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Best Chromebook: Review Guide for Best Buy 2017

Chromebooks are ideal for users who spend most of their computing time browsing the web. These are budget-friendly laptops powered by Chrome OS and are perfect for using social media, checking email, and other web-based productivity. If you need help choosing a good Chromebook, you have come to the right place.

Best Chromebook: Review Guide for Best Buy 2017

Not all chromebooks are built alike. That is why in this best buy chromebook guide, we will teach you how you can sift the market for the best Chromebook for your needs.

We’ll start off by comparing Chromebooks and laptops, and then we will focus on the essential features of a good Chromebook. In addition to this important information, you will also find interesting and useful reviews of the top chromebooks available on the market.

What is the Difference Between a Chromebook and a Laptop?

The difference between Chromebook and laptop is mainly that of operating systems. Both are laptops, but instead of being powered by Windows or MacOS, a Chromebook runs on Chrome OS. Basically, the Google Chrome browser is made to resemble a Windows desktop with a start button, taskbar and all. Other differences between the two devices will be further elaborated in the coming sections.

Pros and Cons of Chromebook

Time for reviewing the major advantages and disadvantages of using a Chromebook instead of a Windows laptop or MacBook. These pros & cons will help you understand why Chromebooks exists and why they may or may not be a good idea for you to buy one.

Pros
  • Speed and Reliability: Due to their storage drives and lightweight OS, the average Chromebook takes less than 10 seconds to power on.Chromebooks always update the latest apps and plugins automatically (and silently). This means that the built-in virus and malware protection is always updated, keeping malicious files at bay.
  • Price: You can get a Chromebook for as low as $200. This is the greatest reason why people get chromebooks. However, considering that you can get budget-friendly Windows laptops in the same price range but greater functionality, sometimes you have to take longer to decide which one to get.
  • Battery Life:Chromebooks offer you a battery life of 6 to 13 hours.
  • Cloud Storage: When you get a new Chromebook, you get 100GB space on Google Drive free for 2 years. You are paying absolutely nothing for a huge amount of space.
  • Weight: Chromebooks are quite lightweight, which further adds to convenience of usage.
Cons
  • No Microsoft Office: Chromebooks are not built for you if you are accustomed to Microsoft Office products. Although you will find comparable Google apps, they still lack in basic features that you have used thus far.
  • Limited Storage on Device: Although you are getting sizeable cloud storage, chromebooks don’t offer a lot of on-device storage. You typically get 32GB on a Chromebook, but this is what keeps prices low.
  • Limited Photo and Video Editing Options: Although the latest chromebooks fare better than their predecessors in this regard, they still lack high-quality photo and video editing features. You have Pixlr or Photoshop Express Editor, but they still cannot be compared to Adobe’s editing products.
  • Printing: Printing is not impossible on a Chromebook, but you have to do so via Google Cloud Print. This can create problems depending on the machine you are using, especially if you are printing through a network printer.

What to Look for in Best Chromebook

Alright, now you have a fairly good idea of what a Chromebook actually is.So let us discuss the factors that will help you get the best Chromebook.

Just keep the following 6 considerations in mind when shopping for a Chromebook and you’ll easily pick up the most suitable one for yourself. You also have to read the reviews of course!

  • Storage: As stated above, chromebooks are cloud-centric when it comes to storage and you get only as much as 32GB on-device capacity. As far as documents and photos are concerned, you can store them in your SD card, but when it comes to Android apps (especially games), then you are better off with 32GB than 16GB because apps use more device storage.
  • Memory: If you only want to open a few tabs at a time and you are OK with 720p video quality, then 2GB memory is sufficient for you. However, video quality significantly improves with 4GB. It all depends on your preference.
  • Screen Size: This depends on how you plan to use your Chromebook. If you will be using it on your desk, go for a larger screen size, e.g. 14-inch. An 11-inch model, on the other hand is ideal if you plan to use your Chromebook mostly on the go.
  • The Right CPU: This also depends on your usage. An ARM CPU is good enough for basic usage. You can go for Intel Core i3 or i5, but that comes at a higher price.
  • Android App Functionality: See if your Chromebook enables downloading and using Playstore apps
  • Touch Screen: While touch screen is not the best way to use a laptop, remember that you are only browsing the internet and using apps and not editing Word files. Your app usage and internet browsing will become more enjoyable with an 11-inch touch screen as compared to your smartphone.

