Best Chromebook 2022: The top Chrome OS laptops from Asus, Acer, Google and Lenovo

In association with
Google Pixelbook Go

Built for the Internet and cloud-based apps, the best Chromebooks make brilliant, affordable, all-purpose computers

Need a lightweight, low-cost laptop that just works? The best Chromebooks are now nearly as practical to use on a day-to-day basis as a regular Windows laptop or MacBook and they tend to be much less fussy to use as well. The best Chromebooks are ideal as main laptops for kids and students, too, especially as everyone begins to study from home a lot more.

Below, you'll find our current pick of the best Chromebooks to buy, from the ageing but still superb Google Pixelbook Go to some outstanding options from Asus, Acer and Lenovo. We’ve also got some top tips on what you should look for in a Chromebook, to make sure you don’t just get a bargain, but a laptop that’s going to meet your needs.

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Best Chromebook: At a glance

How to choose the best Chromebook for you

What is a Chromebook and how does Chrome OS work?

Chromebooks run Chrome OS, which is a stripped-down operating system developed by Google. If you've used Google Chrome, you'll be mostly familiar with how Chrome OS works: Chrome OS is just like the Chrome web browser we’re all familiar with except with a few extra bells and whistles thrown in, such as a file browser, an apps menu and Google Assistant. Essentially, there’s no learning curve; Chrome OS is very simple to get to grips with.

Instead of using conventional desktop applications, you'll be using Google's excellent web-based suite of apps. This includes Docs for word processing, Sheets for spreadsheets and Slides for presentations. You'll be storing most of your stuff online, meaning every change you make is saved automatically. You will need a persistent internet connection to make the most of Chrome OS, but some features - all the aforementioned Google Apps, for instance - do work offline as well, which is handy in case of outages. Any changes you make are simply synchronised back to the online files when you reconnect.

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What else can I do with a Chromebook?

These days the more appropriate question to ask would be what can't you run because there's a wealth of options available to today's Chromebook user. In terms of web-based apps, you can run all sorts of tools now on a Chromebook, even advanced stuff like RAW photo editing and compositing. Apps like Polarr or Pixlr Editor are both great choices and are surprisingly capable.

Chromebooks all have USB ports and some even have SD/microSD card slots, so you can transfer your media and documents around just like on a standard laptop.

Even if you can’t find a web-based app that fits your needs, there’s no need to worry. These days you can also run Android apps on a Chromebook. Just search the Google Play Store and you'll find a wealth of apps to install and run, including a number of games and all your favourite smartphone software.

If that isn’t enough, you can also install many Linux applications on a Chromebook using Crostini, Chrome OS’s built-in Linux development environment. While you can’t always run the latest versions, this opens up full-fat desktop applications including LibreOffice, GIMP, Inkscape and Audacity.

Our pick of the best Chromebooks to buy follows immediately below. However, if none of those models appeals for some reason, we've added further information on what to what to look for when buying a Chromebook at the bottom of the page

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The best Chromebooks to buy

1. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook: The best all-round Chromebook

Price: £550 | Buy now from Lenovo

This isn’t the most stylish, the lightest or the most powerful Chromebook but it’s the one with the best overall balance of performance, features and value for money. It has an excellent 13.3in full HD screen, a lightweight, convertible form factor and superb connectivity, including 802.11ax Wi-Fi. The keyboard is fantastic, and it’s a great device for everyday use.

Lenovo has updated the Flex 5’s spec since we tested it and renamed it the Flex 5i, and with a faster 11th-gen Core i5 processor performance should be even better; and the original was one of the fastest Chromebooks we’d seen when we reviewed it. Even the entry-level Core i3/4GB version will be fast enough for many users. With great battery life on top, this is a Chromebook with few weaknesses at a price you’ll struggle to beat.

Read our full IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook review for more details

Key specs

Processor: 11th gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 or Core i3-1115G4Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
RAM: 4GGB or 8GB DDR4Weight:1.35kg
Total storage:128GB or 256GB SSD

Buy now from Lenovo

2. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet: The best budget Chromebook

Price: £280 | Buy now from Lenovo

It might be a 2-in-1 hybrid with a clip-on keyboard and a 10.1in screen, but the IdeaPad Duet is the best budget Chromebook you can buy right now. Why? Well, where most cheap Chromebooks have dishwater-dull 11in or 14in HD displays, the Duet has a bright full HD screen that’s pin-sharp with excellent colour. The keyboard, which is attached by a magnet, is surprisingly good, and even the shrunk-down touchpad is perfectly usable. It works effectively either as a tablet or as a pint-sized laptop.

