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Best Chromebooks (July 2018) – Android Authority


In May of 2011 the Chromebook line was first announced, immediately finding itself a target of mixed reception. Many felt a computer that was “limited to the web” would ultimately struggle to find a following, and yet despite this the Chromebooks market has exploded in recent years, especially in the education market.

While Chromebooks are still considered a niche part of the PC industry, there a growing number of people that are looking for an affordable, virus-free computing experience that serves as their gateway to the web. The fact that Chrome OS only has a number of true offline apps simply doesn’t matter to this type of web-centric user. In the past couple of years, the usefulness of Chromebooks has expanded, as many of them now can run Android apps from the Google Play Store.

Read more: All the Chromebooks that support Android apps

In the early days, there were only a limited number of Chromebooks to choose from, but in 2018 there are dozens of models to pick from, including some that can flip or even detach their display. There’s even a recent Chromebook that’s in a tablet form factor. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few models that we feel are the very best Chromebooks on offer right now.

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Google Pixelbook

Google is showing that it can make a high-end Chromebook once again with the  Pixelbook. The 12.3-inch display on the laptop, like many recent Chromebooks, has a hinge that allows it to fold around 360 degrees so it can be used as a touchscreen tablet if needed.  The Pixelbook is the thinnest and lightest Chomebook made by Google. It weights just 1.1kg (about 2.4 pounds) and is 10.3mm thick, which should make it easy to transport anywhere.

The Pixelbook is also supposed to have solid battery life, with up to 10 hours of use for a single charge, plus you can get up to 2 hours of use after just 15 minutes of charging. If you own an Android smartphone, the Pixelbook supports instant hotspot tethering with those phones. It also includes two USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack,

Of course, the Pixelbook will be able to connect to the Google Play Store so it can download and play Android apps. It’s also the first laptop that supports Google Assistant, which you can access by saying “Ok Google” or pressing the dedicated Assistant key. The keyboard of the Pixelbook is backlit for better use at night.

Google is also selling the Pixelbook Pen stylus for the touchscreen laptop for $99. It offers 10ms of latency, 60 degrees of angular awareness, and over 2,000 points of pressure sensitivity.

Along with its high-end features, the Google Pixelbook also comes with a much higher cost compared to most Chromebooks. Prices start at $999 with an Intel Kaby Lake Core i5, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, You can also get the same Pixelbook with 256 GB of storage for $1,199, or you can get one with a faster Intel Core i7 chip, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage for $1,699.

Specs

  • 12.3-inch LCD display with 2,400 x 1,600 resolution
  • 8/16 GB RAM
  • 128/256/512 GB internal storage
  • Seventh Generation Intel Core i5/i7 processor
  • Connectivity: 2 x USB Type-C ports, Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2×2 (MIMO), dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz), Bluetooth 4.2
  • 41 Wh battery, rated for about 10 hour use
  • Dimensions: 11.4″ x 8.7″ x 0.4″, 2.4 lbs

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Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Best Chromebooks - Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Over a year after Samsung launched its first Chromebook Plus laptop, the company is back with the second generation version of the Chrome OS device. The biggest change between the first Chromebook Plus and the V2 model is that Samsung has chosen to use a faster Intel Celeron 3965Y processor in the new version, along with Intel integrated graphics. The first Chromebook Plus had an ARM-based chip. The 2.93-pound Chromebook Plus V2 also has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, along with a microSD card slot for adding up to 400GB of additional storage.

The new Chromebook has a 12.2-inch screen with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, which is actually smaller than the 12.3-inch 2,400 x 1,600 resolution display found on the first Chromebook Plus. The V2 model is still a convertible laptop, allowing owners to flip its screen 360 degrees so it can be used as a touchscreen tablet in addition to a laptop. It comes with its own stylus, along with a 1MP front camera and a 13MP camera that’s placed on the keyboard. When the keyboard is flipped, it can serve as its rear camera. The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2’s other features include a 39Wh battery, two USB Type-C ports, a USB 3.0 port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is now on sale at BestBuy.com for the price of $499.99

Specs

  • 12.2-inch LED display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 360 degree rotation
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card
  • Intel Celeron 3965Y processor
  • Connectivity: 2 x USB Type-C ports, USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 39Wh battery, rated for about 10 hour use
  • Dimensions: 11.3″ x 8.2″ x 0.6″, 2.93 lbs

Acer Chromebook R13

Alongside Samsung, Acer was one of the first manufacturers to jump into the Chromebook fray. Since then, they’ve released numerous models with different screen sizes, processing packages, and more. One of their newer offerings is the Chromebook R13, which features a display that can be rotated a full 360-degrees and is a touch screen, and comes with a premium construction that looks great.