As regards to price, all of these features can be obtained in the $300-$400 range. You can get pricier chromebooks as well, but they only have an upscale feel and are not necessarily superior technically to cheaper models.

Ultimately, it all boils down to your needs. For some people, looks matter as much as functionality, which is why are willing to pay extra for an upscale model.

Top 10 Cheap and Best Chromebook (Comparison Table)

ChromebookProcessorMemoryGraphics CardStoragePrice
Samsung XE500C13-K02US
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Intel Celeron N30504GBIntel HD Graphics16GB SSD internal storage CHECK PRICE
ASUS C202SA-YS02
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Intel Celeron N30604GBIntel HD Graphics16GB eMMC internal storage CHECK PRICE
Samsung xe513 c24
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Hexa-core OP1 ARM 4GBN/A32GB SSD internal storage CHECK PRICE
Acer CB3-131-C3SZ
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Intel Celeron N2840 2.16 GHz2GBIntel HD Graphics16GB SSD internal storage CHECK PRICE
Super Google Pixel 2013
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1.8 GHz Intel Core i54GBIntel HD Graphics 400064GB SSD internal storage CHECK PRICE
Toshiba Chromebook 21.7 GHz Intel Celeron4GBIntel HD Graphics16GB internal SSD storage CHECK PRICE
Dell CRM3210-1207BLK2.1 GHz Intel Celeron4GBIntel HD Graphics16GB SSD internal storage CHECK PRICE
HP 14" Chromebook 14 G42.58 GHz Intel Celeron4GBIntel HD Graphics16GB SSD internal storage CHECK PRICE
ASUS Flip 2-in-1 C100PA-DS03Rock chip 3288-C Quad-Core 1.8GHz 4GBIntegrated Graphics32GB eMMC internal storage CHECK PRICE
Google Chromebook Pixel 64GB1.8 GHz Intel Core i54GBIntel HD Graphics 400064GB SSD internal storage CHECK PRICE

Top 5 Best Chromebook Full Review for Best Deal

Out of the 10 chromebooks listed above, we have selected five that we consider the best in the market. Each Chromebook review will not only highlight the benefits and drawbacks of each model, but also give you a reason why it might be suitable for you.

Best Chromebook Under 200 – Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K02US

Samsung chromebook 3 xe500c13-k02us

The Samsung Chromebook 3 xe500c13-k02us is our top pick in the best Chromebook under $00 category.It is a budget-friendly and portable way to surf the web using Chrome.

The design is brilliant, and the Samsung Chromebook3 boasts an 11-hour battery life. It is a great machine through and through.

The Samsung Chromebook 3 may not have a high-end price tag, but its design offers an upscale feel and has a certain elegance to it.

The black exterior offers a classy look, while plastic construction makes it extremely lightweight at just 2.5 pounds.

This Chromebook is also very thin at just 0.7 inches, which makes it highly portable as well (though you are getting an 11-inch screen).

It is simply amazing how so many features have been integrated in this compact device.

Samsung Chromebook 3 superbly enhances your Chrome experience.

The 1.60GHz Intel Celeron N3050 processor provides a processing speed of up to 2.16 GHz, and you are also getting 4GB of RAM (which is an improvement on the Samsung Chromebook 2).

Once the device powers on (in less than 10 seconds), you can open as many tabs you like without any lag. The battery life is impressive, and there have been no reported heating issues even in the absence of cooling fans.

Features
  • Chrome OS
  • 11.6-inch display
  • 16GB internal memory
  • HDMI out port, USB 3.0 port, and USB 2.0 port
  • Combination headphone and mic jack
  • Front-facing camera
  • Card reader (with microSD format support)
  • Built-in 802.11ac LAN
  • Bluetooth connectivity to headsets, printers, and other hardware
Pros Cons
  • 11-hour battery life
  • Doesn’t heat up excessively
  • Powers up instantly
  • Offers 16GB internal storage and 100GB cloud storage
  • Extremely portable and lightweight
  • Good processor speed
  • Spill resistant
  • Cheap
  • File manager is pretty basic
  • Side-by-side multitasking is limited
  • The screen size is good, but the display isn’t necessarily spectacular
  • Storage is mostly on the cloud

We have listed some drawbacks to the Samsung Chromebook 3, but on comparison, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Also, these are drawbacks only if you compare this device with a Windows laptop or MacBook. But since a Chromebook is aimed for web usage and basic multitasking, this device offers amazing performance, and that too for less than $200. We recommend the Samsung Chromebook 3 to students, writers, and those who require basic web tasks on the go. 

