The Best Chromebook 2016 Guide and Reviews

The Best Chromebook for You

The number of Chromebooks that laptop makers are offering has really skyrocketed in the last couple of years.  There are now more choices than ever with more and more options, it makes it hard to decide which of these ultra-portable Chrome devices is right for you.  The great thing is that prices are coming down while features, memory, and drive space are going up.   Most Chromebooks can be bought for under $300.  The top-rated Toshiba 13 with HD IPS screen is currently on sale for $299,  and more and more publishers are releasing apps that make the Chromebook a real viable alternative to a Windows or Apple laptop.  The Toshiba Chromebook 2  has an IPS 1080P screen, making it our top 13″ Chromebook and possibly the best all around Chromebook.  So what is the best Chrome notebook for you?  This Chromebook guide will attempt help narrow down your decision to find a Google Chrome laptop device that will have everything you need and none of the extras that don’t matter.  If your asking “What Chromebook should I buy”  compare below and find out which one fits your needs.

Ultimate Chromebook Guide

ModelScreen/SizeRam/StorageBatteryPriceCustomer ReviewsRating
ModelScreen/SizeRam/StorageBatteryPriceCustomer ReviewsRating
13.3" 1080P IPS Display2 GB or 4 GB Ram • 16 GB SSD • 2.16 GHz Intel Bay Trail9 Hours IPS • 12 Hours Normal Screen$$$Read Here Best Screen - 1080p IPS
Acer CB3 11.6 Inch 2.43 lbs 2 GB SDRAM • 16 SSD • Celeron 2.16 GHz8.5 Hours$Read Here Best Seller
HP Chromebook 14 14 Inch 3.95 lbs2 GB SDRAM • 16 GB SSD • NVIDIA Tegra K1 Processor9 Hours$$Read Here Large screen
Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6 Inches 2.65 lbs4 GB DDR3L SDRAM • Exynos 5 Octa 5420 1.9 GHz8 Hours$$$$Read Here Great Build Quality
Asus C300 / C200 11.6 Inches 13.3 Inches2 GB DDR3 Intel Bay Trail-M N2830 Dual-Core 2.16GHz11 Hours$$Read Here Long Battery/Fanless
Acer C720P ChromebookTouchscreen 11.6 Inch 3.05 lbs2 GB SDRAM 32 GB SSD • Celeron 1.4 GHz7.5 Hours$$Read Here Touchscreen
Toshiba Chromebook 13 13.3 Inch 3.3 lbs2 GB SDRAM • 16 GB SSD • Celeron 1.4 GHz9 Hours$$$Read Here Great Reviews
Chromebook Pixel Touchscreen 12.85 Inch 3.35 lbs 4GB SDRAM • 32 GB SSD • 1 Terabyte Free Drive Storage • Core i5 1.8 GHz6 Hours$$$$$Read Here Top of the Line
Samsung Series 3 11.6 inch 2.4 lbs 2 GB SD Ram • 16 GB SSD • Exynos 1.7 GHz6.5 Hours$$Read Here Best Seller/Older
HP Chromebook 11 11.6 Inches 2.3 lbs2 GB DDR3 • Exynos 1.7 GHz • 16 GB SSD6 Hours$$Read Here

What is the Chrome OS

Chromebooks run on the Chrome OS or operating system instead of Windows or Mac.  The Chrome OS is based on Linux and is a very stable system and also very secure.   The OS was designed by Google specifically for the Chromebook and


Advantages of Chromebooks


With most Chromebooks coming in under $300 and a fair number under $200, this is a very inexpensive laptop that gives you the best of both worlds between a full fledged computer and a tablet.  Let’s face it tablets are great and portable but their lack of a keyboard can be annoying a lot of the time and the Chromebook solves that problem.


The Chrome operating system is based on the Linux OS, and that means that your virus risk is almost zero.  Are you sick of fixing your parent’s or grandparents windows computers, imagine if they had a Chromebook and you can eliminate all the headache of virus’s and bloatware.   Apps are installed in a what’s known as “sandbox mode” and they can’t do damage to the OS.


With lightning fast boot times, this is a zippy laptop that will get you going from off to running in under 10 seconds.  Compared to a Windows and even Mac boot times, the Chromebook really shines in this area and the start up times are second to none.

Free Upgrades:

The Chrome OS will always be up to date with free upgrades from Google as part of the purchase price.  The updates will happen automatically and you don’t have to do anything.  Did I mention they are FREE!  This means your Chromebook will have a long shelf life and never become outdated.

Cloud Storage:

While most Chromebooks ship with some hard drive space, it probably won’t be as much as most laptops.  The Chromebook attempts to solve that problem with the Google Drive which is Google’s Cloud storage, and this will back up your files on the cloud and that makes it easy to transfer files and makes sure you can’t lose your valuable files and information.

