Chromebooks continue to be one of the best values in tech, offering excellent speed, performance, and reliability for more affordable prices than competing Windows or Apple laptops. Though Chrome OS started as a simple browser, these devices have continued to grow in maturity over the last several years. From apps and games to file browsers and even some Adobe app support, Chrome OS has come a long way in terms of its usefulness, completely dominating the budget market for laptops. There’s a great Chromebook for nearly every price point imaginable, and if all you need in a computer is a way to write papers, watch Netflix, and browse Facebook or Instagram, a Chromebook is a surprisingly great option. If you have a tax refund burning a hole in your pocket, it’s the perfect time to get yourself a brand new laptop that will make browsing the web a whole lot more enjoyable. Whether shopping for yourself, a student, a parent, or anyone else, Google’s lineup of affordable devices can often be just enough functionality to be perfect. Touchscreen-equipped Chromebooks mean watching videos, note-taking, and even light gaming are all easy to do on a compact device. There are so many different models to choose from that picking up a Chromebook today can be daunting. Which models should you pick up, and which should you avoid? Sit back and relax because we have you covered. This is our guide to the best touchscreen Chromebooks on the market today.
01 Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 is among the best options you can get your hands on today, and it will cost you about $896. It’s a midrange Chromebook that includes everything most people could ever want in a laptop. From excellent battery life to the best displays you can find on a Chromebook today, the Spin makes good on virtually every strength a Chromebook can offer. In fact, let’s start with the display, which is a highlight and something we keep hoping to see more and more on future Chrome OS devices. The 13.5-inch 2K (2256×1504) touchscreen IPS display is crisp, clear, and color-rich, but the true strength comes in the 3:2 aspect ratio. That means the screen is nearly as tall as it is wide, and that makes productivity easier than ever. Not everyone is going to want a 3:2 display—it’s noticeably worse for watching movies or gaming, for example—but when it comes to laptops made for actually getting things done, the taller display makes a huge difference in everything from browsing the web and word processing to managing spreadsheets or coding. And although that display may be the biggest strength offered by the Spin 713, it’s far from the only reason to pick one up. The Intel Core i5-10210U processor gets you some serious power, far more than most people will need out of Chrome OS. It also helps grant up to 10 hours of battery life, and even if you’re mostly at home these days, it’s still good to futureproof your device for when we’ll finally be able to leave the house again to study at a coffee shop. 8GB of RAM is the perfect amount to manage many tabs with a couple of Chrome apps open in the background, and for a Chromebook, the 128GB SSD offers more than enough storage. As you might’ve guessed by the name, the big hardware feature with the Spin 713 is the 360-degree hinge. This type of form factor has been around for nearly a decade, and it still feels magical every time the display flips around to become a tablet. The size of the Flip 713 keeps it from being an iPad replacement—especially considering it’s about three times as heavy as the average weight of an iPad—but being able to transform into tablet or tent mode helps improve notetaking performance in class. All in all, the Spin 713 is easily a Chromebook that could help you be more productive at work or school, but its availability is an issue. You’ll still see stock on Amazon, but we suggest you purchase it immediately before it runs out.
