A good alternative

A good alternative
Credit: HP.
Need a new laptop? You don’t have to choose between a Mac and a PC. Chromebooks are laptop computers that run on Chrome OS, an operating system made by Google that has some advantages over other platforms. Chrome OS is lightweight, easy to use and pretty secure. Plus, Google is rolling out the ability to run Android apps on most Chromebook laptops, which will greatly expand the platform’s software library.
The downsides are pretty clear too. You can’t run PC or Mac software on a Chromebook without resorting to clunky virtualization software. For that reason, you’ll have to rely mostly on web applications instead.
Regardless, a Chromebook might be all you need for basic business tasks like email, web browsing and document editing. Here are five of the best.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Acer Chromebook 14 for Work

Acer’s aptly named Chromebook 14 for Work offers business-friendly features you won’t find on most other Chromebooks. It boasts durable build quality and strong security features, including hardware encryption and secure remote management capabilities. Plus, you get fast performance, solid battery life and a slick, premium design.

Key features:

  • Durable design
  • Secure remote management
  • Hardware encryption
  • Premium design

Click here to read a full review of the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work.

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Best Battery Life

Best Battery Life

Dell Chromebook 13

Dell’s Chromebook 13 is a well-rounded laptop that lasts and lasts. In fact, the system ran for an incredible 13 hours and 25 minutes on our battery life test, which demolishes the eight-hour laptop average. It also provides a sharp 13.3-inch display, fast performance, and a super-comfortable keyboard that’s perfect for marathon typing sessions. 

Key features:

  • Long battery life 
  • Durable design
  • Comfortable keyboard

Click here to read a full review of the Dell Chromebook 13.

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Best 2-in-1 Chromebook

Best 2-in-1 Chromebook

Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA

The Chromebook Flip C302CA sports a touchscreen and a versatile folding design, letting you use the system like either a laptop or a tablet. And it puts that tablet mode to good use with full support of the entire Android app library. When you want to use the system as a traditional laptop, you get fast performance and a really nice keyboard. The system’s slick aluminum design is just icing on the cake.

Key features:

  • 2-in-1 design
  • Fast performance
  • Full HD display

Click here to read a full review the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA from our sister site Laptop Mag.

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Best 15-inch Chromebook

Best 15-inch Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 15

Acer’s Chromebook stands out as one of the most affordable 15-inch laptops you can buy. The $250 system sports a bright 15.6-inch display, which leaves plenty of space for screen-intensive productivity tasks. And don’t forget the laptop’s zippy performance, long battery life and roomy touchpad.

Key features:

  • 2-in-1 design
  • Fast performance
  • Large 15.6-inch display

Click here to read a full review of the Acer Chromebook 15.

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Best Budget Chromebook

Best Budget Chromebook

Lenovo N22 Chromebook

Lenovo’s N22 Chromebook is an enticing secondary computer for workers on a budget. This super-portable little laptop features a compact, lightweight design that won’t weigh you down on your daily commute, and it even has a retractable handle that makes it easy to carry back and forth between your desk and the office meeting room. It’s not very fast, and its small display is a bit dim, but this dirt-cheap $160 laptop still provides pretty good bang for your buck.

Key features:

  • Budget price
  • Long battery life
  • Portable design

Click here to read a full review of the Lenovo N22 Chromebook.

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Click here to read more about Chromebooks from our sister site Tom's IT Pro.