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Finder's editorial team checked out dozens of the latest and greatest Chromebooks available on store shelves in Australia and chose the best ones based on what real customers had to say about them. For every category, we looked into device specifications and features to determine which were most suitable.
The folks over at ASUS know a thing or two about how to make fantastic devices. The company's prowess in this space is on full display with the Chromebook Flip C434, where it has managed to cram a decent chunk of raw performance into an impressively high-end chassis. The Flip C434 is easily the best overall Chromebook available in Australia right now.
The Flip C434 stands out from the crowd with its premium design, which you'll find is less common on Chrome OS-powered devices than its Windows or macOS counterparts. Packed within the all-metal chassis are 8th-generation Intel processors, which aren't super impressive on paper but provide more than enough to power run almost everything Chrome OS has to offer without a hitch. Performance-wise, the convertible is let down by the lacklustre 4GB of RAM on the base model, which is the absolute minimum you'd want to have.
The most remarkable part of the device is its large 14-inch FHD display. The touch-enabled IPS panel is relatively colour accurate, with 100% coverage of the sRGB colour space, and thanks to the impressive 87% screen-to-body ratio, your viewing experience won't be interrupted by massive bezels.
You won't be storing heaps on the Flip C434, with the base model including just 32GB of eMMC storage. While you can expand how much stuff you can cart around with you by plugging in an external drive or MicroSD card, it's disappointing to see such little space on the device that's well-specced otherwise. There is a 64GB model, but that's much harder to find here in Australia.
Unsurprisingly, a higher price tag accompanies the Flip C434's high-end design, making it a more expensive pick than many comparable Chromebooks. Prices start at around $999, but thankfully, you don't have to look too hard to find the laptop with a significant discount.
The Chromebook Flip C434 boasts an impressive rating of 4.4 out of 5 from almost 300 reviews on Google. Overall, customers were happy with the device's performance, display and design. Some users were disappointed with the device's trackpad, which didn't feel consistent with the Chromebook's premium design and relatively high price tag.
Lenovo's well-specced IdeaPad Flex 5 fits nicely in the middle of the Chromebook market, offering decent build quality and performance without sacrificing value. With a starting price of $699, it's the best mid-range Chromebook currently on store shelves.
Powered by a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, the Flex 5 has enough performance under the hood to handle pretty much everything Chrome OS has to offer. There are just 4GB of DDR4 memory, though, which is the bare minimum you'd want for an enjoyable and lag-free experience. Still, typical users shouldn't run into any performance-related barriers in Chrome or other apps.
The Flex 5 is, well, flexible. The hinge allows the Chromebook to convert from your bog-standard laptop into a tablet, which could be useful if you're looking for a bit of adaptability. You might not want to use it as a media consumption device, though, as the device's display is entirely unremarkable. It's got a relatively standard FHD resolution, middling colour reproduction and isn't all that bright at just 250 nits of brightness.
Well-liked by customers, Lenovo's IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook earned a 4.5 out of 5 rating from more than 100 reviews on Google. Users were pleased with the device's build quality and performance. However, some reported that its battery life was much lower than advertised, hitting closer to 7 or 8 hours rather than 10.
Built to take on basic tasks at a price point that won't break the bank, Lenovo's IdeaPad 3 Chromebook includes almost everything you need in a cheap and cheerful laptop into the one plastic shell. While the $379 device is nothing to write home about, all that hardware and convenience for the price make it the best Chromebook for those on a tight budget.
The Chromebook has an 11-inch TN display, and unlike many Chromebooks, it's not touch-enabled. It's one of the worst screens you can find on a laptop today, with a resolution (1366x768) that's below FHD. It's also not the brightest, with just 250 nits of brightness. Adding insult to injury, the IdeaPad 3 has some of the largest bezels I've ever seen on a laptop of its size, which could be quite distracting.
