• Best overall
  • Best on a budget
  • Best big screen
  • Best on the go

Best overall

Google Pixelbook

A graduate needs a high-performance laptop that will be just as good in 2025 as it is in 2018. That's the Google Pixelbook. Incredibly well built and engineered using the latest components, the Pixelbook will be a great choice for years to come and worth the hefty price.

The bottom line: The Pixelbook is expensive, and worth it if a graduate needs a workhorse and needs it to look great.

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Why the Pixelbook is best for graduates

The Pixelbook is not cheap. It's not the most expensive Chromebook, but starting around $1,000 means it had better be great if it's going to be worth buying. And it is.

It's designed to be both your laptop and your tablet, and it does a great job doing so. The Intel Core CPU, plenty of on-board memory and a large storage drive aren't something you usually find in a Chromebook, and something you don't need for every-day "light" computing. But having it all there means the Pixelbook can do more and seeing things like support for Linux applications come to Chromebooks means a machine destined to last a while is going to need beefy hardware.

Being easy on the eyes is important, too and the Pixelbook's unique design ticks this column neatly. A gorgeous 12-inch display paired with an excellent back lit keyboard and trackpad that rival's Apple's offerings makes for a wonderful laptop, and a 360-degree hinge makes for the perfect media device or tablet. Did we mention it's only 0.4-inches thick?

The Pixelbook is the best in category because it perfectly fits the needs of almost every graduate in terms of performance, utility, and design.

Best on a budget

Samsung Chromebook Plus

Samsung's Chromebook Plus offers a sturdy, yet equally beautiful option that's half the price of a Pixelbook. being the "budget" pick shouldn't imply anything bad and in this case it doesn't.

The Chromebook Plus has a great 12-inch display and an excellent slim aluminum body and also has a 360-degree hinge for use as a tablet or a media device. It can be offered at a lower price because the components inside — an ARM octocore CPU, 4GB of memory and 32GB of storage — aren't over the top. It is a wonderful way to do all the things most people do with their laptop and will continue to do them for years to come.

Bottom line: For anyone who won't need the extras a Pixelbook brings the Chromebook Plus will serve well for years. At half the price of our top pick.

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Best big screen

Acer Chromebook 15

The Chromebook 15 is all about that screen. While most Chromebooks fall into the 10-inch to 13 -inch categories, this model comes with a 15-inch 1080p IPS display (powered by an on board Intel iris GPU) that's bright and easy to see for everyone.

The other specs are adequate: an Intel dual core Celeron CPU, 4GB of Memory and 16GB of storage. The storage is not going to work for the person who wants to install everything, but for the average user who wants a gateway to the web it's sufficient. And the web will look great on that display.

Bottom line: If you're looking for the biggest brightest display on a Chromebook, you found it in the Acer Chromebook 15.

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Best on the go

Acer Chromebook Tab 10

Instead of trying to build a Chromebook that can double as a tablet, Acer just built a Chromebook tablet.

As you would imagine, it doesn't have the over-the-top specs our top pick does and it's not sporting a huge 15-inch display. But it does have the form factor that makes it perfect for anyone who is constantly on the go and an operating system that makes it a little more than just another Android tablet.

The caveat? It's not for sale just yet. Enough people have used it that we know what to expect, but it won't be on store shelves until June 2018.

The bottom line: A tablet is the ultimate in portability, and Acer has just what you need if that's your main priority. The rest of it's qualities aren't bad, either!

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Conclusion

The Chromebook landscape is changing and we see more models with high-end specs begin released, with even more to come. But right now, these are the Chromebooks you want to look for if you're a grad, getting ready to become one, or buying a gift for one.

Best overall

Google Pixelbook

A graduate needs a high-performance laptop that will be just as good in 2025 as it is in 2018. That's the Google Pixelbook. Incredibly well built and engineered using the latest components, the Pixelbook will be a great choice for years to come and worth the hefty price.

The bottom line: The Pixelbook is expensive, and worth it if a graduate needs a workhorse and needs it to look great.

See at Best Buy

Chromebooks

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