Chromebooks remain one of the finest deals in technology, giving exceptional speed, performance, and dependability for a fraction of the cost of a similar Windows laptop. Though Chrome OS began as a simple browser, these devices have grown in maturity over the last few years. From apps and games to file browsers and even Adobe app support, Chrome OS has come a long way in terms of usability, utterly dominating the budget laptop market and replacing the horrible, cumbersome Windows laptops of the previous decade. A superb Chromebook is available at nearly every price range, and if all you need in a computer is a method to write papers, watch Netflix, and surf Facebook or Instagram, a Chromebook is a surprisingly good alternative.
If you have a tax refund sitting in your bank account, now is the time to treat yourself to a fresh new laptop that will make perusing the web a whole lot more joyful. Whether you’re looking for a device for yourself, a student, a parent, or someone else, Google’s portfolio of low-cost options can frequently provide just enough capability to be ideal. Touchscreen-equipped Chromebooks make it easy to watch films, take notes, and even play light games on the device, without having to pay for high-priced premium Windows ultrabooks that are usually used for similar purposes. And, hey, if you’re searching for a high-end Chromebook, we’ve got some alternatives for you there as well.
With so many different models to select from, purchasing a Chromebook today might be a daunting endeavor. Which models should you consider purchasing, and which should you avoid? Sit back and unwind, because we’ve got you covered. This is our list of the top touchscreen Chromebooks available today.
Following Are The Best Touchscreen Chromebooks 2021
1. Google Pixelbook Go
The Pixelbook Go, which was released in October of last year, was Google’s first regular Chromebook in two years. Replacing the original Pixelbook—considered by many to be one of the greatest touchscreen Chromebooks ever made—the Pixelbook Go reduces the beginning price by 35%, giving it a far more accessible option for anyone looking to invest in a new Chromebook. The Pixelbook Go, at $650, is still quite expensive in comparison to most other devices on the market, but despite this, it appears to offer all the enchantment you could expect from a Chromebook today.
If there is one thing that the Pixelbook Go falls short on, it is the design. There’s a lot to appreciate about how the Pixelbook Go looks and feels, but in the transfer to a lower-cost market, the Go has lost one of the original Pixelbook’s best features: its tall display. Unlike the Pixelbook, the Go has a 13.3-inch screen with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio. This makes it a decent choice for watching movies or YouTube, but for productive work, a 3:2 display like the original tablet would have been highly appreciated, especially given that this isn’t a 15-inch gadget. Looking at the device as a whole, the smaller, wider display appears to be part of making the Go as portable as possible, and Google has nailed it on that front.
The device weighs barely 2 pounds and is 13mm thick—basically as thin as it can be. The gadget is built of magnesium, which helps to keep the device’s frame light and compact, while also providing a gripping ribbed texture at the bottom of the design (also made out of magnesium). This is a premium-feeling device, and it’s nice to see Google assisting in lowering the cost of this type of Chromebook to something much cheaper than we’ve seen in the past. It’s also worth mentioning that, while having a touchscreen, the Pixelbook Go does not fold 360 degrees to form a tablet. This is a classic laptop design from start to finish, which may turn off some potential purchasers.
Let’s go into the specifics: The Pixelbook starts with an 8th Generation Intel Core m3, which should be quick enough for most basic surfing and video playback, but if you plan on doing any real work on the go, you’ll want to upgrade to an i5 or an i7 for a little more money. The Pixelbook Go is available in four different configurations, each with 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage. There is no option for additional storage, so make sure you purchase the capacity you need upfront.
The real show here, though, begins when you open the clamshell device. The backlit keyboard employs Google’s new HushKeys, which are designed to provide significant travel while being quiet. In addition to those keyboards, the Go has two front-firing speakers, which should make it one of the best Chromebooks for watching movies. Chromebooks have a reputation for skimping on speaker quality, so if you plan on viewing a lot of YouTube, the Pixelbook is practically perfect.
