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Best Chromebooks 2018: the 8 top Chromebooks ranked

As Windows laptops finally get longer battery lives thanks to ARM support, the Chromebook continues to thrive without envy. When Google unveiled its original laptop lineup almost seven years ago, it wasn’t clear what the future would hold for them. Today, however, there are 25 million Chrome OS users out in the wild whose eyes have been opening to the luxurious benefits of a Chromebook.

Similar to Windows laptops, Chromebooks are available in a wide assortment of sizes, shapes, price tags, and manufacturers. The market is pretty diverse. What unifies the world of Chromebooks is an attention to details like long battery life, and speedy performance without the price premiums that high end CPUs carry with them. However, that does mean that they don’t have the greatest graphics capability, but they don’t need it – they make the most out of what they have to offer.

At the end of the day, you’ll be restrained to what your web browser (and Google’s own Android storefront) can do, even with the best Chromebook. That being the case, you’ll want to turn your head elsewhere for gaming and rigorous media editing. Nonetheless, if you spend much of your computer time in word processors, email clients and video streaming services, our list of the best Chromebooks around has you covered.

1. Google Pixelbook

Making good on its Android promises

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 512GB

Shortly after declaring the end of the Chromebook Pixel, Google brought it back in a way nobody was anticipating before its announcement, and subsequent release back in October 2017. Now, it’s the Google Pixelbook, and it stands completely independently of its spiritual predecessor. That’s because, unlike the Chromebook Pixel, it can natively run Android apps, on top of building upon Chrome OS. And, when you add in the huge storage space, fantastic stylus and Google Assistant, it shouldn’t be surprising when we say the Pixelbook is the best Chromebook available in 2018.  

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip 

2. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

Before the Asus Chromebook Flip came calling, there really weren’t very many affordable Chromebooks rocking full-fat Intel Core processors and full HD 1080p displays. Backlit keyboards and even touchscreens were hard to find. Then, the Chromebook Flip arrived and changed everything. With this Chromebook, all of these facets and more were brought to life. Put simply, if you want the key features that the Pixelbook offers without selling a kidney, this is a great alternative. While its sound quality leaves a bit to be desired, the Asus Chromebook Flip is one of the best Chromebooks hiding behind an attractive price tag. 

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip 

3. Samsung Chromebook Pro

Cultivating the marriage of Chrome OS and Android

CPU: 0.99Ghz Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touchscreen | Storage: 32GB eMMC

When Google revealed that Android apps would make their way to Chromebooks, it was only a matter of time before Samsung mastered its convergence of the two OSs. Toting a 12.3-inch QHD touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is widely acclaimed for its built-in stylus – the first of its kind to be featured in a Chromebook. Not only does it beat out a vast majority of laptops in its own category, but it’s better than most Android slates as well, our qualms with the speakers and keyboard aside.

Read the full review: Samsung Chromebook Pro

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip.

4. Dell Chromebook 11

Dell’s updated Chromebook is a star in almost every regard

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1366 x 768) touchscreen | Storage: 16GB SSD

If the Samsung Chromebook Pro is all about versatility, the Dell Chromebook 11 is about value. Reinforced by a 180-degree hinge, sturdy design and a sealed keyboard and trackpad in addition to a punchy typing experience, this Chromebook is a perfectly portable package. Not only adequately suited for school and work, the Dell Chromebook 11 even packs a set of loud stereo speakers for listening to music or watching videos. Don’t worry about dinging it, either, as this device remains the most rugged Chromebook on our list.

Read the full review: Dell Chromebook 11

5. Acer Chromebook 15

Favoring longevity over beefy specs

CPU: Intel Pentium N4200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 32GB eMMC

With the build quality of a MacBook, we can forgive the Acer Chromebook 15 for its aversion to 2-in-1 form factors. But, given that most Chromebooks coming out nowadays are fully convertible due to the wide implementation of Android app support, the Acer Chromebook 15 had to prove itself to us with more than a stellar design. So in addition to its ability to lay flat using a 180-degree hinge, this 15-inch beauty makes great strides with its battery life as well, having lasted nearly 17 hours in our own TechRadar battery life test.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Chromebook 14.

6. Acer Chromebook R11

360-degree flips for days

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 – N3150 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD

Though we don’t doubt that it will soon be replaced judging by the recent announcement of the Chromebook Spin 11, the Acer Chromebook R11 still holds up to this day as a formidable option for those on the prowl for the best Chromebook around. It isn’t the most powerful machine on the planet, but at least it gives you access to the complete library of Google Play Android apps. Better yet, it does so on a touchscreen display that can be cycled back into tablet mode, complemented by an all-metal finish that you won’t be embarrassed by.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip 

7. HP Chromebook 14

Striking optimal balance between value and design

CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView | Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

The HP Chromebook 14 is practically the posterchild for Chromebooks. Its rock-bottom starting price and zippy interpretation of Chrome OS only begin to exemplify its appeal. While Acer’s Chromebook 15 serves up similar components, HPs’ 14-incher is a bit more compact and better looking to boot. Embellished with a bright blue finish and a screen devised to surprise, this machine boasts the best value out of every Chromebook you could buy. Albeit average in both battery life and performance, the HP Chromebook 14 remains a sublime value nonetheless.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip 

8. HP Chromebook 13

Flashy and functional, this Chromebook means business

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) – QHD (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 32GB eMMC

The HP Chromebook 13 goes above and beyond what any of us would expect from a Chromebook. You’re guaranteed at least a 1440p screen, two USB-C ports and, if you’re willing to shell out just a bit more cash, you can also snatch yourself an Intel Core-M processor rather than a Pentium. All of this is complemented by incredible style and a metallic design that exudes Pixel influence. Given that Google discontinued its own Chromebook earlier in the year, the HP Chromebook 13 is one of the few remaining alternatives. 

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 13

Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop. 

Juan Martinez and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.

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