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Best Chromebook in 2021

Best Chromebook in 2021
Best Chromebook in 2021 (Image credit: Future)

"What's the best Chromebook?" you may ask. Well, before we dive into that answer, you should know that you aren't the only one who's asking. In fact, demand for Chromebooks has soared by a whopping 122% year-over-year. Wow! It's clear that many people are clamoring to get their hands on the best Chromebook.

The best Chromebooks aren't just for students anymore. More laptop makers are making Chromebooks that are for casual users and work-focused busy bees. The best Chromebooks are also known for having low malware susceptibility. This means that Chromebooks are least likely to be infected with viruses and spyware compared to other vulnerable operating systems (e.g. Windows).

The best Chromebooks are secure and simplistic. You'll also be happy to know that the best Chromebooks typically have a long battery life. Be sure to check out our Chromebooks with the longest battery life list, too.

The best Chromebooks are evolving, too, and deviating away from that traditional clamshell look. Many now have sleeker designs and touch-screen displays; some sport 2-in-1 designs. There's even a premium Chromebook market that targets Chrome OS lovers who want a top-of-the-line laptop. The best Chromebooks also offer a surprising amount of endurance, which is why we've devised our own Chromebook drop test.

We review dozens of Chromebooks each year, and the ones that make our best Chromebooks list offer the ultimate combination of value, performance and computing comfort. Some are so good they also make our overall best laptops list. You should also check out our best Chromebooks with the longest battery life page.

What is the best Chromebook?

The best Chromebook is the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Not one Chromebook comes close to the spectacular test results we've gotten from the Chromebook Spin 713. It has a long battery life of nearly 12 hours, its QHD display is colorful and stunning, and it's a versatile 2-in-1. On our performance tests, the Chromebook Spin 713 blew past the Google Pixelbook Go, which is often touted as one of the best Chromebooks you can buy. However, the Pixelbook Go hasn't been gotten refreshed in a while and it's pricey for a Chrome OS device. Take it from me: you can't go wrong with the Chromebook Spin 713.

Another best Chromebook device is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. It's perfect for on-the-go, casual users and students who are looking for a petite device that can easily fit into their everyday commuter bag. Its tiny form factor is ideal for travelers who are heavily reliant on Google applications such as Google Chrome and Google Docs. It's also excellent for folks who simply want a portable device to watch YouTube videos, enjoy some Netflix and browse the web.

You'll also be happy to know that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is also on our Chromebooks with the longest battery life list.

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet also comes with a detachable keyboard and kickstand cover — two accessories that will help transform the tablet into a proper little laptop. One downside of the Duet, though, is that if you're someone with massive hands, you may find that the Duet's form factor is too small.

The best Chromebook 2021: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The best Chromebook 2021: Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (Image credit: Future)

1. Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The best Chromebook with long battery life

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U
RAM: Intel UHD
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504
Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Bright, colorful touchscreen+Amazing battery life+Speedy performance+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Shallow keyboard

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 are among the best Chromebooks on the market due to its 11-hour battery life. We prefer that laptops last at least 8 hours to endure an entire day at school or work, but the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 exceeds our 8-hour minimum.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 won a spot on the best Chromebooks list for its colorful and bright display, speedy performance and versatile form factor. And, get this, it won't cost you more than $700 to snag this Chromebook.

For high school and college students seeking an inexpensive, portable and durable laptop, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is certainly one of the best Chromebooks they could choose for their everyday device.

Read our full review of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713.

Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 closed with the back face up on a table next to a plant

The best Chromebook 2021: Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

2. Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3

Best Chromebook with a fabric finish

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB eMMC
Display: 10.5-inch, 1900x1200-pixel touchscreen
Dimensions: 12.7 x 8.9 x 0.68 inches
Weight: 2 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Satisfying fabric finish+Impressive battery life+Ultra-portable design+Built-in stylus
Reasons to avoid
-Mixed performance

The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 will fool others into thinking you're carrying a tweed-bound journal, but in reality, you've got a spectacular 2-in-1 laptop in your hands. As a cherry on top, the Chromebook Detachable CM3 actually comes with a built-in stylus, so you could definitely get some journaling in with some high-tech handwriting.

We also can't talk about the Chromebook Detachable CM3 without raving about its battery life. You might never need to bring your charger along with you because this Asus Chromebook can last for nearly 12 hours, according to our in-house battery life test.  You also don't need to worry about hauling the Detachable CM3 everywhere in your bag as it meets U.S. MIL-STD810H standards. This means that in can handle bumps, shocks and temperature changes. Bolstered by the case and keyboard, it has quite a bit of protection, and if you are worried about that fabric covering, it's stain-resistant.

See our full Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 review.

