Best Chromebooks 2019

Henry T. Casey ·
Senior Writer

Need something efficient and long-lasting? Chromebooks, which run on Google's Chrome OS and feature its browser, are great for simple tasks, like emails, social media and web browsing. But with support for Android apps, Chromebooks are getting more sophisticated, and schools love these machines.

Some of the best Chromebooks have even made our best laptops and best sub-$500 laptops lists. To learn more about the perks and limits of Chrome OS laptops, check out our Should I Buy a Chromebook? guide and our list of the best Chromebook games. And if you're having trouble updating your Chromebook or using incognito windows, we have a guide for that too.

Sept. 19 Update: The Chromebook Flip C433, a new, cheaper version of our favorite Chromebook just got announced, though it's U.K.-only at the moment. We might be getting a Pixelbook 2 next month, and leaked specs suggest a Core i3 version. (expect an i5 and i7 model as well).

Best Chromebooks

Best Chromebook Overall
Asus Chromebook Flip C434
The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is a portable 2-in-1 laptop with a premium design, a vivid 1080p display and all-day battery life.
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Best Value Chromebook
Samsung Chromebook 3
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Best School Chromebook
Dell Chromebook 3189
It isn't fancy, but the Dell Chromebook 3189 is durable and long-lasting, so it should last a kid through a school day, even if they're clumsy. You won't use this laptop for multitasking, but it’' just right for a classroom.
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Best Chromebook Overall
Our new best Chromebook, the Flip C434 is an excellent successor to the Flip C302CA, our previous top pick. Not only do its super-small bezels allow Asus to fit its large 14-inch screen into a smaller chassis than you'd expect, that screen is both bright and colorful. On top of that, its aluminum design provides a more premium feel than most Chromebooks. Oh, and I almost forgot: it lasts about 10 hours on a single charge.
  • Sleek, premium design
  • Thin display bezels
  • Vivid, 14-inch touch screen
  • Long battery life
  • Mixed performance
  • A tad pricey
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Best Value Chromebook
This 11.6-inch, 2.5-pound laptop is light enough to carry anywhere and compact enough for even a child's hands. 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.
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Best School Chromebook
It isn't fancy, but the Dell Chromebook 3189 is durable and long-lasting, so it should last a kid through a school day, even if they're clumsy. You won't use this laptop for multitasking, but it’' just right for a classroom.
Students will need a robust set of tools for the new school year, such as the touch screen in the Dell Chromebook 3189. Once Google brings Android app support to this Chrome OS machine, its touch screen will help users make the most of photo-editing apps, such as Adobe Photoshop Express. Starting at $329, this notebook lasts more than 9 hours on a single charge and offers a durable chassis that's ready for the classroom. It's a 2-in-1 with a touch screen, making it easy to use Android apps the way they were originally designed. And its MIL-SPEC-tested design means that little clumsy hands can drop the 3189 without causing too much damage. The Celeron processor isn't powerful, so the Chromebook 3189 is best for tackling a single homework task at a time.
  • Good speakers
  • Solid battery life
  • Dim screen
  • Poor multitasking performance
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Best Chromebook for Business
The Pixelbook is Google's flagship Chromebook. Its 7th Gen Core i5 CPU gives this machine the speed you need to juggle all the Android apps you want while keeping a ton of tabs open. But this laptop's luxe look earns it a place in the boardroom. A mix of aluminum, silicon and Gorilla Glass, the 0.4-inch thin Pixelbook is the sexiest Chromebook ever. Plus, it's got a vibrant QHD display and a TPM chip for securing its passwords. The laptop has some extras that you don't see on other Chromebooks, like a Google Assistant key on the keyboard. It also works with an Assistant-powered Pixelbook Pen. This looks like Google's future plan for Chromebooks. Outside of education, it will be a flexible OS that can be used for both laptops and tablets, with Google's AI and other services involved.
  • Thin design
  • Brilliant display
  • Speedy performance
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Expensive
$999.00Best Buy
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Best 2-in-1 Chromebook
The HP Chromebook x2 has the body of a Surface Pro and the brains of a Chromebook.
With all-day battery life and a comfortable, detachable design, the XP Chromebook x2 is everything we love about Chromebooks and the Microsoft Surface Pro. The Chromebook x2 also offers a sharp, bright display, quality sound and a comfy keyboard for solid typing.
  • Bright, high-res display
  • All-day battery life
  • Comfortable typing experience
  • Solid sound
  • A bit heavier than other convertibles
  • Thick bezels
  • Core m3 CPU isn't the fastest
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Best 15-inch Chromebook
If you want a big-screen Chromebook, I bet you want it with a huge high-resolution panel. While the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 starts at $599 with a 1080p screen, a Core i3 CPU, it can be upgraded to a 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) screen with a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, which should provide enough speed for all the Android apps you want, and then some. Also, this laptop sports a neat aluminum display, so its chassis looks as sharp as the images on its screen.
  • Detailed 4K touch screen
  • Flexible aluminum chassis
  • Speedy performance
  • Subpar battery life (on 4K model)
  • Display could be brighter, more colorful
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Why Trust Us

