For quite a few years at this point, we’ve put out our list of the best Chromebooks released in that calendar year. While that is useful information for sure, the situation here at the end of 2022 is a bit different than it was in years prior. Though we’ve moved on from the pandemic in many ways, the residual effects still linger, and that has made the Chromebook market a very interesting thing at this point in the story.
There are devices we expected to be released by now that have not shown up, and at the same time, we’ve also arrived at a point in the Chromebook ecosystem where last year’s devices are still really awesome, really discounted, and still on our favorites list. So this year, we’re shaking up our list a bit and simply giving you our 12 favorite Chromebooks you can go out and buy right now at the end of 2022, regardless of their release date. Let’s get started.
We’ll begin our list with the least expensive Chromebooks and move up from there. With all the factors required to determine which is “the best,” we felt like it was better to simply give you a list of Chromebooks we really love using, give you some quick reasons why, and let you make the final decision on which is best for you. After all, sale prices are constantly all over the place, so sorting devices into price categories and picking winners doesn’t make a ton of sense either. Simply put, there are some great devices out there across the price spectrum, and we just want to help you sort through all the currently-available Chromebooks and get right to the good stuff when you go looking.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
Let’s kick things off with the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3. For obvious reasons, we all love this Chromebook. It’s an improvement over the original in nearly every single way and Lenovo managed to keep the price point in check, too. Compared to the original, the keyboard is better, the kickstand is upgraded, the speed is better, the screen is larger, and the ability to actually get a bit productive with it is vastly improved. While still not the Chromebook I reach for on a daily basis, this little tablet is proof positive that other manufacturers need to make detachable devices with ChromeOS on board, and Lenovo needs to continue pushing the category forward.
Acer Chromebook 514
Next on the list is Kompanio 828-powered Acer Chromebook 514. This Chromebook really surprised me during my review period. On a spec sheet, it doesn’t do much to stand out, but this Chromebook proves the fact that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and the Acer Chromebook 514 is far better to use than its specs would indicate. The Kompanio 828 inside is surprisingly capable and ridiculously long on battery life, and combined with a great keyboard and stellar trackpad, this Chromebook was my weekend warrior long after the review period was up simply because I loved using it.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5
Moving on, we have the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. This is a device I come back to over and over again. We had the opportunity to give a bunch of them away this time last year and I couldn’t have been more excited for this device to be what we were handing out. It just gets so much right about both the tablet and Chromebook experience all in one device. It is crazy thin and yet large enough on a lap or a table to get real work done, too. Again, in the tablet space, no one is even close to Lenovo. The Duet 5 has an OLED screen, insane battery life, and enough performance to easily get you through a full day’s use. This is one device I’d love to see Lenovo refresh with a slightly-faster ARM processor inside, but the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 you can get right now is still plenty capable and at the end of the day, this device is simply fun to use.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i
Next up is the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i. The release of this Chromebook was a quiet one, but like the Duet 3 I mentioned earlier, this device is a refinement of the original, well-received version. Not quite as much changed with this version of the Flex 5i as it did with the updated Duet 3, but the upgrades are worthwhile. The navy blue color is slick, the keyboard and trackpad are a bit more considered and enjoyable in this newer version, and the upgraded 11th-gen Intel internals paired with 8GB of RAM, an IPS screen and convertible form factor make the Flex 5i a constantly-great deal when it continually goes on sale.
HP Chromebook x360 14c
In a similar vein, our next Chromebook on the list – the HP Chromebook x360 14c – is a device HP has simply honed over the years. While I fully expect another iteration of this Chromebook with 12th-gen processors inside, the currently-available version comes packing a ton of features that you don’t normally see at this price range. It is consistently $200 off or more, putting it in the lower mid-range of Chromebook prices, yet it has the build quality, keyboard, glass trackpad, fingerprint scanner and internal specs of a much more expensive device. My only real gripe with this Chromebook is the 250 nit screen, but at the prices you can find this laptop reduced to, it’s a minor gripe and I think there are tons of users out there that would still love the x360 14c very much.
Acer Chromebook Vero 514
Next up is the Acer Chromebook Vero 514, and this device is on this list for a myriad of reasons; and – perhaps surprisingly – the wildly-different aesthetic and attention to eco-friendly materials isn’t actually the main reason. Sure, the Vero 514 looks unlike any other Chromebook – or laptop, for that matter – that you can buy, but the look, feel and materials quickly take a backseat the moment you start using this device. It is sturdy, has a solid anti-glare display, a great keyboard/trackpad, an excellent webcam and speedy 12th-gen Intel Core i5 internals. All put together, the Vero 514 stands out in nearly many respects, and with its very-reasonable $599 price tag, there’s little reason not to buy this Chromebook right now if you aren’t looking for a convertible. It’s just fantastic.
