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What are the best Chromebook laptops and can they work offline?

Chromebooks make the perfect gift. Treat yourself or a loved one, as many of the best Chromebooks are more affordable than flagship models and feature healthy battery lives.

Not everyone needs an Apple MacBook or a Windows 10 laptop for school. In fact, most people -- including many multitasking students on the go -- can be perfectly happy and super productive (maybe even more productive!) with a Chromebook this back-to-school season; the best laptops aren't always worth the investment.

Chromebook laptops feature low prices and long battery life, and still have plenty of power to last a long day of studying.

Yes, there are more expensive models, like Google's Pixelbook line, but there are plenty of others for less than $400, and they're good enough to use at work or school or for regular everyday tasks at home. Here are some of the best Chromebooks available to buy in 2022 at all price points.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Good battery
  • Windows capable
  • Affordable configurations
cons
  • Limited USB-C ports
More Details

Specs: 13.3-inch LCD touchscreen display | Intel processor | Full HD 1920x1080 (166ppi) | Duo cam | 12-hour battery life

The Google Pixelbook Go is a beautiful hardware package, from the gorgeous 13.3-inch touchscreen display and accurate keyboard to the 12-hour battery life. 

Prices range from $635 for the base model (with Intel Core m3, 8GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage) to a robust $1,399 model (with Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage). The high-end monster is perfect for those who want to run Windows on their Chromebook.

Having had a chance to use both the budget version and the high-end monster, I can say right now that you won't be disappointed no matter what you buy.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • 4K touchscreen
  • Stylus included
  • Decent storage
cons
  • Not user upgradable
  • Not Wi-Fi 6 compatible
More Details

Specs: Intel Core i5 processor | 13.3-inch 3840 x 2160 pixels UHD AMOLED display | 8GB DDR4 SDRAM  | 256GB storage | Galaxy Chromebook pen

Samsung makes good hardware, and the Galaxy Chromebook is a testament to this. On the surface, it looks like a normal Chromebook, but it features a superb, beautiful-on-the-eye 4K 13.3-inch 3840 x 2160 UHD AMOLED display.

Also, for those who like a bit more precision from their input devices, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook comes with a Galaxy Chromebook pen. 

Perfect for unleashing creativity.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Wi-Fi 6 compatible
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Mid-range battery
cons
  • Not user upgradable
More Details

Specs: Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor | 14-inch Touchscreen Full HD 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge display | 8GB LPDDR3 RAM | 64GB eMMC storage | 2x USB Type-C (Gen 1) and 1x Type-A (Gen 1) ports | Up to 10 hours of battery life

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C432 is a 2-in-1 with a twist. It packs a 14-inch display that is attached to the body of the device using a durable 360-degree hinge that can be used to flip the touchscreen display to tent, stand, and tablet modes. 

The robust construction and high build quality, along with the responsive backlit keyboard, and plenty of ports for expansion, this Chromebook oozes quality, and it is yet available at an affordable price.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Spill-resistant
  • Exceptionally durable
cons
  • Very little onboard storage
  • Only one USB-C input
More Details

Specs: 11.6-inch HD 1366 x 768 display | Intel Celeron processor (N4020)  | 4GB RAM | 16GB eMMC storage | Tested to MIL-STD ruggedized standards

This is a Chromebook designed to last. It's been rigorously tested to the MIL-STD standards, and it can survive 5,000 free-fall drops and 30-inch micro drops onto steel, while rubberized edges minimize impacts from drops and bumps.

It also features a spill- and tamper-resistant keyboard that withstands up to 12 ounces of liquid.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Good battery
  • Decent display
  • G Suite included
cons
  • Not Wi-Fi 6 compatible
  • Not user upgradable
  • Stylus sold separately
More Details

Specs: 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 FHD IPS touchscreen display | MediaTek Helio P60T Processor with ARM G72 MP3 graphics | 4GB RAM | 64GB eMMC storage | 8MP rear camera and 2-megapixel front webcam | Up to 10-hour battery life | Optional pen

Can't choose between a tablet or a laptop? The Duet gives you the best of both worlds, thanks to the detachable keyboard. There's even an optional pen for those who like that input tool. 

A solid all-rounder and a nice contender to the iPad, for a fraction of the price.

What is the best Chromebook?

The best Chromebook is the Google Pixelbook Go thanks to its crisp 13.3-inch screen size display, touchscreen capabilities, accurate keyboard, and impressive 12-hour battery life. 

Chromebook

Price

Display

Storage

Google Pixelbook Go

Starting at $649

13.3-inch LCD touchscreen display

64GB-256GB

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Starting at $649

13.3-inch 3840 x 2160 pixels UHD AMOLED display

256GB

Asus Chromebook

$332

14-inch Touchscreen Full HD 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge display

64GB eMMC storage

Dell Chromebook

$230

11.6-inch HD 1366 x 768 display

16GB eMMC storage

Lenovo Chromebook

$299

10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 FHD IPS touchscreen display

64GB eMMC storage

Which Chromebook is right for you?

One of the toughest questions someone can ask!

It really depends on what you're after. If you're making a price-conscious purchase, then it's hard to beat the Dell Chromebook 3100 -- a cheap yet robust Chromebook that can take a beating.

If performance is key, then I'd definitely look for a Chromebook that's powered by an i7 processor -- such as the Chromebook Spin 713 -- but you might want to ask yourself if you're not better suited to buying a Windows laptop (or even a MacBook). 

If having the flexibility to use your Chromebook as a laptop or a tablet is important, then the ASUS Chromebook Flip C433 2 in 1 is hard to beat. 

Choose this Chromebook...

If you want...

Google Pixelbook Go

The best overall option

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

A tablet-like option with a smart pen

Asus Chromebook

A Chromebook with robust construction

Dell Chromebook

A rugged Chromebook option

Lenovo Chromebook

A budget-friendly Chromebook

How did we choose these Chromebooks?

I've had the opportunity to test each and every device listed here, and have the ability to use the keyboard, look at the display, and confirm the battery life claims. 

This test time also gives me the opportunity to test how well the Chromebook can run Google Chrome and other applications.

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are low-cost laptops made by Google that run on Chrome OS, which is similar to the Google Chrome web browser. They have more basic functionalities than a Windows or macOS laptop and don't have a lot of hard-drive space, but are great for basic use. 

Can you run Windows on a Chromebook?

Yes, but there are a lot of buts, and it's not something the average user will be able to do. It's easier to run Windows apps on a Chromebook.

Do Chromebooks work offline?

  There are now plenty of what Google calls "offline-ready apps" that can work when the Chromebook is not connected to the internet. That said, the best experience always comes from having the Chromebook connected to the internet for web browsing.

Can you open Microsoft Office documents on a Chromebook?

Yes, you can open, edit, download, and convert many Microsoft Office files on a Chromebook, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files.

Are there alternative Chromebooks worth considering?

There are plenty of choices out there if you're in the market for a Chromebook. Here's a short list of alternative picks:

20210208-adrian-beth-chromebook.jpg
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