/The best Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chrome OS tablets you can buy right now (Winter 2020) – Android Police

The best Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chrome OS tablets you can buy right now (Winter 2020) – Android Police

Chromebooks have come a long way from the original CR-48, and for many, a complete workflow is now possible in the confines of Chrome OS thanks to the addition of Android and Linux application support. But there are quite a lot out there to choose from, and some are better options than others. For your convenience, we’ve put together a small list of some of our favorite picks, categorized based on your primary consideration.

This list is obviously non-exhaustive. There are a lot of Chromebooks and Chromeboxes out there, and plenty of new hardware is always on the horizon, but these are our recommendations for the best Chrome OS-powered devices among a range of prices and utility categories.

These are the Chromebooks we currently recommend if you really have to buy one, but right now, we recommend holding off on most of the higher-end models including the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 and Acer Chromebook Spin 13 because newer, better Chromebooks are on the way later this year.

The best one to get: It’s a toss-up

The current state of high-end Chromebooks is all over the board, and there are some very high-end devices on the horizon. As I see it, there’s no real “best” right now, just a choice among compromises, and I would strongly urge anyone considering picking up an expensive Chromebook to wait until the new models land, as that will drastically affect this list.

Pixelbook Go

If you want a traditional laptop form factor, the new Pixelbook Go is a good (if slightly expensive) choice, packing in some of the best specs you can get, a lightweight design, good build quality, and one of the best keyboards out there. Processors range from Core M3 up to an i7 (eventually), though there isn’t too much reason to get the highest-end version if you don’t plan on using it for development work or Linux apps.

At a starting price of $650, it might seem attractive, but there are cheaper choices if all you care about are specs, and this clamshell design means you won’t be using it as a tablet, even if it still has a touchscreen.

There is even a 4K, i7-powered version, though it costs more than twice as much at a whopping $1,400.

The EOL date for the Pixelbook Go is June 2026.

Where to buy the Pixelbook Go

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

If you want a bigger (but still low-res) display, and paying ~$500-560 for 4GB of RAM doesn’t put you off, ASUS’ Chromebook Flip C434 could be a decent choice. Its svelte aluminum body packs a 14″ display into the shape of a 13″ laptop, powered by an 8th-gen Core M3, i5, or i7 processor.

It isn’t anywhere near as good of a value as the original C302, and that 4GB of RAM is very nearly a joke, but ASUS’ build quality is always premium, the processor in it is faster than most of the Chromebooks on this list, and you get quite a lot more visual space to work in.

We should note, if you can stick it out a couple months and are willing to pay a bit more, ASUS’ upcoming C436 is set to spank the C434 (and just about everything on this list).

The ASUS Flip C434 will stop getting updates in June 2026.

Where to buy the ASUS Chromebook C434

Acer Chromebook Spin 13

If you need even more CPU power, though, and you’re willing to compromise with some other tradeoffs, a higher-wattage device like the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 might satisfy, with up to a quad-core 15W Intel i5 8250U available. That’s a lot more power than most folks will need in a Chromebook

It’s also got some chonk, which makes it a bit harder to use while folded as a tablet. Acer went with a few confusing design choices, like a stylus that’s impossible to pull out while folded up, but it packs a great screen, lots of processing power, and decent battery life. You’ll just end up paying a premium for it.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 will stop getting updates in June 2025.

Where to buy the Acer Chromebook Spin 13

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Speaking of chonk, if you want the biggest screen possible, the 15.6″ Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 is among the highest-end options out there. That huge, high-quality HD display (no longer available in 4K resolution) is paired with a solid and sturdy build, good keyboard, great performance, and a decent touchpad.

There are some drawbacks, though. You’ll be paying a bit of a premium for the privilege, with the 4K model starting around $760-800 (at the time of writing). It’s also pretty heavy, fingerprint-prone, and bezel-icious.

The Lenovo Chromebook C630 will stop getting updates in June 2025.

Where to buy the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Mid-range

Chromebooks generally aim for the lowest price possible, so until you get down under $300 or so, competition doesn’t really heat up too much. That said, the selection has expanded recently at the mid-range price point, and we’ve got a couple of recommendations.