Google Apps

The Chromebook is based on Google’s Apps and your favorite ones are ready to go on the Chromebook.  You will be using Google Docs, sheets and slides and have access to thousands more on the Chrome Web Store.  The Chrome Web Store gives you access to apps that you can install often for free that offer a multitude of functions, similar to Google Play for Android and the App Store for iPhones and iPads.  Go here to see the most popular apps available for your Chromebook.

Who Shouldn’t Get a Chromebook

While we think Chromebooks are great for a lot of people, they aren’t for everyone.  The can’t run programs built for Windows and Macs, so if you need a computer for heavy video editing or photo retouching using Adobe Photoshop or other robust programs then the Chromebook won’t really work for that.  Also if you are looking for a laptop for gaming then the Chromebook isn’t really built for a heavy gamer.  The Chromebook can play browser based games and other small flash games but you won’t be able to install PC games that need heavy processing power.  The Chromebook makes a great second computer or  is perfect for those of us who primarily use are computers for word processing and browsing the web, but need a keyboard and a tablet is just too awkward.

Reviews of the Top Rated Chrome Notebooks

Samsung Chromebook 11.6 inch

I bought this as a gift for my daughter, who loves it. I ordered it after my husband ordered one for himself. He loves the ease. He would get frustrated with fancier laptops and this is just perfect for him to look things up and to send and receive emails. It’s very, very fast and the small size, but big screen makes it easy to carry around. I think it’s nicer than a tablet. – Pam

There is a reason that this is the number one selling chromebook.  It’s a great value along with decent specs and an all around great laptop alternative.  This was the first Chromebook that broke the $300 barrier and that’s what people were looking for because this thing took off.  It’s got an 11.6 inch screen with a 1,366×768 pixel display.  The battery life on this Chromebook clocks in at about 6.5 hours and that makes it on the higher end of laptop battery life.  This is a WiFi only version, which means that it doesn’t come with an ethernet port and becomes limited without access to the internet.  That’s true of all Chromebooks, they are based on the web, so you need consistent access to make this type of machine work for you.  That’s not to say it won’t work offline, but if you are constantly finding yourself without internet access, you might want to look elsewhere.

This Samsung series 3 has a slim profile similar to a Macbook Air but while the Macbook has an aluminum body you do sacrifice some of the build quality and thus the Samsung has a grey plastic body.  Though, since it doesn’t have an optical drive or any moving parts due to it’s 16 GB SSD, it is very light and you’ll find it’s extremely convenient to throw in a backpack or even a large purse.    This is a solid entry and the pricepoint makes this our best seller for a Chromebook.

Acer C720 Chromebook

I’m also crazy. I’m crazy about my new Chromebook which I use exclusively now. As soon as the Chromebase is available, it will be mine. I can do everything I want to do on my Chromebook and faster than on my Ubuntu unit or my 3 window units (which I hate). – benn1955r

The Acer C720 has a superb customer rating, making it one of the most popular of the portables.  This Chromebooks comes in two different configurations, either with 2GB of RAM or 4GB.  The C720 comes built in with something called Haswell micro-architecture which helps with the Intel Celeron processor to save on battery life.  This gives the Acer an exceptional 8.5 hours of use on one charge, only taking 2 hours to fully charge.  This is perfect if you are looking for a machine that can run all day without needing a charge.

The 4GB model will really help if you are in the habit of opening a lot of tabs on your Chrome browser or run your Chromebook using a lot of video.   The 2GB model usually runs about $50 cheaper and might seem a little sluggish if you have multiple tabs especially those using video and needing more processing power.   The Acer C720 also comes with 2 years of 100 GB of Google Drive, so you don’t have to worry about storage concerns or running out of internal storage.   A lot of reviewers consider this the best Chromebook for the money, especially considering the great price.

Toshiba CB35-A3120 13.3-Inch

The keyboard and track-pad are responsive and tactile, and the overall hardware design looks and feels better than the Acer line. – Keith

Toshiba jumps into the Chromebook market with the CB35-A3120.  This 13.3 inch model is a solid entry and jumps to Toshiba to the top of the pack when your considering a Chromebook to buy.  The $279 price point doesn’t hurt either.  The screen resolution is fine, not Macbook great but good enough considering you can buy 5 Chromebooks for one Macbook.  This would make a great laptop for a student to take to class and take notes, and not have to worry too much about losing a $1500 machine if something goes wrong.

The Toshiba has a responsive keyboard and track-pad along with a nice plastic finish that is about the same size as a Macbook Air.   The fact that it has a 13 inch screen vs. the Samsung Chromebook at 11.6 inch makes the CB35 worth considering.   The Toshiba also comes with a body that has micro ridges that make it fingerprint proof, which is nice not to constantly have smudges all over the outside.  The other outstanding feature of this Chromebook is the battery life, clocking in at about 9 hours on a single charge.  Toshiba really got it right on their first entry into the Chromebook market.