Finally, the Pixelbook Go is a fantastic, well-rounded computer. It’s pricier than some of the other devices on this list, especially considering it maxes out at a staggering $1400, but if you want a good Chromebook experience, this is it. It’s quick and light, with a fantastic display, best-in-class speakers, and a quiet keyboard. The build quality is excellent, and it comes directly from Google, making this an absolute no-brainer of a device.
If you’re unsure about which tier to choose, we recommend the Core i5/8GB RAM model, which should have the adequate processing power and memory for everyday activities while keeping you comfortable with little to no slowdown.
- Excellent speakers and keyboard
- High-quality construction
- Pricing that is reasonable
- There is no extendable storage.
- There is no 3:2 aspect ratio.
- It does not fold all the way around.
2. Acer Chromebook Spin 713
This year has seen a fairly low number of new Chrome OS hardware releases, but Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 has been a pleasant surprise. The Spin 713 is a midrange Chromebook that features everything most people could ever desire in a laptop for $629 (but it is listed at $859 on Amazon—more on that below). From amazing battery life to one of the best displays available on a Chromebook today, the Spin excels in almost every area.
Let’s start with the display, which is definitely a highlight and something we hope to see more of on future Chrome OS devices. The 22561504 display is bright, vivid, and colorful, but its true strength is its 3:2 aspect ratio. As a result, the screen is nearly as tall as it is wide, making productivity easier than ever. Not everyone will want a 3:2 display—obviously, it’s poorer for viewing movies or gaming, for example—but for laptops designed for productivity, the bigger display makes a huge difference in everything from web browsing and word processing to managing spreadsheets or coding.
And, while the display is the Spin 713’s most notable feature, it is far from the sole reason to buy one. The 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor provides plenty of power, far more than most users will require from Chrome OS. It also contributes to up to 10 hours of battery life, and even if you spend most of your time at home these days, it’s still a good idea to futureproof your gadget for when we can finally leave the house to study at a coffee shop. 8GB of RAM is plenty to manage a huge number of tabs while running a handful of Chrome apps in the background, and the 128GB SSD provides more than enough storage for a Chromebook.
The primary physical feature of the Spin 713, as you would have guessed from the name, is the 360-degree hinge. This form factor has been around for nearly a decade, yet every time the display flips around to become a tablet, it feels amazing. The Flip 713’s size prevents it from becoming an iPad replacement—especially given that it weighs around three times as much as the average iPad—but the ability to flip into tablet or tent mode aids notetaking performance in class.
Overall, the Spin 713 is the greatest new Chromebook of last year, narrowly beating out Asus’ Chromebook Flip C434 as one of our two top picks. Unfortunately, the Spin 713 is hard to get, especially on Amazon, which is generally a one-stop-shop for Chrome OS devices. Amazon sells the Spin at a $200 markup, making it impossible to suggest for some users who are tied into purchasing from Amazon. Still, as long as it’s available at $629, Acer’s Spin 713 is a must-have Chromebook, especially if you’re tired of the classic 16:9 displays offered by Google’s Pixelbook Go.
- Fantastic 3:2 ratio display
- Excellent keyboard.
- Powerful and highly portable
- 3:2 display is less entertaining.
- The design isn’t as clean as the Pixelbook Go’s.
- Amazon is difficult to purchase from.
- Everybody else
3. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
The first Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is both powerful and well-designed, but it was a little too expensive. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 retains its fantastic metal design, superb keyboard, and magnificent screen while dropping specs and thereby lowering the price to something much more practical.
If you care about appearances and want a premium experience, this is unquestionably one of the best touchscreen Chromebooks available. Those looking for higher-end specs can still acquire the original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. In any case, they appear to be substantially identical.
4. Chromebook Flip C434 from Asus
Asus has consistently produced some of our best Chromebooks, and the C434 is no exception. This is a premium-feeling device with an all-aluminum construction that makes a significant impact on day-to-day usage. The design and feel of the machine are similar to those seen on a MacBook Pro or a Surface Laptop, though the latter is not as slim. The anodized finish is likewise similar to that of the MacBook line, eliminating the rough sensation of some other metal Chromebooks on the market today. The complete device is also rather tiny and light, weighing only 3.3 pounds and measuring just over half an inch thick. In terms of displays, Asus included a 1080p LED panel that looks good, crisp, and vibrant. It’s not the finest display you can get on a Chromebook today, but it’s a decent screen for the price.
