X

Best Chromebook of 2024

There are a lot of Chromebooks out there to choose from but these are the best reviewed by CNET editors for work, home or school.

Updated Jan. 14, 2024 6:30 a.m. PT

Joshua_Goldman.jpg
Written by  Joshua Goldman
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Joshua_Goldman.jpg
Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET
16171819202122232425+
Years of Experience
14151617181920212223
Hands-on Product Reviewers
6,0007,0008,0009,00010,00011,00012,00013,00014,00015,000
Sq. Feet of Lab Space

CNET’s expert staff reviews and rates dozens of new products and services each month, building on more than a quarter century of expertise. Read how we test products and services.

$1,000 at HP
HP Dragonfly Pro in front of a gray wall
Best Chromebook overall
HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook
View details
View details
$700 at Best Buy
Acer Chromebook Spin 714 open and facing to the right on a wooden table with windows behind it.
Best Chromebook for a little less
Acer Chromebook Spin 714
View details
View details
$489 at Walmart
Acer Chromebook 317
Best Chromebook for the family
Acer Chromebook 317
View details
View details
$379 at Best Buy
Lenovo Duet with a colorful splash image onscreen
Best Chromebook tablet 2-in-1
Lenovo Duet Chromebook
View details
View details

What is the best Chromebook overall?

The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is the best Chromebook for 2024 that we've tested. It's pricier than many, but it's full-featured with a fast 12th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, a great display and a beautiful design that's built to last. This is a great choice if you're looking for a Chromebook as your only computing device. Google also just introduced a new category of devices called Chromebook Plus. These models ensure you get a certain level of hardware to take advantage of the latest ChromeOS features. We are just starting to test the first of these, but we expect to update this list soon with a Chromebook Plus pick. 

Read more: How to Take a Screenshot on a Chromebook

CNET's editors tested all of the Chromebooks on this list. Each member of our team has decades of experience testing and reviewing laptops. (I've been reviewing Chromebooks since their start more than a decade ago.) We conduct performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use. All of the models on this list offer excellent performance and features for their price. Considering an older or used model? Check the auto-update expiration date for the model before you buy. The AUE is when ChromeOS stops receiving system updates, now up to 10 years, but the date differs for every model, old and new.

And if you're still unsure if this type of laptop is right for you, here's a breakdown of all that a Chromebook can and can't do compared with a traditional laptop. This list of the best Chromebook models is updated periodically.

Best Chromebooks for 2024

Show less
$1,000 at HP

Best Chromebook overall

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

Most Chromebooks fall below $500, and for general use, they're all most people will need. However, Google's ChromeOS is capable of doing much more than it could more than a decade ago when it first appeared. Consider this HP the MacBook Pro of Chromebooks: beautiful design, excellent display, keyboard and touchpad and enough processing power to take advantage of today's ChromeOS features. And if you're an Android phone user, it's the perfect companion. But, it is $1,000, and for many, its features might be overkill. 

Show expert take Show less
$700 at Best Buy

Best Chromebook for a little less

Acer Chromebook Spin 714

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is essentially a runner-up to the Dragonfly Pro. This premium two-in-one doesn't stray far from its predecessor in terms of what it offers: sturdy design, nice-looking display, strong performance and long battery life. The main changes are an updated 13th-gen Intel Core i5 processor but Acer removed the garaged pen for use on the touchscreen display. It still works with USI pens, though. There are less expensive options, but if you want a Chromebook that'll last for years, this is it. Keep an eye out for a sale on this one, too: It normally lists for around $700, but can often be found on sale for less than $600. 

Show expert take Show less
$489 at Walmart

Best Chromebook for the family

Acer Chromebook 317

The 317 is essentially a portable all-in-one ChromeOS desktop, otherwise known as a Chromebase. The big display makes multitasking a breeze. You can stream a YouTube video in the corner while you work on a presentation and keep an eye on email or chat -- all without overlapping windows. It is big and heavy compared with all the smaller Chromebooks here, so it's not a great option if mobility is a priority. But it's certainly small enough to move around the house, and with more than 10 hours of battery life according to my tests, you can work all day and still have time left for a video chat with family, gaming or streaming a movie. The configuration we tested sells for around $500 but there is a version that meets our basic requirements for a Chromebook that is less than $350.

Show expert take Show less
$379 at Best Buy

Best Chromebook tablet 2-in-1

Lenovo Duet Chromebook

The Lenovo Duet Chromebook (aka Chromebook Duet 3) is an awesome little 11-inch ChromeOS tablet with a detachable keyboard and touchpad. Its small size and performance aren't ideal for full-time use. But the Chromebook Duet 3 is a good pick if you're looking for an affordable ultraportable device to get some work done on the go, sketch or jot down notes in class, or do simple stuff like email, web browsing, gaming, reading and streaming video.

The original 10-inch version of the Duet Chromebook is also still available for $358 or less when it is in stock. 

Lenovo Duet Chromebook review

Show expert take Show less

Things to consider when buying a Chromebook

Operating system: Chromebooks run on Google's ChromeOS operating system. It is different than MacOS and Windows and can't natively run software designed for those OSes. 

Apps: Chromebooks run web apps, Android apps from the Google Play store and Linux software. With more software going online, it's easier than ever to find the applications you need; still, before you buy, check if any necessary apps are available for ChromeOS. 

Specs: ChromeOS doesn't require powerful components to run smoothly (which is why you can find many good Chromebooks for less than $400). Still, we recommend getting the best hardware you can afford because they can't be upgraded later. 

