If you’ve been thinking of buying a laptop for simple tasks like browsing the web, then you should consider buying a Chromebook. They are laptops, but instead of Windows, MacOS or Linux they have Google’s ChromeOS. It’s a much lighter and minimalistic operating system which is thought to be better for those who just want to use their device for general purpose and less power demanding tasks. Being a much lighter OS, your hardware requirements are also much less demanding.
If you’re looking to get a Chromebook, then you are probably not using it for powerful applications such as gaming or video editing. Therefore, processor requirements aren’t that high. However, what you would need is really good hardware. While the specific requirements will highly depend on your usage, we can tell you the basic things that you will need for a great experience. The first thing we recommend looking for in a Chromebook is good battery life. The entire purpose of a laptop is to be a portable device that you can use wherever you want. Having a good battery life will allow you to spend a long time away from a power socket without running out of juice. As long as a laptop can get users a decent 6 to 7 hours minimum, we think it should be sufficient.
The screen and keyboard are two aspects of a laptop that you interact with the most. It’s necessary that they are good so you get an amazing all round experience. One thing you need to be careful about is not to believe in misleading marketing. All manufactures will promise the best experience for you, but only through a testimonial will you know if it’s actually good. That’s why having someone who has already used the device or read through the reviews on the listing can be really helpful and we highly recommend everyone to conduct proper research before making a purchase.
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Google Pixelbook Go Review
When deciding which Chromebook to buy, what better company to go for then the one who makes the operating system for the laptop itself. As you may know, ChromeOS like Android is made by Google. Since they are responsible for both the hardware and the software, the optimization will be on point, providing you with a smooth and lag free experience.
While we did mention that the processing power of the laptop isn’t that important, it is still necessary to discuss it. There are 3 versions of this device providing you with either an 8th Gen Intel Core M3, i5 or i7 Processor. All three of these are really capable for any work you throw at them, but if you want our recommendation, then we recommend going for the i5, as it is a great balance between price and performance, but depending on your usage and budget, you can go for the others as well.
Besides the CPU difference, there is no other major difference. With the Pixel book, you get a really smooth experience mostly because of the lightweight OS and Google’s optimization, that’s why we wholeheartedly recommend that you go for this device.
Along with the processor, you get either 8 or 16 GB of RAM, although the M3 variant doesn’t have the option to be upgraded to 16 GB and the i7 can’t be downgraded to 8 GB. In this day and age, unless you’re a really heavy user, you wouldn’t need 16 GB of RAM, so we recommend saving your money and going for only 8GB which would be more than sufficient for all Chromebook users, especially considering how little hardware ChromeOS demands.
As for storage, you get 64 GB with the M3, 128 GB with the i5 and 256 GB with the i7. 128 GB should be enough since you can easily store all your pictures and programs easily. Since you wouldn’t be running heavy software, even the 64 GB should be enough, but it might seem a bit less considering how that’s the base storage amount on most phones. You’ll be completely fine with 128 GB of storage for now, but even that might finish soon, so you still have the option to attach an external hard drive or solid-state drive to store your precious images. Even if the space doesn’t run out, we still recommend having an external backup in case of an accident.
The Pixel Book has a Full-HD 13.3-inch display, which is probably one of the best displays on a laptop in this price range. It produces some really nice colors and is sharp enough for any kind of content to look absolutely gorgeous on it. Moreover, it’s a touchscreen so you can use it as you would with a smartphone or tablet. It allows you to easily navigate your device, like switch to different applications or even play some form of a light video game. You can even purchase an expensive stylus for added functionality such as writing notes or even doing some form of artwork.
As for the number of ports, you get 2 USB-C ports as well as a headphone/microphone jack combo. Nowadays, USB-C has become the norm so most accessories like chargers or keyboard and mouse wires are also available in this form. However, it does not have a USB-A port, which is still very popular, so a lot of the accessories that are available in the market are still USB-A. You will have to be careful if you ever go and buy an accessory. We would recommend also getting a USB-C dock, if you’re the type of person to use a lot of different types of accessories. Some other features include a pretty nice webcam for you to skype your loved ones with, a really nice keyboard with backlighting for you to easily type at night, LTE capabilities and great sounding speakers.
