Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Chromebooks

Florian Wimmer (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 09/15/2015

July 2018 update. When it comes to inexpensive notebooks, devices with Google's Chrome OS have carved out a niche in the market. Chromebooks are usually a good choice for people who do not want to spend a lot of money, although they do require a permanent connection to the Internet to get the most out of them. In this article we will introduce the best models.

The major manufacturers do not just sell Windows-based laptops, but have the rather inexpensive and frequently more portable Chromebooks with Google's Chrome OS in their portfolio. This particular operating system is based on the idea that most of the work a user encounters can be done using the browser. Chromebooks run a version of Linux with a very small footprint and utilize the Chrome browser running on top of the OS. Even though local web applications can be installed as well, the focus is clearly on cloud-based services accessed via the browser.

The notebooks in this category do not require a lot of processing power or hard drive space, so they are pretty stripped-down and carry a low price tag. Of course, there are drawbacks as well: popular applications such as Office or Skype will not run on Chrome. The only choice here is to use Google's own applications. Printing and hooking up USB devices can be a bit of a headache as well. Also refer to the following listings to find an affordable device:

The following table shows an overview of the best Chromebooks reviewed by Notebookcheck. If the ratings are equal, the latest review is listed first. The table can be sorted by clicking on its headers and filtered by entering text in the text field above it (e.g. "matte" or "touch").

Best Chromebooks as of July 2018

Pos.DateRatingImageModelHeightWeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
111/201786%Google PixelbookGoogle Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
Intel HD Graphics 615
8 GB Memory
10 mm1.3 kg12.3"2400x1600glossy
209/201685%HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5
Intel Core m5-6Y57
Intel HD Graphics 515
8 GB Memory
15 mm1.2 kg13.3"3200x1800glossy
307/201783%Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QVAcer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
Intel Core i5-6200U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 32 GB eMMC
22.4 mm1.4 kg14"1920x1080matte
403/201781%Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YKAcer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
Mediatek MT8173C
PowerVR GX6250
4 GB Memory, 32 GB eMMC
15.5 mm1.5 kg13.3"1920x1080matte
509/201681%Medion Akoya S2015 ChromebookMedion Akoya S2015 Chromebook
Rockchip RK3288
ARM Mali-T760 MP4
2 GB Memory, 16 GB SSD
20 mm1.2 kg11.6"1366x768matte
608/201581%Dell Chromebook 11-3120Dell Chromebook 11-3120
Intel Celeron N2840
Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
4 GB Memory, 16 GB eMMC
20.3 mm1.2 kg11.6"1366x768matte
708/201481%Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11eLenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
Intel Celeron N2930
Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
4 GB Memory, 16 GB eMMC
22.86 mm1.7 kg11.6"1366x768glossy
806/201780%Lenovo Flex 11 ChromebookLenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
Mediatek MT8173C
PowerVR GX6250
4 GB Memory, 32 GB eMMC
21 mm1.4 kg11.6"1366x768glossy
905/201678%Acer Chromebook C910-354YAcer Chromebook C910-354Y
Intel Core i3-5005U
Intel HD Graphics 5500
4 GB Memory, 32 GB SSD
24.2 mm2.2 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
1077%Acer Chromebook C740-C3DYAcer Chromebook C740-C3DY
Intel Celeron 3205U
Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
2 GB Memory, 32 GB SSD
20 mm1.9 kg11.6"1366x768matte

Top 10 at the time of writing, current reviews first

Editors' Comments

1st - Google Pixelbook

Google Pixelbook
Google Pixelbook

Chromebooks are not only inexpensive system we know from earlier days, which is shown by Google: The inventor of the Chromebook sells its Pixelbook for about 900 Euros (~$1080), but can easily climb above 1000 Euros (~$1200) depending on the components. In return you get a convertible with support for pen inputs, which can also handle Android apps from Google's Play Store.

The fast processor, great build quality, and long battery runtime create an almost unique Chromebook, but Google also sacrifices some features: There is no classic USB connector or a card reader. Both features require an adapter, which are not provided. Our list of negatives is quite long, because the input devices are pretty loud, there are occasional WLAN dropouts, and there is some coil whine.