AUE: Google gives all Chromebooks an auto-update expiration date. This is when a specific model will no longer receive ChromeOS security and feature updates. These can be checked on Google's site before you buy, and newer models are supported for 8 to 10 years.

Security: Because it's nearly impossible for Chromebooks to be corrupted with viruses or other malware, you don't need to worry about extra software to secure a Chromebook.

How we test laptops

The review process for laptops consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our reviewers. This includes evaluating a device's aesthetics, ergonomics and features with respect to price. A final review verdict is a combination of both objective and subjective judgments. 

We test all laptops with a core set of benchmarks, including Primate Labs Geekbench 5 and 6Cinebench R23PCMark 10, a variety of 3DMark benchmarks (whichever can run on the laptop), UL Procyon Photo and Video (where supported), and our own battery life test. If a laptop is intended for gaming, we'll also run benchmarks from Guardians of the GalaxyThe Rift Breaker (CPU and GPU) and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We have a different set of tests specifically for Chromebooks since they can't run Windows or MacOS software. 

For the hands-on, the reviewer uses it for their work during the review period, evaluating how well the design, features (such as the screen, camera and speakers) and manufacturer-supplied software operate as a cohesive whole. We also place importance on how well they work given their cost and where the manufacturer has potentially made upgrades or tradeoffs for its price.

The list of benchmarking software and comparison criteria we use changes over time as the devices we test evolve. You can find a more detailed description of our test methodology on our How We Test Computers page. 

Chromebook FAQs

What is the difference between a laptop and a Chromebook?

A Chromebook is a laptop running on Google's ChromeOS instead of Microsoft Windows or Apple's MacOS. This means Windows or Mac software cannot be directly installed and run on a Chromebook. Instead, Chromebooks are designed to use web apps (like those for Microsoft Office 365), Android apps and Linux software. Because ChromeOS is built for efficiency and to take advantage of web or cloud services, the operating system runs well with less expensive hardware. However, while Chromebooks come in various sizes and designs, options are more plentiful with Windows laptops or Apple MacBooks, especially if you need to run demanding software. Again, ChromeOS is what really makes a laptop a Chromebook but there are some other differences to consider before you buy. 

What OS does a Chromebook use?

Chromebooks run on Google's minimalist Chrome operating system, or ChromeOS. When ChromeOS launched more than a decade ago, it was essentially Google's Chrome web browser. It has grown vastly in capabilities over the years but remains a simple, lightweight and secure operating system that can run briskly on even low-end components. And, even though ChromeOS can do much more today, quite a lot can be done entirely on the web these days. Take stock of everything you do on a daily basis and you may find there's nothing you can't accomplish with ChromeOS. 

What are the pros and cons of a Chromebook?

There are several pros to a Chromebook but one big con will instantly rule out buying one. Chromebooks are not natively compatible with Windows or Mac software. If you need to run a specific Windows or MacOS program, you cannot do so directly from a Chromebook. That said, there are ways around it, including finding a substitute web or Android app, or a Linux equivalent. 

Also, if you need advanced photo- and video-editing capabilities, you'll want a Windows, Mac or Linux laptop. Basic photo and video editing are fine, but Chromebooks typically don't offer the graphics performance you need for demanding tasks or, again, the option to install Windows or Mac software and games. At least not directly on a Chromebook. Services like Adobe Photoshop on the web and Adobe Express make it possible to do more graphically demanding tasks. 

One other potential negative is the Auto Update Expiration date, or AUE. Currently, non-Google hardware is only supported for so long before it stops receiving ChromeOS and browser updates, including those for security. For models released now, the date is roughly eight to 10 years from the initial release of the device, but that's not always the case. Google maintains a list of AUE dates for all models, and you should check it before you buy a Chromebook, new or used. 

There are many pros to a Chromebook, but the biggest is the price. While premium models start at around $500, you can find excellent options for everyday use for around $350. The Lenovo Duet Chromebook, for example, is a two-in-one Chromebook with a detachable keyboard cover so it can be used as a tablet or a laptop and starts under $400. Like other laptops, though, a higher-end Chromebook generally means a better experience. 

Also, some of the same reasons Chromebooks are popular for schools and businesses make them excellent family computers. Everyone in the family can have separate Google accounts, and signing in gives them access to only their stuff and not yours. Accounts for kids can be managed with Google Family Link. It's nearly impossible for Chromebooks to be corrupted with viruses or other malware. And if it isn't running quite right, you can reset it with Chrome's Powerwash feature and in a couple of minutes, the system is clean and fresh. Just sign into your Google account and the Chromebook is completely restored. 

Read more: How to Reset a Chromebook in Under a Minute

Can I use any USB-C charger for my Chromebook? 

Yes and no. Since 2017, new Chromebooks all charge via their USB-C ports. Chromebooks typically need either a 45- or 65-watt power adapter. You'll need to check the specs for your specific model to find its power needs, typically found on the bottom of the Chromebook or on the manufacturer's site. (If it's given in volts and amps, you can get watts by multiplying the two together e.g. 15 volts x 3 amps equals 45 watts.) Using a charger that doesn't meet the power demands of the Chromebook may still charge it but at a slower rate. Also, if you're using the Chromebook while using a low-power charger, it will take even longer to charge fully. On the upside, Chromebooks will display a notification if the USB-C cable you're using won't support the necessary performance.