Despite its bulkier appearance, the IdeaPad 3 is impressively light. At just 1.12kg, you'll barely notice you're even carrying the Chromebook once it's in a bag, and it's small enough that you won't struggle to find places to put it, either. Complementing the lightweight and portable design is the IdeaPad 3's battery. Lenovo says you can squeeze up to 10 hours of juice from the Chromebook's 42Wh battery per charge, which is impressive when you consider how much you're paying for the laptop.
There's no impressive performance hardware in the device, with an entry-level Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of memory. There's just 32GB of eMMC storage on the base model, too, so you won't be able to store much on here.
Unfortunately, there aren't many customer reviews for the IdeaPad 3 Chromebook. Still, of the small number of customer reviews posted to Lenovo's, Harvey Norman's and Amazon's websites, all gave the device either 4 or 5 stars out of 5. Users were seemingly happy with the Chromebook's portability and affordability. Some weren't so pleased with the relatively low-resolution screen, or the 720p webcam.
With a price point that rivals high-end Windows and macOS devices, ASUS's Flip C436 sports a suitably high-end design and packs in powerful components. An impressively sharp and large display is the icing on the cake, making the sleek and lightweight convertible the best premium Chromebook available here in Australia.
The Flip C436 has a strikingly premium aesthetic, with a stunning magnesium-alloy chassis that comes in either classic silver or an iridescent white. The touch-enabled 14-inch display is gorgeous, with fantastic colour accuracy, decent brightness and an FHD resolution. With a screen-to-body ratio of 85%, there are no distractingly-large bezels either. There are 10th-generation Intel processors under the hood; either an i3 or i5 depending on the model. You'll find 8GB of memory on the base model, but that gets bumped up to 16GB on the top-of-the-line unit.
Fuelling all of that hardware is a 42Wh battery that's reportedly capable of cranking out a whole 12 hours of power. Customers seem split on the topic, with some saying the battery life is less than half of what's advertised, while others have praised the device's battery life as excellent.
Despite the relatively large display and impressive performance specs for a Chromebook, the Flip C436 weighs in at just 1.14kg. It's a figure that becomes even more impressive when you consider it's almost as light as the Lenovo IdeaPad 3, which isn't metal and only has an 11-inch display.
There's one glaring problem with the Flip C436, and that's storage. There is just 128GB of the stuff, which is more than most Chromebooks, but is still stupidly low when you consider the painful $1,799 starting price of the device. While you could theoretically boost your space with a MicroSD card, that won't ever compare to the speed or reliability of onboard storage. To be fair, those 128GBs are on a blazing-fast NVMe SSD, which is infinitely better than the eMMC storage found on most devices running Chrome OS.
Reviewers on Amazon were pleased with the Flip C436, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 from more than 60 ratings worldwide. Customers liked the Chromebook's solid build and good looks. Unfortunately, some users had issues with the quality of the built-in webcam and others had reliability issues.
With its Duet Chromebook, Lenovo has created a modern yet budget-friendly device with enough horsepower to run all of your standard Chrome OS apps. With an ultra-portable and flexible form-factor that's perfect for the classroom, it's the best Chromebook for students available here in Australia.
The Duet's compact form factor and 10.1-inch screen make it almost identical in size to the iPad, which has a 10.2-inch panel. The Duet will look and feel tiny to many laptop users. Its miniature size will become clearer in a classroom, where 13-inch devices dominate. The screen itself is a fantastic IPS panel, with impressive brightness and an FHD resolution that'll look great when stacked against other Laptops in its price bracket.
The 2-in-1's design puts it closer in appearance to a traditional tablet like an iPad than a more laptop-like equivalent such as Microsoft's Surface Pro 7. The Duet is also about 300 grams lighter than the Surface Pro 7, weighing in at just 450 grams without the keyboard.
Arguably the weakest point of the Duet Chromebook is its awful selection of ports. And by selection, I mean the single USB-C port on the side of the device. There's no USB-A port, no HDMI and no DisplayPort. There's not even a 3.5mm headphone jack, which you'd expect from such a tablet-like device. You have that lone USB-C port for audio, charging, display output and everything else.
