Despite Apple’s well-publicized attempts to be the top dog in school computers, Google has made quick headway in overtaking the tech giant, becoming the face of school computers in the last few years.
Chromebooks now dominate the school market, and for good reason. They’re cheap, portable, and often rugged. Their stripped-down designs aren’t for everyone, but they’re just about perfect for students and schools.
There are many to choose from, and they vary in quality and functionality. So what are the best Chromebooks for students?
Here are our top picks for the title of best Chromebook for students!
Asus Chromebook C202
The Asus Chromebook C202 has just about everything you could want in a Chromebook for students.
The C202 costs just over $300 on Amazon, and its rugged frame and spill-resistant keyboard make it ideal for the average kid, who, let’s face it, won’t be overly gentle with the thing.
Under the hood, you’ll find an Intel dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB storage. That’s on the low end for speed and storage, but it’s more than enough for students to get work and research done as well as play some games and other media.
HP Chromebook 11 G6 EE
Like the C202, the HP Chromebook 11 G6 EE has 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a rugged design that can take a beating, all for just over $300. Running on an Intel Celeron processor, it’s definitely one of the best Chromebooks for students.
Built with industrial co-molded rubber with reinforced corners, the HP Chromebook has a spill resistant keyboard. It’ll survive some schoolyard roughhousing, including a drop of 2.2 feet onto bare concrete.
The Lenovo 300e is actually available with Windows 10 if you need more than Chrome OS has to offer, but let’s focus on the Chromebook.
The 300e runs on a MediaTek MTK 8137C processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Designed for students and school use, it’s a tough piece of hardware that can take a solid beating. Starting at $269, it’s one of the most affordable items on this list.
If you want a little more storage, extra ports, and a waterproof keyboard, you can also check out the Lenovo 500e, though you’ll have to spend a little extra.
Acer Chromebook R 11
It may not look like much, but the Acer Chromebook R 11’s body packs some versatility — the screen can fold 360 degrees to turn into a tablet.
That may not sound like much, but that feature alone makes it one of the best Chromebooks for students. No matter how rugged a laptop may be, keeping it open on a hinge during use can lead to overuse and eventual wearing out. Folding it over on itself reduces the number of places you can break the thing.
It’s not the fastest machine, but with a 2.2GHz Intel Core m3 processor, it’s still going to get the job done. You’ll get 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
An Acer Chromebook R 11 will currently cost you $329.99.
Acer Chromebook 11
Like its R 11 counterpart, the Acer Chromebook 11 has a 360-degree hinge, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It runs on an Intel Celeron N3350 processor Dual-core 1.10 GHz.
It’s not quite as rugged as some of the competition, but it’s slender and tough enough for older kids. Its rubberized lower bumper will absorbs a lot of the shock of dropping it, too.
A solid budget option, the Acer Chromebook 11 currently goes for $269.99.
Dell Chromebook 5190
The Dell Chromebook 5190 runs on an Intel Celeron N3450 processor 1.1GHz and has a 10-hour battery life — that’s a little more than you can expect from most Chromebooks.
At over $400, it’s the priciest item on our best Chromebooks for students list.
It’s a tough piece of hardware, capable of withstanding the usual drops and rough stuff. The keyboard can withstand a 12oz spill too. You’ll get the mostly standard 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage for solid student use.
The best Chromebook for students: Lenovo 300e
While a lot of these Chromebooks have similar features, our top pick as the best Chromebook for students is the Lenovo 300e.
Its speed, durability, and value are really tough to beat. Designed with students in mind, it really delivers as a school computer.
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for laptops or other devices. Usually, you just have to figure out what suits your specific needs and buy accordingly. Unfortunately, that’s not always ideal if you’re a school board looking to buy in bulk or to make sure every student is on the same page.
Luckily, Chromebook manufacturers have caught onto this and offer Chromebooks that check off a lot of student-friendly boxes — durability and affordability, most prominently.
The Chromebook ecosystem is largely online and cloud-based, so it’s nice to know you’ll have some room to customize according to your class or individual students’ needs. But there are still choices to be made. How young are your students? How likely are they to chuck this thing into the back seat of your car? Will you prioritize durability over speed? Offline functionality over screen size? Hopefully this list helped you narrow down your search for the best Chromebooks for students.
Are you a parent or teacher? Have you found any of these Chromebooks to be particularly good (or bad) for students of a certain age? Let us know in the comments.