If you spend all day in a web browser, use google apps and don’t need everything else Things Coming with Apple’s macOS or Microsoft Windows, Google’s Chrome OS delivers a sleek computing experience, everything you need, nothing you want. Add the ability to run both Android and Linux apps, and you might be able to replace your old laptop with a Chromebook.
Chromebooks have a reputation for being cheap, low-end devices. And, while they may be that – offering great deals in many cases – that’s not the end of the story. Just because you’re removing lint from software doesn’t mean you need to remove power from the hardware. There are high end Chromebooks that are powerful machines. In many ways, they’re the best of all worlds, with good hardware, lightweight software, and everything you need for web work.
The Gear team at WIRED has been testing Chromebooks for almost a decade now. For this guide, I’ve tested over a dozen over the past year. If you’re looking for a Chromebook, here are our top picks. Don’t forget to also read our Best Cheap Laptops, Best Laptops, and Best MacBooks guides for more.
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Update December 2020: We added the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook.