The Dell Chromebook 13 is the best Chromebook you can buy today.

Best overall

Dell Chromebook 13

Dell Chromebook 13

See at Dell

I can just come right out and say it — Dell has made the best non-Pixel Chromebook to date with the new Chromebook 13. This 13.3-inch Chromebook has a great metal build coated in durable soft touch material, along with a great backlit keyboard and a big glass-covered trackpad.

The bottom line: For anyone who wants to use a Chromebook on a regular basis, and values getting extra performance and hardware quality at an added price, Dell has made the Chromebook for you.

Why the Dell Chromebook 13 is the best

Dell has made the Chromebook for you.

The display on the Dell Chromebook 13 is a 1920x1080 IPS panel that looks great in the non-touch matte version, but there are also models with a Gorilla Glass-covered touchscreen of the same resolution.

At its lowest configuration — starting at $429 — you'll be getting a new Intel Celeron processor that's plenty capable when paired with 4GB of RAM, but if you have a specific reason for higher specs Dell will oblige and sell you one of a few different higher configurations. You can add a touch screen, up to 8GB of RAM and a Core i3 processor, all of which together add $200 more to the MSRP — but it could be worth it if you're looking for something higher end that doesn't say "Pixel" on it.

The Chromebook 13 offers fantastic battery life, is built super well and really checks all of the boxes aside from being a bit heavy at 3.23 pounds. If you're okay spending a little extra money to get something better than your standard cheap plastic Chromebook, this is the model to get — just make sure you choose the right configuration that works for your needs and budget.

The real question is which Chromebook 13 model you should choose. Dell doesn't have complete build-to-order configuration here but does offer plenty of different models, and I recommend you consider one of the first three. At minimum you'll want the Celeron model with 4GB of RAM, and optionally you could go for a higher model with a Core i3, 32GB of storage and a touchscreen for $629. Anything above that and it starts to be less of a great value, so be sure to weigh the features against the price before you buy.

Best on a budget

ASUS Chromebook Flip (C100)

ASUS Chromebook Flip

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The ASUS Chromebook Flip was rather unassuming and a little confusing when it was first unveiled, but has turned into a mini revelation. This little laptop with its 10.1-inch display and folding design that turns it into a pseudo-tablet is the go-to choice for anyone that wants a good, inexpensive and hyper-portable Chromebook.

For less than $300 you're getting a 1080p touch screen, a metal build, great battery life and solid performance out of a MediaTek processor and 2 or 4GB of RAM (do choose 4GB if possible). It's one of the first Chromebooks to receive initial Google Play Android app support, showing Google's confidence in this little device. On a budget and looking for a great Chromebook, you can't do much better than this.

Bottom line: The Chromebook Flip is also one of the first models slated to pick up Android app compatibility through the Google Play Store, which could tip the scales a bit for folks looking to be ready for the new feature addition.

Best for the future

Acer Chromebook R13

Acer Chromebook R13

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Looking to the future, the Acer Chromebook R13 was just announced in September as the new mid-range offering from the company. The R13 represents the future of Chromebooks, carrying on from the ASUS Chromebook Flip. It has a 1080p IPS touch screen for interaction with Android apps, can fold back into various modes for an all-touch experience, and charges using the new USB-C standard rather than an older connector.

Beyond that, the Chromebook R13 offers a lot for its higher-than-average price. It has a solid metal build and nice-looking screen, with a solid (but quite standard) keyboard and trackpad. It isn't particularly light, but that's partially because of its large battery. The only real concern here is performance and configurability, as you're getting a MediaTek ARM processor and can only choose to get 16, 32 or 64GB of storage — there's no choice to get a higher-end processor or more RAM.

Bottom line: If you're happy with the base configuration and don't need something that's hyper-portable, this is going to be a great all-around choice to experience the future of Chrome OS.

Best to configure

HP Chromebook 13 G1

HP Chromebook 13 G1

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The HP Chromebook 13 G1 is nominally designed for the enterprise, but that's why it offers so much for a Chromebook enthusiast. No matter what model you get you're going to be using a full-metal laptop that comes in under three pounds, a crazy 3200x1800 touch screen, a backlit keyboard, and it charges up over USB-C (there's an additional USB-C port as well).

But here's the thing: you don't have to settle for the base model at $499. If you want more, you can have more — you can configure the Chromebook 13 G1 with up to 16GB of RAM and a top-end Intel Core m7 processor if you really need more performance.

The downside? Price. The base model at $499 is pretty good, but the whole idea behind getting the Chromebook 13 G1, for some people, is the configuration — and if you spec it up, this laptop will push over $1000. That's a lot of money to spend on a Chromebook, even when it's as nice as the HP is. The spec bumps when you configure it just lead to seemingly disproportionate increases in price.

Bottom line: If you have the money to spend, you're getting a great Chromebook here — but value-conscious buyers can choose better.

Conclusion

There's a Chromebook to satisfy most any need that you may have. Whether you're buying for yourself, as a gift, or giving guidance to someone else for their own purchase, be sure to start here before making a buying decision. For most people, though, most of the time, Dell Chromebook 13 is the overall best bet.

Best overall

Dell Chromebook 13

Dell Chromebook 13

See at Dell

I can just come right out and say it — Dell has made the best non-Pixel Chromebook to date with the new Chromebook 13. This 13.3-inch Chromebook has a great metal build coated in durable soft touch material, along with a great backlit keyboard and a big glass-covered trackpad.

The bottom line: For anyone who wants to use a Chromebook on a regular basis, and values getting extra performance and hardware quality at an added price, Dell has made the Chromebook for you.