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Best Chromebook Under 300 – ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02

Asus Chromebook c202 ys02

It is about time we introduced an ASUS Chromebook as well, and the Asus Chromebook c202 Ys02 is perhaps the best Chromebook under 300. It is one of the most exceptional chromebooks in this price range.

After all it combines impressive performance and a splendid design. Let’s delve on the specifics.

Design is a major selling point of this Chromebook. It is slim and lightweight at 2.2 pounds (though ASUS offers even lighter chromebooks).

The relatively larger dimensions of the ASUS C202SA mean that both the screen and keyboard are larger than standard chromebooks (but the same as other ASUS chromebooks).

The exterior is rough and you get a 180-degree hinge. This device also provides solid grip.

Performance is impeccable, thanks to the Intel Dual-Core Celeron processor and Intel HD graphics.

The CPU keeps this Chromebook affordable and efficient. Opening multiple browser tabs while streaming online videos is possible without any stutters on the ASUS C202SA. And all this with a battery life of more than 10 hours.

Features
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Dual-Core Celeron 3060 processor
  • Intel HD graphics
  • 9-second boot time
  • 4GB system memory
  • 16GB storage and 100GB cloud storage
  • 1 audio jack, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port
  • SD card reader
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
Pros Cons
  • Impressive design
  • The rough exterior and rubber edges provide a solid grip
  • Smooth and robust performance
  • Long battery life (10 hours)
  • Instant booting
  • Bluetooth, USB, and HDMI connectivity
  • Affordable
  • There is no CD or DVD drive
  • No Linux support and MS Office
  • Screen resolution could be greater

The ASUS C202SA has four major reasons for buying it: affordability, design, performance, and battery life. It is truly one of the best ASUS chromebooks in the $300 price range. 

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Best Touchscreen Chromebook – Samsung Chromebook XE513C24

Samsung chromebook xe513 c24

Earlier we noted touch screen to be a major component of a good Chromebook. In that case, we rate the Samsung Chromebook xe513 c24 as the best touchscreen Chromebook on our list.

Industry observers say it is Samsung’s answer to the iPad Pro. Let’s glance over its features.

The Samsung XE513C24-K01US Chromebook is sleek and has a premium feel to it. This is due to its aluminum body.

It is extremely lightweight and portable, measuring 0.6 inches (when closed) and weighing less than 2.5 pounds. This makes it ideal for users who want to carry their laptop around.

This Chromebook also features a 360o hinge so you can switch between laptop and tablet mode.

Even with an ARM processor, the Samsung K01US Chromebook offers a fast and powerful Chromebook experience, which is further enhanced by the 4GB RAM.

These features ensure a ‘lag-free’ experience, even when you are using Android apps (especially games). The hallmark of this Chromebook is of course, its Stylus support.

Features
  • 12.3-inch screen
  • Hexa-core OP1 ARM processor
  • 32GB internal storage
  • 4GB system memory
  • USB-C and 2 reversible USB connectors
  • Micro-SD card slot
  • 802.11ac wireless connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 720p front-facing camera
Pros Cons
  • You can download and use Android apps from the Play Store
  • Stylus pen
  • All-metal stylish body
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 10-hour battery life
  • 32GB internal memory
  • 4GB RAM
  • Touchscreen
  • Convertible
  • The typing experience is not too good
  • No dedicated HDMI-out port
  • You can get other Samsung chromebooks with faster processors
  • Samsung Stylus is not as accurate as its Apple and Microsoft counterparts (but it is not that bad either)

The Samsung K01US has two features that make it worth buying: its 360-degree hinge that makes it a convertible tablet/laptop, and its Stylus pen. These features enable this Chromebook to stand apart from similar chromebooks in its class and also justifies its price. All in all this is a solid machine offering solid performance. 

