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Chromebooks have been getting more popular in recent years, and for good reason - many of the biggest names in laptops, including HP, Acer and Asus, are flooding the market with affordable options.

We have a full section below our picks explaining the ins and outs of Google's Chrome OS, as well as advice on how to choose the right model for your needs, but essentially, the operating system is Google's alternative to Windows and macOS.

It's super simple to use, updates itself and lacks the confusion and complexity that often hobbles rival platforms. It is less capable for professional use than the other operating systems, but for most users at home, or in education, it provides more than enough functionality.

Acer Chromebook Plus 515
1. Best Chromebook overall

The Acer Chromebook Plus 515 offers excellent performance at an affordable price, just as a Chromebook should.

  • Excellent performance for the price
  • Wi-Fi 6E connectivity
  • Decent battery life
  • No keyboard backlight

The Acer Chromebook Plus 515 is one of the first models to carry Google's latest "Plus" branding, a new class of Chromebook that meets a set of standards for its screen quality, performance and storage.

What's on offer here is ample performance at an excellent price, we were even able to run some games on it with playable framerates. Of course, it won't be any match for a proper gaming rig, but if you want to play some Minecraft in your downtime, it'll do just fine.

It also comes with great connectivity, it has Wi-Fi 6E support as well as Bluetooth 5.1, a HDMI output and plenty of USB ports. This Chromebook is a great option for just about anyone.

best chromebook photo 13
acer chromebook spin 713
2. Best convertible Chromebook

A solid and future-proof all-rounder, this option offers plenty of power and a clever design.

  • Clever hinge design
  • Nice screen ratio for productivity
  • Plenty of power for most users
  • Build quality could be improved

The Acer Spin 713 manages to be premium without creeping into ridiculous pricing. It has a 2-in-1 design with a high-resolution 2K touchscreen and can be folded over and used like a tablet.

The convertible nature of the device is super handy when you're running Android apps, and when you're not, you'll benefit from an excellent trackpad and keyboard.

It is durable too, with a military-grade rating (MIL-STG 810G) so you can throw it in your bag and not have to be too concerned about it breaking.

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ASUS Chromebook Flip C434
3. Alternative convertible Chromebook

A lovely device for productivity and basic computing, ticking off all the key design considerations with aplomb.

  • Solid keyboard
  • Great screen
  • Decent battery life
  • The trackpad isn't the best

The Flip C434 is a great 2-in-1 that feels really premium while still coming in at a highly accessible price point.

It's got the holy triumvirate for a laptop, a solid screen, a great keyboard and impressive battery life.

The trackpad lets the team down a little bit, but it runs really nicely and has great ports. Plus, with the option to use it as a tablet, it's really adaptable and useful in different scenarios.

Acer Chromebook Vero 514
Acer Chromebook Vero 514
3. Best eco-friendly Chromebook

The Vero 514 utilises lots of recycled materials, but it still feels extremely solid. You can feel good about your purchase with this all-around workhorse.

  • Eco-conscious construction
  • Solid performance
  • Attractive 1080p display
  • Battery life could see improvements

Acer's Vero 514 is both sustainable and affordable, which means you can feel good about your purchase and your wallet might thank you, too.

Acer says this machine has a main chassis that consists of 30% recycled plastic, with 50% also in the keycaps and speakers. Despite that, it feels reassuringly robust.

It's no slouch, either, with a 12th Gen Intel i5 on board, as well as speedy NVMe SSD storage, it feels snappy and responsive - it's great for getting work done.

Best Prime Day Chromebook deals
Acer Chromebook 516 GE
4. Best Chromebook for gaming

If you fancy using a Chromebook for a bit of gaming, the 516 GE not only looks the part, but it performs well, too.

  • 120Hz 16-inch display
  • Snappy, responsive performance
  • Great connectivity
  • Run on integrated graphics
  • Battery life could be better

Chromebooks might not be the first kind of device that comes to mind when you're looking for a gaming machine, but the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is surprisingly capable, and it looks the part too, thanks to an RGB backlit keyboard.

