Let’s say, you’re looking for a new laptop. Something simple, to send an email, browse the web, play a game or two, but you don’t want to spend a few thousand bucks, and Microsoft still isn’t your best friend. So, how about a USB-C Chromebook?
What is a Chrome Book
A Chromebook is a different kind of laptop. So, instead of running Microsoft Windows or Mac OS, Chromebooks run Google’s Operating System, called Chrome OS. Chrome OS, not to be confused with Google’s other OS Android, is primarily designed to run on the cloud. This means that Chromebooks are especially suited to run Internet intensive applications, like email, browsing, streaming videos and audio, etc. That doesn’t mean Android applications are totally out of reach: some Chromebooks will get the possibility to run Android apps as well. However, these machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, and running without Internet, while possible, will give a degraded user experience. So, should you be in an area in which Internet access is not an issue, then a Chromebook is certainly an interesting option. However, which one to pick?
Since we are an USB-C focused blog, we’ll focus on Chrome books which come equipped with one or more USB-C ports. This narrows our scope a bit, but at the same time, allows us to focus on the newer and usually better options out there. So, today, we’ll focus on 3 existing Chrome Books, and 1 soon to be released one.
Our competitors of today are:
- Asus Chromebook (C302CA-GU009)
- Acer Chromebook 14 (CP5-471-53B9)
- HP Chromebook 13 (G1 W4M19EA)
- Bonus: Samsung Chromebook Plus
Our competitors Asus, Acer, HP and Samsung all have created previous Chromebooks, and these are the latests in their lineup, all released in the last few months, with Samsung releasing their Chromebook very soon. (We’ll publish a separate review once we get our hands on one of these!)
|HP Chromebook 13||Acer Chromebook 14||Asus Chromebook||Samsung Chromebook Plus|
|CPU||Intel Pentium 4405U||Intel Core i5-6200U||Intel Core m3-6Y30||OP1 ARM|
|Connections||USB 3.1 (Gen1, 5Gb/s),
2x USB 3.1 (Type-C, G1, 5Gb/s)
|2x USB 3.0, USB 3.0 (Type-C)||2x USB 3.1 (Type-C, G1, 5Gb/s)||2x USB 3.1 (Type-C, G1, 5Gb/s)|
|Price||€ 639||€ 599||€ 699||Unknown|
As you can see in the table above, while there are some similarities, the specifications of these Chromebooks are a bit apart, and we’ll discuss below what the effects of these specs are.
Asus Chromebook mini review
The Asus Chromebooks is a great looking device, with the option to behave as a laptop as well as tablet. It features strong performance and has a great sense of style. If you’re willing to spend the money for a premium Chromebook, the Flip C302CA is a great choice. The Asus Chromebook is performant enough to run the ChromeOS fluently, or run Android apps without any lags. There’s a lot to like about the Chromebook Flip, including sharp screen, solid battery life, strong performance and bend-back design. If you want a powerful Chromebook 2-in-1 that’s ready for Android apps, the Flip C302CA should be at the top of your list.
Acer Chromebook 14 mini review
The Acer Chromebook 14 is a thin and light Chromebooks, comparable to the HP Chromebook 14. The Acer Chromebook’s panel has a bright screen, of the models listed here, the biggest screen. This might be a pro or a con for you, but with 2,3GHz, 64GB of storage and a 14″ screen, a backlit keyboard, the Acer Chromebook is a great and affordable laptop replacement. Besides being a performant Chromebook, it comes included with a webcam, two speakers and two microphones, making it a great allround device. It’s perfect for one the road, boasting up to 10 hours of continuous power!
HP Chromebook 13 mini review
If you care about graphics, the HP Chromebook 13 is the one to go for. The Chromebook features a 3200×1800 QHD display, making it with it’s 13-inch screen the most detailed screen of our review list, and being not far of a typical Retina screen. The Chromebook does require a bit more battery power to power it’s pixels, and it’s battery life is therefore a bit shorter than our other listed Chromebooks. Also, the Chromebook is reported to get a bit warmer during use. The 1.5 Ghz processor, the 4GB of RAM and 32GB gives it specs much comparable to an medium end laptop, and is more than enough to power Android and ChromeOS applications.
Samsung Chromebook Plus mini review
If you’re looking for a solid all-around laptop for roughly $500, the new Samsung Chromebook Pro should at or near the very top of your candidate list. Samsung and Google are using this new model, and its sister system, the Chromebook Plus, to showcase an important new Chrome OS feature coming to all new 2017 Chromebooks, as well as a handful of older models. That, plus the touchscreen, hybrid and stylus features and decent performance and battery life are why the Chromebook Pro feels like a very smart buy at $549. The Pro is coming in the next few months, but a less expensive version, called the Chromebook Plus, is shipping in mid-February. It costs $449 and the main difference between the two systems is that the Pro has an Intel Core m3 processor, while the Plus has a non-Intel ARM processor.
If you are looking for a USB-C enabled Chromebook, then depending on your needs for a bigger screen, a faster CPU, more storage, or your budget, all of the above options are great choices. It’s up to you to decide which one fits you best, but you can be sure that all of the USB-C Chromebook options listed here are great options indeed! Hopefully we’ll get our hands on the above laptops to further investigate their USB-C capabilities, but so far, no known issues are reported. Thanks for reading, and till next time!