All in all, the Google Pixelbook is the only real high-end Chromebook, but it reveals a lot of small drawbacks that potential buyers will have to accept. We hope the next generation will be an improvement.

Pricecompare

2nd - HP Chromebook 13 G1

HP Chromebook 13 G1
HP Chromebook 13 G1

HP's Chromebook 13 G1 is another comparatively expensive for a Chromebook with a base price of almost 500 Euros (~$600). A few hundred Euros more will get you a faster processor, but this will result in a very high price for a Chromebook. This does not make a lot of sense when you consider the limitations of the operating system. All SKUs get a high-resolution screen, good case, and reliable input devices, so the HP Chromebook 13 G1 should be on the short list of every potential Chromebook buyer.

Pricecompare

3rd - Acer Chromebook 14

Acer Chromebook 14
Acer Chromebook 14

Acer's Chromebook 14 is available for about 300 Euros (~$360), which is common for a Chromebook. The design is more grown-up compared to some of the earlier Chromebooks, because Acer wants to market it as an office device. This might actually work, thanks to the decent keyboard and long battery runtime. We also like the picture quality of the matte screen, even though it could be brighter.

The slow SD card reader and the limited performance are minor drawbacks, but the Acer Chromebook 14 is still a very fast device within its class and sufficient for everyday office tasks.

Pricecompare

4th - Acer Chromebook R13

Acer Chromebook R13
Acer Chromebook R13

Do you prefer a Chromebook convertible instead of a classic laptop with Chrome OS? Then you should have a look at the Acer Chromebook R13 with its touchscreen – but it is only useful for Android apps. We like the 1080p screen, the silent operation, and the great battery runtime. Downsides are the slightly unstable chassis, and limited maintainability – even though this is the case for almost all Chromebooks. The keyboard is not perfect for prolific writers, either. The Acer Chromebook R13 is still a solid Chromebook convertible if you can live with the limitations.

Pricecompare

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5th - Medion Akoya S2015

Medion Akoya S2015
Medion Akoya S2015

You can still get very affordable Chromebooks. Medion's Akoya S2015 is such a device. The battery runtimes are pretty long and you even get support for 802.11ac networks. You can also replace the battery and double the runtime with a second battery. The device is powered by a SoC, so the performance lags behind more expensive Chromebooks or even Windows laptops. Still, the performance is sufficient for text editing or web browsing.

Pricecompare

6th - Chromebook 11-3120

Chromebook 11-3120
Chromebook 11-3120

Dell's Chromebook 11-3120 earned the coveted first place in our list. The notebook is quite light at only 1.2 kg (~2.6 lb) and comes with a matte display with HD resolution. The Chromebook 11 costs 300 Euro (~$340) and offers a sturdy chassis, good battery life, a solid keyboard and also remains inaudible during use. Some buyers might be turned off somewhat by the dark-gray plastic and the boring styling. However, Dell's offering is solid all around.

Pricecompare

7th - Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook

The ThinkPad Yoga 11e is a very good choice as well. As part of the Yoga-family it features the 360-degree hinge, which allows it to be used in different modes. Despite the added functionality, it still retails for an affordable 350 Euro (~$400). The glossy display requires some getting used to, however. 1.7 kg (~3.7 lb) is also a little heavy for an 11.6-inch notebook and it is thicker than the competitors as well. Highlights are the touchscreen, the decent input devices and the long battery life. The design makes use of a fan, but remains pretty quiet overall. The ThinkPad Yoga 11e is one of the most distinct and adaptable Chromebook-designs and offers a lot for the money.

Pricecompare

8th - Lenovo Flex 11

Lenovo Flex 11
Lenovo Flex 11

The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is primarily designed for the education market. It has an inconspicuous plastic case, but a convertible function for multiple operating modes. The long battery runtimes are convincing, and the silent operation will be appreciated at school. The 11.6-inch device is unfortunately a bit bulky and heavy, so it is not the best device to carry around. You should not expect an excellent keyboard either, but you still get a convertible with a robust chassis and sufficient performance for everyday school tasks for less than 300 Euros (~$340).

