Acer Chromebook Spin 713Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Best business Chromebook Android Central 2021

The best business Chromebook isn't always the best Chromebook for everyone — we often need more powerful specs for Linux applications or longer-lasting machines that will make the most of your IT budget — but thankfully there are some great Chromebooks out there for when you need to get to work. Whether you need a big screen for your multi-tasking or a durable little laptop to take from meeting to meeting, there's a model here for everyone! If you want the best of all worlds, I recommend going with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, a powerful Intel Evo-powered Chromebook with a gorgeous 2K screen — and a 3:2 aspect ratio for better productivity — and all the ports you need including HDMI.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Best Business Chromebook

Acer Chromebook Spin (2021)Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Business Chromebooks need power, stability, and longevity, and Acer delivers all three in a sturdy, portable package with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2021). It's one of the best Chromebooks on the market today due to the best blend of power and price in the premium segment, and it got a spec bump this year after last year's model won the hearts and minds of many Chromebook users.

The first Acer Chromebook Spin 713 debuted last summer as the clear winner among Project Athena Chromebooks, offering better power, performance, and port selection than the Acer Chromebook Flip C436 and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. The 2-in-1 form factor lets the Spin 713 fit into whatever workflow or desk situation you have, and the 13.5-inch touchscreen is a 3:2 aspect ration for more vertical space when split-screening windows and more room when sketching or viewing schematics. The 2256x1504 (2K) resolution makes videos look wonderful, and max brightness of 450 nits means you can use this Chromebook outside so long as you're not in direct midday sun.

Being able to flip the Spin 713 into stand mode while I'm using it at my standing desk is a wonderful blessing, allowing me to keep the screen closer and more easily use the touchscreen. The backlit keyboard on here is easy to use for hours on end, though that taller screen means I'm having to deal with bigger palm rests than most 13-inch Chromebooks.

While last year's model lacked a fingerprint sensor, there are some 2021 models that will feature one, but they haven't arrived quite yet. Considering you can only use them to log back into the Chromebook — and Smart Lock does the same thing via Bluetooth — I'm OK with the omission. There are two Thunderbolt 4-certified USB-C ports on the left side, though I wish they'd done one on each side like the 2020 model. You also get USB-A, HDMI, microSD, and a headphone/mic jack, the former two being absent from most premium Chromebooks these days.

The only real question when buying the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is if you want to save a few bucks and buy last year's model — which is still plenty powerful and has the same great screen, battery, and keyboard/trackpad — or do you grab the new model for the most futureproofing possible. The 2021 models aren't quite as readily available as last year's but as more arrive, deep discounts will likely arrive for the "old" model. When looking at model numbers, the 2020 versions start with CP713-2W while the 2021 configurations are CP713-3W.

Pros:

  • 8GB RAM for productivity
  • Beautiful 2K screen
  • Good price for an i5
  • HDMI port

Cons:

  • Fingerprint scanner models delayed
  • Keyboard sits further back from the edge
  • More expensive than 2020 model

Best Business Chromebook

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Powerful specs at an impressive price.

If you prefer tall Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 harnesses the power of the Intel Evo platform and a bright 2K screen.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Best budget business Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

As someone who works full-time on a Chromebook, the Lenovo Flex 5 has been the most compelling Chromebook I've used in quite a while, which is part of why it's our overall best Chromebook. It has the same depth and thickness as the 11.6-inch Lenovo C340-11 and is just barely an inch wider despite housing a 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen inside.

The 2-in-1 form factor is great for the office: you can use it as a normal laptop while you're sitting in a conference room, lay it back into tablet mode for signing documentation or annotating agreements, and use it in stand mode when you're showing off materials to a client. The 16:9 aspect ratio on the screen is great for video conferences, and when you're not on a video call, there's a physical cover for the webcam that you can slide into place for privacy.

Paired with the bright touchscreen is a backlit keyboard with nice, loud, up-facing stereo speakers on either side. This makes the Flex 5 great for listening to music while you work — or watching movies in your hotel room after a long day of meetings. And underneath that backlit keyboard sits a 10th-gen Intel i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. I wish 8GB models were more widely available, but at least it comes with 64GB of storage by default so you have plenty of room for apps and offline documents.

Wi-Fi 6 is something that isn't too useful in the home environment yet, but for businesses that have upgraded to handle increased user loads, Wi-Fi 6 on the Flex 5 means you should see stronger connections and fewer dead spots, and Bluetooth 5 is here to help you keep a solid connection on your Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth mouse.

Lenovo recently announced the Flex 5's successor, the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook, but it's still not widely available for purchase yet and only features new color options and a slight spec bump. Instead, grab the Flex 5 while it's seeing bigger sales as retailers make room for the more expensive successor.

