Best Chromebooks for Business in 2020


Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 and C340-11, Acer Chromebook Spin 713Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Best
Chromebooks for Business
Android Central
2020

The best Chromebook for business isn’t always the best Chromebook for everyone — we often need more powerful specs for Linux applications or longer-lasting machines that will make the most of your IT budget — but thankfully there’s some great Chromebooks out there for when you need to get to work. Whether you need a big screen for your 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 all worlds, I recommend going with the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, which offers up the best blend of performance, portability, and price.

Best Overall: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

There’s more to picking the best business Chromebook than raw power; portability, performance, and price all factor in. As someone who works full-time on a Chromebook, the Lenovo Flex 5 has been the most compelling Chromebook I’ve used in quite a while. It has the same depth and thickness as the 11.6-inch Lenovo C340-11 — which is overall the best Chromebook on the market right now — and is just barely an inch wider despite housing a 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen inside.

The 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 when you’re not on a video call, there’s a physical cover for the webcam that you can slide into place for privacy.

Paired with the bright touchscreen is a backlit keyboard with nice, loud stereo speakers on either side. This makes the Flex 5 great for listening to music while you work — or watching movies in your hotel room after a long day of meetings. And underneath that backlit keyboard sits a 10th-gen Intel i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. I wish 8GB models were available, but at least it comes with 64GB of storage by default so you have plenty of room for apps and offline documents.

Wi-Fi 6 is something that isn’t too useful in the home environment yet, but for businesses that have upgraded to handle increased user loads, Wi-Fi 6 on the Flex 5 means you should see stronger connections and fewer dead spots, and Bluetooth 5 is here to help you keep a solid connection on your Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth mouse.

Pros:

  • Excellently priced
  • Well-designed and portable
  • Privacy switch from webcam
  • Bright 13-inch touchscreen

Best Overall



Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Great performance for a great price.

Lenovo already knows how to make a great small Chromebook, and with just a few small upgrades, it also makes a Chromebook perfect for business, too.

Runner-up: ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 used to rule the roost in this roundup, and even a year old, it’s still one of the best Chromebooks for business if you can find it. It features a shiny aluminum shell, a backlit keyboard, and decent specs under the hood, with even the m3 models being more than enough for my multi-tasking madness. There’s also a 14-inch 1080p touchscreen in this nifty 2-in-1, which gives you just a little more real estate for your split-screening work and play— I mean work and work, boss!

In fact, I still prefer the ASUS C434 over its newer, sleekier successor, the Project Athena-certified ASUS Chromebook C436, because the C434 has a USB-A port, a more dependable battery, and a much lower price. That said, as it is a year old and the new model is out, the C434 is getting a little harder to find, and that scarcity is also driving away the sale prices we were seeing back at the beginning of the year.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous aluminum design
  • Keyboard is backlit
  • Roomy trackpad
  • 14-inch Full HD display
  • 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Getting harder to find

Runner-up



ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

Great Chromebook if you can get it

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 offers up a backlit keyboard, bright 14-inch screen and some powerful configurations if you need more than the standard m3.

Best Keyboard: Google Pixelbook Go

Pretty Pixelbook screenSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

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 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 is also a Chromebook that is uber-comfy to use in your lap while you’re waiting in airport lounges and waiting rooms, if you tend to get a lot of work done 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.

Pros:

  • Outstanding keyboard that’s comfortable and accurate
  • Speakers and trackpad are top-notch
  • Well-built, lightweight design
  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor
  • Expensive

Best Keyboard



Google Pixelbook Go

Spoil your fingers

You probably type a lot for work, and if you do, the Pixelbook Go is worth splurging for. Seriously — the keyboard is that good.

Best of Project Athena: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Cp713 2w HighSource: Acer

Project Athena was devised as a specification for Intel laptops — both Windows PCs and Chromebooks — with certain standards in regards to power and speed. They’re also supposed to offer great battery life, but the early models suffered from some bugs there. Thankfully, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has now arrived and its battery life is meeting expectations, averaging 9-10 hours per charge.

Like the Spin 13 before it, the Spin 713 is an adaptable 2-in-1 with a gorgeous 13-inch 2K screen that uses the 3:2 aspect ratio so that you have more vertical space when split-screening your windows. Being able to flip it into stand mode while I’m using it at my standing desk is a wonderful blessing, allowing me to keep the screen closer and more easily use the touchscreen. The backlit keyboard on the 713 is wonderful, but let’s be real, it still can’t replace the feel of a full-size, full-depth mechanical keyboard.

Unlike the ASUS 436 and the Galaxy Chromebook, the Acer Spin 713 does lack a fingerprint sensor, but I’m okay with that because about the only time you can use them on a Chromebook right now is when you’re logging in. The Spin 713 also sports an HDMI port, something the C436 and Galaxy Chromebook lack.

Pros:

  • 8GB RAM for productivity
  • Beautiful 2K screen
  • Excellent price for an i5
  • HDMI port

Cons:

  • New means harder to find
  • Keyboard sits further back from the edge

Best of Project Athena



Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Powerful specs at an impressive price.

If you prefer your Chromebooks on the tall side, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 harnesses the power of Project Athena and a bright 2K screen.

Best Compact: Lenovo Chromebook C340-11

Lenovo Chromebook C340Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

This is my favorite Chromebook on the market right now, and while it may be a bit on the small side for most business uses, there are still times when small and lightweight are useful, especially for those who tend to do their best work while out of the office. Most 11.6-inch Chromebooks aren’t exactly the epitome of style, but Lenovo knew that some of us need a professional-looking compact laptop, and so they gave us the Lenovo Chromebook C340-11.