Pricecompare

9th - Acer Chromebook C910

Acer Chromebook C910
Acer Chromebook C910

The Acer Chromebook C910 is a 15.6-inch system and therefore a rather exotic machine compared to most other (smaller) Chromebooks. You get a larger screen, but it is obviously not as portable compared to many other Chrome OS laptops. The battery runtimes are also very good, despite the large display and the C910 is always quiet and cool. It is not really cheap at around 500 Euros (~$600), but the performance is decent, thanks to the Intel Core i3 processor. You will be happy if you are looking for a large Chromebook.

Pricecompare

10th - Acer Chromebook C740

Acer Chromebook C740
Acer Chromebook C740

The Acer Chromebook C740 is a classic 11.6-inch Chromebook. You get great battery runtimes, a matte screen, and it is always quiet and cool. The keyboard is decent as well. Thanks to the Intel processor, you get decent performance, especially for the price of 299 Euros (~$340).

Pricecompare

Best Chromebooks in Comparison

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Dell Chromebook 11-3120Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11eGoogle PixelbookHP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QVAcer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YKMedion Akoya S2015 ChromebookLenovo Flex 11 ChromebookAcer Chromebook C910-354YAcer Chromebook C740-C3DY
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
59.2 (29.6, 29.6)
39.2 (18, 21.2)
38 (19, 19)
38 (14, 24)
40 (22, 18)
33.6 (18.8, 14.8)
51 (17, 34)
41 (21, 20)
Response Time Black / White *
36 (20, 16)
31.6 (11.6, 20)
27 (16, 11)
23 (5, 18)
21 (5, 16)
28 (16.4, 11.6)
30 (8, 22)
24 (8, 16)
PWM Frequency
819.7 (100)
1389 (44)
1000 (95)
20830 (99)
185 (90)
Screen
Brightness middle
273
289.8
473.9
355.5
214
192
227
275.1
254
246
Brightness
258
278
443
330
214
204
216
255
244
234
Brightness Distribution
88
88
80
90
90
88
90
85
86
84
Black Level *
0.75
0.23
0.35
0.804
0.1
0.23
0.62
0.31
0.34
0.47
Contrast
364
1260
1354
442
2140
835
366
887
747
523
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.46
3.9
3.75
5.2
7.99
12.34
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.73
5.4
4.35
3.86
3.99
11.27
2.8
8.41
14.3
Gamma
2.4 92%
2.13 103%
2.35 94%
2.42 91%
2.45 90%
2.41 91%
2.28 96%
2.45 90%
2.31 95%
CCT
7269 89%
7643 85%
6269 104%
6276 104%
6380 102%
12875 50%
6861 95%
6361 102%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.7
7.15
20.3
14.72
21.72
Noise
off / environment *
30.6
31.2
31.2
Idle Minimum *
33.3
30.6
32.8
32.9
Idle Average *
33.4
30.6
32.8
32.9
Idle Maximum *
33.6
31.7
32.9
33.3
Load Average *
33.4
33.1
33.2
33.3
Load Maximum *
33.4
34
33.2
33.3
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
33.9
36.2
38.8
39.2
29.1
30.6
36.1
33
32.2
29
Maximum Bottom *
33
37
38
46
32
29.5
35
36
32
32.3
Idle Upper Side *
28.6
33.4
29
29.4
24.2
23.9
29.6
25.2
29
27.2
Idle Bottom *
28
33.4
29.4
31
24.8
23.2
29.7
25.8
28.6
29.6
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
633
1425
WiFi v1.3
566
835
404
540
773
502
764
520
677
Load
204
182
150
WiFi
389
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
3
3.7
2.7
3.8
2.8
1.5
5.6
4.9
Idle Average *
4.3
8.7
6.2
6.2
4.7
5.4
9.2
5.9
Idle Maximum *
4.6
9.4
6.7
6.6
4.7
5.5
9.7
6.7
Load Average *
9.6
12
14
11
10.5
6.3
13.8
9
Load Maximum *
10.2
18
24
12.7
12.7
7.9
18.3
12.5