The best Chromebook 2021: Samsung Chromebook 3

The best Chromebook 2021: Samsung Chromebook 3 (Image credit: Future)

3. Samsung Chromebook 3

Best Chromebook for students

Specifications
CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron N3060
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Display: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel
Dimensions: 11.4 x 8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Bright, accurate screen+Superb battery life+Strong performance
Reasons to avoid
-Muddy speakers-Awkward button layout

Easily the best Chromebook value, Samsung's 11.6-inch, 2.5-pound laptop is light enough to carry anywhere. And with 4GB of RAM, the Celeron N3060-powered Chromebook 3 can handle multitasking with aplomb. And for a cheap device, it looks really classy. Sure, it's plastic, but the metallic black covering is classy enough for any setting. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, the Chromebook 3 ran for 9 hours and 44 minutes, which is more than enough for work and play all day. It's easily one of the cheapest and best Chromebooks you can buy.

See our full Samsung Chromebook 3 review.

The best Chromebook 2021: Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook 2021: Google Pixelbook Go (Image credit: Future)

4. Google Pixelbook Go

Best battery life Chromebook

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-8200Y
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p touch screen
Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Superslim design+Bright, colorful display+Great battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Lackluster speakers-Scant ports

The Pixelbook Go is easily one of the best Chromebooks you can buy. Google's laptop is superslim and light at just 2 pounds, and it sports an easy-to-grip design. The extreme portability extends to this Chromebook's battery life, as it lasted a very impressive 11 hours and 29 minutes on our web surfing battery test. Other highlights include a vibrant 13.3-inch display and solid performance form its Core m3 processor (Core i5 is available). The speakers aren't stellar, but overall the Pixelbook Go is a great option.

See our full Pixelbook Go review.

The best Chromebook 2021: Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

The best Chromebook 2021: Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

5. Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

Best 13-inch Chromebook

Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3500C
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB PCIe SSD
Display: 13-inch, 1920 x 1080
Dimensions: 12.1 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3.2 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Durable, lightweight design+Colorful display+Snappy performance
Reasons to avoid
-Tinny speakers

The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook is sleek, sturdy and sexy 13-inch Chromebook. Plus, it’s one of the few laptops at this price point that ships with a pen. And with the ThinkPad name, it also offers durability and security. It has so much going for it that it could potentially transform a Windows loyalist into a Chromebook convert. 

When we reviewed the ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook, we raved about its colorful display, great performance and durable chassis. It has a military-tested chassis, which means if you're the clumsy type, this Lenovo Chromebook can handle some drops and shocks (within reason, of course). This laptop can also last more than 8 hours on a charge, which means it should endure the whole work or school day.

See our full Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook review.

The best Chromebook 2021: Acer Chromebook 15

The best Chromebook 2021: Acer Chromebook 15 (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

6. Acer Chromebook 715

Best Acer Chromebook

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-8350U
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 64GB eMMC
Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel
Dimensions: 14.4 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.8 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Premium, durable chassis+Great performance+Over 10 hours of battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Dull, dim display

The Acer Chromebook 715 is a premium Chromebook that offers a durable aluminum chassis packed with great performance and over 10 hours of battery life. Its Intel Core i5-8350U processor with 8GB of RAM hit 14,088 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, sailing past the 6,100 Chromebook average. Its integrated numpad is also a boon for students. And even though its 15.6-inch display is a little dull, it's sharp, at 1920 x 1080. If you like buying from Acer, this is among its best Chromebooks.

See our full Acer Chromebook 715 review.

The best Chromebook 2021: Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The best Chromebook 2021: Lenovo Chromebook Duet (Image credit: Future)

7. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Best Chromebook with high portability

Specifications
CPU: MEDIATEK Helio P60T
RAM: 4GB
Storage: Up to 128 eMMC
Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel
Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Comes with keyboard/kickstand+Colorful display+Super affordable+Over 12 hours of battery life
Reasons to avoid
-No headphone jack

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the best Chromebooks because it is a low-priced 2-in-1 that is a tablet, but can also transform into a laptop with an accompanying twill-like kickstand cover and detachable keyboard. 

The most spectacular feature of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is its battery life -- you can get almost 13 hours of battery life on the Duet. Its display is colorful, so watching Netflix, Disney Plus+ and Amazon Prime Video on this Chromebook will be pleasant on the eyes.

It also has an ultraportable design. You can close it shut into a book-like form, and no one will ever know you're carrying a laptop -- they'll assume you're holding a notebook or a journal. 

Read our full review of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet.

The best Chromebook 2021: HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise

The best Chromebook 2021 HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise (Image credit: Future)

8. HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise

The best Chromebook for business

Specifications
CPU: ntel Core i5-10210U
RAM: Intel UHD
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504
Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Military-grade durability+Great security features+Comfortable keyboard+Lots of ports
Reasons to avoid
-Dim display

The HP Pro C640 with Chrome Enterprise is the best Chromebook for business users and employees. The HP Pro C640 has excellent military-grade durability. This means that if you or one of your employees drop this Chromebook on the floor, there's a very good chance that it will remain intact. 

