Why you should buy a Chromebook this holiday season

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook review

With Prime Day behind us, the 2023 holiday shopping season is getting ready to heat back up again. If you missed out on some of the best Chromebook deals, you're in luck as there are a few more chances to save big.

Maybe you missed out last time because you weren't really sure whether you should buy a Chromebook over a Windows laptop or even an Android tablet. We're going to take a look at a few reasons why you should buy a Chromebook, whether it's for yourself or someone else.

There are plenty of designs to choose from

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 with Acer stylus on top

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

One of the great things about Chromebooks is that you aren't limited to using a traditional clamshell laptop. Sure, those exist, and many of them are even pretty great such as the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 or ASUS Chromebook CX1 (CX1400).

But there are also a plethora of convertible Chromebooks to choose from ranging from the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 to the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus. This gives you the flexibility to use your Chromebook as a traditional laptop, fold the screen back into a tent view, or flip it all the way around and use it as a digital notebook with a USI pen.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 vs HP Chromebook x2 11 on table

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Last but not least, those who are looking for something even more versatile might want to check out one of the few ChromeOS tablets. These aren't quite as powerful as traditional Chromebooks but are quite a bit more flexible.

Just take the Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook for example, with its 11-inch screen. Lenovo includes a keyboard in the box, along with a kickstand cover for the back. Paired with a USI 2.0 stylus, you can do almost everything you could on a "regular" Chromebook, while enjoying better performance than a lot of other 11-inch laptops and computers.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2023)

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2023)

Intel Core i5-1335U | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD

It's tough to find a Chromebook that offers better value and versatility than the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2023). This model offers plenty of power thanks to Intel's 13th Gen chip, and has already been updated with Google's Chromebook Plus features.

ChromeOS continues to mature at a rapid pace

Chromebook Plus upgrade on the Framework Laptop Chromebook

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

In just the past few years, we've seen ChromeOS go from the "laptop for students" to a platform that can be used and enjoyed by pretty much everyone. Not only has the underlying hardware become much more performant, but we would argue that the software is moving at a faster pace.

You already could use your Chromebook for things like installing Linux apps, to even playing Steam games. Then, Google announced the Chromebook Plus initiative, which gave the platform a few added benefits that we're excited to see.

For one, "Chromebook Plus" provides a baseline set of specs that Chromebook makers have to follow in order to be approved for this initiative. This includes things such as offering at least a 12th Gen Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor, paired with at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Magic Eraser in Google Photos on Acer Chromebook Plus 515

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

A big reason why these requirements were laid out is because of the various software features that are now available with compatible Chromebooks. Google introduced improvements to video calls, in addition to giving users more controls that work with any video conferencing app.

AI is also finally making its way to Chromebooks in a more consumer-facing manner, as you can get rid of distractions with Magic Eraser in Google Photos. That's not to mention the fact that you can finally use Photoshop on the web, giving you a more professional tool to edit your pictures. All the while, Google gave us a glimpse into features that are coming, such as implementing Duet AI into various apps.

Needless to say, it's an exciting time to own a Chromebook, and the future looks brighter than ever.

HP Chromebook Plus 15.6"

HP Chromebook Plus 15.6"

Intel Core i3-N305 | 8GB RAM | 128GB UFS Storage

HP's Chromebook Plus 15.6" offering might not be the flashiest new Chromebook to hit the market. But it does meet Google's "Chromebook Plus" requirements, while also offering a massive screen to get work done or to enjoy a movie.

Price-to-performance is unmatched

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook review

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Rounding out the reasons why you should be a Chromebook this holiday season, or any season, is a pretty obvious one. If you were to match up the best Chromebooks and a Windows laptop, spec-for-spec, chances are that you'll end up picking the Chromebook.

There are some instances where this won't be the case, such as HP's Dragonfly Pro Chromebook or the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition. However, those are outlier devices that stand alone at the top of the Chromebook iceberg.

If you want a specific comparison, just look within Lenovo's own lineup of laptops. On one hand, you have the Ideapad 3i with an FHD touchscreen, and a Core i3-1116G4 SoC paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This laptop retails for just under $500 but sports a two-year-old processor. It doesn't even ship with traditional Windows out of the box, but instead ships in "S Mode." There are ways around that, but who really wants to fiddle around with that kind of stuff when they take a new laptop out of the box?

On the other, the new Flex 5i Chromebook Plus sports a touchscreen with a 2K resolution. It's powered by Intel's latest Core i3-1315U processor while featuring 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. All while retailing for the same $499 price tag. Not to mention that the Flex 5i also offers a convertible display, giving you more flexibility.

Admittedly, the gap is beginning to narrow between Chromebooks and competing laptops in many regards. But until we see more improvements from Windows laptops, you're still getting better value out of a Chromebook, regardless of whether the Chromebook you buy is on sale or not.

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus

Intel Core i3-1315U | 8GB RAM | 128GB SSD

Lenovo's Flex 5i Chromebook was already a fan favorite, so the company decided to release a new super-charged version. The Flex 5i Chromebook Plus has plenty of power, all of the new and exciting features, and a gorgeous 2K display. 

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.