We have now reached the end of the year, and it was a big year for ChromeOS and Chromebooks. Google has been steadily developing the ChromeOS and it looks like the tech giant wants to create it’s on independent OS, much like Windows and MacOS. At the moment, Google’s computer OS looks like a scaled up version of Android, predominantly running on Google Services. Chromebooks were introduced by Google and partner brands to bring ChromeOS to the public, and to a degree, they have had some success. However, the gulf between ChromeOS and the likes of Windows and MacOS is a bit too high, so your needs have to be very simple for you to rely on a Chromebook.
In this article, we will be talking about the best Chromebooks that hit the market this year, and if you are in the market for a Chromebook, you can use this list as a reference point.
Number 1. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i
Lenovo’s been in the game, crafting these awesome Chromebooks that won’t break the bank. The IdeaPad Flex 5i is like their budget-friendly champion, ticking off everything you’d want in a basic Chromebook. That 13.3-inch, 1080p touchscreen? It’s not just bright – it’s practically beaming. I did wish for a taller screen, but hey, seems like that’s the Chromebook norm.
Underneath the hood, we’ve got an 11th-gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a generous 128GB of storage. Now, the processor might be showing its age a bit, but for everyday stuff, it’s still rocking it. And can we talk about that battery life? A solid eight hours – not bad for a wallet-friendly laptop. The backlit keyboard is a real surprise in the affordability game, though the key caps could’ve been a bit roomier.
Now, the Flex 5i’s got more in its bag of tricks – USB-C and USB-A ports, a microSD card slot, and even a security lock. Weighing in at three pounds and 0.66 inches thick, it’s not winning any slimness contests, but hey, at this price, it’s fair game. Oh, and the real kicker? Software and security updates until June 2029 – it’s like future-proofing your tech investment.
For Chromebook lovers, the Ideapad Flex 5i is hitting that sweet spot, giving you a dose of quality and performance that’s a bit of a unicorn at this price. But hey, it’s been on the scene for over a year, so we’re all ears for Lenovo’s next move or any wild alternatives.
Number 2. Acer Chromebook Spin 714
Acer’s Chromebook Spin 714 – it’s like the cool kid in the Chromebook world, and the latest version is bringing some serious upgrades. Now, full disclosure, we haven’t gotten our hands on it yet (Acer, send one our way!), but based on the awesomeness of the last model, we’re pretty stoked.
Imagine a 14-inch touchscreen, not your average 1080p, but a slick 1900×1200 resolution with a cinematic 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s like having a personal movie theater right on your lap. And guess what? They’ve thrown in a fancy 2K webcam, so no more looking like a blurry mess on video calls. In a world of endless virtual meetings, that’s a game-changer.
Under the hood, it’s got the brains – an Intel Core i5 processor making everything run buttery smooth. The keyboard and trackpad? Trustworthy and rock-solid. Battery life? About seven hours in a regular day – not breaking records, but it’ll get you through. Plus, 8GB of RAM and a massive 256GB of storage, so you can hoard cat videos without a care in the world.
Here’s the exciting part: it’s all set for running Steam, so gamers, rejoice! Oh, and that 360-degree hinge means you can flip it into tablet mode if that’s your vibe. There’s even a stylus for those doodling or note-taking moments.
Number 3. Acer Chromebook 516 GE
Acer brought us the Chromebook 516 GE in the fall of 2022, and let me tell you, it’s not just for gamers – everyone can appreciate this gem. Priced at $650, you’re getting a sweet 16-inch display with a crisp 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and a speedy 120Hz refresh rate. Gamers, listen up – NVIDIA’s GeForce Now gaming service supports up to 4K visuals at 120Hz on its Ultimate tier, so you’re in for a visual treat. And guess what? It plays nice with Steam, too, so game on!
Under the hood, it’s rocking Intel’s 12th-gen Core i7 1240P processor, 8GB of RAM, and a spacious 256GB of storage. Don’t worry about ports – Acer’s got you covered with HDMI, USB-C, USB-A, ethernet, and a trusty headphone jack. Plus, the keyboard has cool LED lights that gamers can customize, but it’s not just for show – it’s a solid and comfy keyboard for all your typing needs. The trackpad? Large and responsive – no annoying lag here.
Considering its size, this Chromebook is a lightweight champion at just 3.75 pounds. Between the powerhouse hardware, sleek design, top-notch trackpad and keyboard, and that gorgeous screen, anyone eyeing a bigger Chromebook will likely be over the moon with the 516 GE.
Number 4. HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook
If you’re after the crème de la crème of Chromebooks, the $999 HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook might just be your match. Let’s talk about why this beauty could be your next tech crush.
First off, that screen – a stunning 14-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 touchscreen that can hit a whopping 1,200 nits of brightness. Translation: it’s a visual treat. The keyboard and trackpad? A dream team. The keyboard has this satisfying clickiness that makes typing a joy, and the trackpad is spacious and super responsive. Bonus points for the fingerprint reader – unlocking your laptop just got a whole lot cooler.
Under the hood, it’s packing a 12th-gen Core i5 i5-1235U processor, 16GB of RAM, and a generous 256GB of storage. The extra RAM makes a noticeable difference in how snappy and responsive this Chromebook is. And let’s talk about that 8-megapixel webcam – it’s a beast, surpassing most laptop cameras in this price range. No chunky bezels either – HP nailed the design.
Now, the sound – oh, the sound. The Bang & Olufsen quad speaker setup is legit. Crank up the volume, and this laptop fills your space with clear highs, thumping bass, and surprising stereo separation. These are some of the best laptop speakers out there.
Here comes the plot twist – the battery life is a letdown. We’re talking under 5 hours, which is a bummer for a laptop at this price point. It’s a tough call whether to recommend it, especially for folks always on the go. And the port situation is minimal – just four USB-C, and no headphone jack. Not a dealbreaker for everyone, but worth noting.