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
We now come to one of my absolute favorites of the year: the Acer Chromebook Spin 513. I could easily crown this as my favorite all-around Chromebook of 2022 for a host of reasons. It keeps the 13.5-inch 3:2 display from the more-expensive Spin 713. It has an ARM processor in the MediaTek Kompanio 1380 that finally delivers Intel-rivaling performance. It is mostly aluminum, thin, light and has killer battery life. It simply gets so much of the Chromebook experience right that it’s tough to beat. The $600 MSRP is fair for all this goodness, but if it went on sale a bit more often I’d say it is the perfect mesh of price, performance, and overall functionality. But even at that $600 asking price, I’d still tell you to go get it. It’s just a perfect example of what is possible in a Chromebook in 2022.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE
Next on the list, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE showed up and absolutely shocked me. I really was expecting it to be just OK, but as I said in our review, the gaming upgrades Acer made to allow this Chromebook to be better for services like GeForce NOW only ended up making this Chromebook better in every single way. The lack of touch input on the screen might turn some of you off, but the RGB keyboard, trackpad, build quality, upward-facing speakers, relative lightness for a 16-inch Chromebook, performance, and 120Hz screen all come together to make a device that I continue coming back to. At $649 MSRP, this thing is worth every single penny. If it ever does finally go on sale, go get it immediately. Or just go get it right now. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Acer Chromebook Spin 714
Next up we have the Acer Chromebook Spin 714. Though Acer had a good thing going with the Spin 713 series, they chose to go a different direction this year with the Spin 714, and not everyone loved it. For me, however, I found it to be a fantastic take on the larger, taller-screen convertible Chromebook. It is very fast thanks to the 12th-gen Intel processors, but it is also well crafted and beautiful. The 16:10 14-inch screen is plenty roomy while being compact, the keyboard is great and the trackpad is smooth as silk. It comes equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe storage, too, so you get a lot for your money with this one, and the inclusion of a stowed USI pen is always welcome. In nearly every way, the Spin 714 gives you the full ChromeOS experience, and the fact that it constantly goes on sale makes it a great device to keep an eye on for sure.
ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5400
Our next Chromebook is actually one from our list of best Chromebooks last year, but don’t let that fool you. The ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5400 is on this list because of its ability to do everything you want in a higher-end Chromebook with ease. The all-aluminum chassis is minimalist and beautiful, the keyboard and glass trackpad are top-notch, the bright 1080p screen is great, and the speakers are better than most. With a stowed USI pen, this Chromebook does everything you want or need and is still a device I can pick up and use without any hesitation whatsoever. It was my everyday carry for a long time, and I’d still happily go back to it at the drop of a hat.
Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition
Our second to last device on the list was late to the game this year, but I can confidently say that the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is – in a word – special. It combines the aesthetic and build quality of a high-end laptop with the modularity, upgradeability, and repairability of a desktop PC. The 400 nit 13.5-inch 3:2 screen, fantastic backlit keyboard, glass trackpad, solid speakers and 1080p webcam come together in a device with the latest 12th-gen Intel processors to make a ridiculously-good Chromebook without all the modular tricks, but we can’t forget them.
The 4 expansion ports allow you to swap input options on the fly and with only a few screws, you can manually replace every single component on this laptop with guides and instructions for each component conveniently linked via QR code right on the device. Sure, $999 is a lot for a Chromebook, but this is one that you can tinker with, repair, and maybe even upgrade down the road. There aren’t many laptops out there like it, and we’re certainly glad it’s here.
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
Finally, we come to the most expensive, most feature-laden Chromebook you can buy right now: the HP Dragonfly Chromebook. Look, this thing is a beast. Period. Go ahead, throw me a feature and I can guarantee the Dragonfly has it. Metal alloy chassis? Check. Bright, 3:2 QHD screen? Yep. Amazing keyboard and haptic trackpad? You got it. Best webcam on a Chromebook? Sure thing. Sweet quad-speaker setup? No problem. Fast, 12th-gen Intel internals, plenty of RAM and storage? Of course.
This Chromebook is the measuring stick for the best Chromebook you can buy right now and it debuted in January. Clearly, the best-of-the-best title has belonged to HP all year, and that isn’t changing any time soon. The only gripe anyone has with this excellent Chromebook is the price, but I think you have to be realistic. This much hardware simply costs money. If you have the cash and do end up buying this superb Chromebook, you’ll love it. I know that for sure.
So, that’s our list of 12 fantastic Chromebooks you can buy right now that sit at the top of our list of devices we recommend to people looking. We sincerely hope this list helps you wade through the noise a bit when you go to purchase, and if the Chromebook you were hoping to see here didn’t make it, just know that we took our time considering which devices to include and only put Chromebooks on this list that really made an impact on us and others that have bought them.