Looking to buy the best Chromebook possible but not sure where to start? We at Gear Nuke have you covered as we take you through five of top options you can buy today. This selection of the best Chromebooks will take you through a few various needs and budgets as opposed to just throwing out the most overpowered Chromebooks which wouldn’t really suit anyone!
Chromebooks are still a relatively new product having only arrived in 2011 and they’re fighting hard to be considered among the best laptops on the market. We’re in a place now where all the big laptop brands are making their very own Chromebook and the retail space has become flooded with choice. With that being said, we will break down all the important aspects of each product to help you make the right decision when you’re ready. Note that the products shown below may vary in specifications between locations.
Here are the best Chromebooks available to buy in 2023:
- HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook – the best Chromebook money can buy
- Lenovo Chromebook Flex i3 – A brilliant 2-in-1 Chromebook for all
- HP Chromebook 11a – a great budget Chromebook
- Asus Chromebook Flip CX3 – a powerful mid-range Chromebook
- Acer Chromebook 516 GE – a Chromebook for gamers
1. HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
Chromebooks aren’t the product that comes to mind when you think of power, but the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is looking to change that connotation. There is an argument for whether or not a laptop like this is still a Chromebook when it focuses so much on hardware power, seemingly trying to match the best MacBook on the market with it’s high price tag, but that’s a debate for another day. Expect to pay around $2,789 USD.
Here are the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook specs:
|HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1235U|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
|Screen||1920×1280 WUXGA+, BrightView WLED|
- Power and speed is levels above other Chromebooks
- Customizable build options to save on cost or go bigger on hardware
- B&O audio features
- A wealth of ports for a Chromebook
- Integrated graphics is a let down considering the cost
- Excessive bloatware included from first start up
Where do we even really start with a Chromebook that on average costs well over $1000 regardless of which configuration you take a liking too. It’s clear that Chromebooks have their audience, and it’s typically that of people looking for a device that has no unnecessary hardware or features while also keeping costs to a minimum.
The Chromebooks succeed because they can achieve this in a way that traditional laptops cannot. Just as we think we understand the Chromebook mantra, along comes the HP Elite Dragonfly to shake things up. Hardware power and features aplenty almost seem to betray the Chromebook rules, but it works. Acting as a complete business or college package, the Elite Dragonfly is still a Chromebook at heart and looks to blow you away with speed and accessibility despite still only using and integrated GPU.
If budget isn’t an issue, and you want a long-term Chromebook that can keep up with a hectic work environment, then the Elite Dragonfly is for you. Time will tell whether this experiment will catch fire or simply burn out but we’re keen to see what’s next for the Chromebook market.
2. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i
If versatility and portability are a priority for you when buying a Chromebook, but you still want to keep costs down, the Lenovo Flex 3i is a brilliant laptop that offers unreal value for money and a great level of accessibility for beginners to the Chromebook or laptop world. This is a laptop that embodies what most people think of when the word Chromebook is mentioned and it’s a great advert for the product line. Expect to pay $189.00 USD / £229.00 GBP.
Here are the Lenovo Chromebook flex i3 specs:
|Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i|
|CPU||Intel Celeron N4500|
|GPU||Integrated Intel HD|
|Display||15.6″ Full HD, Anti-Glare, 60Hz|
|Battery||3-cell Lithium Battery, up to 12.5 Hours|
- Smart hardware choices keep the price low
- 360 degree flex design is durable
- Stripped back ChromeOS adds to beginner user experience
- Number of ports and power/volume control placement harm visual design
- 64GB Storage is very limiting, forcing online file storage
Chromebooks are the epitome of value for money and no laptop sums this up better than the Lenovo Flex i3. Areas where you think a low cost might mean sacrifices were made simply don’t exist. For instance, the 360 degree hinge isn’t made of cheap, stiff material that’s likely to fail after a few months. The same can also be said for the hardware, as despite the storage limitations, you’re still getting everything you need for a smooth everyday experience.
If you’re looking for a product that can offer the ease of access that a tablet has but also the full functionality of a standard laptop, look no further. Naturally, the power won’t hold up well if you compare it to desiccated products like an iPad or business laptop, but the chances are you would be paying for diminished returns with anything too costly. This is what also makes the Lenovo Flex i3 a great choice for entry level users and even kids.
A friendly user interface that replicates a mobile layout and doesn’t swamp you with all the micro-management options that Windows or MacOS sometimes require. It’s almost like a form of plug and play where you’re allowed to explore what the Chromebook has to offer and you won’t run the risk of breaking anything with the software. Lenovo really has created a super-accessible Chromebook that will help teach anyone, at any age, the basics of computing in a safe and fun way.
3. HP Chromebook 11a
The HP Chromebook 11a offers a brilliant laptop experience that is very affordable but doesn’t hold back when it comes to build quality and longevity. There’s a quality factor that’s expected when you buy from a company like HP and it’s great to see that they’ve found a way to include that in their Chromebooks without inflating the cost. Expect to pay $149.00 USB / £199.99 GBP.