Pros:

  • Excellently priced
  • Well-designed and portable
  • Privacy switch from webcam
  • Bright 13-inch touchscreen

Cons:

  • 8GB model is very elusive
  • New model coming soon

Best Budget Business Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 Render

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Great performance for a great price.

Lenovo makes great small Chromebooks. With just a few small upgrades, it also makes Chromebooks perfect for business.

HP Chromebook x360 14c

Best 14-inch Business Chromebook

Hp Chromebook X360 14c 2Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

HP has a half-dozen Enterprise-geared Chromebooks on the market today, but its best entry is by far the HP Chromebook x360 14c, the goldilocks between the ridiculously overpriced and ultra-premium HP Elite c1030 and the underwhelming HP Pro c640. The x360 14c's 2-in-1 form factor makes it more adaptable to a wider array of workspaces and it's packing 8GB RAM to go along with the Intel Core i3 processor.

Like the Lenovo Flex 5, HP opted for upward-facing speakers on each side of the keyboard, meaning that it's easier to listen to live streams and press events on the 14c, though the 14-inch 1080p screen here isn't quite as vibrant as the Acer Spin 713. It is a nice big screen that's perfect for split-screening research and reporting — like I'm doing right now to write this guide — and the battery is big enough to keep that screen on for up to 10 hours before you need to go find a Power Delivery charger.

HP included a fingerprint scanner on the 14c, making re-opening your computer after your lunch break quick and painless, and there are physical kill switches for the cameras. There are not as many ports here as the Acer Spin 713, but it's nice to have at least one USB-A port here, and while there isn't a stylus built-in, USI stylus support is welcome to see here.

Like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, HP updated the 14c after less than a year to a practically identical model with 11th Gen Intel Core processors intead of 10th Gen. There aren't any other real upgrades to speak of, but this means that 10th Gen models are getting discounts while the new models offer a slightly longer Chrome OS auto-update expiration date. Just be aware that this is why you're seeing such a wide price range for what is seemingly one Chromebook line: some are technically a new model that uses the same name.

Pros:

  • Capable power with plenty of RAM
  • Beefy hinge design
  • Sturdy construction

Cons:

  • Not as pretty
  • Mediocre screen
  • Can get pricey for new model

Best 14-inch Business Chromebook

Hp Chromebook X360 14c Render

HP Chromebook x360 14c

Balance play and work with this large 2-in-1.

HP puts its Enterprise expertise on full display with the 14c, giving you a durable and understated design with plenty of power.

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook

Best Upgrade Business Chromebook

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga ChromebookSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The ThinkPad brand is far older than Chromebooks — it's almost as old as I am! — but few brands have such an enduring legacy of durability and practicality. While there have been a few ThinkPad Chromebooks in the past, this is the first to be available in both consumer and Enterprise variants, with powerful configurations available for both. Powered by AMD Ryzen 3/5/7 3000-series APUs, the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook is powerful without making you shell out as much as Intel Core chips do.

The TrackPoint is here with the three buttons sitting just above the trackpad, but the best ThinkPad feature on the C13 is without a doubt the keyboard. Most Chromebooks have lowercase letters on the keyboard because of Google's education requirements — because younger students just learning to write recognize the lowercase letters easier — but the ThinkPad is squarely aimed at adults and as such has nice large uppercase letters instead. Paired with strong backlighting, this makes the C13 the best keyboard to use at night by far.

Not all configurations have the fingerprint sensor or the built-in USI stylus, but it's nice to see a built-in USI stylus on an Enterprise-grade Chromebook rather than being forced to try and hunt down a third-party USI stylus. The screen here is 13.3 inches and is available at either 1080p with 300 nits brightness or a 4K screen with 400 nits brightness, meaning the C13 is also one of the better Chromebooks to use outside.

For all these features, you're going to end up paying extra. Lenovo has already put the ThinkPad C13 on sale once, and I'm hopeful we'll see them frequently because the list prices here will far exceed the budget of most Chromebook users.

Pros:

  • ThinkPad tough
  • Built-in USI stylus
  • Large-font keyboard
  • Powered by Ryzen APUs

Cons:

  • Expensive at times

Best Upgrade Business Chromebook

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook (13") 2-in-1 Laptop

Nothing beats a ThinkPad for business

From that rubbery little TrackPoint to the powerful Ryzen internals, the C13 is worthy of the ThinkPad name.

Google Pixelbook Go

Best Business Chromebook For Typing

Pretty Pixelbook screenSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

If you're someone who is writing morning, noon, and night, you'll appreciate a keyboard that's quiet and meticulously crafted. To borrow from our own Jerry Hildenbrand's Pixelbook Go review:

"The keys provide just enough travel and are just stiff enough to feel responsive under your fingers. Combine this with the perfect (for me, anyway) sweet spot where the key itself actuates and it makes typing enjoyable. You almost get the same satisfaction as you would from a loud clackity mechanical keyboard and this alone makes it better than any other Chromebook on the market to me."