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Best Budget Chromebook – Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ

acer chromebook cb3-131-c3sz

Here is a selection from the reputed Acer brand. The Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ should be featured prominently in any discussion on the best budget Chromebook simply because it is cutting-edge.

It is cutting edge both in terms of design and performance. Let’s see what makes this device so powerful.

The cover is white aluminum, which looks simply beautiful. However, when you handle the device, it feels a little rugged.

However, it still doesn’t have the ‘plastic’ feel of most chromebooks and budget laptops. Also, this ruggedness contributes to the sturdiness of CB3-131-C3SZ, protecting it from scratches and spills.

The 2GB RAM and the Celeron processor offer powerful performance, coupled with a 5-second booting time.

Using web apps and streaming videos is a breeze, with speedy SSD loading. Having said that, 4GB of RAM would further boost the device’s speed.

2GB works fine, but you may experience that the Acer CB3-131-C3SZ may slow down at least once when you open many tabs simultaneously.

Features
  • Intel Celeron N2840 Dual-Core Processor 2.16Ghz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB SSD drive
  • 100GB of free cloud storage
  • USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI port with HDCP support
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • HD webcam

Pros Cons
  • Long battery life (approx. 9 hours)
  • Stability in performance
  • Spill-resistant
  • Great features for a budget laptop
  • Free cloud storage (100 GB)
  • Good HD Webcam for web calls
  • Fast processor
  • 16GB may not be effective for gamers
  • Likewise, Intel HD graphics are not cutout for serious gaming
  • Can do with a higher resolution

In the highly competitive Chromebook market, the Acer CB3-131-C3SZ does stand out thanks to its fast processing speeds and long battery life. The design is both eye-catching and practical for day-to-day usage. Overall, you are getting great features in an affordable Chromebook. 

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Best Chromebook for Linux – Google Chromebook Pixel 4G LTE

Google chromebook pixel 4g LTE

Our final review is of the Google Chromebook Pixel 4G LTE, which can very well be considered the best Chromebook for Linux.

This Chromebook exceeds the $200-$300 price range, but the Google Chromebook offers Linux support, among other impressive features.

It is touch-enabled, offers high-resolution display, and comes from the same company that gave us the Chrome web browser.

The Google Chromebook 2013 was a design experiment for the company, and I think it passed this test.

Chromebooks are not built for office productivity or intensive gaming, but who says they cannot be stylish and premium-looking? An Amazon customer has called it ‘a work of art’.

Note that the device doesn’t only feel premium, it also costs a lot when it first hit the market. Thankfully, now you can get it for a $1000 less.

The Pixel is superfast thanks to the Intel i5 processor. However, such a fast processor can drain the battery relatively quickly, which is why you are only getting around 5 hours running time on this device.

This is a disadvantage when you look at the long battery times of other chromebooks and budget laptops. Apart from this, your web apps and media run amazingly on this device.

The speakers are also impressive. You will also find the function keys at the top to be a major convenience.

Features
  • Dual-core 1.8Ghz Intel i5 Processor
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Webcam
  • Built-in Dual Band Wi-Fi
  • HDMI connectivity
  • 2 USB 2.0 Ports
  • Intel Graphics HD 4000
  • 64GB internal storage
Pros Cons
  • Great design
  • High resolution display
  • Ferociously fast
  • Automatic updates on Chrome OS
  • Loud speakers
  • Fast processor
  • 64GB internal storage (highest for all devices reviewed here)
  • The keyboard feels a bit unresponsive
  • Poor battery life
  • Tends to get warm easily
The Google Chromebook 2013 was in our view a successful experiment by the tech giant and we recommend this device to anyone who appreciates design and wants a smooth and uninterrupted web app usage and media streaming experience.

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Final Verdict

Hopefully now you have more than basic knowledge the best Chromebooks on the market what to look for in a good Chromebook. I must say that a Chromebook is something you can live without, because it is essentially the Chrome browser made to look like a laptop and OS. However, if most of your computer usage is web-based, then you will find these devices to be helpful, especially if you are a student. Go get one!

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