The pandemic has thrown life out of pace and stability. Almost every sector has been wedged by its effects. While travel and tourism is arguably the most impacted, classrooms have been running empty for almost a year now. Education has transferred to online formats and students’ dependence has grown on devices offering affordable computing solution.
Chromebooks present redesigned and affordable alternative to laptops or MacBooks, running all applications through the Chrome OS – web browser-based operating system. These are designed to let users, who can carry out most of the computing tasks online, work conveniently. No wonder, Chromebooks have found education as a big market.
Students have embraced Chromebooks since they are convenient to use – sans the complexities of regularly used Windows and macOS – are incredibly secure, and auto-update. As life begins to rollback to some sort of normalcy, and education institutes are expected to resume in full strengths in the old school way; Chromebooks are going to pick up – they’ve already sold more than Macs in 2020, closing in on the gap with Windows.
As you make the switch from regular OS with software to the apps on Chromebooks, be informed that everything runs mostly online on Chromebooks and your documents are stored in the cloud. Some apps in Chrome OS are usable offline, but for most tasks, the Chromebook will need to be connected to the internet. Incidentally, you won’t be able to use traditional software like Microsoft Office or Photoshop, but you will find alternatives. Owning to the offered benefits, ease, and affordable computing on the go, Chromebooks have flooded the market, making it difficult to choose a model. For some assistance, here is a roundup of the best Chromebooks – from different manufactures – for students and busy bees.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
One of the finest notebooks in Acer’s kitty, the Chromebook Spin 713 is tougher than most on this list. The Chromebook sits on a tough, reinforced aluminum chassis yet has a hinge that swivels a complete 360-degrees. The 13.5-inch 2256 x 1504 resolution screen features an IPS display protected by the top layer of Gorilla Glass and some antimicrobial coating.
The Chromebook Spin 13 is powered by a 10th generation Intel Core processor paired with 16GB of RAM and an impressive 256GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. The touchscreen Chromebook tips the scale at 3.02 pounds, features a backlit keyboard, USB 3.1 Type C port, and has 10 hours battery backup all packaged for a decent $630 tag.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C436
ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 is a 2-in-1, 14-inch device billed as the lightest 14-inch Chromebook, thanks to its magnesium alloy chassis that deems it 13.7mm thick. Weighing only 2.6 pounds, the C436 supports Full HD touchscreen display with 85-percent screen-to-body ratio and takes advantage of its 360-degree hinge to swivel all the way from laptop to tablet configuration.
Drawing power from 10th gen Intel Core i3 processor, it’s paired with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of M.2 SSD, it supports up to 2TB cards for additional storage. Starting at $799, the Chromebook Flip C436 comes with four omnidirectional Harman Kardon speakers and offers up to 12 hours of power backup.
Google Pixelbook Go
A decent entry into Google’s product line, the Pixelbook Go is one of the best offerings from the company. The 13.3-inch Full HD Chromebook comes with 1080p webcam and excellent battery with up to 12 hours of backup to go with it. The Pixelbook Go weighs slightly more than 2 pounds and has an impressive keyboard, which is definitely the highlight of this device. Though it is not amid the most affordable Chromebooks, it does support fast charging through its USB-C port and starts at $649 for the base model featuring 8th Gen Intel Core processor paired with 8GB RAM and 64GB of storage.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
If you don’t mind a tablet-style 2-in-1 detachable option, Lenovo Chromebook Duet is an affordable option. Here for this list, we’ll stick to the ones that come with laptop form factor. To that end, Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 presents an interesting option.
Featuring flexible hinges to mimic the 2-in-1 design, the Flex 5 comes with 13-inch Full HD IPS display, and it tips the scale at 3 pounds. To cover for accidental slips and spills, the Lenovo Chromebook has a water-resistant keyboard with backlight, the model also supports a stylus. Powered by 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor under the hood, it comes with the base option of 4GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage for $380.
HP Chromebook X360 14c
Targeted at premium set of buyers, the HP Chromebook x360 14c is a fine example of Chrome OS done right. One of the fanciest on the block, the x360 14c is 14-inch convertible featuring decent aluminum construction.
For the display, it gets a Full HD touchscreen with Gorilla Glass paneling and it’s integrated with Bang & Olufsen dual speakers. Weighing slightly bulkier at 3.64 pounds, the Chromebook draws power either from Core i3-10110U or a Core i5 processor, which is paired to 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and offers 13.5 hours of battery backup. Starting at $499, the Chromebook X360 14c has a full-sized HDMI port, fingerprint reader, HD webcam with a privacy switch, and SuperSpeed USB-C for quick charging.