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Google's Chrome's operating system excels when it comes to the basics, and a Chromebook laptop is worth considering for both work and home because they are great for watching movies, listening to music, playing Chromebook games and, of course, browsing the internet. Because Chrome is a browser-based OS, it's naturally suited for the cloud-based services prevalent in modern work life. All of this is doubly true if you're already immersed in Google's ecosystem, which extends from apps such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Play and Google Docs, to the Pixel phone or one of the company's smart home devices. But with so many great options out there, buying a Chromebook can be overwhelming. To determine the best Chromebook for you, take a look at the current landscape of the marketplace.

The advantages of Chrome extend beyond its pan-Google integration. It's also free, insofar as anything online is free, and it's dead simple. Apple laptops, featuring the terrific MacOS operating system, are significantly more expensive than the average Chromebook. And though an entry-level Dell or HP laptop may cost only a few hundred bucks, you're stuck with Windows 10 -- an OS that's far less elegant (and that's being polite about it). 

Read more: Laptop vs. Chromebook: Which portable computer is best? | Best 15-inch laptops | Best laptop deals: Windows and Chromebooks for under $500

Even the best Chromebooks have their limits, however. You can't install Photoshop, Steam or any other Windows- or Mac-dependent applications. If you rely on a technical application for work, you may need a Mac or Windows machine and might not want to buy a Chromebook. Likewise, if you're a college student who runs specialized programs or non-web-based software for exams, even the best Chromebook out there may not be a good fit for students. 

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On the other hand, all Chromebook models are effectively malware-free -- there's not much of an OS to even infect -- making them perfect for environments where multiple users share the same laptop. Just sign in with your Gmail address, and you're good to go.

The list below represents the best Chromebooks we've reviewed. Each best Chromebook pick is independently chosen by our editors.    

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If you're looking for the best Chromebook with a big display, the HP Chromebook 15 delivers with a 15.6-inch IPS touchscreen. In addition to the hefty screen size, it also provides hours of great battery life, loud speakers, a backlit keyboard with a number pad as well as a Delete key and plenty of power to get you through the basics. That noted, Asus, Acer and Lenovo also sell 15-inch Chromebook laptops in the same approximate price range that are worth a look. But in the end, we prefer the premium look and feel of the HP, which only complement the big screen. Read our HP Chromebook 15 (2019) review.

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The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 further expands the boundaries of what you can expect from the best Chromebook. The standout feature is a terrific convertible, 15.6-inch, 4K display -- but it also provides hours of battery life, a complement of solid components and a sturdy, tasteful aluminum chassis. And like most Chromebooks, it costs hundreds less than a similarly configured Windows counterpart. Read our Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review.

Read more: Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives | Best tablets for 2020

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HP's x2 is a terrific laptop with a great detachable touch screen display, a keyboard that's comfortable to type on and surprisingly peppy performance. And it doubles as a fabulous standalone in tablet mode -- thin and lightweight, responsive to touch and stylus, and perceptive to orientation. Battery life in this lightweight Chromebook is respectable. Plus -- and this is a big one when it comes to choosing the best Chromebook for your needs -- it comes with stylus and keyboard included at a time when many premium hybrids insist you buy them separately. Read our HP Chromebook x2 review.

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More than just your average premium Chromebook, the 714 has an all-aluminum chassis with military-grade durability to survive drops from up to 48 inches (122 cm) and downward force up to 132 pounds (60 kg). It's also certified Citrix Ready, so it works with Citrix's business solutions including Citrix Receiver and XenApp and XenDesktop applications. Plus, this is the first Chromebook with a fingerprint reader, which makes switching between users a breeze.  Read our Acer Chromebook 714 review.

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In January, Asus announced the Flip C434. It replaced the company's Chromebook C302 -- a breakout hit that was long the top-ranked bestseller in Amazon's two-in-one category (it's since slipped to no. 2). Starting around $540, the C434 has a brushed-aluminum design, 14-inch full HD display and twice as much RAM and storage as its predecessor, in addition to more powerful Intel processor options. See more about the Asus Chromebook C434.

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Everyone looking to buy a Chromebook should know that Google makes its own version, of course. The Pixelbook is a sleek convertible that works as both a laptop and a tablet. Among its standout features are the sharp, bright multi-touch screen and blazing fast, lag-free performance, courtesy of a selection of higher-end Intel processors that are about as powerful as you'll find in a touchscreen Chromebook. But the Pixelbook is not a cheap Chromebook, starting around $1,000, and that doesn't include the Pixelbook Pen stylus that costs an additional $99. 

Introduced in 2017, the Pixelbook is a little long in the tooth now, and its successor, the Pixelbook Go, will be available at the end of October. Bottom line: You're better off waiting for the more affordable Chromebook buy, the Pixelbook Go, which will start at $649.  See the Pixelbook review.

Read: Chromebook deals and Chromebook offers: Save on models from Asus, HP and Lenovo

Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new prices and availability.