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Chromebooks have come a long way. Once an option-of-last-resort for those looking to buy a super-cheap laptop, improved design, hardware and access to Android apps have made Chromebooks a legitimate option for both work and fun

The one exception: If you're into serious gaming, video editing or other hardware-intensive tasks, you'll still need a machine running Microsoft Windows or Apple's MacOS. Otherwise, Chrome OS is more than sufficient for basics like email, getting on the internet, creating documents or working with spreadsheets -- especially if you're already working with Google's apps. 

This collection includes some of the newest and best Chromebooks we've seen over the last few months. Have a look.

Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured in this gallery.

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HP Chromebook x2

The Chromebook x2 is versatility incarnate: a convincing laptop and a killer tablet. It's got a great display, a keyboard that's comfortable to type on and surprisingly peppy performance. 

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HP Chromebook x2

And in tablet mode, it's thin and lightweight, responsive to touch, and perceptive to orientation. 

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HP Chromebook x2

Starting at $599, the Chromebook x2 also comes with the stylus and keyboard included -- a major distinction from the other premium hybrids that require you to buy them separately, adding hundreds more to the price.

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Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Originally priced at $500 but now selling for about $100 less, the Chromebook Plus V2 is another hybrid  that you can use as a laptop or tablet. You can also put it in tent mode for a video chat or set it up like a kiosk for watching movies. 

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Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Weighing in at under 3 pounds, this Chromebook's Intel Celeron 3965Y CPU has enough juice to power any Android or web app. And you also get two cameras: an f/1.9, 13-megapixel camera with autofocus above the keyboard and a 1-megapixel front-facing lens at the top of the display.  

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Google Pixelbook

Not all Chromebooks are basic -- or cheap. The $1,000 Pixelbook was one of the first to prove that they can also be powerful and chic. 

The Pixelbook has a more refined design than many lower-end Chromebooks, and makes for a great everyday work machine. It's convertible design means it can be propped up like a tent, flipped over like a stand or folded back like a tablet. 

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Google Pixelbook

In late 2018, there were rumors that Google was developing a followup to the Pixelbook, but the purported Pixelbook 2 hasn't yet materialized.

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Asus Chromebook C434

The Flip C434, starting at $569, was announced at CES in January. It replaces the company's Chromebook C302 -- a breakout hit that's been the top-ranked bestseller in Amazon's two-in-one category. 

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Asus Chromebook C434

With a new brushed-aluminum design, the Flip comes equipped with a 14-inch FHD display as well as an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and up to 128GB of storage (plus capacity for 2TB more via microSD). 

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Lenovo 500e Chromebook

With the 500e, Lenovo remains steadfast to the Chromebook premise, delivering an inexpensive laptop-tablet combination that just works -- and with surprisingly few limitations. It has a comfortable keyboard, responsive (included) stylus and solid battery life. 

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Lenovo 500e Chromebook

We found the 500e to be a zippy performer -- quick to turn on, launch apps and load up webpages. And it clocked in at just shy of 11 hours in our battery test. Not bad.

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Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook

A classic Chromebook: cheap, chubby and prepared to take a beating. The $269 Lenovo Flex 11 has a rubber bumper that allows it to withstand a 2.4-foot (75cm) drop. It also has a water-resistant keyboard tray (up to 1 cup of water or 220ml), reinforced ports and a sealed touchpad to avoid any electrical damage in case of accidental spills.

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Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook

It's not perfect: they keyboard and touchpad aren't great -- but if you're looking for a super-cheap laptop with a touchscreen that's also extra-durable, it's a solid choice. 

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HP Chromebook 14

Unveiled at CES 2019, HP has retooled one of its entry-level laptops to run an AMD processor -- making it one of the first of its kind. (Acer's Chromebook 315 is the other.) Overall, the design and specs aren't especially noteworthy, even for a Chromebook: 14-inch display, 4GB of memory, 32GB of storage. But a decent 14-inch laptop that starts at $269 is compelling -- and a price that low likely portends a coming war between Intel and AMD.

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HP Chromebook 14

The HP Chromebook 14 comes equipped with AMD's A4 or A6 processor with integrated Radeon R4 or R5 graphics. We expect to see an increasing number of lower-end Chromebooks that can be configured with AMD's A series or Intel's Celeron and Pentium CPUs.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 13

Acer has called this the world's most powerful Chromebook. This all-aluminum 13.5-inch two-in-one Chromebook features an eighth-gen Intel Core i3-8130U or Core i5-8250U processor, up to 16GB of memory and 128GB of eMMC storage.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 13

Dual USB-C ports and 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi help round out the package. Originally available only to commercial customers, you can now buy the Chromebook Spin 13 on Amazon, starting at around $750.

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Lenovo Yoga Chromebook

Lenovo's first premium two-in-one came debuted in Oct. 2018.  Starting a $600, it comes equipped with a backlit keyboard, an eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and 64GB of storage. 

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Lenovo Yoga Chromebook

And the 15-inch display, which can be configured with either full-HD or ultra-HD resolution, converts from laptop mode to tablet mode. 

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Google Pixel Slate

Google's Pixel Slate isn't a conventional Chromebook -- it's a tablet. But the optional $200 Pixel Slate keyboard transforms it into a fully functional laptop. It starts at $599 -- but once you add Google's pressure-sensitive Pixelbook Pen stylus and that keyboard, that total price climbs closer to $900. That puts it in the range of some tough competitors including Microsoft's Surface Pro and Apple's Pad Pro.

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Google Pixel Slate

Still, the Pixel Slate has a great display, solid construction, and a wonderful keyboard. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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