ASUS Chromebook C425

We haven’t had a chance to do a review of the C425, but on paper it shares most of its specs with the more expensive C434, so it should offer a similar experience in a slightly different form-factor.

You get the same “NanoEdge” 14″ 1080p display, an eighth-gen Core m3 CPU, and 64GB of storage, plus a bump to 8GB of RAM. What you give up is the convertible design — this is a clamshell-style laptop. It also swaps many of the aluminum parts for plastic to hit the cheaper price point.

While we can’t guarantee the performance or experience will perfectly mimic the C434 it seems to be based on, the $370 price (at the time of writing) makes it a decent deal.

The ASUS Chromebook C425 will stop getting updates in June 2026.

Where to buy the ASUS Chromebook C425

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Samsung’s Chromebook Plus V2 refresh comes with a few compromises compared to the original, stepping down the implicit V1’s insane 2400×1600 display for a pedestrian 1080p panel, and cutting the mostly metal build quality for plastic. But, it’s a reasonably powerful mid-range device, with a Y-series Celeron and all the features you’d expect in a modern Chromebook.

Sure, you don’t get the best build quality, but you do get a similar transforming form factor, a built-in stylus, and Linux/Android application support, and all for a decent price. You can check out our review of the LTE-equipped version for more details, as it’s mostly the same (though we don’t recommend it, given the increased price).

The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 will stop getting updates in June 2024, closer than other Chromebooks on this list.

Where to buy the Chromebook Plus V2

HP Chromebook x360 14″

HP has almost a thousand slightly different versions of its Chromebooks, which makes comparison shopping between retailers intentionally a monumental pain in the ass, but they’re also pretty decent units. At least comparing specs at different sites is a little easier to do with the 14″ x360 version. With a 14″ screen, higher-end processors, and a 2-in-1 design (if you get the “x360”), you can get a pretty killer Chromebook for the price.

They aren’t as compact as some other models, though, and a folding design is of doubtful utility at a 14″ display size, but purely on paper, they’re a pretty good deal, and those that use them tend to be vocal in their praise.

At several retailers, HP’s Chromebook x360 14″ is on a sizable discount at the time of writing, though prices are subject to change, and be careful comparison shopping between the various different SKUs.

The HP Chromebook x360 14″ will stop getting updates in June 2026.

Where to buy the HP Chromebook x360 14″

Alternatives

If you want a bigger Chromebook, HP’s Chromebook 15 (which we haven’t reviewed), might satisfy, though it’s a bit expensive for what you get.

For some targeting this price point, a used but higher-end Chromebook or a discounted model from the next tier up may be the way to go.

Budget picks

The Chromebook ecosystem thrives at low prices, but cheap doesn’t always mean good. There are a lot of inexpensive Chromebooks out there, but only a few we’d recommend.

Lenovo C330

I’ve spent a little bit of time using the C330, and for the current ~$200-250 starting price, it’s still my favorite budget Chromebook. You get a 1.7 GHz MediaTek SoC (I know, but at least it isn’t an N-series Celeron, right?), 11.6″ 768p IPS display, 4GB RAM, 32-64GB eMMC storage, 2×2 MIMO AC Wi-Fi, and a 45Wh battery. The keyboard is on the shallow side, and in tablet configuration, it doesn’t have the requisite magnets to hold itself shut, but build quality is surprisingly good.

If your only trepidation is the MediaTek chipset, the newer C340 might serve you better, though it costs a lot more than the simple bump in chipset performance to an N-series Intel CPU should merit, and I don’t think it’s worth the extra money for most.

It’s a bit on the chunky side at 0.77″ thick, and decently heavy for a 12″ laptop at 2.64 lbs, but the $270 price tag smooths all those concerns. Sure, you can get a cheaper Chromebook, but this is the king of the low-end.

The Lenovo C330 will stop getting updates in June 2025.

