Chromebook specs & performance comparison chart (2016)

October 8, 2016 at 9:00 am


Thinking of buying a new Chromebook but not sure which one to choose?

Use our comprehensive specs comparison table and buying guide to quickly see the differences between each model, and find the best Chromebook for your needs.

When Chromebooks first appeared in the summer of 2011, it looked like Google had created a computing system without being entirely sure who it was aimed at. However since then, while not yet having quite taken over the world, Chromebooks have steadily increased in popularity, and matured from something which was experimental into a mainstream device.

Why choose Chromebook?

Let’s cut to the chase here – Chromebooks are very affordable computers, and current models now have enough power to compete with a traditional Windows laptop for most tasks. Since Google has allowed manufacturers to use the Chrome OS operating system for free, this cost saving is typically passed on to the customer in the form of lower priced machines (Microsoft has also started doing something similar with their “Windows 8.1 with Bing” licenses and lock screen ads in Windows 10).

Another innovative feature pioneered by Google is hassle-free updates and maintenance.

Unlike other desktop and laptop systems, once you have a Chromebook, you’ll never have to pay for or worry about software updates, as everything is designed around the idea of working with the least amount of housekeeping.

You don’t even need to use antivirus software, since security is taken care of by automatic updates.

This approach also makes Chromebooks very appealing for schools and other establishments where IT support can take up a lot of time and money. A fast boot time of 5-10 seconds and instant-on resume are also popular features.

Specifications by release year

We’ve broken down the model specs. alphabetically by year, starting with the most recently released (or announced) models. Unless you’re looking for refurbished versions or on a limited budget, it makes sense to look at the newest models since they generally have improved CPU speed and power efficiency.

Make sure to check the notes below for hints & tips on how to interpret the different features listed. Battery life numbers are manufacturer estimates and are usually reflective of run times under typical to light usage.

We’ve also listed some product codes associated with certain models – these usually represent slightly different memory/disk/processor configurations that are available for that model.

New comparison features:

  • Octane performance graphs – Click on the “Display” button under each table to switch to graphical charts comparing Octane benchmark performance.

    Note: Octane scores are user-reported and collected over a period of a few months. Since newer benchmark test runs tend to give slightly better scores than older ones, it should be considered that there is a margin of error of a few hundred points around each score.
  • IPS, Touchscreen and FullHD selection buttons – Click on these buttons to highlight the Chromebooks which come with these features (IE9+).
  • Alternative benchmark options – You can also switch the charts to Geekbench and PassMark scores. See the “Benchmarks” section below for additional notes on how each benchmark is calculated. For all benchmark types, a higher score is better.
Android apps/Google Play Store Update: Google have announced that Android app support is coming to selected Chromebooks in the later part of 2016 and during 2017. It’s currently available on Chromebook Pixel 2, Asus Chromebook Flip and Acer Chromebook R11 models – see reddit /r/ChromeOS for more details.

We’ve listed compatible Chromebooks with a green Android icon – where a Chromebook isn’t on the official Google compatibility list, but appears likely to be included, we’ve used an icon with a question mark.
You can toggle the icon display on/off with the “Android” button underneath each chart.
Latest Update: 8th-10th October 2016 – Added Android/Google Play store compatibility icons. Updated main body of article in relation to Skype, Android apps and running Linux on Chromebooks. Added page navigation links.

Page Navigation: Chromebooks released in 201620152014201320122011Buying GuideLinux on ChromebooksUpgrade storage/RAMComments