The sides and bottom of the C340-11 are color-matched plastic — so it’s a little more resilient and lighter weight — but the lid is a nice, smooth aluminum that’s cool to the touch and shines wonderfully in the light. There’s also two color options, so if you don’t want just another silver Chromebook, you can also grab the C340-11 in Sand Pink.

The keyboard is comfy to type on — this has been my daily-driver laptop for the better part of the last year, and the keyboard’s never given me trouble — and while it’s not a 1080p screen, it’s bright enough to work on indoors or outdoors (in the shade, anyway). I usually get 9-11 hours on a single charge, and the 64GB models are easy to come by, another rarity among 11.6-inch Chromebooks.

You also get two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports, something that even most of the larger Chromebooks on this list don’t offer.

Pros:

  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • Extra USB ports
  • 64GB models

Cons:

  • Wish the screen was 1080p
  • Huge bezels

Best Compact



Lenovo Chromebook C340-11

The best for everyone is great for business, too.

Lenovo makes a great all-around Chromebook, but the stylish design and extra ports make it quite appealing as a compact business Chromebook.

Big Screen, Low Price: Acer Chromebook 715

Acer Chromebook 715Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

This 15.6-inch screen might not be as bright as some smaller models, but it’s still a 1080p touchscreen so that you get the best experience when interacting with Android apps or split-screening two different windows while cranking out the quarterly reports. Its larger size carries over to the keyboard as well; you get a full number pad on the right side, making this a great choice for people that have to punch in a lot of numbers for their work.

That large size doesn’t lend itself well to traveling, but if you want a laptop that’s got a great big screen but is still easy enough to carry from the cubicle to the conference room for meetings, the Acer Chromebook 715 is perfectly suited for you. The hardware configuration inside is perfectly suited to budget-minded businesses as well, giving you a powerful i3 processor and 128GB of internal storage at an exceptional price (especially for a 15.6-inch laptop).

Pros:

  • Large 15.6-inch touchscreen
  • Aluminum body
  • Full number pad on the keyboard
  • i3 processor for Linux apps

Cons:

  • Might be too big for some people
  • Screen is a bit dim

Big Screen, Low Price



Acer Chromebook 715

Big display and a big keyboard to match

Another great business Chromebook is the Acer 715. It delivers a huge 15.6-inch screen and a full number pad on the keyboard.

Most Durable: ASUS Chromebook Flip C214

Ready to rock

Chromebooks have long been built for enterprise and education, and the beauty of education-oriented Chromebooks is they tend to be life-proof. Do you have a tendency to spill your coffee all over the keyboard? Do you yank flash drives and cables out of your laptop with a bit too much gusto when you’re close to deadline? Has your laptop taken a tumble off the table a few times in the last year? You need the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214.

This is a smaller laptop at 11.6-inches, but that makes it highly portable and easy to carry from meeting to meeting and building to building during your busy day. The keyboard may not be backlit, but it is spill-resistant and comfy enough to write on for hours and hours. The battery can go 10-11 hours even when bouncing back between different apps and windows, and the stylus model is a very useful thing to have if you do a lot of annotations or document signing.

While the original specs for the C214 listed 64GB models, I’ve yet to ever actually find one for sale, so you’ll have to make do with 32GB of internal storage plus a microSD card. But for a laptop that will take a beating in stride and can work all-day on a single charge, ASUS knocked it out of the park with the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214, which is also the Best Chromebook for Students.

Pros:

  • Exemplary battery life
  • Included stylus
  • Compact and rugged
  • Spill-resistant keyboard

Cons:

  • Sells out quickly
  • Stylus models harder to find
  • Only 32GB storage

Most Durable



ASUS Chromebook Flip C214

Life’s rough, so get a rugged Chromebook!

With enough battery to last a full workday and then some, this education-grade Chromebook should be able to handle whatever chaos life throws your way.

Bottom line

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 Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5.

It’s a 13-inch Chromebook in almost the same footprint as a 11.6-inch Chromebook, and being able to flip the screen all the way back for a tablet form factor is a great convenience. The backlit keyboard and front-facing speakers make for a great experience when you’re working late into the night. There’s also nothing to complain about for the specs, either, with Lenovo delivering a 1080p touchscreen, 10th-gen Intel i3 processor, 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage.

Making all of this even better is the Flex 5’s price, which is more affordable than you’d expect considering everything it brings to the table. And, with all of that said, that’s why it’s our pick for the best business Chromebook.

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. We didn’t include these Chromebooks in the main roundup here because 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 some of them are sold in consumer variants for hundreds less than the Enterprise variants.

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. There are some appealing models available like the slim and sleek HP Pro 640 Chromebook Enterprise and the more robust Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise, but unless you need the corporate-level controls that Chrome Enterprise Upgrade come with, I highly recommend going with a regular Chromebook instead.

After all, all Chromebooks can support G Suite accounts and services. I work full-time from a Chromebook and have never found a consumer-grade Chromebook to be lacking for my work for anything other than video editing.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Ara Wagoner themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she’s not writing help and how-to’s, she’s running around Walt Disney World with a Chromebook. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco. If you see her without headphones, RUN.

Joe Maring is Android Central’s News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1 or send an email to joe.maring@futurenet.com!

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