Another reason why the HP Pro C640 landed on our best Chromebooks page is its incredible security features. Security is important for many business owners, and the HP Pro C640 will put your mind at ease with its fingerprint scanner. And with Chrome Enterprise running on the Pro C640, the odds of security breaches and system-update wreckages are low, especially in comparison to systems running Windows 10

Lastly, HP Pro C640 is on our best Chromebooks page due to its incredible variety of ports, which offers users a wide variety of connection options.

Read our full review of the HP Pro C640 with Chrome Enterprise.

The best Chromebook 2021: Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

The best Chromebook 2021: Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook (Image credit: Future)

9. Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

The best Chromebook for a lightweight experience

Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3500C
RAM: Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics
Storage: 128GB PCIe SSD
Display: 13-inch, FHD
Dimensions: 12.1 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3.2 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Snappy performance+Durable, lightweight design+Solid battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Tiny speakers

Another Chromebook that could be considered the best Chromebook of 2021 is the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook. We lauded the ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook for its snappy performance, durable chassis, lightweight design and colorful display. 

It's also a 2-in-1, so it can bend and transform into many postures at your convenience. The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook is only 0.6 inches thin and weighs 3.2 pounds, ensuring that your travels with this featherweight Chromebook is a breeze. According to our testing and real-world experience, the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook earned 4 out of 5 stars.

Read our full review of the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

 How to choose the best Chromebook for you

Choosing the best Chromebook for you depends on who you are and what needs you're hoping your next Chromebook will fulfill. Are you a student who is mostly reliant on Google productivity apps? Are you a business seeking to provide Chromebooks for your employees? Are you a school hoping to snag the perfect Chrome OS systems for your students? Here's my easy-to-understand buying guide on how to buy the perfect Chromebook for you.

How much does a Chromebook cost?

Luckily for you, Chromebooks are known for being budget-friendly. There are some premium Chromebooks out there such as the Google Pixelbook Go that command higher prices due to its long battery life and thin-bezel display. But for the most part, you can find a high-quality for under $500, such as the Dell Chromebook 3189. 

You can also snag a 2-in-1 Chromebook, which is a laptop with Chrome OS that can shape-shift into different modes, including tablet mode, such as the HP Chromebook x360 12b for under $400. A Windows 2-in-1 laptop could be double or triple that price.

Are Chromebooks portable?

When it comes to portability, we need to take a look at screen size and weight. Most Chromebooks fall between 11 and 13 inches, so lugging Chromebooks around at school or in the office will be a breeze. 

How well does a Chromebook perform?

Most of the time, Chromebooks are lightweight devices; Chrome OS sticks to the basics of providing favorite Google productivity apps with a few extras (unlike Windows operating systems that can be bloatware hell). If you need additional apps, you can download them from the Google Play store. Because many applications on Chrome OS operate using the cloud, this means more free space for your laptop and a speedier performance. 

Do Chromebooks have good battery life?

Chromebooks have very good battery life. We run our own in-house Laptop Mag Battery test on Chromebooks, and on average, they last 10 hours. A Chromebook will usually endure the eight hours that are necessary for a productive day at work or school. 

Are Chromebooks secure?

Yes, Chromebooks are super secure. If you're a business looking for a secure laptop for your employees or an institution seeking student-friendly devices that are nearly immune to malware, Chromebooks are the way to go.  Some Chromebooks are even going as far as adding biometric authentication, like fingerprint scanners, to add a new level of security to its laptops -- the Acer Chromebook 715 has a fingerprint sensor, for example.

How we test the best Chromebooks

One of the unique ways we test Chromebooks is by dropping the devices to test its durability. No, we're not kidding. Laptop Mag has its own in-house Chromebook drop test to measure how well Chromebooks can handle shocks. As Chromebooks are often used by on-the-go students and worker bees, it can be easy to have the device slip through one's fingers while shuffling from office to office or classroom to classroom.

We also test for the Chromebooks' performance, battery life, screen brightness, multitasking muscle and more.

As our Editor-in-Chief Sherri L. Smith describes it, when we bring a laptop into our laboratory, it's our goal is to see how it would work if you brought it into your home or office. While we use a number of industry standard benchmarks such as Geekbench, we focus more on real-world testing.

To measure battery runtime, the Laptop Mag Battery test surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the Chromebook runs out of juice. To test the Chromebook's processing power, we use the Geekbench synthetic test. 

We use a colorimeter to measure screen brightness and color gamut while other instruments help us determine a laptop's key travel and ambient heat. See this page on How We Test Laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.

See our Chromebook Buying Guide and our Windows 10 vs Chromebook face-off to learn more about Chromebooks. And check out our best laptops deals page to make sure you get the best price before you buy.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!