Once upon a time, Chromebooks were just a budget-friendly alternative to laptops. They cost a fraction of the price and they did just enough to get you by without the need of your laptop or PC.
Nowadays, personal computer purchases are off the charts. Chromebooks are a big part of that as they add bang for your buck with power and sleek, portable design. Of course, these options won’t unlock the full power or Windows experience of their costlier laptop counterparts, but if online browsing, word processing and Zoom meetings (in other words, the 2020 student experience) is the name of the game, these options are perfect substitutes. And as an added bonus, you can download apps from the Android mobile OS to meet many of your needs.
With factors like keyboard, overall quality, display and battery life in mind, these five Chromebooks stood out among the rest.
Taking the top spot as the best overall buy, Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 offers high-end specs in an affordable package. It boasts a 13.5-inch, 3:2 ratio screen that goes toe-to-toe with its pricier competitors, and a comfortable, backlit keyboard that allows ample typing room without cramping your style, or hands. It even has an HDMI port, which is a predictably rare feature on such a thin piece of hardware. It’s worth noting that the speakers do leave something to be desired, but this audience is likely already plugged into the latest earbuds, anyways. Any Chromebook can take notes from the Acer Spin 713, and for just $629, it’s hard to ask for a better buy.
Competitive battery life? Check. Great price point for budget buyers? Double check. Brilliant display? Not so fast. The Acer Chromebook 714 ticks lots of boxes but gets dinged for a display panel that tends to fall a bit flat. Still, the 14-inch screen and attractive price tag gives this affordable Chromebook big pluses. At $449.99, the Acer Chromebook 714 could be yours.
Asus is no stranger to the Chromebook game. The company is known for churning out enticing offerings year after year, but this product sets itself apart. The Flip C434 boasts an ample 14-inch screen and gets high marks for its stunning display. On top of its superior visuals, this Chromebook has a reliable, backlit keyboard and an accurate trackpad. As an added bonus, you can expand the memory with a microSD card. $600 goes a long way with the Asus Chromebook Flip C434.
Admit it. When it comes to Chromebooks, some of us are power hungry; there’s nothing wrong with that. And that’s where the HP Chromebook x360 comes into play. It may be slightly larger than its diminutive competitors, but this Chromebook makes up for it with added processing punch. Speed and power combine in a $479 package.
What sort of a Chromebook list would it be without an offering from Google itself? The Google Pixelbook Go combines aesthetic with performance, offering a sleek design sure to catch your classmates’ or colleagues’ attention. Plus, its capabilities are nothing to scoff at. There are comparable buys for less than its $649 asking price, but few Chromebooks combine the stylish look and competitive performance of the Google Pixelbook Go.
For your budget-friendly, internet browsing, social media scrolling, word processing and video meeting needs, it’s hard to argue with what Chromebooks have to offer. And this batch is among the cream of the crop.
*Prices reflect those as of publishing date