How to pick the Best Chromebook for your needs
The very best laptops in the market can cost you in excess of $1000. This is quite a lot of money, but if you really want that full windows or Mac experience while performing multiple functions, then you have no option but to dig deep and get the laptops. However, the truth is that not everyone is into performing multiple tasks onto their laptops. Some people barely do more than just web browsing on their laptops. There is also a group of people who are looking for a secondary laptop for basic web functions. A laptop that is portable enough to be taken into business meetings overseas without being overly bulky. For such individuals, spending more than $1000 on a laptop is not the wisest financial decision they can make. If you are in such a scenario, then what you need is a Chromebook.
Chromebooks have come a long way. Not only are they a portable and affordable alternative to laptops, but they are also trying to pack powerful CPUs and a myriad of other advanced features to enhance the user’s overall experience. For instance, the best Chromebooks – some of which we are going to review in a bit – come with IPS display for sharper images while others are designed with carbon-fiber chassis making them even lighter than some of the smartphones in the market. Some Chromebooks have taken the game to the next level by adding 128GB SSD, which has increased their capacity, speed, and overall performance.
Therefore, Chromebook shoppers are spoilt of choices with each Chromebook packing vast features. This brings us to a vital question:
What aspects should you consider when buying a Chromebook?
A processor is an integral part of any laptop. It determines how fast operations are executed and will also affect your ability to multi-task. Therefore, if you know that your work demands a lot of multi-tasking and that you don’t want your experience ruined by slow performance, then you need to invest on a Chromebook with a powerful processor. This means that you should look out for Core i3 or even i5 if they are using Intel Core CPUs. Bear in mind that a powerful processor translates to a higher price tag.
If you are not going to use your Chromebook on any tasks beyond basic browsing with a maximum of two tabs open at any given time, then you can save a lot of cash by settling on Pentium or Celeron CPU. However, I’d advise you to go for a more powerful processor even though you may not need it now. This will prove very beneficial in the future as your needs grow.
Currently, you can get Chromebook with screen sizes ranging from 10 to 15 inches. It’s all up to you to decide what size fits with your needs and preferences.
Like I pointed out earlier on, Chromebooks displays have been improving drastically. While most of them come with the standard 1080p (190 by 1080) display, you can get even better resolution if you can afford the high-end Chromebooks available out there. If you are on a tight budget, you can compromise a bit and go for a Chromebook with slightly lower resolution and save a few dollars while at it. After all, Chromebooks are basically designed for web browsing and other standard functions, so having the very best display may not be reasonable since you’re probably not going to spend so much time with them anyway.
The standard eMMC-based storage of 64GB or 32GB is usually enough for most on-device storage needs. You can store most of your other files in the cloud. If you need more in storage, you can look out for a Chromebook with an SD slot or buy the premium ones that come with bigger SSD.
This is a very crucial factor, particularly to guys who are hoping to use their Chromebooks to do presentations. For such purposes, you need to look for a Chromebook with video output connections such as HDMI. You’ll also want to get other connectivity ports such as USB slots that you can use to plug in a mouse or other peripherals. A USB-C port is highly appreciated.
Of course, you want a Chromebook with the longest battery life possible to make your experience more convenient. The last thing you’d want is to start searching for a power outlet in the middle of your business or academic presentation.
Other factors to consider include:
- Android app compatibility
- Keyboard and trackpad
- 360-degree hinge
Top 3 Chromebooks
ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook
The ASUS C302CA has been around for just over 2 years now yet it is still a top performer even when it is compared side by side with some of the latest Chromebooks. The trackpad features a sleek and compact body, weighing just 2.65lbs, making it highly portable.
Speaking of portability, you’re probably going to spend so much time on the road with this gadget and to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged in the process, Asus has made the external body with professional-grade aluminum.
The display is also the sturdy Corning Gorilla Glass illuminating images in 1080p. At 12.5” the display is also decent enough for your needs and the 360-degree hinge means that you can use the Chromebook in either laptop or tablet mode. Yes, it’s a touchscreen Chromebook.
The ASUS C302CA operates on the fast Intel Core processors. You will get 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. The processor makes the Chromebook ideal not just for official duties, but you can also get some great entertainment from it.
The full-size keyboard on C302CA is backlit with minimal key float and just 1.4mm of key travel. This should make your typing experience very smooth. Also, the touchpad has been designed to differentiate palm contact while you’re typing from an actual fingertip. This eliminates the menace that is moving the cursor accidentally while typing.
The ASUS C302CA excels when it comes to connectivity. You’ll get a myriad of wireless connectivity options and ports including the fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, audio jack, and Micro SD slot.
- 10-hours battery life
- Built-in antivirus
- Anti-glare display panel
- Light sensors
- Android apps compatibility
If you have several hundreds of dollars to spare for a Chromebook, then your best pick is perhaps the Google Pixelbook. This Chromebook starts at around $800, which is quite a lot, but its performance should convince you that it is worth every penny.
The pixel book runs on Core i5, 8 gigs of RAM and 128GB SSD, meaning that it has one of the most powerful processors you’d find in any Chromebook. This also means that it performs a lot better compared to most of the other laptops in the market operating on Intel Core i5 and 4Gb of RAM. The craziest part is that you can decide to boost the processor further to Core i7 and 16GB of RAM! How many other Chromebooks in the market pack such figures?
Apart from the insane processor, the Google Pixelbook will also impress you with the versatile 12.3” display designed with Corning Gorilla Glass. It allows you to switch between different modes depending on what you are doing to enhance your experience. The different modes include a laptop, tent, tablet, and entertainment modes. Needless to say that it is a 360-degree touchscreen display.
The backlit keyboard makes it easy for you to perform your tasks in the dark. You will also get a “Pixelbook Pen,” which allows you to write and draw on the screen.
One of the most interesting features of Google Pixelbook is the Voice Commands. This is the first laptop to integrate the Google Assistant. With the assistant comes lots of convenience in your everyday tasks as she can get you answers and execute tasks through your voice commands.
- 10-hours battery life (15-minutes charge will give you 2-hours of use)
- Built-in antivirus
- Compatible with many apps
- Two USB 3.0
- 2.45lbs weight
Lenovo Chromebook C330
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a stylish and elegant Chromebook that packs more than just good looks. The 360-degree hinge allows you to use the Chromebook in a laptop or tablet mode. The screen is an 11.6″ HD IPS display. Sure, this is a smaller screen as compared to most other Chromebooks, but it also means that it is the most compact and portable Chromebook measuring just 11.5 x 0.77 x 8.48 inches and a mere 2.64lbs in weight.
The Lenovo C330 also performs well above average. It operates on MediaTek MT 8173C processor, 4GB LPDDR3 and 64GB eMMC. This ensures decent performance on standard daily tasks and also on some fairly intensive multi-tasking functions. The Lenovo Chromebook C330 also offers an extra 100GB of cloud storage.
The Chromebook provides various options as far connectivity is concerned. You will get full I/O support, USB-C, SD slot and USB 3.0.
- 1366 X 768 pixels display
- 10-hours battery life
- Touch display
- Built-in antivirus