The size of this laptop is 0.57 x 12.25 x 8.12 inches and it only weighs 2.1 pounds which is really light for a laptop of this caliber, yet not so light that it feels flimsy. It also has an amazing build quality, which can handle a fair bit of beating in the unfortunate event that you end up dropping it. It also feels really good to the touch. You will definitely not be disappointed by the build quality. You also get a 47 wHr battery, which is advertised to last 12 hours and in real world usage last close to 10 hours, which is still pretty amazing. The one other slight downside of this laptop is that it costs a bit more than other competitors, but considering the quality you get, we think that it’s completely worth it.
|Great touch screen display||No USB-A port|
|Amazing webcam||Slightly expensive|
|Good backlit keyboard|
|Light weight and portable|
|Amazing battery life|
|Good built quality|
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 Review
If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 Chromebook, then we would recommend getting the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5. Just like the previous option, you get a touch screen, but this one can actually be used in different orientations as well. For those unfamiliar with a 2 in 1 device, they can either be used in a standard laptop position or like a tablet, where the screen folds on top of the keyboard. The reason why such a feature is necessary for a presentation is because you can easily move around the slide with a tap of a finger rather than to carry a standard laptop. It provides you with the best of both worlds.
The processor on this machine is also pretty nice. You get a 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i3-10110U processor. Considering how this is a Chromebook and a much more affordable option than the previous one, we think that this is the perfect CPU, which will provide you the best balance between power and energy consumption.
You also get a 4 GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM. If this were a normal windows laptop, then this would be a bit too low as we recommend a minimum of 8 GB, but since this is a ChromeBook, you can get by with 4 GB. Not only will it be enough, but it will also keep the cost down as compared to if you had more RAM. Also, since you won’t be doing any heavy tasks, there won’t be a noticeable difference.
The next aspect we will discuss is storage. There is a 64 GB SSD included, which may or may not be enough depending on the type of user. We would recommend a minimum of 128 GB, however, if you’re not a relatively heavy user then it won’t be a problem. To see if this would be enough for you, check how much storage you’re using in your previous laptop from which you’re about to upgrade.
The highlight of this display is the FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display. It looks pretty nice, with good colors and sharp pictures. It is 250 nits and gets bright enough for most environments. The bezels are also really small so it makes the screen really pleasing to look at. Moreover, it’s a touch screen and can be rotated 360 degrees. You can also buy a stylus which will provide you with additional functionality like allowing you to navigate easily around the interface or draw artwork. Even if you don’t buy a stylus, the tablet mode has a lot of advantages like providing an amazing media-consuming experience.
The port selection on this laptop is also pretty nice as you get 1 USB-A 3.1 port, 1 USB-C port, 1 MicroSD card and a headphone/microphone jack. Since you won’t be using this for power-intensive tasks, the number of ports will be enough and will allow you to attach any kind of accessory you want. There are many more features that make it a much better offer, some of these include a pretty nice feeling backlit keyboard, amazing sounding stereo speakers and even a really nice webcam for video calls.
The dimensions of this laptop are 12.20 x 8.43 x 0.67 inches and it weighs 2.97 pounds, which makes it really portable and comfortable for usage, but also large enough to give you an immersive experience. As for the battery, you are advertised to get 10 hours, which is just about accurate to what you would get in real life. A mixture of a power efficient processor and a light operating system makes it a really good laptop for endurance.
|Great price||Storage is slightly less.|
|Really nice battery|
Acer Chromebook 315 Review
If you’re not much of a fan of touchscreens and just want a simple laptop to do basic tasks such as browsing the web or watching shows, then the Acer Chromebook 315 is perfect for you. It’s made to be an entry-level Chromebook. It is also priced that way, so when we will discuss the specifications, keep that in mind.
The processor on this laptop is an Intel Celeron N4000 (1.10 GHz – 2.60 GHz) Intel UHD Graphics 600, while being a slight downgrade over the others, it’s still a processor more than capable of handling daily tasks. It’s perfect for the price at which it is offered, and in combination with ChromeOS, you’ll get a very smooth experience.
As for RAM, you get 4GB LPDDR4 memory, which is more than capable of getting any of your work done. Even if you were getting a windows laptop, for this price range, it would be enough. It is safe to say that you won’t face any problems in this regard, especially considering that 4 GB used to be the norm just a few years back.