Where to buy the Lenovo C330

Lenovo 100E (2nd gen)

If all that matters when you get down to it is a Chromebook’s price, then the $120-140 Lenovo 100E is probably the way to go. Compared to almost everything else on this list, it’s under-spec’d and under-powered. It isn’t a tablet, it’s just a lowly laptop. You aren’t getting many niceties on paper, just an 11.6″ 1366 x 768 display, MediaTek chipset (you can pay more for an Intel, if you want), 4GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage — plus the obligatory keyboard, touchpad, and clamshell design.

You do get one actual benefit beyond saving money, though, and that’s a durable design. This Chromebook may be cheap, but it was meant for education. It has a spill-resistant keyboard, reinforced design, and it’s even explicitly drop-resistant up to 29″. Between its ultra-low price and that beefy design, it’s perfect for kids.

The Lenovo 100E (2nd gen) will stop getting updates in June 2025.

Where to buy the Lenovo 100E (2nd gen)

Alternatives

If you can spend a bit more, the ~$250 AMD-powered HP Chromebook 14 (and many of the other seemingly endless 14″ HP Chromebook models) might be a better choice at a better price, but prices and support windows wildly vary.

Sales and discounts also sometimes bring ostensibly better devices into the budget category. Just be very careful to check dates for remaining software support at this price point, many promoted “deals” are often for Chromebooks on the cusp of or just past their last updates.

Tablets/slates:

I feel the need to preface this with a warning: I still believe that there are no objectively good Chrome OS-powered tablets, though the upcoming Lenovo IdeaPad Duet could prove me wrong. That said, it’s a small list, and there is technically a “best” tablet.

Pixel Slate

I know. We’re sorry.

Google’s Pixel Slate has, objectively speaking, the best set of specs for any Chrome OS Tablet, with options covering the more recent m3 up to an i7 (all 8th-gen Y-series 5-7W CPUs), and one of the best screens you can get, crammed into an attractive and solidly built tablet. It even has good battery life and a unique fingerprint scanner.

At launch, the overall software experience was best described as “janky,” though some claim most of those issues have since been resolved. Whether they have or not, it also sports some difficult ergonomics, the dubious benefit of a touch-first design on a previously mouse and keyboard-driven OS, and a very high price tag. Google has also canceled its plans for future Chrome OS-powered tablets, and though it claims it will continue to support the form factor, it’s not a good sign for the future.

While it’s ultimately up to you, the Pixel Slate delivers quite a lot of drawbacks and compromises to merely present a new form factor, though it has been riding quite a discount in the last few months.

The Pixel Slate will stop getting updates in June 2026.

Where to buy the Pixel Slate

Alternatives

Should you want to push just a tiny bit cheaper, the HP Chromebook x2 is a decent alternative, though it’s a bit older now, and most retailers have stopped selling it. If price is a concern, you’re also frankly better off waiting for the IdeaPad Duet, expected to land later this year.

Where to buy the Chromebook x2

Box/desktop

The selection of Chromeboxes is dwindling, and prices on old models (like our previous recommendation) are inexplicably rising. In that case, there’s really only one affordable option left.

ASUS Chromebox 3

We haven’t had a chance to review the ASUS Chromebox 3, but most Chromeboxes these days share a common hardware platform — it should be pretty similar to the others of its generation we’ve used. Starting at just $270, it’s also one of the only really affordable models left in the apparently declining Chrome OS desktop market.

That base model gets you a very dated Celeron 3865U, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Gigabit Ethernet, plus USB Type-C support. If you step it up to $420, you can get a Core i3 processor paired with the same specs, and 8GB of RAM is another $40 on top of that.

The ASUS Chromebox 3 will stop getting updates in June 2025.

Where to buy the ASUS Chromebox 3

  • Amazon
  • B&H Photo
  • Newegg
  • Adorama

Honorable mention

Some older Chromebooks are still good options, especially if you can pick one up used, but they don’t compare to more recent models. The Google Pixelbook is still king when it comes to build quality, and packs pretty great specs, but its fixed sky-high price tag finally pushed it off this list. Some other older Chromebooks nabbed at the right price could be a good deal. Just be sure to check the end of life date if you pick one up.

We have reviewed plenty of other Chromebooks and Chromeboxes favorably, but a list of the “best” sadly can’t include everything, and we’re sorry if your favorite Chromebook didn’t make the cut.