The Best Chromebooks
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 Best Chromebooks
The table above contains an overview over the best notebooks for less than 500 Euros reviewed by Notebookcheck over the course of the past 12 months as well as still relevant and available older products. In cases of identical score the more recent device is listed first. All prices in above table and price comparisons are updated daily and can thus differ.
Link: Link: all devices in this class reviewed
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Top 10 at the time of writing, current reviews first
1st - Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise 2-in-1
Even though its cumbersome name suggests otherwise the Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise 2-in-1 is not only made for businesses but can be a great Chromebook for consumers as well. That is if they are willing to spend much more than $1,000 for a Chromebook of course. At this price, a storage space of just 100 GB seems laughable, but keep in mind that ChromeOS is designed to work online and store files and data in the cloud instead of locally.
Downsides include its comparatively poor graphics performance as well as speakers that are simply too cheap for its price class.
In return, it does offer a plethora of features that are often missing from cheaper Chromebooks, for example a great case, a bright display, incredibly long battery life, and fast Wi-Fi. Its convertible nature brings even more flexibility.
Overall, it is not really surprising that the Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise 2-in-1 secured the top spot on our best-of Chromebook list. However, at this price point you can also find great Windows and macOS alternatives.
2nd - Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise
The Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise lacks its sibling’s convertibility features but comes with the same high-quality lightweight carbon-fiber case, plenty of ports, and optionally even WWAN support.
Keep in mind though that you will be paying much more than $1,000 for a Chromebook, which will suffer from the same limitations as all other Chromebooks. Namely a meager 100 GB of storage space and the fact that you will be limited to web services and Android apps. And to add insult to injury Dell opted for a very spongy keyboard and a very inaccurate and hard to use clickpad.
Granted, if you are looking for a high-performance Chromebook the Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise may be a good choice. However, considering its high price, we would have expected much more.
3rd - Acer Chromebook Spin 713 CP713-2W
At around $800, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is one of the more expensive Chromebooks currently available. In return, you get a nice metal case, fast storage, excellent battery life, fast Wi-Fi, a backlit keyboard, and many more things that most other Chromebooks fail to offer.
The display did not entirely meet our expectations as its contrast ratio was not particularly high and it suffered from major reflections but at least its color representation was very accurate and its 3:2 ratio is great for work.
Overall, the Spin is a highly versatile and well-equipped great Chromebook that comes at a high price.
4th – Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is Lenovo’s attempt at introduction a more expensive high-quality 2-in-1 Chromebook. It offers fast Wi-Fi, fast storage, optional stylus input, a backlit keyboard, and a quiet and discreet mode of operation.
We were, however, disappointed by its battery life of no more than 8 hours in our Wi-Fi test, which may seem okay at first glance but are not particularly great for a Chromebook. We also did not like its dim display.
5th - Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is a convertible laptop with a 15.6-inch display that opens a full 360 degrees and allows for use as a tablet, a traditional notebook, or in presentation mode for watching videos. Its display runs at FHD resolution (1920 x 1080) and the device is powered by an 11th generation Intel Core CPU.
In our test, the high-end SKU with Core i7 CPU and 512 GB SSD performed very well and offered great performance and a long battery life of 9.5 hours in our standardized Wi-Fi test. In return, at around $1,000 the device is also very expensive for a Chromebook and has to compete with similarly attractive Windows laptops. Truth be told we find the Core i3-equipped entry-level SKU with 128 GB that starts at around $700 much more exciting.
6th - Acer Chromebook 315
The Acer Chromebook 315 features a Touchscreen, is silent, and offers very good battery life of more than 10 hours. It should thus easily last all workday long. It supports an additional display via its USB-C port with DisplayPort signal.
At around $500 the notebook is not particularly cheap for a Chromebook. At this price point, we would have expected a backlit keyboard and a brighter display.
However, if you are looking for a Chromebook with Touchscreen and long battery life the Chromebook 315 will be a great choice.
7th – Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook 10
At slightly over $300 the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet is a quite interesting device. The small convertible is a laptop and tablet at the same time, and therefore even more flexible than most other Chromebooks.
As an alternative to ChromeOS the device also supports running Android or a Linux distro, although those have to be run under ChromeOS and are thus significantly slower than they could be were they run natively. As a result, gaming under Android is all but impossible.
Good battery life, low emissions, and Google’s promise of 8 years of operating system updates are great arguments in favor of the small Chromebook.
8th - Acer Chromebook Spin 311
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 can be purchased for around $300 and features a MediaTek SoC as well as 64 GB of storage. It offers a long battery life, the flexibility of a convertible, a touchscreen, and a silent mode of operation without getting particularly warm.
Its downsides include a dim and reflective display as well as its lack of keyboard backlight, although we are willing to look the other way considering its low price. Its connectivity is also far from great, and video output as well as power input have to share a single USB-C port.
Acer’s affordable Chromebook convertible may not be perfect, but for not a lot of money you get a highly flexible device with long battery life that may be worth a closer look if you want a Touchscreen on your device.