- Price $896.00
- RAM 8 GB
- Storage 256 GB
- Processor Intel® Core™ i7 11th Gen
- Graphics Intel® Iris Xe Graphics
The Google Pixelbook Go was the replacement for the brand’s original Pixelbook. At $649, it’s still priced relatively high compared to most other devices on the market, but despite that, the Pixelbook Go seems to have all the magic you could want from a Chromebook today. If there’s one thing that’s a bit disappointing about the Pixelbook Go, it’s the design. There’s a lot to like about how the Pixelbook Go looks and feels, but in the transition to a cheaper market, the Go has lost one of our favorite things about the original Pixelbook: its tall display. Unlike the 2017 Pixelbook, the Go uses a standard 16:9 aspect ratio with a 13.3-inch screen. This makes it a solid offering for watching movies or YouTube, but with productivity work, a 3:2 display like the original device would’ve been much appreciated, especially considering this isn’t a 15-inch device. Though, if we’re looking at the product as a whole, the smaller, wider display seems to be part of making the Go as portable as possible, and on that end, Google has nailed it. The device weighs barely 2 pounds and measures 13mm thick—basically as thin as the device could be. The device uses a magnesium build, helping to keep the frame sturdy but light while offering a grippy ribbed texture along the bottom of the design (also made out of magnesium). This is a premium-feeling device, and it’s really great to see Google helping to push the cost of this style of Chromebook down to something much more affordable than we’ve seen in the past. Also, despite having a touchscreen, it’s worth noting the Pixelbook Go doesn’t fold 360 degrees to become a tablet. This is a traditional laptop style through and through, something that might disappoint some potential buyers. Let’s talk specs: The Pixelbook has an 8th Gen Intel Core m3 processor, which should be fast enough for most basic browsing and video playback, though if you plan on doing any serious work on the Go, you can get a model with an i5 or i7 processor for additional cash. Available in four tiers, the Pixelbook Go includes either 8GB or 16GB RAM, along with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of SSD storage. The real star of the show here, however, is when you open the clamshell device. The backlit keyboard uses Google’s new HushKeys, which have been designed to offer some serious travel while also keeping the keys quiet. Next to those keyboards are two front-firing speakers that should make the Go one of the best Chromebooks for watching movies. Chromebooks have become well-known for skimping a bit on the speakers, so if you plan on watching a lot of YouTube, the Pixelbook is basically perfect. Ultimately, the Pixelbook Go is a well-rounded computer. It’s not the cheapest device on the market, but if you’re looking for a fantastic Chromebook experience, this is it. It’s fast and light, has a great display, best-in-class speakers, and a superb keyboard. The build is top-notch, and it comes straight from Google, helping to make this an absolute no-brainer of a device.
- Price $649.00
- RAM 64 GB
- Storage 256GB
- Processor Intel® Core™ i7 11th Gen
- Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
03 Asus Chromebook Flip C434
Asus has constantly made some of our favorite Chromebooks, and that trend continues with the C434. This is a premium-feeling device with an all-aluminum build, making a major difference in day-to-day usage. The design and feel of the machine are similar to something you’d find on a MacBook Pro or a Surface Laptop, albeit not as thin as the latter product. The anodized finish is also similar to the MacBook line of products, avoiding the textured feel of some other metal Chromebooks on the market today. The entire device is thin and light, too, weighing only 3.3 pounds and slightly over half an inch thick. When it comes to displays, Asus included a 14-inch FHD touchscreen NanoEdge display, which looks good, crisp, and colorful. It’s not the best display you can get on a Chromebook today, but it’s an excellent screen for its budget-friendly price. Despite the 14-inch display, the device’s chassis is closer to a standard 13-inch laptop, thanks to the shrunken bezels along the side of the display. Thankfully, Asus managed to keep the webcam at the top of the display instead of moving it to the bottom, which means that, despite the thinner bezel, you lose none of the actual features of a standard display. Along the sides of the laptop, you have two USB-C 3.1 ports for data transfer, charging, and video output, a single USB-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage on your device. While this may feel like a limited port selection, that USB-C port allows you to use adapters to access basically any accessory you might need and even allows you to charge the device with a basic USB-C cable—the same one you probably have for your phone, tablet, Nintendo Switch, and plenty of other platforms. The Flip is powered by an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor, which uses low-power consumption to ensure the C434 has solid battery life and doesn’t require the use of a fan. The cheaper version of the Flip features 4GB of RAM, which is enough for most multitasking on a Chromebook, and 64GB of internal storage, a solid amount compared to most budget Chromebooks. If you feel like