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Best Chromebooks to buy for the holidays

Holiday shopping is nearing a close for the year, but there’s still time left for you to bring home that special gift for yourself or someone else. Computers are at the top of the list for so many people. A Chromebook, though, could be perfect. Not everyone needs to robustness of a Windows or macOS device. Google’s platform puts everything in the cloud, so the specifications aren’t driving up the price unnecessarily.

We’ve compiled a list of the best Chromebooks you can order today to make someone very happy when the wrapping paper is taken off.

Acer Chromebook 14

If you search “Chromebook” on any retailer’s site, you’re bound to see more than a few choices made by Acer. The Taiwanese company is among Google’s strongest partners for Chrome OS. Acer has released laptops, desktops, sticks, and boxes powered by the operating system. For those seeking a reliable Acer-made Chromebook, the Chromebook 14 is the way to go. It strikes an excellent balance in specifications and price.

It features a 14-inch Full HD (1920×1080) ComfyView IPS LCD display, an Intel Celeron N3160, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 720p front-facing camera, a 3950mAh battery, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack.

Those are pretty good specifications for a Chromebook, but they’re impressive considering this one costs less than $300. You can actually get the Chromebook 14 from Amazon and Best Buy for more than $30 off its usual price. And whoever gets the Chromebook 14 won’t have a clue it was inexpensive since Acer uses an aluminum construction.

Buy now: Amazon, Best Buy

Samsung Chromebook Plus

Samsung, too, was an early supporter of Chrome OS. But until recently the company’s focus was on affordable Chromebooks. The Chromebook Plus, which launched in 2017, is undoubtedly a high-end machine. It’s assembled from metal and proudly displays everything on a high resolution screen. Yet Samsung doesn’t ask you to pay a fortune for this Chromebook.

It features a touch-enabled 12.3-inch Quad HD (2400×1600) LED display, an OP1 hexa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, a 720p front-facing camera, a 39Wh battery, two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, an S Pen, and stereo speakers.

High-end components and the inclusion of the S Pen are attracting people to the Chromebook Plus. That’s why units are selling out all over the place. Samsung’s award-winning stylus might not have the same software that ships with the Galaxy Note 8, but it’s still offering the same precision for writing and drawing. You may not think a stylus is useful for a laptop, but this isn’t just a laptop. This is a hybrid.

Fold the display all the way back and you have yourself a tablet powered by both Chrome OS and, to a degree, Android. Samsung’s latest Chromebook is one of the few devices that can run easily run Android apps.

If you need a little more horsepower, Samsung also made the Chromebook Pro. The specifications are mostly the same but the processor is an Intel Core m3, possibly giving you an extra boost when multiple demanding tabs are running simultaneously.

While the Chromebook Pro is priced at $549, the Chromebook Plus is a lighter $449. Those are the suggested prices normally listed. The Chromebook Plus can be bought for $399 depending where you shop.

Buy now: Amazon, Best Buy

Acer Chromebook 15 (CB515-1HT)

Chromebooks tend to be on the smaller side as portability is important; however, Acer also makes a big-screen unit. The Chromebook 15 comes with a large display, a roomy keyboard, and top-firing speakers. Still, you’re not dropping big bucks to bring this Chromebook home.

It features a touch-enabled 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) CineCrystal IPS LCD display, an Intel Pentium N4200 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 720p front-facing camera, a 4-cell lithium-ion battery, a USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and stereo speakers.

Acer didn’t skimp on much of anything here. The processor is an upgraded Intel Pentium, there’s enough RAM for common multitasking, and even a USB-C port landed. Props to Acer once again for getting a ton of value into a $299 laptop.

Just one thing to note: “Chromebook 15” is a name belonging to various models from different companies. If you want the one we’re referring to, use our link or copy/paste the model number into a search engine. You don’t want to give yourself or someone else the wrong item, right?

Buy now: Best Buy

Google Pixelbook

Go big or go home. That’s what anyone buying the Pixelbook says to themselves.

Google finally released a successor to the Chromebook Pixel (2015), and it’s gorgeous. The design now matches the two-tone finish seen on the Pixel phones. Google’s Pixelbook has an aluminum body with a metal accent placed on the lid. It’s also the first and only Chromebook to ship with Google Assistant integration.

It features a touch-enabled 12.3-inch Quad HD (2400×1600) LCD display, Intel’s 7th generation Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of internal storage, a 720p front-facing camera, a 41Wh battery, two USB-C ports, and a headphone jack.

Alongside Google Assistant, Instant Tethering is also an exclusive for the Pixelbook. Instant Tethering allows Pixel 2 owners to automatically link their phone’s wireless connection to the laptop. There’s no hassle of going into your phone’s settings, creating a hotspot and password, and hoping the two devices link. Have your Pixel 2 nearby, and your Pixelbook will automatically notice to create a connection.

The Pixelbook, of course, is compatible with apps from Google Play. It’s so thin that when you flip the display back, you could forget it was ever a laptop. This hybrid plays the two-in-one acts extremely well. And, if you want added capabilities, pick up the Pixelbook Pen for $99. The accessory lets you write, draw, and design like there’s a real pen in you’re hand. Google was able to get third-party partners to support the Pixelbook Pen, too.

Before you go dropping $999 on this, make sure it’s the right fit. Own a Pixel or Pixel 2? Love Google’s hardware or Chrome OS? Work from the cloud nonstop? Then the Pixelbook is waiting for you. The price stag is step, but it’s certainly worth it for a certain group of consumers.

Buy now: Amazon, Best Buy, Google Store

Acer Chromebook 11

Shopping during the holidays gets expensive. Before you know it, you’ve spent hundreds (and probably thousands) of dollars without realizing what exactly you’ve bought. Don’t panic, friends. There’s a very cheap Chromebook that can go the distance. Acer’s Chromebook 11 is small, light, and affordable.

It features an 11.6-inch (1366×768) display, an Intel Celeron N2840 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, an SD card slot, a 720p front-facing camera, a 3220mAh battery, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack.

The Chromebook 11 starts at $179 for the base model. You can spend $20 more to get additional RAM, which will be useful if you like to do multiple things at the same time. Acer also makes the Chromebook R11, a similar device that’s a hybrid with a touch-enabled display.

Like the other Acer-branded Chromebook on our list, please check the model number before you buy. A few different laptops called the “Chromebook 11” are floating around. There’s also a chance you stumble upon the wrong one from Acer. So make sure you have “CB3-131-C3SZ” memorized or noted.

Buy now: Amazon, Best Buy


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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