In fact, if you can live with the screen size, the only big issue is performance. The quad-core MediaTek Helio processor isn’t exactly speedy, and with 4GB of RAM this is one of the slower Chromebooks we’ve tested recently. Yet, in actual use for browsing, watching videos and writing document drafts, the Duet doesn’t feel tired or unresponsive, and its battery life is phenomenal. There’s really nothing else out there that is this cheap and this good.

Read our full IdeaPad Duet review for more details

Key specs

Processor: MediaTek Helio P60TScreen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
RAM: 4GB DDR4Weight: 920g
Total storage: 64GB eMCP

Buy now from Lenovo

3. Acer Chromebook CB514-1W: The best-value Chromebook

Price: £399 | Buy now from Currys

This mid-range Chromebook makes the most of a modest budget, opting for one of Intel’s entry-level Pentium Gold CPUs rather than a Core i3 processor, and using plastics rather than metals once you get under the alloy lid. That’s smart thinking, as the Pentium Gold 7505 hits a performance sweet spot in between the Celeron CPUs of budget Chromebooks and the Core i3, giving you more than enough speed for browsing and everyday tasks. The construction is perfectly robust as well, leaving the seven-hour battery life the only serious disappointment.

What’s more, the CB514-1W gets things right where it counts, with a crisp Full HD display (1,920 x 1,080), a decent keyboard and a responsive Gorilla Glass trackpad. There’s Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity as well, and you even get a fingerprint reader.

Spending more will get you higher speeds, a more vibrant screen and better audio but, if you’ve got £400 or so to spend, you’ll have a hard time beating this.

Read our full Acer Chromebook CB514-1W review for more details

Key specs

Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 7505 Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
RAM: 4GGB DDR4Weight:1.4kg
Total storage:128GB SSD

Buy now from Currys

4. Acer Chromebook Spin 513: The best Chromebook for life on the move

Price: £399 | Buy now from Amazon

ARM-based Chromebooks are nothing new, but the Spin 513 is the first we’ve looked at to use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 7c chipset. This sees the leading manufacturer of smartphone and tablet CPUs trying to break into the laptop market, and a combination of respectable speeds and a ten-hour battery life make the Chromebook Spin 513 a great choice for life on the go.

This is one of Acer’s 2-in-1 convertible models, so you can fold the screen all the way back and use it as a big tablet, or keep the screen propped up in “tent” mode for playing games or watching movies. It’s slim and weighs less than 1.3kg as well, so it won’t give you an aching back or shoulders if you need to lug it around all day.

While the keys on the keyboard don’t have much travel, it’s a very comfortable Chromebook to use, with a decent Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) screen and richer colours than you’d usually find at this price point. Strapped for cash and in need of a thin, light laptop? Stop right here.

Read our full Acer Chromebook 513 review for more details

Key specs

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7cScreen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
RAM: 4GB DDR4Weight: 1.29kg
Total storage: 64GB eMMC

5. Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 (5500): The best big-screen Chromebook

Price: £599 | Buy now from Amazon

With a large screen and a full-sized keyboard, this 15.6in convertible Chromebook makes a great everyday workhorse. It’s also the first Chromebook we’ve tested with an 11th gen Intel CPU, and even the 8GB Core i3 version has enough power to run demanding web-based apps. The full HD screen doesn’t have the best brightness or richest colours but it’s fine for work, study and some light entertainment, and Asus’s audio system does a passable impression of surround sound.

What makes this computer so great, though, is that it’s so versatile. It’s just about small and light enough to be portable, but the excellent full-sized keyboard and trackpad make it usable at your desk all day long. It works brilliantly sitting on your lap, or you can turn it into a tablet and make notes and sketches with the bundled stylus. Throw in surprisingly good battery life, and you’ve got the best big-screen Chromebook around.

Read our full Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500) review for more details

Key specs

Processor: Intel Core i3-1115G4 (other models available)Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
RAM: 8GB DDR4Weight: 1.95kgg
Total storage: 128GB NVMe SSD

6. Acer Chromebook Spin 713: The best convertible Chromebook

Price: £649 | Buy now from Argos | Buy now from Amazon

The outgoing Chromebook Spin 713 was one of the leading premium Chromebooks, matching the specs and feel of laptops nearly twice the price. The latest version is even better, combining the same flexible, 2-in-1 design and 3:2 13.4in high-resolution screen with an updated spec based around Intel’s 11th-gen Core i3 and Core i5 processors.

We tested the version with the base-level Intel Core i3-1115G4 and it turned out to be faster than the 10th generation Core i5 Chromebooks we looked at last year. The Core i5 version has since dropped in price and is even faster. The screen is bright with excellent colour reproduction, the keyboard is solid and even the audio is good. The nine-hour battery life is slightly disappointing, but it’ll still get you through a working day.

