Work from home or the office with these business-focused Chromebooks.
Included in this guide:1
AcerChromebook Spin 713CHECK PRICE2
LenovoChromebook Flex 5iCHECK PRICE3
HPChromebook x360 14cCHECK PRICE4
LenovoThinkPad C13 Yoga ChromebookCHECK PRICE5
GooglePixelbook GoCHECK PRICE6
(Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)
The best business Chromebook isn’t always the best Chromebook for everyone — some may need more powerful specs for Linux applications or longer-lasting machines that will make the most of their IT budget — but thankfully there are some great choices out there for when you need to get to work.
Whether you need a big screen for multi-tasking or a durable little laptop to take from meeting to meeting, there’s a model here for everyone! If you want the best of both worlds, I recommend going with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, a powerful Intel Evo-powered Chromebook with a gorgeous 2K screen — and a 3:2 aspect ratio for better productivity — and all the ports you need including HDMI.
Finding the best business Chromebook is easier than you think
Powerful specs at an impressive priceTODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+8GB RAM for productivity+Beautiful 2K screen+Good price for an i5+HDMI port
REASONS TO AVOID
-Fingerprint scanner models delayed-Keyboard sits further back from the edge-More expensive than 2020 model
Business Chromebooks need power, stability, and longevity, and Acer delivers all three in a sturdy, portable package with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2021). It’s one of the best Chromebooks on the market today due to the best blend of power and price in the premium segment, and it got a spec bump this year after last year’s model won the hearts and minds of many Chromebook users.
The first Acer Chromebook Spin 713 debuted last summer as the clear winner among Project Athena Chromebooks, offering better power, performance, and port selection than the Acer Chromebook Flip C436 and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. The 2-in-1 form factor lets the Spin 713 fit into whatever workflow or desk situation you have, and the 13.5-inch touchscreen is a 3:2 aspect ratio for more vertical space when split-screening windows and more room when sketching or viewing schematics. The 2256×1504 (2K) resolution makes videos look wonderful, and the max brightness of 450 nits means you can use this Chromebook outside as long as you’re not in the direct midday sun.
We tested this product and noted that being able to flip the Spin 713 into stand mode while using it at a standing desk is a wonderful blessing, allowing you to keep the screen closer while being able to use the touchscreen easily. The backlit keyboard is easy to use for hours on end, though that taller screen means you may have to deal with bigger palm rests than most 13-inch Chromebooks.
While last year’s model lacked a fingerprint sensor, there are some 2021 models that will feature one, but they haven’t arrived quite yet. Considering you can only use them to log back into the Chromebook — and Smart Lock does the same thing via Bluetooth — I’m OK with the omission. There are two Thunderbolt 4-certified USB-C ports on the left side, though I wish they’d done one on each side like the 2020 model. You also get USB-A, HDMI, microSD, and a headphone/mic jack, the former two being absent from most premium Chromebooks these days.
Best budget business ChromebookTODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+Excellently priced+Well-designed and portable+Privacy switch from webcam
REASONS TO AVOID
-Display brightness isn’t great-Battery life could be better
As someone who works full-time on a Chromebook, the Lenovo Flex 5i has been the most compelling Chromebook I’ve used in quite a while, which is part of why it’s our overall best Chromebook. We noted in our review of the product that its 2-in-1 form factor is great for the office: you can use it as a normal laptop while you’re sitting in a conference room, lay it back into tablet mode for signing documentation or annotating agreements, and use it in stand mode when you’re showing off materials to a client.
The 16:9 aspect ratio on the screen is great for video conferences, and while the 1080p webcam is nothing to write home about, it’s good enough to get the job done. Unlike its predecessor, the Flex 5, Lenovo integrated 11th-gen Intel chips to provide even more power, but you’ll still be limited to either 4GB or 8GB RAM options. Plus, you’ll have to make sure you’re getting the right version, as Lenovo offers up to 64GB with eMMC storage or up to 512GB with a traditional SSD.
While it’s great to have USI stylus compatibility, Lenovo isn’t including a stylus in the box this go-’round. It’s a bit frustrating for those who want to be able to use this to sign documents, but you can either just pick up one of the best USI stylus options or use your finger on the touchscreen display.
Last, but certainly not least, the Flex 5i does a lot right when it comes to performance and portability. But with the upgrade to Intel’s 11th-gen chipsets, this means that Lenovo’s best Chromebook takes a hit in battery life. It’s for this reason that Lenovo didn’t want to upgrade its display to something a bit brighter, but these are just minor sacrifices that you’ll have to make if you want one of the best Chromebooks.