Here are the HP Chromebook 11a specs:
|HP Chromebook 11a specs|
|Screen||11.6″ HD, 1366 x 768, Anti-Glare|
|Storage||32GB eMMC (Flash Memory)|
- Anti-glare display
- Build quality is high for a budget product
- Doesn’t use Intel or AMD processor
- Hardware longevity is hampered with low specs
While we here at Gear Nuke are always looking for products where the value for money is high and you also get years of use for your upfront cost, the HP Chromebook 11a is an exception to this rule for the right reasons. Its no-thrills low spec build does mean that it will likely reach its limits within three years, but the quality of what you get in that time will be high.
There is less versatility in the HP Chromebook 11a compared to the Lenovo Flex i3 as it cannot reconfigure as a tablet. In some cases, this might actually suit you better if you are only looking for a laptop style device.
Its miniature profile is ideal for transporting around or storing once you’re done using it. A HD (1366 x 768) display is ideal for on-the-go entertainment but if you want to store movies or TV shows to watch on the move, you’ll need an external storage solution as there is only 32GB of onboard memory.
All in all, for the price you pay, the HP Chromebook 11a is a brilliant little device that is unassuming but gets the job done. Set your expectations right and you won’t be disappointed.
4. Asus Chromebook Flip CX3
The Asus Chromebook Flip CX3 is a fantastic mid-range Chromebook that will meet your needs and then some! It’s yet another product on this list that we think really nails the broad appeal of Chromebooks and not only offers fantastic value for money but also the versatility of a touchscreen and 2-in-1 configuration.
Better yet, if you are happy with the product but need just a little bit more power, you can customize your configuration through the Asus store and tailor it to your needs. Expect to pay $599.99 USD / £469.99 GBP.
Here are the Asus Chromebook Flip CX3 specs:
|Asus Chromebook Flip CX3 specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-1110G4|
|GPU||Intel UHD Integrated Graphics|
|Display||14″ Full HD, 1920 x 1080, Stylus Support|
- Great base configuration but more power can be added
- Backlit keyboard
- Thin border allows for display to shine
- Heavy by Chromebook standards
- Would benefit from anti-glare display
It feels a little harsh to classify the Asus Chromebook Flip CX3 as ‘mid-range’ because it certainly has the hardware to outperform the majority of Chromebooks that we see being sold today. Perhaps it would be considered something closer to the top of the scale had HP not endeavored to break the sale with the release of the Elite Dragonfly.
Sometimes, when it comes to Chromebooks, manufacturers will spend so frugally that the overall design of the laptop is an afterthought and provided they can keep it small, that’s all they really care about. Here, Asus has put a lot of thought into how the Chromebook Flip CX3 looks and feels. Yes, it’s a little heavy compared to other Chromebooks but it’s sleek and stylish design more than makes up for it.
You’re also not confined to the base specifications so you can add more power to the CPU and GPU if you desire (on the Asus US store only). We’re a fan of the Asus design and what it manages to pack into this Chromebook without the price becoming obnoxious. It will be a case of diminished returns for entry-level users as they may not be able to make the most of the hardware on offer, however, if you have a bit of experience with Chromebooks and are looking for a substantial upgrade on your current device, this is a great laptop to look at that will service all of your needs.
5. Acer Chromebook 516 GE
Wait, a Chromebook for gaming? Surely we’ve gone mad! Fear not, as we are, in fact, thinking straight. The Acer Chromebook 516 GE doesn’t have traditional native gaming power but instead is set up to stream games beautifully and also offers a trendy RGB backlit keyboard against a titanium grey shell for an aesthetically pleasing color contrast. It’s also a great introductory product for a younger audience who are keen to get their hands on their first gaming laptop. Expect to pay $649.99 USD / £799.99 GBP.
Here are the Acer Chromebook 516 GE specs:
|Acer Chromebook 615 GE specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1240P|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
|Screen||16″, WQXGA, 2560 x 1600, 120Hz|
|Battery||Up to 9 Hours|
- WQXGA, 120Hz display
- RGB Keyboard is a nice touch
- Ports enable high-resolution monitor support
- Glorious 1080p Webcam
- High price
- Poor battery life
You won’t find too many Chromebooks sporting a display greater than full HD alongside a 1080p webcam and some RGB thrown in too. The Acer Chromebook 516 GE really is trying to appeal to a game streaming market and has created the best machine possible to get the job done which is also aided by the fact it comes in as a 16” model as opposed to the typically smaller 13-14” options.
There’s even the potential that this Chromebook could be good for streaming games to Twitch or YouTube in the right circumstances. You’re unlikely to be able to stream your gameplay at anything above 1080p but the hardware is capable of streaming directly to a platform. You would normally do this using a program like OBS but very few, if any at all, will have a native ChromeOS version of their app. Instead, you can look for browser based streaming companions like Melon or StreamYard.
Ultimately, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a purpose built laptop that appeals to an audience that we never even thought would exist, yet here we are. Gaming on Chromebooks will never reach the same heights that it has on gaming laptops and PCs, mainly because in order to compete, a Chromebook would need to shed everything that makes it a Chromebook and it would just become another gaming laptop in an already saturated market. As long as you’re comfortable with streaming your games as opposed to playing them natively from the SSD, we can’t recommend this Chromebook enough!