Best Chromebooks 2014

Whether it’s because of their very affordable prices or an aversion to Windows 8.1’s complexity, more and more shoppers are buying Chromebooks. There are some valid reasons for choosing a Chromebook over a Windows machine, including a very intuitive interface (it’s largely browser based), no upgrade headaches and less worrying about malware. And while Chromebooks have limited offline capability, there’s a growing number of apps that work without a Wi-Fi connection.

With prices that start at $199, a Chromebook also makes a pretty compelling gift idea. But, if you’re planning to give one of these clamshells for this year’s holidays, you’ll need to act soon. Amazon is guaranteeing delivery before Christmas if you order by Dec. 19 via the company’s free-shipping option on orders of $35 and more. For real procrastinators, you can hope for a same-day delivery option as late as Dec. 24, but you’ll need to make sure you’re in one of the 13 eligible cities.

With practically every PC maker now selling a Chromebook, choosing the right model for you largely comes down to design, screen size and battery life. The little things also count for a lot, like keyboard comfort and speaker quality. We’ve tested a wide range of Chromebooks to arrive at this list of top picks.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. esteban Says:

    It’s way too hard to compare these laptops when you make it impossible to see them on the same page. Just show all the entries on one page instead of making me load 10 full pages each with their own flash ads. Get it together, laptopmag.

  2. Yup Says:

    I totally agree with esteban. We understand you have to show ads, but I can’t even see the information at all. I’ll get my reviews elsewhere.

  3. zaki Says:

    ?? where is the list?? wtf??

  4. Brad Says:

    Is this supposed to be an article about new Chromebooks?

    The only thing I see is a slight blurb about the Toshiba.

    P.S. I’m reading this on a Chromebook, so maybe it’s a browser issue ;-)


  5. Brad Says:

    Oh, I see. There’s a little yellow sort-off right arrow that I can press to see the next Chromebook.

    Read the page at least five times before I noticed that. Pretty lousy page design.

    Also, I agree with the other commenter that this is a sucky way to have to read through the article.

    -1 of 10 for design.


  6. Morgan Barrow Says:

    I absolutly hate chrome books. How could you make a laptop that ran by google, but isnt compatable with google wallpapers. why should i have to download extra crap just to get normal customizations to work. Im pissed.

  7. Mark Says:

    This is a *horrible* format for a web page. Very non-intuitive UI, and annoying to have to bounce back and forth to compare things.

  8. Liz Says:

    I’ve got a Toshiba Chromebook I would quite like it if it weren’t for the fact that its so Googlish

  9. ja4man Says:

    It was because of this review (which I had no issues reading), I bought the Toshiba 13″ Chromebook. This 14 year Mac user is really enjoying the whole Chrome experience. Thanks Mark.

  10. Brad Says:

    Your commentary below the Acer Chromebooks and the Dell Chromebook 11 are all switched around and attached to the wrong slides . . .

  11. Liz Says:

    this is a waste of my time.

  12. tom Says:

    The title is Dell Chromebook 11, but it’s about Acer C720P… confuses me…

  13. Adriane Says:

    Chromebook: a computer device for the illiterate and cheap bastard..

  14. cxmu Says:

    What kind of goddamned genius designed this page?

  15. Jerrican Says:

    Where is the list??
    I only see the announcement…..
    … arrive at THIS list of top picks.

    I have looked at this website both in IE and Google Chrome, but I don’t see a list, no small yellow arrow or anything of the kind?

  16. Tim James Says:

    I have no idea what’s going on here. I can’t tell the articles from the ads. Going elsewhere.

  17. LB Says:

    Ditto all the comments about the unusability of your website. If you’re serious about providing content – provide it in an accessible format. What you have now is garbage. I don’t have time to sift through it. Going elsewhere for my information. Sorry.

  18. Spencer Says:

    This is a truly awful computer it is a dumb design and awful quality. my brother opened his screen using one hand and the screen is so flexible it broke

  19. ayyyy Says:

    you could only download GOOGLE things. you were to download origin to play pc games, you’re out of luck

  20. MTBetterThanYou Says:

    Oh. my. god. You people are the most rude, crotchety P’sOS. Did you pay him to write this for you? You don’t like it, go somewhere else and stfu.

  21. John Says:

    Great series of reviews. Don’t understand the whinges about page layout and not being able to navigate, and where are lists etc. Read the comments after reading the reviews.

    Keep up the good work.

    Read using Chrome browser on my 10.1 Galaxy Tab 3.

  22. Patricia Taylor Says:

    i have a chromebook 4 and we cannot get my hp deskjet 1512 to work with it.Any advice on it.

  23. Yvonne Wood Says:

    The whole idea of having built in virus protector is the best feature of the chrome book.

    I am an on line college student. Using the chrome book for school can be very frustrating because not all of the software used for various classes is compatible with the chrome book.

  24. Dirk Says:

    Are any of the newest Chromebooks compatible with The older ones were not.

  25. Rick Says:

    There is one item that never gets addressed here, not just with chrome books but with laptops as well. That is the KEYBOARD. If the left shift key is not a large shift key it is more than annoying. If you are a touch typist the lack of a large shift key on the left side of the keyboard drives you nuts. Why the keyboard has changed is beyond me other than most people must be hunt an peck typists. I will not buy ANY unit that is missing the proper keyboard.

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