As students are heading back to study, schools and parents might need to again consider the right Chromebooks that meet the needs of their children and students. Chromebooks have emerged as a favourite in the race to provide schoolchildren with learning devices due to their affordable price, ease of use and build quality. Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, a no thrills operating system where almost everything you need is built-in to the Chromebook itself. Cloud storage, Google products, security and speed are all stand out features streamlining the setup and management of multiple devices at once.
It may be reassuring to hear that all of the Chromebooks we will be looking at today are able to withstand even the most enthusiastic kids in terms of durability. With drop and water resistance, reinforced corners and hinges plus also anchored keys so even they don’t go walkabout. We have divided our top Chromebook picks into four categories. The categories range from the most entry-level devices - perfect for young primary-school aged children - up to more premium picks for those who need a little more.
Best Entry-Level 11.6" Chromebooks
Cost-effective devices that do the basics. Perfect for primary school.
This is an excellent choice for those who need a compact, cost-effective device for essential tasks like web browsing, email, and word processing. Since it's entry-level, the specs will be basic; but this is perfect for students who only need basic computing functions and a low-cost device. These chromebooks are the perfect choice for primary school children (about 5-10 years old) for this reason. They're ideal for basic education needs like online research, homework, or viewing educational content. They're also compact and lightweight, making it easier for small children to carry.
For this category, we recommend the HP Chromebook 11 G9 EE or the Lenovo 100e G3 Chromebook. These both feature an 11.6" HD display, Wi-Fi 6 support, a webcam, and USB-C. The Lenovo 100e features a slightly more powerful Intel Celeron N5100 processor and twice as much RAM and storage however, so if you're looking for something with more power and capacity, opt for this one. However, the specs on the HP Chromebook 11 G9 EE will easily be sufficient for young primary school kids too.
Best Entry-Level 12" Touch Chromebooks
Versatile touch screen devices that offer tactile interaction and added benefits.
Touch screen chromebooks offer all the advantages of the clamshell chromebooks but with the added benefit of a touch screen. This makes it great for students who prefer interactive action or who use apps that benefit from touch input. It's useful for education or creative settings where tactile interaction is beneficial. Good for primary and intermediate school students (about 6-12 years old) who may enjoy more interactive learning experiences via touchscreen capabilities. They're useful for digital drawing or educational apps that involve touch input. Many chromebooks with touch screens also feature a 360-degree hinge for more versatility, such as Tent, Tablet, Stand, and Laptop mode.
Our top pick for this category is the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2. With a 360-degree hinge, this laptop offers the options of clamshell, tablet, display, and tent modes which enables students to work in a variety of situations and positions. An Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage offers great performance for the classroom! It's also incredibly lightweight making it a perfect on-the-go device. Another great choice is the Lenovo 500e Yoga Chromebook which also sports a 12.2" FHD touch display and 64GB of storage. It has more RAM at 8GB making it ideal for those who are after a bit more speed and power.
Best 14” Clamshell Chromebooks
Devices that offer a larger work surface, while still being portable.
14" clamshell chromebooks offer a larger screen that makes it better for those requiring a bigger work surface, such as for multitasking, watching videos, or doing creative work. It combines the portability of smaller models with the performance of bigger ones, making it perfect for older students. We would recommend a chromebook of this size for intermediate or highschool students (about 12-16 years old). The larger screen is beneficial for viewing multiple windows at once, making it ideal for more complex assignments and projects. It still retains a degree of portability suitable for school use.
Our top picks for this category is the Lenovo Chromebook 14E G2. The Lenovo 14E features a 14" HD display, AMD 3000 series CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage - all in a durable package that's made to keep up with classrom knocks and bumps. However, for those wanting extra sstorage and sharper visuals, consider the ASUS C424MA 14" FHD Chromebook. This device features a 14" FHD display, an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also has a 180-degree hinge that allows it to be laid completely - perfect for working on groups and collaborating. It also has a clean design that's portable and light-weight. Our factory refurbished option makes all of this available at an affordable price!
Best 15.6" Clamshell Chromebooks
Devices with large screens that are ideal for more intensive work.
With the largest screen size, these models are best for students who need a large screen for more intensive work. These will be most suitable for high school students (around 14-18 years old) who may need more computing power for advanced tasks, like programming or high-resolution video editing for media studies. The larger size makes multitasking easier but may reduce portability. In all cases, BYOD introduces convenience as students can use the same device at school and at home, ensuring they have access to all their files and software.
Our top pick for this category is the ASUS CX1 15.6" Chromebook. The device features a FHD display, Intel Celeron N4500 processor, 4GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of storage. It's made for boosting productivity, offering superior performance in a modern, stylish, and slim package. It has a 180-degree lay-flat hinge that allows it to be laid flat on a desk, and a full-sized ergnomic keyboard makes typing super comfortable. Additionally, the quad-core CPU and dual-band Wi-Fi 6 technology means it has superior performance and superfast internet speeds, along with enhanced portability. The ASUS CX1 is a fantastic choice if you're looking for something that compares with a laptop experience!
Best AIO Chrome Device
A desktop experience with the ease and benefits that come with Chrome OS.
If you're looking for a desktop experience for the classroom or for your children to use at home, there are All-in-One devices that also use the Chrome OS. The HP Chromebase 22 is an excellent example of a device that offers the power to get things done, with the simplicity of Chrome. It features a 21.5" FHD touch display, an Intel Pentium 6450U processor, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. With the larger screen, extra storage, power and performance, it makes for a great all-round family device too!
As with all Chrome devices, this comes equipped with built-in security features, including automatic updates and sandboxing technology; access to Google Classroom and G Suite; apps like Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and more. The affordable price point combined with versatile functionality and cloud-based operation, makes it a great choice for the classroom or family with children!