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
144.78 Points ∼43%
HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5
HD Graphics 515, 6Y57
164.01 Points ∼49%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
56.99 Points ∼17%
Medion Akoya S2015 Chromebook
Mali-T760 MP4, RK3288, 16 GB SSD
42.312 Points ∼13%
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
57.116 Points ∼17%
Acer Chromebook C910-354Y
HD Graphics 5500, 5005U, 32 GB SSD
115.73 Points ∼35%
Acer Chromebook C740-C3DY
HD Graphics (Broadwell), 3205U, 32 GB SSD
84.421 Points ∼25%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, 32 GB eMMC Flash
142.28 Points ∼43%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Chromebook 11-3120
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840, 16 GB eMMC Flash
554.4 ms * ∼14%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
632.2 ms * ∼16%
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
268.1 ms * ∼7%
HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5
HD Graphics 515, 6Y57
228.8 ms * ∼6%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
577.7 ms * ∼14%
Medion Akoya S2015 Chromebook
Mali-T760 MP4, RK3288, 16 GB SSD
746.4 ms * ∼19%
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
589.5 ms * ∼15%
Acer Chromebook C910-354Y
HD Graphics 5500, 5005U, 32 GB SSD
275 ms * ∼7%
Acer Chromebook C740-C3DY
HD Graphics (Broadwell), 3205U, 32 GB SSD
365.3 ms * ∼9%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, 32 GB eMMC Flash
298.2 ms * ∼7%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Chromebook 11-3120
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3842.8 ms * ∼6%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4663.9 ms * ∼8%
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
1163.3 ms * ∼2%
HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5
HD Graphics 515, 6Y57
1055.9 ms * ∼2%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3297.2 ms * ∼6%
Medion Akoya S2015 Chromebook
Mali-T760 MP4, RK3288, 16 GB SSD
4753.2 ms * ∼8%
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2975.9 ms * ∼5%
Acer Chromebook C910-354Y
HD Graphics 5500, 5005U, 32 GB SSD
1636 ms * ∼3%
Acer Chromebook C740-C3DY
HD Graphics (Broadwell), 3205U, 32 GB SSD
2102.9 ms * ∼4%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1240 ms * ∼2%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Chromebook 11-3120
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840, 16 GB eMMC Flash
8229 Points ∼17%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7334 Points ∼15%
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
32334 Points ∼65%
HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5
HD Graphics 515, 6Y57
28478 Points ∼58%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
10139 Points ∼20%
Medion Akoya S2015 Chromebook
Mali-T760 MP4, RK3288, 16 GB SSD
7319 Points ∼15%
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
10319 Points ∼21%
Acer Chromebook C910-354Y
HD Graphics 5500, 5005U, 32 GB SSD
19700 Points ∼40%
Acer Chromebook C740-C3DY
HD Graphics (Broadwell), 3205U, 32 GB SSD
14268 Points ∼29%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, 32 GB eMMC Flash
27414 Points ∼55%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Dell Chromebook 11-3120
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840, 16 GB eMMC Flash
118 Points ∼15%
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
441 Points ∼55%
HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5
HD Graphics 515, 6Y57
347 Points ∼43%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
138 Points ∼17%
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
142 Points ∼18%
Acer Chromebook C910-354Y
HD Graphics 5500, 5005U, 32 GB SSD
244 Points ∼30%
Acer Chromebook C740-C3DY
HD Graphics (Broadwell), 3205U, 32 GB SSD
182 Points ∼23%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, 32 GB eMMC Flash
373 Points ∼46%
PCMark for Android
Computer Vision score (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
6046 Points ∼100%
Storage score (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
15296 Points ∼100%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
180866 Points ∼78%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
1696 Points ∼100%
Graphics (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
5636 Points ∼61%
Memory (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
1750 Points ∼36%
System (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
4667 Points ∼45%
Overall (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
2972 Points ∼69%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
7480 Points ∼21%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
4073 Points ∼69%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1382 Points ∼39%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1108 Points ∼9%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1159 Points ∼17%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
2464 Points ∼68%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1220 Points ∼33%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
4380 Points ∼53%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
595 Points ∼7%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
3735 Points ∼59%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
PowerVR GX6250, MT8173C, 32 GB eMMC Flash
671 Points ∼11%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
19.56 fps ∼51%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
33662 Points ∼76%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Google Pixelbook
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57
42892 Points ∼95%

* ... smaller is better

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Florian Wimmer (Update: 2018-07- 8)