Other specifications include a MediaTek MT8173C quad-core ARM processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of built-in storage, and the rotating touch screen is a 13.3-inch display with a Full HD resolution. One of the biggest selling points of this Chromebook is the impressive battery life that you are able to get. The Acer Chromebook R13 is currently priced at just $349.

Specs

  • 13.3-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, touch screen, 360 degree rotation
  • 2.1 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8173C processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, with SD card slot for expansion
  • Connectivity: 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x USB-C port, 802.11ac 2 x 2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4,670 mAh battery, rated for about 12 hours use
  • Dimensions: 12.8″ x 9″ x 0.6″, 3.3 lbs

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HP Chromebook x2

HP Chromebook X2 - Best Chrmebooks
The HP Chromebook X2 may be one of the highest end Chromebooks made outside of Google. Part of the reason is that this product is the first 2-in-1-style Chrome OS product with a detachable keyboard, which lets you use the display as a full stand-alone tablet. This device can also run Android apps, which makes it even more useful.
The 12.3-inch Chromebook is powered by an Intel Core m3 processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 615, backed by 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage (expandable via an SD card slot). The display, meanwhile, is an IPS WLED touchscreen panel with a 2,400 x 1,600 resolution. You can use the included active AES stylus with this display for note taking  sketching and more. It also has 2 Bang & Olufsen-branded dual speakers, two USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a front-facing 5MP “Wide Vision” Camera, and a 13 MP rear camera. It’s also pretty light, weighing just 1.62 pounds on its own and 3.14 pounds with the dock attached. It’s available now via Best Buy for $599.99.

Specs

  • 12.3-inch LED display with 2,400 x 1,600 resolution, display detaches from keyboard
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card
  • Intel Celeron 3965Y processor
  • Connectivity: 2 USB Type-C ports, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 48Wh battery rated for about 10 hour use
  • Dimensions: 11.5″ x 8.3″ x 0.3″, 1.62 lbs in tablet form, 314 lbs with keyboard

Acer Chromebook Tab 10

The HP Chromebook X2 is the first such Chrome OS device that can detach its display from its keyboard. However, what if you want or need a keyboard? Then we present the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the first tablet-only device that runs Chrome OS. Before you ask; yes, it also runs Android apps from the Google Play Store.

The 1.2 pound tablet has a 9.7-inch IPS display with a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. Inside you will find the ARM-based the OP1 chipset, which we also found in the first version of the Samsung Chromebook Plus. Another differentiator is the Wacom-branded stylus. Unlike the Apple Pencil, which needs to be charged and cannot be stored in an iPad Pro, the Chromebook Tab 10’s stylus is built-in and does not require a battery. Other features include 4GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a USB Type-C port, and a 34Wh battery that should be good for up to nine hours of use. It also has a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP selfie shooter.

While the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is not widely available yet, it is on sale in a few retail outlets, includng CDW, whch is selling it for $339.99.

Specs

  • 9.7-inch LED display with 2,048 x 1,536 resolution
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card
  • ARM-based OP1 processor
  • Connectivity: 1 USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 34Wh battery rated for about 9 hour use
  • Dimensions: 19.4″ x 9.4″ x 0.4″, 1.2 lbs

Dell Chromebook 5190

If you want a Chromebook laptop that can take a bit more abuse, the recently launched Dell Chromebook 5190 may be for you. While this product was made specifically for the education market, its also a solid high-end Chromebook on its own that can also run Android apps. Dell says the Chromebook 5190 is rugged enough to survive a fall from up to a height of four feet.

Inside the 2.82 pound Dell Chromebook 5190, at least in this configuration, is a dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor, although you can get it with a faster quad core Celeron if you want to spend a few more bucks. It has an 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 resolution touchscreen display, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. It also has a two USB 3.1 ports, a USB Type-C ports, and a battery that should last up to 10 hours. 

You can snap up the Dell Chromebook 5190 on Amazon right now for $347.70

Specs

  • 11.6-inch LED display with 1,366 x 768 resolution
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card
  • Intel Celeron N3350 processor
  • Connectivity: 1 USB Type-C port, 2 USB 5.1 portsm, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery rated for about 10 hour use
  • Dimensions: 12″ x 8.2″ x 0.8″, 2.8 lbs

That’s that! While there are many more models out there, these are the Chromebooks we felt deserved a little extra highlight. Agree with our picks for best Chromebooks on the market right now? Have another you feel deserves a place among the best? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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