Tech

Top 5 Best Chromebook Laptops

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(Samsung)

Google notes that Chromebook laptops start at just $199, making the Chromebook line especially appealing for students, families, or anyone who is on a budget. If you’re in the market for a shiny new Chromebook, the following models are all excellent choices.


1. Acer C720 Chromebook

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(Acer)

If you’re not familiar with the differences between a laptop and a Chromebook, here’s what you need to know. Chromebooks run on Google’s ChromeOS.

A Chromebook does have some limitations that a regular laptop does not, including the fact that many apps won’t work on your Chromebook without a Wi-Fi connection. Despite some limitations, Chromebooks remain a great laptop option for Google fans, and for people who already do a lot of work on documents in the cloud. This Acer Chromebook is a smart buy.

Buy it here.


Pros:

  • Zippy solid state drive
  • Screen has anti-glare properties
  • Battery life of around 8 hours
  • Lightweight
  • Attractive design

  • Cons:

  • Will not appeal to people who don’t use Gmail or other Google services
  • Does not include Microsoft Word or other Office Suite products
  • Hard drive is just 16GB (but you do get plenty of additional storage in Google Drive)
  • Screen resolution somewhat low
  • Sometimes difficult to use as a photo viewer

  • 2. Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook (XE303C12-A01US)

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    (Samsung)

    The Samsung Chromebook was the first laptop on TechRadar‘s list of best laptops for students. Here’s why TechRadar put this laptop on their list:

    “It’s essentially a computer that does one thing: run a web browser. In this case, of course, the web browser in question is Google Chrome.

    The offline mode supported by some apps mitigates against the constant internet connection problem and college campuses, and cafes usually provide accessible Wi-Fi services but we know it may still take some getting used to.

    But once you get it, it gets under your skin. The simplicity and security of it – a nice compromise between the one-app-at-a-time mode of the iPad, say, and the potential complexity of a traditional computer – is refreshing and welcome.

    It’s a slim, light, cheap, long-lasting little laptop that is very secure – partly it only runs a web browser and isn’t based on Windows.”

    So as long as your campus has great Wi-Fi and you’re happy working out of Google’s document creation apps, this inexpensive notebook could be just the thing for you. You can get all the nitty gritty details on this Chromebook’s performance at TechRadar’s extended review of the Series 3.

    This laptop has a 11.6-inch display. While it has just a 16 GB solid state drive and 2GB RAM, you can get more storage through Google Drive.

    Buy it here.


    Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Fast setup
  • Very thin, weighs under 2.5 pounds
  • Quick boot time
  • User-friendly

  • Cons:

  • Battery life only around six hours
  • Lightweight design may seem flimsy to those used to heftier laptops
  • Keyboard lacks some shortcut keys found on desktop keyboards
  • Some user reviews suggest cord is flimsy and will not stand up to much abuse
  • May not be compatible with all software you want to use

  • 3. HP Chromebook 14

    Check out an unboxing video for this Chromebook above.

    The HP Chromebook 14 offers a ton of great features, from the cosmetic to the more technical. With a zippy solid state drive, laggy browsing is a thing of the past. Whether you’re looking for a laptop that’s suitable as your child’s first computer, or in need of a work laptop that will let you quickly access your GDocs on the go, this is a nice choice.

    Buy it here.


    Pros:

  • Tons of storage
  • Up to 9 hours of battery life
  • Intel HSW-U Haswell microarchitecture processor
  • Comes in three fun colors
  • Responsive and fun to use

  • Cons:

  • May still feel underpowered to some
  • As with other Chromebooks, this computer may lack more robust features desired by some
  • Some users will dislike pre-loaded anti-virus
  • Prone to printer connection issues
  • Some users have reported issues with computer “shocking” users

  • 4. Toshiba Chromebook

    Check out an unboxing video of the Toshiba Chromebook in the player above.

    With about nine hours of battery life, a beautiful design, and a beefy solid state drive, the 13.3-inch Toshiba Chromebook has a lot to offer. Compatible with tons of accessories and cases, this Chromebook stands out from the rest of the pack because of its sturdy feel…though the 3.3 pound weight of the laptop may not appeal to all users.

    Buy it here.


    Pros:

  • Up to 9 hours of battery life
  • Gorgeous design
  • Screen is a nice, middle of the road size between “micro books” and oversized-laptops
  • No need to install manual updates
  • Simple sync across multiple devices

  • Cons:

  • Sturdiness is nice, but overall weight is a bit high
  • Web app selection feels somewhat limited
  • 100 GB of Google Drive storage offer is subject to change without notice
  • Really difficult to upgrade SSD
  • Navigation can be confusing at first

  • 5. ASUS Chromebox

    Check out a review of the Chromebox in the video above.

    Okay, okay, so this isn’t technically a laptop…but for someone who wants the Chromebook experience in a low-profile desktop machine, this Chromebox is a no-brainer. While it lacks the portability of a Chromebook, the Chromebox provides the same great Chrome OS and budget-friendly price of its more mobile cousins. Plus, you’ve got flexibility with a Chromebox: you can buy it with or without peripherals, and choose between 2GB and 4GB variants.

    Buy it here.


    Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Compact
  • Inexpensive
  • 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U Processor
  • Fast set-up, right out of the box

  • Cons:

  • Overly simple UI can make it hard to troubleshoot certain issues
  • Limited customization options in settings
  • Multiple users have reported printer issues
  • Some users have reported tech support is slow
  • Lacks some premium bells and whistles

  • Want more info about the Chromebook line? Check out this helpful guide from Google, or watch the video below from Google to get a handle on what using a Chromebook actually feels like.


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