2018 saw an unprecented number of great Chromebooks released. After using most of them, we think one stands out as being the best across the board. That's the HP Chromebook X2. When it comes to the overall value of features, design, and price you get what you pay for plus a lot more.
Best Chromebook of 2018
The Complete Package
You can spend a lot of money on a Chromebook, but you'll be hard pressed to find a better value than the HP Chromebook X2. Wth powerful components and an amazing display, this detachable really defined the category in 2018.
Why we picked the HP Chromebook X2 as the Best Chromebook of 2018
Chromebooks are a Google product that's a little bit different than any Android phone you might be used to. Google makes its own Pixel series, but other manufactuerers also make models that have the same software and user features. In fact, all Chromebooks share the same software features. that means the execution of those features matters a lot.
That's where you'll find a bit of a divide when it comes to performance versus price. Almost any Chromebook you buy can handle the basic needs we all have and inexpensive models make the platform accessable for almost everyone. But the HP Chromebook X2 can deliver with performance on par with the uber-expensive models at a fraction of the price. That's because the core components like the processor are on par with those pricey models.
You'll first notice the display, because it's 12.3-inches of in-your-face glory. In fact, it's the same exact panle (and tuned with the same exact software) that Google's own Pixelbook uses. It's a gorgeous 2400 x 1600 pixel Samsung OLED display with a 3:2 aspect ratio that's perfect for web browsing. Paired with an Intel Core m3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 48Wh battery and you'll love using the Chromebook X2 all day.
The Chromebook X2 also helped define the Chrome Tablet category. Released months vefore Google's own Pixel Slate, it served as a real-world test bed for the changes Chrome needed (and still needs) to transition from the traditional clamshell device to a true tablet with a detachable keyboard. Using the Chromebook X2 as a tablet isn't an afterthought; it's designed to be a true convergant device that works well both ways.
There are a few things we'd have loved to see done differently, such as a keyboard with backlighting and more than 32GB of storage, but overall the HP Chromebook X2 ticks enough of the boxes to make it the best. Especially when one of those boxes is the price; you simply won't find a better bang-for-the-buck value when it comes to a Chromebook in 2018.
The best Chromebook ever made.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is the most powerful Chromebook of 2018 as well as the most powerful model ever. This is thanks to its eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and a generous amount of memory. It's designed for the Enterprise, which means it's built to be durable and light, deliver extreme performance, and has a price tag that reflects this. Still, if you need the power, it's an amazing device. For executives or field engineers who are harnessing the advanced features of Chrome OS, it's an amazing product.
Tough as nails
Kid-proof and feature-rich
Designed for education, the Lenovo Chromebook 500e can take a beating. But it's also feature-rich and another of 2018's best. Long battery life, a great display, and plenty of power make the 500e a Chromebook we still love to use every day. You'll first notice the rugged design and admittedly bulkey exterior, but when you start using it, you'll find the 500e is a great for almost everyone. Complete with the options we see in our top picks like active pen support, it's a premium product through and through. It just happens to be bundled up inside a tough and bulky (but surprisingly light) shell.
Of the long list of great Chromebooks we saw throughout 2018, the HP Chromebook X2 stands out as the best for almost everyone. It delivers the performance you expect at a price that's well below other high-end models, and even though it's not perfect, the sum of its parts makes it our top pick.
The HP Chromebook X2 may be the overall best of 2018, but that doesn't mean it was the year's only great Chromebook. And if you have an eye on a particular feature like performance the Enterprise-grade Acer Chromebook Spin 13 has no equal and the Lenovo Chromebook 500e has the features you want inside a tough and rugged exterior design to be life-proof.
With so many to choose from, it was tough to pick the best, but these three models all stand out in one way or another. Others have come and gone — and tempted us with shiny features — but these are the models we're still using at the end of the year.
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