Best Chromebooks 2020: Reviews & Buying Advice

Chromebooks are laptops, but instead of running Windows, they come with Chrome OS from Google. They often make for cheaper alternatives and they’re also nice and simple to use making them great if you just need a laptop for basic daily tasks.

Chrome OS offers pretty much the same experience as using the popular Chrome web browser, which you might well already use on a Windows PC or laptop, but with a few extra features added to the mix.

We’ve reviewed the best Chromebooks we can find and then ranked them here so you can find the right one for you. Depending on your budget and needs, you might not necessarily pick the one at the top. Some may be a year or two old but they’re still perfectly good choices. Chromebook tech doesn’t move as fast as Windows laptops.

Your buying guide to the best Chromebooks in 2020

What is a Chromebook?

An internet connection is central to how a Chromebook functions. Nearly all its apps and services are online but more are adding offline support as time goes on. Google’s own Document and Spreadsheet apps capable of working offline and then seamlessly synching any work you’ve done to the cloud once you’re back on Wi-Fi.

This simplicity allows Chromebooks to use less powerful hardware than many Windows laptops, without it affecting the overall performance.

Do Chromebooks run Android apps?

These days, all modern Chromebooks can run Android apps. However, if you’re looking at an older model, just check whether it supports them on not before buying.

What about specifications?

You won’t find capacious hard drives, high-end processors or large screens on most Chromebooks. Instead, Google offers 100GB of online storage with every machine, mobile processors are the order of the day (negating the need for noisy fans), and the usual screen size is around the 12 or 13 inches.

One of the most notable benefits of such modest accoutrements is that prices for Chromebooks tend to be below £300, with many selling for nearer £200. But some newer models are more expensive as they have touchscreens, more storage and other features.

There are many similarities across the majority of Chromebooks with a generally standard keyboard layout and screen resolution, and fast bootup times, but those with specific needs should still be able find a machine to suit them.

Chromebooks have come a long way since they launched. The range of screen sizes now spans 10-16in and not only are there certain models with touchscreens, but some have hinges that allow the screen to fold right back flat against the underside so you can use it like a tablet.

For most people who just want a laptop-style computer for browsing the internet, creating documents and spreadsheets, streaming videos or giving to the kids as an inexpensive, virus-free homework device, an inexpensive Chromebook is an excellent choice.

Really, though, Chromebooks are intended as a second device: you’ll still have a laptop or PC in the house, but the Chromebook is a portable, lightweight alternative which is great for web browsing, email and – now – running Android apps.

Some of the models in our chart aren’t brand new, but we assure you it is up to date: you can still buy every single model listed here.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

We’re not saying that Chromebooks are a perfect solution, as there are still limitations you need to consider. The most significant is that, unlike Windows machines, Chromebooks can’t run some of the Windows software you might be used to. So, no iTunes (and therefore no iPhone compatibility). 

For the alternatives to popular software, see Google’s ‘Make the switch’ page.

Full versions of Microsoft Office won’t run on a Chromebook, although you can use the web-based suite and Android apps. Google’s own Docs suite is a very good alternative: its online collaboration is better than Microsoft’s offering for a start.

Peripheral support is also hit and miss, so if you need printers or other external devices to get your work done, then it’s worth investigating whether your printer and other gadgets will work with a Chromebook before you buy one.

We also have charts for the best laptop and best budget laptop if you decide a Chromebook isn’t the right choice.

Living with a Chromebook: can you use a Chromebook as your only laptop? – See more at: https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/search/run/#sthash.Z4Hhj8ba.dpuf

Living with a Chromebook: can you use a Chromebook as your only laptop? – See more at: https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/search/run/#sthash.Z4Hhj8ba.dpuf

Best Chromebooks 2020

1. Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go

2. Asus Chromebook C433TA

Asus Chromebook C433TA

3. Asus Chromebook Flip C213NA

Asus Chromebook Flip C213NA

4. Lenovo 500e Chromebook

Lenovo 500e Chromebook

5. Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA

Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA

6. Google Pixelbook

Google Pixelbook

7. Acer Chromebook 14

Acer Chromebook 14

8. Lenovo Thinkpad 13 Chromebook

Lenovo Thinkpad 13 Chromebook

9. Acer Chromebook 15 (CB315-2H)

Acer Chromebook 15 (CB315-2H)

10. Google Pixel Slate

Google Pixel Slate

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