Despite the 14-inch display, the device’s body is more akin to a regular 13-inch laptop due to the decreased bezels along the display’s sides. Thankfully, Asus kept the webcam at the top of the display rather than shifting it to the bottom, which means that, despite the narrower bezel, you lose none of the actual functionality of a standard panel.
There are two USB-C 3.1 connections on the sides of the laptop for data transfer, charging, and video out, as well as a single USB-A port, a 3.5mm headphone socket, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage on your device. While this may appear to be a fairly limited port selection, the USB-C port allows you to use adapters to access virtually any accessory you might require, and it even allows you to charge the device with a standard USB-C cable—the same one you probably have for your phone, tablet, Nintendo Switch, and a variety of other platforms.
The Flip is powered by an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor, which leverages low-power consumption to ensure the C434 has a long battery life and does not need a fan. The Flip’s entry-level model has 4GB of RAM, which is sufficient for most multitasking on a Chromebook, and 64GB of internal storage, which is a substantial amount when compared to most budget Chromebooks. If you want to boost the RAM, Asus also provides a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which we would highly recommend. However, given that Chrome OS syncs closely with Google Drive and does not require external storage outside of app installations, it is not absurd to suggest that this is more than enough for normal everyday usage.
The processor and RAM combination delivers great performance, allowing you to maintain a large number of tabs open at once without experiencing any perceptible lag. With a large size and decent responsiveness, the touchpad is useful for navigating the display. The keyboard is similarly comfortable and well-spaced, and the inclusion of backlighting makes it an excellent device for carrying to class and taking notes. The battery life isn’t nearly as long-lasting as the original Chromebook Flip from 2015, but you could expect roughly 8 hours of mixed usage on the device—more than enough to get you through the day, and thanks to the adoption of a standard USB-C port, it’s simple to top off during the day.
The Flip, as the name implies, is capable of rotating 360 degrees to transform into a makeshift tablet, complete with the ability to fully utilize the 14′′ display’s touchscreen. This means you can use the Flip to take notes using a third-party stylus, and you can use it in a variety of ways, including as a pop-up with the keyboard as a base, or in tent mode for watching media.
The Flip has only two main flaws in our opinion. First, while three pounds is a very reasonable weight for a laptop, it is simply too heavy to use as a tablet for extended periods of time. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is similar in size but weighs far less than the Chromebook Flip. The device’s side-mounted speakers, on the other hand, are far worse. At high volumes, the speakers sound tinny, rattling, and distorting, making them uncomfortable to listen to for an extended period of time. This device will undoubtedly require external speakers or headphones.
Overall, if you can afford the C434’s sub-$500 price tag, you’re getting a considerably more premium device than was previously available in this price bracket. To compete with what Asus is delivering with the C434, you’d have to spend nearly twice as much money, which is difficult to recommend. With the exception of the subpar audio, the Chromebook Flip C434 has everything we could want in a Chrome OS tablet and will remain one of our favorites long into 2021.
The C436 is an updated version of Asus’ Chromebook Flip. However, at a starting price of $799, we recommend that most purchasers choose the C434. While the C436 has better speakers and higher build quality, it has a smaller battery than the C434, which results in shorter battery life. Given the significant price differential and Asus’ choice to continue offering the C434, you’re significantly better off purchasing the less expensive laptop.
- Excellent build quality and design.
- Good screen, solid battery life
- Excellent public speakers
- Tablet mode is tough to use due to weight.
5. Duet Chromebook from Lenovo
If you’re looking for a superb, low-cost Chromebook in 2021, Lenovo’s new Duet is hard to beat. The Duet, which looks like a Chrome OS version of Microsoft’s Surface Go, has a 10.1″ 19201200 display with an included keyboard attachment, making it one of the most affordable hybrid devices available today. In tablet mode, the Duet looks like a regular 10′′ tablet, and the 16:10 aspect ratio prevents the device from feeling excessively big in your hand. However, if you add the supplied kickstand cast and keyboard dock, you’ll have a full-fledged laptop with a touchpad for mouse compatibility.
