and functional, this Chromebook means business

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) – QHD (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 32GB eMMC

Ultra-thin and sharp design
High-resolution display is a beauty
Lacks touchscreen
QHD+ display hikes price and lowers battery life

The HP Chromebook 13 goes above and beyond what any of us would expect from a Chromebook. You’re guaranteed at least a 1440p screen, two USB-C ports and, if you're willing to shell out just a bit more cash, you can also snatch yourself an Intel Core-M processor rather than a Pentium. All of this is complemented by incredible style and a metallic design that exudes Pixel influence. Given that Google discontinued its own Chromebook earlier in the year, the HP Chromebook 13 is one of the few remaining alternatives. 

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 13

Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop. 

Juan Martinez and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.