Best 14-inch business ChromebookTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AMAZON
REASONS TO BUY
+Capable power with plenty of RAM+Beefy hinge design+Sturdy construction
REASONS TO AVOID
-Not as pretty-Mediocre screen-Can get pricey for new model
HP has a half-dozen Enterprise-geared Chromebooks on the market today, but its best entry is by far the HP Chromebook x360 14c, the goldilocks between the ridiculously overpriced and ultra-premium HP Elite c1030 and the underwhelming HP Pro c640. The x360 14c’s 2-in-1 form factor, as we noted in our above review, makes it more adaptable to a wider array of workspaces, plus it’s packing 8GB RAM to go along with the Intel Core i3 processor.
Like the Lenovo Flex 5i, HP opted for upward-facing speakers on each side of the keyboard, meaning that it’s easier to listen to live streams and press events on the 14c, though the 14-inch 1080p screen here isn’t quite as vibrant as the Acer Spin 713. It is a nice big screen that’s perfect for split-screening research and reporting — like I’m doing right now to write this guide — and the battery is big enough to keep that screen on for up to 10 hours before you need to go find a Power Delivery charger.
HP included a fingerprint scanner on the 14c, making re-opening your computer after your lunch break quick and painless, and there are physical kill switches for the cameras. There are not as many ports here as the Acer Spin 713, but it’s nice to have at least one USB-A port here, and while there isn’t a stylus built-in, USI stylus support is welcome to see here.
Like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, HP updated the 14c after less than a year to a practically identical model with 11th Gen Intel Core processors instead of 10th Gen. There aren’t any other real upgrades to speak of, but this means that 10th Gen models are getting discounts while the new models offer a slightly longer Chrome OS auto-update expiration date. Just be aware that this is why you’re seeing such a wide price range for what is seemingly one Chromebook line: some are technically a new model that uses the same name.
Best upgrade business ChromebookTODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+ThinkPad tough+Built-in USI stylus+Large-font keyboard+Powered by Ryzen APUs
REASONS TO AVOID
-Expensive at times
The ThinkPad brand is far older than Chromebooks — it’s almost as old as I am! — but few brands have such an enduring legacy of durability and practicality. While there have been a few ThinkPad Chromebooks in the past, this is the first to be available in both consumer and Enterprise variants, with powerful configurations available for both. We reviewed the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook and noted that because it is powered by AMD Ryzen 3/5/7 3000-series APUs, it’s powerful without making you shell out as much as Intel Core chips do.
The TrackPoint is here with the three buttons sitting just above the trackpad, but the best ThinkPad feature on the C13 is without a doubt the keyboard. Most Chromebooks have lowercase letters on the keyboard because of Google’s education requirements — because younger students just learning to write recognize the lowercase letters easier — but the ThinkPad is squarely aimed at adults and as such has nice large uppercase letters instead. Paired with strong backlighting, this makes the C13 the best keyboard to use at night by far.
Not all configurations have the fingerprint sensor or the built-in USI stylus, but it’s nice to see a built-in USI stylus on an Enterprise-grade Chromebook rather than being forced to try and hunt down a third-party USI stylus. The screen here is 13.3 inches and is available at either 1080p with 300 nits brightness or a 4K screen with 400 nits brightness, meaning the C13 is also one of the better Chromebooks to use outside.
For all these features, you’re going to end up paying extra. Lenovo has already put the ThinkPad C13 on sale once, and I’m hopeful we’ll see them frequently because the list prices here will far exceed the budget of most Chromebook users.
Best business Chromebook for typingTODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+Outstanding keyboard that’s comfortable and accurate+Speakers and trackpad are top-notch+Well-built, lightweight design+Excellent performance+Great battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
-Doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor-Expensive-Two years old
If you’re someone who is writing morning, noon, and night, you’ll appreciate a keyboard that’s quiet and meticulously crafted. To borrow from our own Jerry Hildenbrand’s Pixelbook Go review:
“The keys provide just enough travel and are just stiff enough to feel responsive under your fingers. Combine this with the perfect (for me, anyway) sweet spot where the key itself actuates and it makes typing enjoyable. You almost get the same satisfaction as you would from a loud clackity mechanical keyboard and this alone makes it better than any other Chromebook on the market to me.”