Of course, at $300, you shouldn’t anticipate anything comparable to the Surface Pro line of computers. Because the Chromebook is so small, the keyboard and trackpad are both somewhat cramped, and the MediaTek CPU is inadequate for anything other than basic browsing and productivity tools. Nonetheless, there are other advantages to this gadget, including all-day battery life, excellent color reproduction on the IPS panel, and surprisingly powerful dual speakers. Lenovo’s Duet will not transform the way you use computers in your daily life, but for $300, it’s difficult to go wrong.
The Duet is not the only Chrome OS tablet available in 2021. Although it is not yet available for purchase, Asus’ impending CM3000 Chrome OS hybrid has been heavily leaked, with similar features and a slightly larger display. It should be available this summer.
- Outstanding value
- Long battery life
- Processor and RAM deficiencies
- Size is small.
6. Google Pixel Slate
The Google Pixel Slate is getting on in years, yet it still one of the best touchscreen Chromebooks. Especially if you’re looking for a Chrome OS tablet with more powerful features than the Lenovo Chromebook Duet.
At its most basic configuration, this Chromebook has an Intel Core M3 processor and 8GB of RAM. These can be upgraded to an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with 16GB of RAM. The tablet also has a 12.3-inch display with a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000, up to 256GB of internal storage, and 12-hour battery life.
The Google Pixel Slate is no longer as pricey as it once was, but you will need to purchase a keyboard and stylus separately.
7. 14-inch HP Chromebook x360
For many purchasers, 14-inch displays strike the perfect balance of portability and functionality, providing just enough more screen real estate to boost productivity while keeping the device light and portable. If that describes you, you should take a close look at HP’s Chromebook x360 14. It’s not the cheapest laptop on this list at $629, but it’s a decent option for anyone searching for a Chromebook with a quality casing. It’s not the powerhouse one might anticipate for $700, with a Core i3-10110U, 8GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage, but it’s more than enough for most Chrome OS operations. When combined with a battery life of up to 13 hours—through more realistically, expect 8 to 10—the stats make a lot more sense.
The x360, like most Chromebooks these days, has a 360-degree hinge that allows you to spin the 14′′ 1080p display around to use as a tablet. It’s difficult to use as a tablet at this size, but it’s fantastic for taking notes or viewing movies in tent mode. The higher price tag comes with some useful additions, including a lighted keyboard for taking notes in the dark. Similarly, the front-firing speakers contribute to the x360’s media power, and an incorporated fingerprint sensor makes logging in a breeze. At $629, it’s on the pricey side for Chromebooks, but HP has worked hard to make this a notebook worth considering, particularly for students.
- Clean build
- Premium features
- Fingerprint sensor
- Expensive for what’s offered
- May be too big for some users
8. Flex 5 Chromebook from Lenovo
It is now more important than ever to focus on low-cost laptops. Lenovo’s Duet is one of our favorite devices of the year, especially considering the price of less than $300. If you have some additional cash to spend on a laptop, or if you prefer a more classic laptop design than the Duet, the Flex 5 is the gadget for you. Lenovo’s latest laptop is a deal at $409. Although it only has 4GB of RAM, the Core i3-10110U is more than adequate to power the Flex through most daily chores, and 64GB of storage is more than plenty for Chrome programs. A 13-inch 1080p display is an excellent mix between screen size and portability, and the 360-degree hinge makes taking notes on the touchscreen a breeze.
The Flex 5 actually has one of our favorite designs among Chromebooks right now. It’s clean and basic, with a lovely matte surface that helps keep fingerprints at bay. Lenovo has also included a few quality touches, like a backlit keyboard and front-facing speakers, that help makes it a deal at $400. It’s not the most powerful laptop on this list, but it’s a deal at this price.
- Keyboard with backlight
- High-quality speakers
- Matte finish
- In tablet form, 4GB of RAM is really powerful.