As Chromebooks have evolved, they have become versatile computing devices that cater to a wide range of needs. No longer limited to just running Google apps, the best Chromebooks now offer features and performance that can match or even surpass those of mediocre Windows or MacOS laptops. This is why the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 has been named the best Chromebook of 2023. It boasts a solid build quality, exceptional battery life, and top-notch performance, making it one of the best Chromebooks on the market.
Companies such as Acer, Lenovo, and Asus are now delivering Chromebooks that offer great value for money. The increasing demand for high-quality Chromebooks has not gone unnoticed by manufacturers, and many models now retail for around $500-$600. While there are options in both lower and higher price ranges, the extra cost is well worth it for a device that you will be satisfied with.
For the first time, the quality of Chromebooks in this price range has become consistent across different brands. The similarities between Chromebooks from Asus, Lenovo, Google, HP, Dell, and Samsung are striking, leading one to wonder if they are sourced from the same factory. This is good news for consumers, as the majority of these Chromebooks are excellent choices and can often be found at a discount. They can even rival the best laptops, budget laptops, and student laptops in the market.
For budget-conscious shoppers, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a great option. Other top Chromebooks of 2023 include the Google Pixelbook Go and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2.
The Best Chromebook
1. Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
The Chromebook Flip CX5 may seem expensive at first glance, but it truly is worth the cost. With a robust design that can withstand rough handling, a textured finish that feels soft and comfortable in the hand, and a comprehensive array of ports, the CX5 offers a premium build that can compete with many mid-range Windows laptops.
In terms of performance, the CX5 shines as well. During testing, the fan remained quiet even when handling demanding workloads, battery life was impressive and lasted a full day, and the audio quality was among the loudest we have ever heard from a Chromebook. Although not flawless, the Chromebook Flip CX5 is currently the top choice for anyone looking to purchase a Chromebook.
2. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Samsung's Galaxy Chromebook 2 is a more accessible and affordable alternative to its first Galaxy Chromebook which came with a high $1,000 price tag. This time around, the Chromebook 2 has forgone some of the premium features such as the OLED display, fingerprint sensor, and stylus, but it still offers good value.
What sets the Chromebook 2 apart is its stunning finish, available in a bright "fiesta red" that is sure to grab attention or a classic gray option. It's also the first Chromebook to feature one of Samsung's QLED panels, which provides a beautiful display, even though QLED is not OLED.
The Chromebook 2 also boasts impressive battery life, lasting around seven hours and 21 minutes of continuous work. Although the Core i3 processor may not be the most powerful chip in a Chromebook, it is suitable for everyday use. This Chromebook 2 is a great option for those looking for a Chromebook that balances both performance and price.
3. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a budget-friendly laptop that's great for those on the go. With a magnetic detachable keyboard, it's easy to use as a tablet or a laptop. The screen supports USI styluses, though one is not included, while the keyboard, magnetic back cover, and kickstand are all included in the price.
Despite its small size, this laptop is perfect for light work and leisure activities. The 11-inch screen is sharp and bright, and the keyboard and touchpad are both surprisingly comfortable. The battery life is long enough to last all day. Its portability is the main draw, weighing only 2.09 pounds with the keyboard attached, making it easy to carry and use anywhere.
However, there are a few compromises to consider. The Chromebook only has two ports and doesn't have a headphone jack, and the processor can slow down if you're doing heavy multitasking. Despite this, for those looking for a portable Chrome OS device for entertainment and multimedia, the Chromebook Duet 3 is an excellent choice at its price point.
4. Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3
Asus introduces the Chromebook Detachable CM3 to rival the popular Lenovo Chromebook Duet. The CM3 is a 10.5-inch, 16:10 Chrome OS tablet that comes equipped with a fabric cover, a kickstand, and a detachable keyboard. Although it is slightly pricier than the Duet, it offers some extra features.
One standout feature of the CM3 is its versatile kickstand that can be folded in two ways - either to stand the tablet upright like a laptop or horizontally. The practicality of this feature may vary, but it is available for those who find a use for it.
Additionally, the CM3 features a built-in USI stylus and spacious keys with ample travel, but what impressed us the most was its remarkable battery life, with an average of nearly 13 hours of continuous use.
The Chromebook Detachable CM3 may not be the best option for everyone, as it only has two ports (one USB-C and one audio jack) and its MediaTek processor can be slower compared to more expensive models. However, if you are searching for a convertible Chrome OS device and the Chromebook Duet does not meet your needs, the CM3 is worth considering.
5. Lenovo C13 Yoga Chromebook
The C13 Yoga Chromebook by Lenovo is a high-end, versatile Chromebook designed specifically for working professionals. As part of Lenovo's renowned ThinkPad business line, this device boasts a variety of ThinkPad features such as a red Trackpoint, separate touchpad buttons, a fingerprint sensor, a webcam cover, and a sleek aluminum build. When placed alongside other ThinkPad laptops, it is difficult to distinguish it from a Windows device.
The C13 is also noteworthy as the first Chromebook to feature AMD's Ryzen 3000 Mobile C-series processors, which are optimized for Chromebooks. These processors allow for smooth performance, even for mobile gaming. However, the battery life falls short of expectations, with only a little over six hours of continuous use on a single charge. This is in comparison to the Chromebook Spin 713, which offers an average of 7.5 hours, and several other Chromebooks that easily provide over 8 hours of battery life.
6. HP Chromebook x360 14c
If you are searching for a Chromebook that offers good performance and has a sturdy build at an affordable price, then the HP Chromebook x360 14c could be a great choice for you. Known for its quality laptop construction, HP has once again delivered this convertible Chromebook.
This device falls in the range of $500 to $600 and comes with an Intel Core processor, with our test unit powered by an i3. It can easily handle standard office tasks without any issues, generating little heat and fan noise during use. The battery life is decent, but not quite enough for a full day's use. To our surprise, the webcam of this Chromebook also performs quite well.
The only significant drawback of the Chromebook x360 14c is its dim screen, which has a maximum brightness of 250 nits, making it difficult to see in bright environments due to its high level of glare. Additionally, the Chromebook is not the most portable product, weighing in at 3.35 pounds. Despite these drawbacks, it remains a good-looking and well-built device, ideal for video conferencing purposes.
7. Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook
The Lenovo Flex 5 is an impressive Chromebook for its price range. Despite its affordability, it boasts a durable design with a soft-touch texture that's pleasing to the touch. The device is further enhanced by its backlit keyboard, physical webcam shutter, and front-facing speakers, giving it the appearance of a much more expensive device.
In addition to its appearance, the Flex 5 also features a keyboard that's among the best I've encountered on a Chromebook. Its port selection is also noteworthy, including a microSD reader and a USB-C port on each side, along with a sharp 1920 x 1080 touch display.
The only downside to the Flex 5 is its battery life, which averages just over five and a half hours in testing. If you plan on using the device while on the go, make sure to bring the 45W charger with you.