The Chromebook has more than enough grunt to power day-to-day educational apps and sites, with an octa-core MediaTek processor and 4GB of memory. There's 64GB of eMMC memory, which isn't much and could be problematic given how challenging it is to boost the device's storage with its few ports.
Lenovo's Duet Chromebook has an impressive average review score of 4.5 out of 5 from more than 1,800 ratings on Google and received a Finder score of 4 in our full review. Across the board, the smaller Chromebook received praise for its portability and stellar battery life. Some customers weren't as happy with the kickstand, which didn't compare to the fantastic one found on Surface devices. Others complained about the lack of ports on the device.
HP's convertible x360 14C Chromebook is one of the larger, more powerful Chromebooks on the market, yet the laptop manages to hold its charge better than most. With screen-on time reaching as high as 13.5 hours, it's the best Chromebook you can buy if battery life is critically important to you.
Packed into the device's metal enclosure is a 14-inch FHD touchscreen, which is great for anything from work to watching content. That is, as long as you're not in a bright environment since the brightness of 250 nits is not all that high. Still, the IPS technology makes for better colour reproduction and fantastic viewing angles.
HP says that the convertible Chromebook can last up to 13.5 hours on a single charge. Online reviews overwhelmingly praise the x360's battery life, with one customer review mentioning the device could get them through 1 to 2 school days. Even when the Chromebook x360 runs flat, you won't be too far away from a full battery. The device supports HP's fast charging technology, capable of charging your device from 0 to 90% in around 90 minutes when powered off.
What's not so great is the 64GB of eMMC storage. For the almost-$1,000 asking price and given that HP bills the laptop as a more premium option in the Chromebook space, you'd expect at least a 128GB SSD. Thankfully, there's plenty of ports you can use to plug the gap. There are 2 USB-C ports, a USB-A port and a MicroSD card reader.
From more than 1,200 customer reviews on Google, the x360 14C received an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. Users liked the Chromebook's more premium design and were happy with the overall quality of the device. Many loved the 14-inch screen, which gives users much more screen real estate than some other Chromebooks on this list. Some weren't so happy with the lack of ports, or the lacklustre storage, though.
ASUS engineered its entry-level convertible Chromebook to take a beating, packing in five features that make the laptop impressively tough. The intentionally bulky and durable construction of the Flip C214 makes it the prime candidate for anyone looking to buy a Chromebook that'll weather a bit of abuse and stand the test of time.
There's really one reason you'd buy this convertible Chromebook: It's ultra-rugged. There's a rubber bumper to prevent shock damage from a potential drop, and spill resistance on the keyboard, so you don't have to worry about tiny splashes hitting the laptop. The company has also integrated a rubber grip to make it easier to carry, alongside the tamper-resistant keyboard and anti-scratch lid.
All of those beefy features that boost the device's ruggedness come at the cost of a slim design and tiny bezels. The 11.6-inch touch display has a screen-to-body ratio of just 65%, compared to the much higher 85% and above ratios found on some of ASUS's other Chromebooks. The screen itself isn't great, with a low 200 nits of brightness and a resolution that's well below FHD. It's also around 2 centimetres thick, which is considerably more than most laptops today. Despite the Flip C214's bulkier design, it weighs in at just 1.29 kilograms. It won't feel any heavier in hand than your average thin and light laptop.
The Flip C214 has very entry-level performance hardware, with an Intel Celeron processor and just 4GB of memory. That's complemented by only 32GB of eMMC storage, which is the bare minimum you'd possibly want on a laptop today. Those disappointing specs make the Flip C214 impossible to recommend for anyone who wants a device with a good screen and fast performance, especially when you consider the $799 asking price. Though, it's still enough for those who desperately need a ruggedised device.
Customers on Amazon gave the Flip C214 an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 from more than 300 reviews, with the Chromebook receiving praise for its long battery life, portability and overall durability. Some weren't impressed with the quality of the screen in terms of both brightness and quality. Users also noted that the thick bezels surrounding the screen weren't the prettiest.
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