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Best Chromebook for 2022: 8 Chromebooks Starting at Under $300

Experience the best of Google's ChromeOS, whether it's for work, school or play.

A Chromebook is a great choice for anyone who wants an affordable, portable laptop. In terms of cost, nothing beats a Chromebook, which is all you'll need if you're a student who requires a computer for the basics or someone who just wants a way to browse the internet after work. Chromebooks run on Google's Chrome OS and they're known for their impressive battery life and ease of use. While it may be tempting to splurge on a high-end Apple or Windows laptop, a Chromebook is probably all you need to get the job done.

Plenty of manufacturers make Chromebooks, including Acer, HP, Samsung and Lenovo. Some basic models are fine for email, online shopping and streaming movies and music, typically priced at $400 or less. Premium models start around $500 and get you more RAM and storage, faster processors, higher-quality displays and better build quality. You'll also find features like touchscreens, backlit keyboards and USI pen support for notes or drawing. 

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is the best Chromebook for 2022 that we've tested. It is full-featured, running on a 12th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and built to last. If you're looking for a Chromebook to use as your one and only computing device, this is a great choice. 

Read moreThe 7 Best Chromebook Deals for Students

Options abound, but the best Chromebook 2022 has to offer is still subjective. It comes down to what features you need from a laptop and how big of a budget you have. CNET's editors tested and reviewed all of the Chromebooks on this list and all offer excellent performance and features for their price. While there should be a model here to meet your needs, if there's a specific must-have spec such as an Intel Core processor, an HDMI port or SD card slot or a particular screen size, you might want to dig deeper into a specific Chromebook on this list. Also, if you're considering an older or used model, be sure to check the auto-update expiration date for the model. The AUE is when ChromeOS stops receiving system updates and is typically eight years, but the date is not the same for every model.

And if you're still not sure 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.

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The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a 10-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard and touchpad. This Lenovo Chromebook's small size might be a little limiting as a primary Chrome OS device, though you can connect to an external display via its USB-C port. The Lenovo Duet is, however, a good pick if you're looking for an affordable Chromebook for pure mobility or as a secondary device that can be used in tablet mode. Its small size might be an issue, depending on what you're looking for, but the portability and the efficient Chrome OS make it worth considering. I wouldn't necessarily call it the best Chromebook on the market, but for the cost and convenience, it's not one to count out too quickly. An updated version, the Duet 3 Chromebook, came out in May. It features an 11-inch 2K-resolution touchscreen, faster Qualcomm processors, an improved keyboard (still included) and, unfortunately, a higher starting price of $400.

Read our Lenovo Chromebook Duet review.

 

$239 at Best Buy
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This Lenovo 13-inch Chromebook two-in-one is a better bet than the Duet if you need a laptop for all-day use. It has a full HD display as well as excellent performance and battery life for the money, thanks to an Intel Core i3-10110U processor, 4GB RAM and a 64GB solid-state drive. The Lenovo Flex is not a great Chromebook choice for outdoor use, since the display is pretty dim.

If you're looking for even better performance, this Chrome OS Tablet was updated with Intel's 11th-gen Core i3 processor but still has great battery life at nearly 11 hours. Now called the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook, it costs a bit more starting at $475. Lenovo also added a privacy shutter on the webcam so you can physically block it when it's not in use. It is definitely one of the best Chromebook models for the price, power and size.

Read our Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 review.

 

$373 at Amazon
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If you'd rather have a wider screen instead of a taller one like the Spin 713's (below), this HP Chromebook is the way to go. It's roughly 0.75 inch wider than a premium 13.3-inch model, but that extra width makes it easier to work in two side-by-side windows. The two-in-one design means you can use the HP Chromebook x360 as a tablet (though it's a bit heavy to use as a handheld device). You can also tent it, connect an external keyboard and mouse and use it as a small all-in-one computer. 

The Core i3 processor and 8GB of memory in the model we tested kept this HP Chromebook running smoothly even with a couple dozen tabs open and streaming video in the background. The Chrome OS will handle typical usage seamlessly. And this Chromebook laptop has a long battery life, lasting 10 hours and 40 minutes in CNET's testing. This is a higher-end configuration, though, and its regular price is $699. This laptop regularly goes on sale for less than $500, but if you like the design and don't need its more powerful components, the Pentium Silver version is a bargain at closer to $300.

$699 at Best Buy
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Acer had one of the best Chromebooks available in 2021 with the Spin 713, and now it's repeated that success with the Chromebook Spin 714. The 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 -- but Acer did make some changes to keep it competitive, like including a USI pen that stores and charges in the 714's body. 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: Its normal price is $729, but can be regularly found for $579. Read our Acer Chromebook Spin 714 review.

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Acer's Spin 513 is an update of sorts to one of the best Chromebooks from 2021, the Spin 713. It's a two-in-one convertible Chromebook with a 13.5-inch display that has a 3:2 aspect ratio. The extra vertical space means less scrolling when you're working. The screen size is also close to that of letter-size paper, making it comfortable for notetaking in tablet mode with a USI pen. Compared to the 713, it drops a couple of noncritical features like an HDMI output in favor of a more affordable price. It has amazing battery life, though, and a sturdy fanless design, making it silent -- perfect for quiet classrooms, lectures or video calls. Also, be sure to get the latest version of the Spin 513, model CP513-2H, powered by a MediaTek Kompanio 1380 processor.

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It's unusual for the second generation of a device to have fewer features than the original and still be an improvement, but that's the case for this Samsung Chromebook. Samsung dialed back on some of the features and components of the original, making this Samsung Chromebook sequel more affordable than the first-gen model. It has a touchscreen, tablet capacity, 8GB RAM and an Intel Core processor. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook also has much better battery life, and Samsung did it all without losing all of its predecessor's premium appeal.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 review.

 

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There are plenty of convertible Chromebook two-in-ones, where the screen rotates around to the back of the keyboard so you can use it as a tablet. But Chrome tablets with removable keyboards are still a rarity. That certainly helps the Chromebook x2 11 stand out, but it also deserves attention for its premium design and features. It offers long battery life and performance that rises (slightly) above the competition. The main downside is that it's expensive on its own. But in the year it's been available, both HP and Best Buy have offered significant discounts, so if you're interested make sure to wait for one of those deals.

Read our HP Chromebook x2 11 review.

 

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The 317 is essentially a portable all-in-one Chrome OS 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.

Read the Acer Chromebook 317 review.

 

$499 at Best Buy
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Best Laptops for 2022

A selection of the best laptops you can buy right now.

See the full list of best laptops for 2022 here

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