It’s accurate, key travel is excellent, and the matte finish feels amazing to type on for hours on end. This might seem like a lot of gushing for a keyboard, but if you do a lot of typing for your job, this is an essential component that you shouldn’t overlook. This Chromebook is also uber-comfy to use in your lap while you’re waiting in airport lounges or waiting rooms if you tend to work away from a desk.
Besides the wonderful keyboard, the Pixelbook Go has some cutting-edge spec options — including a 4K screen if you’re willing to shell out for it — and as Google’s own Chromebook, it’s the first to get new features and you know it’s absolutely made to last. You’ll pay more for the Pixelbook Go, but if you need the best of the best, it will absolutely deliver.
ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5601
Coming soonTODAY’S BEST DEALSTBD AT ASUS
REASONS TO BUY
+First 16-inch Chromebook+Powered by 12th-Gen Intel chipsets+Gorgeous aluminum design+Keyboard is backlit+10-hour battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
-No fingerprint sensor-No 4K display available-720p webcam is disappointing
There’s a lot to be said about how useful and versatile compact Chromebooks can be. But the truth is that those smaller displays aren’t exactly the most comfortable options out there, especially if you’re working with multiple windows or big spreadsheets. At CES 2022, ASUS introduced the world’s first 16-inch Chromebook with the Chromebook CX5601.
In addition to the massive 16-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, the Flip CX5601 makes use of Intel’s 12th Gen chipsets. Configurations are available with either the Core i5 or Core i7 versions and up to 16GB of RAM. Battery life doesn’t even take a hit compared to other options on this list, with ASUS claiming that the CX5601 will last for up to 10 hours on a single charge.
The decision to use Intel’s latest chipsets as opposed to AMD also brings Iris Xe onboard graphics, along with Thunderbolt 4 support. Speaking of ports, the CX5601 features plenty of ports to connect your peripherals, including HDMI and even a microSD card reader.
While the 2021 version of the Flip CX5 is available from retailers like Amazon, you’ll want to hold off on purchasing that one in favor of the new CX5601. The older version (CX5500) is 15.6 inches and is running the older 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors. Although it’s still a powerful laptop, the new version will be bigger and better — and certainly well worth waiting for.
Getting down to business
To be perfectly honest, any of the Chromebooks mentioned here would make a great addition to your workflow. However, if we had to pick just one, we’d recommend you buy the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, either the version with a USB-C port on each side or the new model with Thunderbolt 4 and 11th Gen Intel Core processors.
It’s a 13.5-inch Chromebook with a 2K resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio for seeing more on the screen at once, and being able to flip the screen all the way back for a tablet form factor is a great convenience. The backlit keyboard and 10-hour battery life make for a great experience when you’re working late into the night. There’s also nothing to complain about on the spec side, either, with a 10th or 11th Gen Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage.
If you need something a little more affordable but still plenty capable, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i has an 11th Gen Intel Core i3, a backlit keyboard, a compact profile, and a very, very reasonable price now that it’s not selling out every other week the way that we’ve seen in months past. Lenovo also has the hardcore business Chromebook market locked down with the retro refreshed ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook, which has options for a 4K screen, up to a Ryzen 7 APU, and a built-in USI stylus for easily signing documents.
What about Enterprise Chromebooks?
There’s another category of Chromebooks to consider for business users. Enterprise Chromebooks are Chromebooks that come with the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade. Our best Business Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, as well as the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga and HP Chromebook x360 14c, are available as standard consumer models or as Enterprise models with extra features and the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade built into the price.
Unless your business is a Chrome Enterprise customer — and if it is, chances are you’re not buying your own Chromebook, the company is buying in bulk and issuing them out to employees as needed — Enterprise Chromebooks aren’t usually worth the upgrade, especially when the consumer versions have the same hardware for hundreds of dollars less.
Chrome Enterprise Upgrade is supposed to help the IT department of a larger business manage and deploy Chromebooks more easily, which means that for those of us working somewhere with a Bring Your Own Device environment, the Enterprise Upgrade doesn’t do much. After all, all Chromebooks support G Suite accounts and services. I work full-time from a Chromebook and have never found a consumer-grade Chromebook to be lacking in my work for anything other than professional-grade video editing.Round up of today’s best deals
Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she’s not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she’s wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.MORE ABOUT…Best cases for Oculus Quest 2022Best USB-C headphones 2022LATESTBest student Chromebooks 2022