Best answer: There are four things to consider to make sure you buy the Chromebook that's right for you: Price, form factor, the intended use, and who will be using it. Which is the most important to you will help decide which model to buy.

Chromebooks come in all shapes and sizes

Whenever you're buying tech it's important to make sure that you buy what suits you (or the intended user) best. Returns can be a hassle and tech products often lose value almost instantly once they become "used" so reselling isn't always a good option. Since Chromebooks come in so many different models with a wide range of prices, this can be difficult if you aren't exactly sure what you want ahead of time.

You can make it a lot easier by deciding which of these four criteria is the most important to you. We've good a great pick for each once you decide just why you want a Chromebook and how it's going to be used.

  • Price: Price can be the most important factor in any buying decision. When it comes to Chromebooks, you'll find a wide range of prices for products that seem very similar. That's because even the cheapest Chromebook works fairly well for casual users. But a few dollars can make a big difference in quality and user experience, and if the price is the most important part of the buying decision the Acer Chromebook 11 is very affordable and the model we recommend.
  • Form Factor: Chromebooks designed to be ultra thin and fold 180-degrees as well as models with detachable keyboards exist for people who want the tablet form factor with a desktop experience. Chrome OS runs Android apps from the Google Play Store and for things like games the tablet experience can be great. When you need it, you have the keyboard for better typing. If you really want to use your Chromebook as a tablet from time to time, the HP Chromebook X2 is the best mix of features, quality, and price.
  • What you're going to do: The intended use of a Chromebook can be a big part of the reason why you would buy one model over another. Any Chromebook can work for casual users, but if you plan on doing any demanding work like web programming or other development work, you'll want a model with a bit more power. The Google Pixelbook has a fast CPU, oodles of storage and memory, and wide support for things like Linux IDEs.
  • Who will be using it? Like all tech products, some Chromebooks are built tougher than others. Durability can be important if you're a student or someone who will have things rattling around in an overhead compartment several times per month. When it comes to rugged models designed to take a bit of rough treatment, we like the Lenovo 500e because it also has all the premium features you might want.

You'll be much happier with your purchase if you take a few minutes to think about why you're buying a Chromebook. Especially if this is the first time you're buying one. Chrome OS can work well for plenty of different uses and users, and getting the right model is important.

Right Price

Acer Chromebook 11

Acer's newest Chromebook 11 is an affordable and dependable Chromebook that has no aspirations to be anything else. It's perfect for a budget conscious shopper.

Form Factor

HP Chromebook X2

The HP Chromebook X2 has a beautiful display and a great detachable keyboard and trackpad. It's the best pick for anyone wanting a Chrome tablet.

The Power User

Google Pixelbook

The Pixelbook comes with a fast Intel Core i5 CPU, 128GB of storage and 8GB of memory for anyone who needs a powerful Chromebook.

A Rugged Option

Lenovo 500e

The Lenovo 500e is built tough and with educational needs in mind. But it still has all the premium features we love to see in a Chromebook.

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