It's accurate, key travel is excellent, and the matte finish feels amazing to type on for hours on end. This might seem like a lot of gushing for a keyboard, but if you do a lot of typing for your job, this is an essential component that you shouldn't overlook. This Chromebook is also uber-comfy to use in your lap while you're waiting in airport lounges or waiting rooms if you tend to work away from a desk.

Besides the wonderful keyboard, the Pixelbook Go has some cutting-edge spec options — including a 4K screen if you're willing to shell out for it — and as Google's own Chromebook, it's the first to get new features and you know it's absolutely made to last. You'll pay more for the Pixelbook Go, but if you need the best of the best, it will absolutely deliver.

Pros:

  • Outstanding keyboard that's comfortable and accurate
  • Speakers and trackpad are top-notch
  • Well-built, lightweight design
  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Doesn't have a fingerprint sensor
  • Expensive
  • Two years old

Best Business Chromebook For Typing

Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go

Spoil your fingers

You probably type a lot for work, and if you do, the Pixelbook Go is worth splurging for. Seriously — the keyboard is that good.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

Catch it on Sale

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 used to rule the roost in this roundup, and even at two years old, it's still a decent Chromebook for business if you can find it on sale. It features a shiny aluminum shell, a backlit keyboard, and decent specs under the hood, with even the m3 models being more than enough for my multi-tasking madness. There's also a 14-inch 1080p touchscreen in this nifty 2-in-1, which gives you just a little more real estate for your split-screening work and play— I mean work and work, boss!

I still prefer the ASUS C434 over its newer, sleekier successor, the Project Athena-certified ASUS Chromebook C436, because the C434 has a USB-A port, a more dependable battery, and a much lower price. That said, as it is two years old, only has an AUE date of June 2026 — most Chromebooks released today have dates in 2028 or 2029 — and the C434 can't justify its list price when newer, shinier, longer-lasting Chromebooks are around for the same price (or lower).

If you can find the C434 during a sale, it's a good Chromebook, but please don't pay 2021 prices for a 2019 Chromebook!

Pros:

  • Gorgeous aluminum design
  • Keyboard is backlit
  • 14-inch Full HD display
  • 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Getting harder to find
  • Sales are fewer and farther between

Catch it on sale

Asus C434

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

A good Chromebook that deserves a good sale

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 has a backlit keyboard, a bright 14-inch screen, and a decent value if you can find it discounted.

Bottom line

To be perfectly honest, any of the Chromebooks mentioned here would make a great addition to your workflow. However, if we had to pick just one, we'd recommend you buy the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, either last year's model with a USB-C port on each side or the new model with Thunderbolt 4 and 11th Gen Intel Core processors.

It's a 13.5-inch Chromebook with a 2K resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio for seeing more on the screen at once, and being able to flip the screen all the way back for a tablet form factor is a great convenience. The backlit keyboard and 10-hour battery life make for a great experience when you're working late into the night. There's also nothing to complain about for the specs, either, with a 10th or 11th Gen Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage.

If you need something a little more affordable but still plenty capable, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 has an Intel Core i3, a backlit keyboard, a compact profile, and a very, very reasonable price now that it's not selling out every other week the way it did during the 2020 Chromebook shortage. Lenovo also has the hardcore business Chromebook market locked down with the retro refreshed ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook, which has options for a 4K screen, up to a Ryzen 7 APU, and a built-in USI stylus for easily signing documents.

What about Enterprise Chromebooks?

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga ChromebookSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

There's another category of Chromebooks to consider for business users. Enterprise Chromebooks are Chromebooks that come with the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade. Our best Business Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, as well as the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga and HP Chromebook x360 14c are available as standard consumer models or as Enterprise models with extra features and the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade built into the price.

Unless your business is a Chrome Enterprise customer — and if it is, chances are you're not buying your own Chromebook, the company is buying in bulk and issuing them out to employees as needed — Enterprise Chromebooks aren't usually worth the upgrade, especially when the consumer versions have the same hardware for hundreds of dollars less.

Chrome Enterprise Upgrade is supposed to help the IT department of a larger business manage and deploy Chromebooks more easily, which means that for those of us working somewhere with a Bring Your Own Device environment, the Enterprise Upgrade doesn't do much. After all, all Chromebooks support G Suite accounts and services. I work full-time from a Chromebook and have never found a consumer-grade Chromebook to be lacking in my work for anything other than professional-grade video editing.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Ara Wagoner themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing help and how-to's, she's running around Walt Disney World with a Chromebook. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco. If you see her without headphones, RUN.

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