Chromebook Pixel

Having used other Chromebooks such as the “cheep and cheerful” Samsung Chromebook (Wi-Fi, 11.6-Inch), and being more concerned with their function rather than their form, I surprised myself by falling in love with the potentially gimmicky and indulgent features that set the Chromebook Pixel apart from other Chromebooks: – Smart Watcher

We can honestly say that this is the best Chromebook out there, but when you consider that it costs over $1000, almost 4 times as much as a typical Chromebook, you have to wonder if it is worth it.  Most users buying Chromebooks are doing so because they want to save money on a laptop that doesn’t have all the features of a Mac or Windows computer because they don’t need those features, but why then would they spend the same money as a high end laptop buying the Chrome Pixel and still not be able to run high end programs.

There is no doubt that Google went all out with the Pixel Chromebook, it looks and feels great.  It has a gorgeous display and a fantastic keyboard and glass track-pad.  There are a number of features on this tricked out Chromebook that don’t come on sub $500 models.  The screen also doubles as a touch pad using quality Gorilla glass.  The Pixel also comes with a whopping 1 Terabyte of storage from Google Drive for 3 years.  This is worth the price of the Pixel, so if you are buying the storage anyway you might want to go ahead and get the Pixel for free but for most users the cost won’t justify a purchase.

HP Chromebook 14

Very good, works great, very fast, powers up in seconds! Really easy to use, I would and have been recommending this product, it is worth it! – Mummy Gwyn

The HP Chromebook has one big advantage over other Chromebooks in it’s category and that is it’s size.  The 14 inch screen is really what jumps the HP to the top of the list.  An 11 inch screen just feels so small sometimes and this HP really fills in that void with a nice large screen along with an excellent build quality, makes this a real contender for your perfect Chromebook.  The HP also stands out because it doesn’t just come in your normal silver or black, it was released with either White, Turquoise or Peach colors, with a rubber type casing. It also comes with the Haswell processor that makes browsing the web very speedy.  You have a choice between 2GB and 4GB of Ram as well as  a choice between the 16GB & 32GB solid state hard drive.

Of course with the new Toshiba Chromebook that just entered the market you might be wondering how this stacks up against that.  Here is a comparison  that breaks down the pros and cons of each.  This HP Chromebook is our second choice but becomes our first choice for a Chromebook if you are looking for a larger screen.

Asus C200MA & C300MA

The chromebook itself is incredibly light. It is also silent while running. It doesn’t have a fan due to the new Intel processor and you literally can not hear a thing when it is running. The screen is sharp and text looks good. It isnt a full HD display but for the money it is definitely decent. The keyboard is surprisingly huge for the size of this laptop. – SquarePac

While Asus entered late into the Chromebook market, the C200 is a solid entry with a great build and a Chromebook that doesn’t feel cheap.  You can compare this to the Acer C720 because the specs are similar but if doesn’t feel as cheap.  The Asus Chromebook though is a bit more expensive but still comes in under $250.  The keyboard and track-pad are good size for an 11.6″ Chromebook and it doesn’t feel cramped when typing or browsing.  The Asus uses a Bay trail processor which means that the Asus can run without a fan so there are no moving parts and makes for a quiet computing experience.  Some reviewers have noted that there is a slight performance hit with a Bay Trail compared with other Chromebook processors but it shouldn’t be much of a problem for most users.  If you are looking for a fan-less Chromebook, I would put the Asus at the top of your list.  If you need a bigger screen, the C300 is usually found for just $20 more dollars than the it’s 11″ brother.  The 13″ model is at the top of our Best 13″  Chromebook Guide.

Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3-Inch Chromebook 2

Toshiba entered the Chromebook market last year with a solid entry but really steps up their game with the Toshiba Chromebook 2 and the must have IPS 1080p display.  IPS displays are sought after because of the way they can be viewed from any angle and don’t lose anything compared to a normal display.   The CB35 jumps to the top of the higher end Chromebook market for those looking for the best screen and are not so concerned about price.  The Bay Trail processor gives solid battery life while giving up a little in the performance area.  We love to see manufacturers pushing the boundaries of what a Chromeboook can do and including high quality components that a make Chromebooks more than an afterthought.  Here is a full review of the Toshiba Chromebook 2.

HP Chromebook 13 Review with Anodized Aluminum 2016

HP got together with Google and designed what some are calling the affordable Pixel.  This beauty has a metal chassis and is the first Chromebook to use the Intel M chip.  It’s available in up to a whopping 16 GB of RAM and is drawing comparisons to the Macbook Air in it’s design and portability.  This is a sharp looking Chromebook and with a 3200×1800 QHD+ screen which is a first for a Chromebook.  They set out to break some boundaries with this one and while a Chromebook Pixel would set you back more than a grand this is coming in at right around $500 which might sound a lot for a Chromebook but it is one gorgeous looking machine.

Chromebook Comparisons

Chromebook reviews is helping you choose what the best Chromebook for you by doing comparisons of different models.  With new Chromebooks coming out every month it becomes harder and harder to decide which one will meet your needs.  Look below for the comparisons we have done recently to further help you decide what to buy.  Another great way to further research is by reading user reviews of the various Chromebooks, so follow the link below to see the best selling Chromebooks and what recent purchasers think of their purchase.

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