Along with that, you get 32 GB of eMMC SSD storage. If you plan to store any kind of files on your device, then you will need an external drive. If you just need to use the ChromeBook simply as a device to access the internet and nothing more than you can go for it. That being said, we still would’ve liked to see at least 64 GB of storage, considering how 32 GB is low even for mobile standards. The saving grace is that the storage is upgradeable. Doing that would require you to open the back panel of the laptop and replace the memory module, which may void your warranty. We would recommend only getting this done by a professional or someone who has attempted this before as you can end up damaging the laptop if not careful enough.
The screen on this laptop is a 15.6″ HD Comfy View LED Display (1366 x 768). The quality won’t blow you away or anything but it’s still useable. It also gets really bright, even if you want to use it directly under the sun. While being less than 1080p, this screen is still sharp enough for most users as long as you have your expectations set accordingly. The size of the screen is also pretty nice since it large enough for you to enjoy your favorite videos and TV shows. All large screen lovers will appreciate the size of this laptop.
The port selection on this laptop is the best out of the three. You get more types of ports and more ports in general. There is a Memory Card Reader, 2 x USB 3.1, 2 x USB-C and a microphone/headphone jack. There are plenty more features that everyone can appreciate such as the inclusion of a decent quality HDR camera, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0, a pair of pretty nice and loud speakers for videos and music as well as a laptop protective sleeve the keep your device safe. The inclusion of the laptop sleeve is pretty noteworthy considering it is an accessory that even much more expensive laptops skip on.
The laptop comes in at 19 x 12 x 3 inches and weighs a bit more than 4 pounds. Despite having the larger screen it’s still portable enough for you to carry around, yet not thin enough to feel flimsy. The battery life is rated to provide 12.5 hours of usage and in real world application provides 9 to 10 hours, depending on your usage. That’s still very respectable and will get you through a day easily.
|Good battery life|
|Inclusion of a sleeve|
We looked at many different Chromebooks, which each having their own unique features and selling points. All three of these machines were very capable and had their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Yet only one of them is the best out of the three. And now will come to a conclusion on which one is the best out of all. In this section, we discuss and summarize the pros and cons of each machine to determine which one of these is truly the best.
The first Chromebook we reviewed was the Google Pixel Book. It is one of the best Chromebooks out there because of its premium features and the amazing user experience it provides. It’s best shown in their magnesium body which provides a very premium look and feel as well as makes the overall laptop much lighter than using something like Aluminum. You might not get all the cool features, but what you will get is a reliable laptop providing an excellent user experience.
Next comes the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5. It is a really good all-around Chromebook for almost everyone. You get many exciting features, not seen on other laptops, as well as a really reliable laptop experience. Despite being relatively cheap, it still looks like a much more expensive laptop and even feels like it. The highlight is definitely the touch screen display which really helps the functionality of this laptop. Overall, it’s a really solid machine, especially for the price.
Lastly, we talked about the Acer Chromebook 315. The highlight of this laptop is definitely the price point. It’s hard to believe that you get a full-fledged laptop for less than the price of 2 copies of Windows 10. It might not have the best specifications or the flashiest features, but it’s still a more than reliable laptop in day-to-day usage, providing you with a really great experience. The only small gripe we had with this laptop is the storage, but since it’s upgradeable, we think it’s not as big of a problem.
Finally, the time has come to declare the winner. In our opinion, the Google Pixel Book is the best out of the three. It simply feels the best out of three, partially because the software and hardware are both optimized by Google to perfection and partially because they just build really amazing products. It’s a fairly capable machine, with one of the best webcams we have seen on a laptop thus far. Most manufactures get by having a subpar camera, but Google did not go this route, instead they chose to provide a quality product. Moreover, the keyboard, trackpad and screen are also excellent. The build quality is really unique in a good way, and it isn’t heavy either. The experience is so great that it’s comparable to much more expensive laptops.
However, the experience comes with a relatively high price for a Chromebook. Most people look towards buying a Chromebook because they’re great laptops for not a lot of money. If you’re one of those people, you might want to look towards the Acer Chromebook 315. It comes in at a price segment in which it was hard to imagine that you would even get a usable brand-new laptop. Not only that, it managed to provide a pretty nice device for your money, which might have a few minor flaws, but considering the price is forgivable. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, is in an awkward position where we would say that either save up to get the Pixel Book or downgrade to the Acer, which provides a very similar experience. The only case where we would recommend that you get it is if you absolutely want a 2-in-1 device, which is also a relatively affordable Chromebook.