Consider the Chromebook, the (mostly) economical laptop that runs on Google’s browser-based operating system, Chrome. The OS is naturally suited for the cloud-based services prevalent in modern work life. But it’s also great for watching movies, listening to music and, of course, browsing the internet.

Yes, there are some limitations as well, but if your budget isn’t up for the four-figure outlay required for a Mac and you do all your computing at home, the office or school, a Chromebook might be a good bet. These four Chromebooks are among the best CNET editors have reviewed.

For hundreds less than its Windows near-equivalent, the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 features a sweet, versatile 4K display on an all-around solid laptop. (Sarah Tew/CNET/TNS)
For hundreds less than its Windows near-equivalent, the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 features a sweet, versatile 4K display on an all-around solid laptop. (Sarah Tew/CNET/TNS)

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

The cost: Starting at $640 at lenovo.com

The good: Excellent 4K display that’s a joy to use in laptop and tablet mode. Durable all-aluminum chassis. Very solid performance and battery life.

The bad: The keyboard is a bit mushy. Stylus not included. You can’t run those few Windows- and MacOS-only applications on the Chrome operating system.

The bottom line: For hundreds less than its Windows near-equivalent, the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 features a sweet, versatile 4K display on an all-around solid laptop.

HP’s Chromebook x2 raises the bar for the two-in-one category, combining effective design, peppy performance and a fine display at a killer price. (Sarah Tew/CNET/TNS)
HP’s Chromebook x2 raises the bar for the two-in-one category, combining effective design, peppy performance and a fine display at a killer price. (Sarah Tew/CNET/TNS)

HP Chromebook x2

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

The cost: Starting at $200 at store.hp.com

The good: The x2’s compelling design makes it simple to shift from laptop to tablet and back. Stylus and keyboard included. The touchscreen looks good and is responsive. It has two cameras, and great speakers. There’s a sufficient array of ports and connections. Battery life is respectable.

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The bad: Integrated storage is limited to a measly 32GB. The keyboard is a bit mushy. Awkward stylus holster.

The bottom line: HP’s Chromebook x2 raises the bar for the two-in-one category, combining effective design, peppy performance and a fine display at a killer price.

As one of the largest Chromebooks, the Acer laptop is perfectly priced for anyone interested in a big laptop for basic online use. (James Martin/CNET/TNS)
As one of the largest Chromebooks, the Acer laptop is perfectly priced for anyone interested in a big laptop for basic online use. (James Martin/CNET/TNS)

Acer Chromebook 15

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

The cost: $400 at us-store.acer.com

The good: The Acer Chromebook 15 is a stylish notebook with a large 15.6-inch screen. It has a backlit keyboard, touchscreen and loud speakers. Battery life is long-lasting.

The bad: The screen is dull. Chromebooks have inherent OS limitations you need to be aware of. Low-end CPU hampers performance.

The bottom line: As one of the biggest Chromebooks, the Acer laptop is perfectly priced for anyone interested in a big laptop for basic online use.

The Pixelbook has high-end hardware and a great hybrid design, but it’s more expensive than other Chrome OS laptop. (Josh Miller/CNET/TNS)
The Pixelbook has high-end hardware and a great hybrid design, but it’s more expensive than other Chrome OS laptop. (Josh Miller/CNET/TNS)

Google Pixelbook

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

The cost: Starting $999 at at store.google.com

The good: The Google Pixelbook has a sleek convertible design. Its sharp touchscreen is bright and colorful. Performance is fast, lag-free and smooth. The dedicated Google Assistant button is useful.

The bad: It’s expensive. The stylus is sold separately. It has the same built-in limitations as other Chrome OS systems.

The bottom line: The Pixelbook has high-end hardware and a great hybrid design, but it’s still hard to justify spending so much on a Chrome OS laptop.