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Our expert reviewers also use each product to see how it looks and feels in everyday situations. Because we see so many different notebooks, we can compare each to its direct competitors and give you an idea of how it stacks up to the average laptop in its price range.

How We Test Laptops

When we bring a laptop into our laboratory, 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 and 3DMark, we focus heavily on real-world tests that we have developed in-house.

To test endurance, the Laptop Mag Battery test surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the system runs out of juice. To judge pure processing power, we use a giant spreadsheet macro that matches 65,000 names with their addresses, a video transcoder that converts a 4K video to 1080p and the Geekbench 4 synthetic test. We measure graphics prowess with both 3DMark Ice Storm/Fire Strike and a series of actual games.

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.

How to Find the Right Laptop

When shopping for a laptop, there's a lot to consider. To help you choose a system, we've put our up-to-date list the best Chromebooks, along with five points to keep in mind when choosing a system.

Budget: What you get for the money

You can find good, cheap Windows laptops and high-quality Chromebooks for under $500. However, better mainstream laptops usually cost more than $700, and premium Ultrabooks can run over $1,000. The best gaming laptops can cost $2,000 and up, but you can play the latest titles at decent frame rates on gaming laptops selling for under $1,000.

Screen Size: 12 to 14 inches for portability

Knowing a laptop's screen size tells you a lot about the machine's portability overall. If you want to use your computer on your lap or carry it around a lot, go for one with a 12-, 13- or 14-inch display. If you want to use the computer on tables and desks and won't carry it around much, a 15-inch model may give you more value. Some gaming rigs, media machines and workstations even have 17- or 18-inch screens, but those are hardest to carry.

2-in-1 or Clamshell?

More and more of today's laptops are 2-in-1s with screens that either bend back 360 degrees or detach so you can use them as tablets. If you like the idea of using your laptop in slate mode so you can draw, consume media or just have stand the device up, a 2-in-1 could be for you. However, you can often get better features or a lower price by going with a traditional, clamshell-style laptop.

Battery Life: 8+ hours for portability

Unless you only plan to use your laptop on your desk, battery life matters. Even within the home or office, having plenty of juice enables you to work on the couch or at the conference table, without being chained to the nearest outlet. For the best portability, we recommend getting a laptop that lasted over 8 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test. The longest-lasting laptops endure for over 10 hours.

Specs: 1080p, Core i5, 8GB are best bets

You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about. If you just want really good mainstream performance, go for a system with a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p screen.

  • Screen resolution: Unfortunately, 66 percent of consumer laptops and 51 percent of business systems have low-res screens. If at all possible, get a display with a 1920 x 1080 (aka, 1080p or full-HD) or higher resolution.

  • CPU: An Intel Core i5 provides good mainstream performance. Some budget systems will come with Core i3, Celeron or Pentium CPUs which are good enough for basic tasks but not heavy multitasking. Get a Core i7 or a quad-core processor (serial number ends in HQ or HK) for gaming or high-end productivity tasks such as video editing and 3D modeling.

  • RAM: 8GB is ideal for most users; 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Secondary laptops and Chromebooks may have less memory.

  • Storage: Unless you're a gamer or a power user, 256GB of internal storage is probably enough. If possible, get an SSD (solid-state drive) rather than a hard drive, because it's going to make your entire computer a lot faster.

  • Graphics chip: Gamers and creative professionals need to do some research and figure out which discrete GPU is good enough to run their favorite software. Everyone else will be happy with the built-in Intel HD Graphics that come on the CPU.

If you want to learn more about buying a laptop, check out our full Laptop Buying Guide. Gamers should read our Gaming Laptop Buying Guide and list of Best Gaming Laptops.