upgrading, Asus also makes a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which we highly recommend for the RAM upgrade. That said, considering Chrome OS syncs closely with Google Drive and doesn’t rely on external storage outside of app installations, it’s not ridiculous to say that this is more than enough for most everyday usage. Performance is solid, with the processor and RAM combination able to keep a good amount of tabs open at once without any noticeable slowdown. The touchpad isn’t the best on the market, but it’s decent enough to get by. The keyboard is similarly comfortable and well-spaced out, and the inclusion of backlighting means it’s a great device for lugging to class and taking notes. Battery life isn’t quite as long-lasting as the original Chromebook Flip from 2015, but you should expect about 8 hours of mixed usage on the device—more than enough to make it through the day, and with the use of a standard USB-C port, it’s easy to top off throughout the day. As the name implies, the Flip can turn around 360 degrees to become a makeshift tablet, with the ability to use the 14-inch display’s touchscreen to its full potential. This means you can use the Flip to take notes with a third-party stylus, and you can use the device in all sorts of different configurations, including as a pop-up using the keyboard as a base or in tent mode for watching media. We really only have two major complaints with the Flip. First, though three pounds is relatively light for a laptop, it’s far too heavy to use as a tablet for long periods of time. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is similarly sized but weighs much less than the Chromebook Flip. Even worse, however, are the side-mounted speakers on this device. The speakers sound tinny, rattling, and distorting at loud volumes in a way that’s uncomfortable to listen to for a long time. You’ll definitely want external speakers or headphones for this device. All in all, the C434 is a fantastic Chromebook that’s easy on your wallet. Outside of the mediocre speakers, the Chromebook Flip C434 offers everything we would want in a Chrome OS device and remains one of our favorites well into 2022.
- Price $349.00
- RAM 4 GB
- Storage 64 GB
- Processor Intel Core M3-8100Y
- Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615
Asus Chromebook Flip C434
04 Lenovo Chromebook Duet
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a perfect choice for you if you’re on the market for a fantastic, budget-priced Chromebook. Designed like a Chrome OS version of Microsoft’s Surface Go, the Duet features a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 touchscreen display with an included detachable keyboard, making this one of the cheapest hybrid devices you can pick up today. In tablet mode, the Duet appears like a standard 10-inch tablet, and the 16:10 aspect ratio keeps the device from feeling too wide when holding it in your hand. Slap on the included kickstand cast and the keyboard dock, and you’ve got yourself a full-blown laptop, complete with a touchpad for mouse support. Of course, at less than $250, you shouldn’t expect something on the level of the Surface Pro line of devices. The keyboard and touchpad of this Chromebook are both cramped since the Chromebook itself is so tiny, and the MediaTek processor is pretty weak for anything other than basic browsing and productivity tools. It only has 4GB of RAM, which is disappointing for multitaskers, but its 128GB SSD storage is more than enough for you to store your essential files for school or work. Still, this device has many positives, including all-day battery life, excellent color reproduction on the IPS panel, and surprisingly solid dual speakers. Lenovo’s Duet won’t change how you use computers in your day-to-day life, but its low price makes it an attractive deal.
- Weak processor and RAM
- Cramped keyboard and touchpad
- Could use more ports
- Price $239.99
- RAM 4 GB
- Storage 128 GB
- Processor MediaTek Helio P60T
- Graphics Integrated ARM Mali-G72 MP3
05 Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
More than ever, it’s necessary to focus on affordable laptops. Lenovo’s Duet is one of our favorite devices of the year, especially for under $250. If you have extra cash to spend on your laptop—or if you want a more traditional laptop design than what the Duet offers—the Flex 5 is the device for you. It only costs $449, which is a great price point for those who don’t want to break the bank. Although it includes a disappointing 4GB of RAM, its Intel Core i3-10110U processor is more than enough to power the Flex through most daily tasks, and 64GB of storage is plenty for Chrome apps. A 13.3-inch Full HD display is an excellent compromise between screen size and portability, and with the 360-degree hinge, taking notes on the touchscreen is a breeze. The Flex 5 actually features one of our favorite designs currently available on Chromebooks. It’s clean and minimal, with a pleasant matte finish that helps block fingerprints from getting picked up. Lenovo’s also added a few premium flourishes that help make it a steal at $449, including a backlit keyboard and front-facing speakers. It’s far from the most powerful laptop on this list, but it’s a steal at this price.
- Price $449.00
- RAM 4 GB
- Storage 64 GB
- Processor Intel Core i3-10110U
- Graphics Intel Integrated Graphics
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