Add advanced connectivity, complete with Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6, and it’s hard to pick any holes. Whether you’re at work or at play, it’s right up there with the best high-end Chromebooks and a whole lot more affordable than most.

Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review for more details

Key specs

Processor: 11th gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 or Core i5-1135G7Screen resolution: 2,256 x 1,504
RAM: 8GB DDR4Weight:1.45kg
Total storage: 128GB to 256GB SSD

Buy now from Argos

7. HP Chromebook X2 11: The best Chromebook Detachable

Price: £549 | Buy now from Currys

HP Chromebook X2 detachable tablet/laptop

The Chromebook X2 feels like Chrome OS’ answer to Microsoft’s Surface Go 3. It’s a tablet that ships with a clip-on keyboard cover and a magnetic back cover that doubles as a kickstand, making it easy to use as a laptop or as a stand-alone slate. It’s a little larger and heavier than the Surface Go 3, but that means a bigger 11in screen and keyboard and, while it’s also more expensive, the premium version gives you 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and the keyboard cover in the box.

In terms of speed, it’s a step up from the smaller Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c chipset to deliver decent everyday performance. This, plus an impressive full HD screen and 11-hour battery life, make it a great choice for working on the move and, in tablet mode, it’s also brilliant for streaming video or playing games. We’d like a bit more body to the keyboard and more warmth and weight in the speaker system but, otherwise, the HP Chromebook X2 11 is a fantastically functional 2-in-1 device.

Key specs

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7cScreen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
RAM: 4GB or 8GB DDR4Weight:1.03kg
Total storage: 64GB or 128GB eMMC

Buy now from Currys

8. Google Pixelbook Go: Still great, but becoming scarce

Price: £699 | Buy now from Argos

Google smashed it out of the park when it made the first Pixelbook, but the follow-up is even more impressive. Although it’s getting a little long in the tooth, it’s still one of the best-designed, super-slim Chromebooks out there, with one of the best laptop keyboards ever. Couple that with a decent 13.3in 1080p touchscreen and supreme battery life and you have one of the best laptops it's possible to buy for around £600.

In fact, the only serious problem with its age is that it doesn’t use Intel’s latest 10th or 11th generation CPUs. Instead, you’re stuck with the old eighth-generation Core i5, i7 or M3 processors, and even with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage you won’t get quite the same performance you’ll get with the latest models. However, it's still perfectly quick and responsive for anything you're likely to want to use it for and, with Chrome OS maturing nicely, it's capable enough to be used as your main machine. If you want something more powerful and luxurious you can opt for the Core i7 model, which comes with an even sharper 4K display.

If you've already tried Chrome OS and want to stick with it, the Pixelbook Go is still a natural step up from the entry-level models. We just hope that Google gives it the update it so richly deserves.

Read our full Google Pixelbook Go review for more details

Key specs

Processor: Dual-core 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-8200Y (other options available)Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
RAM: 8GB (other options available)Weight: 1.06kg
Total storage: 128GB SSD (other options available)

Buy now from Argos

What do I need to look for when buying a Chromebook?

Chrome OS is designed to run on relatively low-powered hardware, so you don’t need a super-fast Core i7 or Ryzen 7 processor to get a smooth experience; even a lowly Pentium or Core i3 processor will do the job. Some of the best Chrome OS devices also run on ARM-based processors, and these are getting faster while also improving battery life.

Quad-core processors are worth paying extra for, as some of the slower dual-core Celerons now struggle once you have a few apps or browser tabs open. Still, you don’t need to go overboard unless you’re installing more demanding Android or Linux apps on your device.

As for RAM, 4GB is now the standard for Chromebooks, and perfectly adequate for day-to-day use. However, if your chosen Chromebook has an 8GB version it’s worth paying for; the Chrome browser and many websites are steadily getting more demanding, and you’ll notice the difference if you’re running business or creative software.

It’s just as important to think about size and weight. Chromebooks often work best as a secondary device you can use when darting in and out of the office, or as a basic computer for homework and learning. You don’t need to spend a lot to get a cracking thin and light model, and the build quality is pretty good these days, with manufacturers moving away from cheap, plasticky efforts to more luxurious aluminium designs as you move up the price range.

2-in-1 convertibles are worth a look, as well. Chrome OS has improved as an OS for touchscreen use, with more flexible on-screen keyboards and some interface improvements, and it’s particularly good if you get a model with a stylus or a pen. It’s also great to have a laptop you can use as a tablet for entertainment, or that you can pop on a table in Tent mode and stream Netflix or play a Stadia game.

Finally, a decent display is crucial. If there’s a full HD IPS screen option then it’s worth paying extra for, and we’re even seeing some models with QHD or 4K/UHD displays.

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