It runs an Intel 12th Gen Core i5 processor, which means it's more than capable of running the latest Android titles, and if you crave more graphical fidelity, you can boot up a streaming service like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Nvidia GeForce Now.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 513
5. Best budget Chromebook

This could sit in the perfect zone for most users, with a very strong spec sheet complemented by an affordable price tag.

  • Exceptional trackpad
  • Stylish understated design
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Slow storage
  • Limited screen brightness

The Acer Spin 513 delivers a lot for its asking price and manages to feel solid despite its largely plastic construction.

A decent screen, quality keyboard and slick touchpad make it a delight to use. The device is also completely silent thanks to its fanless design and solid-state storage.

We think it's a perfect option for younger users doing schoolwork, or really anyone who needs a fairly cheap laptop for emails, web browsing and watching videos.

The bottom line: Best Chromebook

We think the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 offers the best balance of performance and pricing from the models that we have tested recently. And for that reason, it's our top pick that will suit most people's needs.

Acer Chromebook Plus 515

A solid mix of power, portability and value for money. The Chromebook Plus 515 is a great choice.

However, the 515 won't be the right choice for everyone. Some users will prefer a convertible device that can be used like a tablet, and they might prefer a model like the Spin 713. Others will want more horsepower for running games, and they should check out something like the 516 GE.

How we chose these Chromebooks

We've tried and tested every Chromebook on this list, and that means we know exactly what they're like to use on a day-to-day basis. We don't just run some benchmarks, we also use the Chromebooks for work and play, so we know where they excel, and where they might fall short.

We've tried to include a variety of options at varying price points here. It's impossible to include the perfect product for everyone, but no matter if you're looking for a premium machine or a budget option, there's a good chance you'll find a suitable candidate on our list.

How to choose a Chromebook

There's a world of options when it comes to Chromebook devices, and at a wider price range than ever before - with some options even breaking the four-figure mark. This means choosing the right device for you can feel like an uphill battle.

In an attempt to simplify things, here are some things to consider before buying.

What do you need a Chromebook for?

These days a lot of the things we used to rely on laptops and desktop computers for can be accomplished with a smartphone or tablet. Chromebooks occupy a middle ground between these devices.

The inclusion of a physical keyboard makes Chromebooks much more suited to getting work done, whether that's writing an essay for college or crunching numbers for your tax return.

With that said, they're also great media consumption machines offering a much larger display than your phone, and one that doesn't require propping up to view. With Android app support, Chromebooks can do a bit of gaming too, although our experience left a little to be desired.

If you'll be typing a lot then you'll want to consider options that have a great keyboard, whereas if you'll be watching a lot of content you'll want to consider Chromebooks that have a nice screen with a decent resolution.

What's your budget?

As we've established, the price range on Chromebooks is absolutely massive nowadays. While we think it's extremely hard to justify the cost of Google's flagship Pixelbook, as lovely as it is, spending a little more on a Chromebook can lead to a better overall experience.

If you just need the absolute basics like sending emails and word processing, then an entry-level model will do just fine; but if you think you're likely to watch some YouTube or Netflix videos on it, then you might consider spending a little more for a better screen and speakers.

Do you need a 2-in-1?

Many of our top picks are convertible 2-in-1 designs that allow you to use the Chromebook in either a laptop or tablet-style. It's a handy function that adds a lot of diversity to a device.

If you know it's a feature you'll never want to use, you might be able to save some money by going for a more traditional netbook-style Chromebook. If it's a must-have feature, then this should also help narrow down your options.

Would you be better off with a laptop?

While ChromeOS has come a long way since its launch, it can still feel pretty limiting when compared to Windows or macOS. If you're the type of person who likes to configure things to suit you, then you may quickly be frustrated with the limitations.

Similarly, if you need a lot of third-party applications to get your work done, you'll likely quickly run into a hurdle. You might want to take a look at our best laptops guide instead.

On the flip side, if you just need a simple machine with a physical keyboard to do some work, online shopping and web browsing then you'll likely be more than happy with a Chromebook.