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The Best Chromebooks

January 2024 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 Best Chromebooks

Position
Total Rating
Date
Image
Model
Height
Weight
Size
Resolution
Screen
189.4 %
03/2023
HP Dragonfly Pro ChromebookHP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook
Intel Core i5-1235U
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
16 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
17.8 mm1.5 kg14.00"2560x1600glossy
284.8 %
02/2023
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 CX5601FBAsus Chromebook Flip CX5 CX5601FB
Intel Core i7-1255U
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
20 mm2.1 kg15.80"1920x1200glossy
383.4 %
12/2022
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16
Intel Core i5-1235U
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
19.95 mm1.8 kg16.00"2560x1600matte
478.5 %
01/2024
new!
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 CB 14M868Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 CB 14M868
MediaTek Kompanio 520
ARM Mali-G52 MP2
4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
19.3 mm1.3 kg14.00"1920x1080matte
578.1 %
01/2024
new!
Asus Chromebook CM14 CM1402CM2A-EK0048Asus Chromebook CM14 CM1402CM2A-EK0048
MediaTek Kompanio 520
ARM Mali-G52 MP2
3.7 GB Memory, 128 GB eMMC
22 mm1.4 kg14.00"1920x1080matte
677.2 %
08/2023
HP Chromebook 15a-n0008TUHP Chromebook 15a-n0008TU
Intel Celeron N4500
Intel UHD Graphics (Jasper Lake 16 EU)
4 GB Memory, 128 GB eMMC
18.1 mm1.7 kg15.60"1366x768matte

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
 

Top 10 at the time of writing, current reviews first

Editors' Comments

1st - HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook
HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

Chromebooks like the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook are among the absolute top devices with Chrome OS. The notebook comes with a potent i5 processor, generous 16 GB of RAM, and a decent 256 GB NVMe SSD. Thanks to the touchscreen, it should also be compatible with many Android apps. However, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is not a convertible.

The small form factor, super-bright sRGB display, and high-quality build make the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook an almost ideal travel companion for most users.

We only see a bitter point of criticism in the connectivity. The Chromebook only offers four USB-C ports with Thunderbolt. Thus, you have to use docking stations and adapters for everything else.

The Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is available at HP or Google for just under $1000 USD.

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2nd - Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 proves that a Chromebook has to be anything but boring. The notebook convinces with above-average performance in all areas. An Intel Core i7 and 16 GB of working memory make sure of that. With a keyboard, touchpad, touchscreen and stylus, the Chromebook is suitable for a wide range of projects. The constantly growing compatibility of Chrome OS also contributes to that. The Google Play Store, the Chrome Web Store and now also Steam offer a variety of apps and games that mostly run smoothly on the device. Google also guarantees updates for the device until mid-2030.

The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is equipped with a strong performance and a high-quality casing. There are only slight flaws in the display.

The biggest point of criticism in the test is the display. This is covered with a high-gloss pane and has a brightness of only 264 cd/m². This makes it difficult to use in bright rooms or outdoors.

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3rd - Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16

What Lenovo has built into the IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16 seems a bit over the top. A 120 Hz display with 1,600p, an Intel Core i5 and 8 GB of RAM are a strong combination. Hardly any other Chromebook is so well equipped

However, those looking for a dGPU for gaming will not find it. The gaming in the name refers to streaming games. The notebook is well equipped for this with its fast display. 

Incomprehensible for us: The powerful hardware is not fully supported by Chrome OS. Not all apps support the 120 Hz output and WiFi 6E networks are not recognized.

The Chromebook is available in several variants from Amazon and other retailers. 

4th - Lenovo IdeaPad Slim CB

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim CB
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim CB

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim CB costs only 100 euros in some cases. Nevertheless, you get a laptop that at least doesn't show any visual flaws. On the downside, however, is the weak hardware equipment. A MediaTek Kompanio 520, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB eMMC memory do not necessarily guarantee a fast notebook. But the performance is sufficient for the slim Chrome OS. Surfing, streaming and office work are no problem for the IdeaPad. With the energy-saving processor and a battery with 46 Wh capacity, the Chromebook shows its advantages above all in terms of battery life and energy consumption.

The IdeaPad Slim CB does not need a fan. The energy-saving MediaTek Kompanio in combination with a good battery ensures long runtimes away from the power socket.

The IdeaPad Slim CB's main drawbacks are the screen and speakers. The TN panel does not have a particularly good color display and the speakers do not deliver a convincing sound. However, the low purchase price is a strong argument for the entry-level model and Chrome OS.

At the time of writing, Amazon US offers the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim CB for $220.

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5th - Asus Chromebook CM14

Asus Chromebook CM14
Asus Chromebook CM14

The Asus Chromebook CM14 is another entry-level device with MediaTek Kompanio 520. In terms of hardware, it hardly differs from the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 CB. Only the eMMC memory on the Asus device is twice as large. The screen, battery life, webcam and sound are also pretty much the same on both devices. Unfortunately, the Chromebook from Asus costs a little more than the entry-level laptop from Lenovo.

The Asus Chromebook CM 14 is also a slim entry-level laptop that is suitable for office, streaming and surfing.

One thing that stands out positively about the Asus Chromebook compared to the IdeaPad is the distribution of ports. The CB14 offers a USB-C port on both sides for charging or connecting a monitor.

The Asus Chromebook CM 14 is available through the usual retail channels, including Amazon US. Alternatively, users can order the laptop via Asus's official online store.

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6th – HP Chromebook 15a 2023

HP Chromebook 15a 2023
HP Chromebook 15a 2023

With an Intel Celeron N4500 and 4 GB of RAM, the Chromebook 15a from HP is not exactly powerful. However, Chrome OS is very resource-efficient and the small notebook runs quite smoothly. HP offers this affordable laptop from 379 euros. This means that the case and screen are not equipped with the highest quality components. But the Chromebook 15a is robust and therefore perhaps just right for an introduction to Chrome OS or as a student notebook. 

The HP Chromebook 15a could be a good entry-level device for pupils and students.

Some variants of HP Chromebook 15a 2023 are available through the usual retail channels, for example Amazon US lists a Pentium N200-powered SKU for $340.

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Best Chromebooks in Comparison

Size Comparison

362.6 mm / 14.3 inch 241.5 mm / 9.51 inch 18.1 mm / 0.713 inch 1.7 kg3.73 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2.1 kg4.72 lbs356.5 mm / 14 inch 253 mm / 9.96 inch 19.95 mm / 0.785 inch 1.8 kg4.02 lbs325 mm / 12.8 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 1.4 kg3.14 lbs325.9 mm / 12.8 inch 221.8 mm / 8.73 inch 19.3 mm / 0.76 inch 1.3 kg2.87 lbs315 mm / 12.4 inch 221 mm / 8.7 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 1.5 kg3.39 lbs297 mm / 11.7 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 1 mm / 0.03937 inch 5.7 g0.01257 lbs
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Notebookcheck (Update: 2024-01-16)