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Top five 2015 Chromebooks for students (and the rest of us)

Getting ready to buy a Chromebook for school? Here are the best of the best.

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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 6 Jay Vean

Chromebooks for the school win

At Cherry Creek Schools in Centennial, Colorado., Chromebooks are everywhere. And, why not? They're fast, cheap, useful, and secure. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.

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2 of 6 Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Dell Chromebook 11 (2015)

Don't think you can get useful work done with an 11-inch screen? Give the Dell Chromebook 11 a try. This Chromebook retails for $219 comes with a 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Celeron Bay Trail-M N2849; Intel HD graphics, 4GBs of RAM, and a 16GB SSD. What impressed me the most about this model is that it's rugged enough to take a licking and keep on ticking.

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3 of 6 Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Acer Chromebook 13

For a bigger screen and about the same price, it's hard to argue with the Acer Chromebook 13, This model lists for $229. At this price-point it comes with a 2.1GHz Nvidia Tegra K1 CD570M-A1, quad-core CPU and relies on Nvidia Keplar for its graphics. While it only has 2GBs of RAM and a 16GB SSD, that's more than enough for Chrome OS. It also has 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which really boosts Wi-Fi performance if your office or school supports it.

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4 of 6 Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Toshiba Chromebook 2

While it's not as cheap as the first two, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 at $279 works well. It comes with an Intel 2.16GHz N2840 BayTrail processor and 4GBs of RAM. It also has an excellent 13.3-inch display backed by Intel HD graphics. Like the Acer model it comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi. What I like most about this model is its graphics for the price.

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5 of 6 Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Asus Chromebook Flip C100: Laptop or tablet, you decide!

Do you want a Chromebook or a tablet? Why not both, Asus asks with the $229 Asus Chromebook Flip. You can use this one either way. It feels good, it looks good, and my only problem with it is that it's a wee bit slow. That's not too surprising because it uses a Quad-Core 1.8GHz ARM processor. On the plus side, this also gives it excellent battery life. This model comes with 2 GBs of RAM, 16GBs of SSD, decent graphics, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. This wouldn't be my first choice, but if you like the idea of having a tablet or a laptop, go for it.

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6 of 6 Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

Chromebook Pixel 2015

If you want the best of the best, if you want a Chromebook for your MBA program at the Wharton School, then get the latest Chromebook Pixel. Yes, starting at $999, it's the most expensive Chromebook out there. It's worth it. Four ZDNet writers love it. And why not? The lowest-end model has an Intel Core 2.2Ghz i5 CPU, 8GBs of RAM, a 32GB SSD, 802-11ac Wi-Fi, and the best screen, 1,560-by-1,700-pixel resolution, with 3:2 aspect ratio, I've ever seen on any laptop.

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