Best overall: Lenovo Chromebook 500e

See at Lenovo

A student needs a laptop that is reliable, affordable and robust. The Lenovo Chromebook 500e is all that and more. The Chromebook 500e was designed for students to carry back and forth to class without worry because of its rugged build. Features like a 360-degree hinge and excellent pen support make it the best Chromebook for any student. This is a deal at around $300.

The bottom line: The Chromebook 500e is great for any student. Chrome and Android app support, an excellent keyboard and screen optimized for pen input make it our best pick overall for students.

One more thing: Lenovo makes a 100e and 300e, both of which offer nearly as much for a little bit less money.

Why the Lenovo Chromebook 500e is the best

The Chromebook 500e was designed to go through life with you and survive it all. It's built like a tank with a reinforced shell and rubber bumpers that make it MIL-STD 810G compliant so it's going to survive banging around in a backpack or messenger bag and be ready to get to work when it needs to be. Lenovo's long history of making excellent laptops shines through with the keyboard and trackpad and the display is specially bonded to work excellent with the built-in Wacom EMR pen.

Inside, you have plenty of power to get things done with an Intel processor and ample 64GB or storage. And Android app support is an added bonus that means a student will be able to find the app they need to be productive in class.

The Chromebook 500e is designed for educational use but still has the options we want to see in our best pick. It's exactly what a busy student needs.

Best for younger students: Acer Chromebook Tab

See at CDW

Younger students can benefit from using a tablet. It's light and easy to hold, is great for more interaction with learning materials, and helps young students learn spelling and grammar by being more hands-on. While many Chromebooks can fold into a tablet, the Chromebook Tab 10 is a tablet.

It has the same features you would find in any suitable Chromebook: Android app support, Wacom pen support, a quad-core CPU and 32 GB of storage and an excellent 2048x1536 display. Grab it for just under $340.

Bottom line: If you are shopping for a younger student or anyone who might prefer a tablet experience, the Chromebook Tab 10 is the right way to go.

One more thing: Because this is a tablet, you're going to want a great Bluetooth keyboard, and the Logitech K480 is our recommendation.

Best on a budget: 2018 Acer Chromebook 11

See at Amazon

Acer's new Chromebook 11 is an affordable and dependable Chromebook that has no aspirations to be anything else. The beautiful blue body doesn't flip over into a tablet, there is no touch display or pen input — it's a Chromebook. A darn good one, especially when you consider that it retails for $269 and has the same Intel CPU and 32 GB of storage you'll see in more expensive models.

The bottom line: If you want a Chromebook for a student and have placed yourself on a budget, you're in luck. Acer's Chromebook 11 has you covered.

One more thing: There are so many Android apps that make your Chromebook experience even better.

Conclusion

There are plenty of great Chromebooks for students right now, but the Lenovo Chromebook 500e finds the right balance between productivity and style. If you want something a bit more budget-minded, the Acer Chromebook 11 is a great Chromebook that retails well under $300. And for the youngster who is just starting out, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is a perfect way to start learning how to learn as only a tablet can.

Best overall: Lenovo Chromebook 500e

See at Lenovo

A student needs a laptop that is reliable, affordable and robust. The Lenovo Chromebook 500e is all that and more. The Chromebook 500e was designed for students to carry back and forth to class without worry because of its rugged build. Features like a 360-degree hinge and excellent pen support make it the best Chromebook for any student. This is a deal at around $300.

The bottom line: The Chromebook 500e is great for any student. Chrome and Android app support, an excellent keyboard and screen optimized for pen input make it our best pick overall for students.

One more thing: Lenovo makes a 100e and 300e, both of which offer nearly as much for a little bit less money.

Update, June 2018: The Lenovo Chromebook 500e is the best choice for a student because it's tough and offers excellent performance

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