If you’re new to Chromebooks, you may be unsure how to find the best Chromebook for your needs. And since we don’t know your needs, we can’t really tell you which Chromebook is best. But I can point you in the right direction. Once you know how you plan to use your device, you can use these model codes to narrow down and find the perfect Chromebook for you.
The best Chromebook depends on your needs
We’ll cover the model code in a moment. First, decide what you want to do with your Chromebook. This gives you an instant sense of direction for entry-level, mid-level, or high-end Chromebooks. Here’s a general rule of thumb based on my experience.
Entry-level Chromebook use case
If you want a basic laptop that you can use to browse the web, you’re in the entry-level Chromebook realm. Sure, you can run a lot of Android apps on this class of Chromebook, but don’t expect great performance from graphics-intensive gaming titles. You can also be limited by low-resolution screens, limited port selection, and webcam and microphone combinations. Can be used for occasional video calls.
Basically, no fancy frills here. There’s no big price tag either, as entry-level Chromebooks of his can be found for around $200-$350.
Step up to a mid-range Chromebook
Again, you’ll probably buy a Chromebook for web browsing and web apps. they all do them. But if you need to open 10 or 15 browser tabs, you need higher performance. This is a step up to a better processor and more memory than his entry-level Chromebook. If you want bigger, higher-resolution displays, midrange devices are more likely to offer them too. More local storage, more ports, better keyboards, and probably higher You can also expect a good webcam.
Chromebooks in this class can obviously handle the basics, but better. It also improves the Android app and Linux desktop app experience, if you like. Calculate the price of one of these devices in the range of $350 to $600.
A powerful and sophisticated experience requires a high-end Chromebook
In short, we want the best experience from our Chromebooks, and we have the budget to cover it. High-end alternatives come into play as there are usually few compromises. High-end Chromebooks offer more memory and storage options, and more powerful processors to handle your workload. These are for people who keep dozens of browser tabs open along with some Android apps. It is also ideal for corporate work and developers. In this class, we’re running multiple Linux desktop applications on Chromebooks.
Again, expect a better quality of life. For example, a larger, more accurate trackpad, or a 1080p webcam. Camera and microphone privacy switches are common, but they’re slowly making their way into cheaper models as well. His high-end Chromebooks may come with four speakers, and some even come with a stylus. The latter is great if you want to take digital notes or mark up your documents.
Use our model code to find your perfect Chromebook
So, I hope you’ve explored what you need to do with your Chromebook and decided which of the three device classes above would suit your needs. If you need more guidance, we covered some in last year’s Chromebook buying guide.
You can save a lot of time by looking at the model code for each brand in the three categories of entry-level, mid-range, and high-end Chromebooks.
here you are:
Asus Chromebook model code:
|introductory level||CM, CR, CX1xxx|
|mid range||Some CX5xxx (with Core i3 CPUs)|
|high end||CX3xxx, some CX 5xxx models (Core i5 and above CPUs), CX9xxx|
Asus usually names the screen size by the second number in the model code. For example, the Asus Chromebook Vibe CX5601 Flip features a 16-inch display based on his second “6” in the name. The Asus Chromebook Flip CX3400 we reviewed last year has a “4” in its place, indicating it’s a 14-inch display. Also, if the model name has “Flip” in it, it’s a convertible, Chromebook, not a clamshell.
Acer Chromebook model code:
Note that the two recent Acer devices with 5xx model codes are what I would consider high-end machines. Specifically, the Acer Chromebook Vero 514 and Acer Chromebook 516 GE models I reviewed offer high-end performance at mid-range prices. For example, neither has a microSD card slot and the 516 GE has no touch screen.
Additionally, the screen size of an Acer Chromebook is usually identified by the second of the three digits in the model code. The Chromebook 516 I mentioned has a 16 inch screen. My his Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is a high end model with a 14 inch screen. Also, if you want a convertible Chromebook, look for the word “Spin” in the model name.
HP Chromebook model code
|introductory level||ending with ‘a’ or ‘b’|
|mid range||end with “c”|
|high end||Contains Elite or Pro in the name|
I tried HP’s table cut and dry, but the company doesn’t make it easy. Some HP Chromebook models have a “c” ending and may fall in the high-end range. For example, I reviewed an HP Chromebook X360 14c with a Core i3 processor. However, it reminds me of an HP Chromebook X360 13c with a smaller display but a Core i5 CPU. X360 is HP’s designation for 360-degree screen hinges, so if you don’t want that, look for a model without that designation.
Lenovo Chromebook model code
|introductory level||3 or 3i|
|mid range||5 or 5i|
|high end||ThinkPad or Yoga|
Lenovo makes it easy to find different Chromebook classes. The 3-series is the more affordable entry-level line, and the 5-series devices are a solid step up. The ‘i’ in each product line indicates Intel processors compared to AMD or some ARM-based CPUs. The latter is similar to powering modern smartphones. All models with “Flex” in the name are convertible Chromebooks.
Depending on your configuration, you might think a 5 or 5i device is approaching high-end Chromebook performance. But for top performance and great features, the old Yoga and new ThinkPad Chromebook lines are the best.
Find the Chromebook that’s right for you
Model code aside, it’s much more important to spend time pre-determining what your Chromebook will be used for.
It makes little sense to spend $800, $1,000, or more on a high-end model just to browse the web a few times a day. For example, spending less than half that amount can accomplish the same task.