2016 Chromebooks

BrandNameMonthScreenResolutionCPU modelCPU speedCorePass MarkGeek BenchGeek BenchOctaneMemoryStorageBatteryWeight
AcerChromebook 11 (CB3-131)Jan11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21050*1830*1040*8500*2-4 GB16-32 GB9 hr2.42 lb1.1 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 14 (CP5-471 "for Work")Apr14"1366x768Intel Core i3 6100U2.3 GHz23500*5700*2780*23300*4 GB32 GB12 hr3.2 lb1.45 kgyes
AcerChromebook 14 (CP5-471 "for Work")Apr14"1366x768Intel Celeron 3855U1.6 GHz21720*3260*1890*15300*4 GB16 GB12 hr3.2 lb1.45 kgyes
AcerChromebook 14 (CP5-471 "for Work")Apr14"1920x1080Intel Core i3 6100U2.3 GHz23500*5700*2780*23300*8 GB32 GB12 hr3.2 lb1.45 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 14 (CP5-471 "for Work")Apr14"1920x1080Intel Core i5 6200U2.3 GHz23960*6440*3140*28300*8 GB32 GB10 hr3.2 lb1.45 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 14Apr14"1920x1080Intel Celeron N31601.6 GHz41470*3100*900*8000*4 GB32 GB12 hr3.4 lb1.54 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 14Jul14"1366x768Intel Celeron N31601.6 GHz41470*3100*900*8000*4 GB16 GB14 hr3.4 lb1.54 kgyes
AcerChromebook 14Jul14"1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8800*2-4 GB16-32 GB12 hr3.7 lb1.68 kgyes
AcerChromebook R13Oct13.3”1920x1080MediaTek M8173C2.1 GHz4n/a*n/a*n/a*9900*4 GB16-64 GB12 hr3.28 lb1.49 kgyesyesyes
ASUSC202SA Feb11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8800*2-4 GB16 GB10 hr2.2 lb1.0 kgyes
ASUSC300SAApr13.3”1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8800*4 GB16 GB10 hr3.1 lb1.4 kgyes
ASUSC301SAAug13.3”1920x1080Intel Celeron N31601.6 GHz41470*3100*900*8200*4 GB32-64 GB11 hr2.98 lb1.35 kgmaybe
CTLJ5 Flip/TouchJun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8800*4 GB32 GB10 hr3.5 lb1.59 kgyesyesyes
CTLNL61 Jul11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N31601.6 GHz41470*3100*900*8200*4 GB32 GB14 hr3.04 lb1.38 kgyes
CTLNL61T Sep11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N31601.6 GHz41470*3100*900*8200*4 GB32 GB14 hr3.04 lb1.38 kgyesyesyes
DellChromebook 13Jun13.3"1920x1080Intel Celeron 3215U1.7 GHz21830*2700*1500*17600*4 GB16 GB12 hr3.24 lb1.33 kgyesyes
HPChromebook 11 G4 (Education Edition)Jan11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21050*1830*1040*8500*2-4 GB32-64 GB9.5 hr2.7 lb1.22 kgyesyes
HPChromebook 13 G1May13.3”3200x1800Intel Pentium 4405Y1.5 GHz22260*3480*1700*14800*4 GB32 GB8 hr2.86 lb1.29 kgyesyes
HPChromebook 13 G1Apr13.3”3200x1800Intel Core m3-6Y30 900 MHz23060*5170*2660*22800*4 GB32 GB8 hr2.86 lb1.29 kgyesyes
HPChromebook 13 G1Apr13.3”3200x1800Intel Core m5-6Y571.1 GHz23150*5480*2900*28500*8 GB32 GB8 hr2.86 lb1.29 kgyesyes
HPChromebook 13 G1Apr13.3”3200x1800Intel Core m7-6Y751.2 GHz23560*6930*3280*30600*16 GB32 GB8 hr2.86 lb1.29 kgyesyes
LenovoN22 ChromebookMar11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30501.6 GHz2890*1680*960*8300*2-4 GB16-32 GB10 hr2.7 lb1.2 kgyes
LenovoN22 ChromebookMay11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8600*2-4 GB16-32 GB10 hr2.7 lb1.2 kgyes
LenovoN22 Chromebook (touch)May11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8600*2-4 GB16-32 GB10 hr2.76 lb1.25 kgyesyesyes
LenovoN42 ChromebookSep14”1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8600*2-4 GB16-32 GB11 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgmaybe
LenovoN42 Chromebook (touch)Sep14”1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8600*2-4 GB16-32 GB11 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgyesmaybe
LenovoThinkPad 11e (2016)Mar11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N31501.6 GHz41530*2920*870*8100*4 GB16 GB12 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgyes
LenovoThinkPad 11e Yoga (2016)Mar11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N31501.6 GHz41530*2920*870*8100*4 GB16 GB12 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgyesyesyes
LenovoThinkPad 13Jun13.3”1920x1080Intel Celeron 3855U1.6 GHz21720*3260*1890*16600*4 GB16 GB10 hr3.2 lb1.4 kgyesyes
LenovoThinkPad 13Jun13.3”1920x1080Intel Core i3 6100U2.3 GHz23500*5700*2780*23300*4 GB16 GB10 hr3.2 lb1.4 kgyesyes
LenovoThinkPad 13Jun13.3”1920x1080Intel Core i5 6300U2.4 GHz24300*6770*3250*29400*8 GB32 GB10 hr3.2 lb1.4 kgyesyes
MedionAkoya S2015Jun11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GBn/a2.71 lb1.23 kgyes
nComputCX100 / CX110Jun11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2-4 GB16 GB8.5 hr2.53 lb1.15 kgyesyes
SamsungChromebook 3Feb11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30501.6 GHz2890*1680*960*7200*2-4 GB16 GB11 hr2.53 lb1.15 kgyes
Benchmark type:

Touchscreen: Acer Chromebook R13, CTL J5, CTL NL61T, Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Yoga and highlighted models of Lenovo N22 and N42 come with a touchscreen.
Display Tech.: Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131, Acer Chromebook 14 (1920×1080 resolution models), Acer Chromebook R13, CTL J5, CTL NL61T, Dell Chromebook 13, HP Chromebook 13 G1, Lenovo N22 (touch), Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Yoga and Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebooks come with IPS displays.
The HP Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition IPS display is an optional extra. 
The 1920×1080 IPS display on the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is an optional extra (upgrade from 1366×768 non-IPS).

Notes: CTL also have ‘X’ ruggedized editions of their Chromebook models (other specs remain the same) e.g. NL61X, NL61TX.
The 2016 Dell Chromebook 13 is the same as the 2015 model with the 3205U CPU changed to a 3215U.
For the ASUS C301SA model, the manufacturer lists additional storage/CPU configurations, however these appear to not be currently available yet (as of Sep 2016).
Octane scores marked with a red star are estimates based on performance of identical CPU models.

2015 Chromebooks

BrandNameMonthScreenResolutionCPU modelCPU speedCorePass MarkGeek BenchGeek BenchOctaneMemoryStorageBatteryWeight
AcerChromebook 11 C740Feb11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 3205U1.5 GHz21703*2600*1490*14100*2-4 GB16 GB9 hr2.87 lb1.3 kgyes
AcerChromebook 13 C810May13.3"1366x768Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a3098*1033*7600*4 GB16-32 GB13 hr3.31 lb1.5 kg
AcerChromebook 13 C810May13.3"1920x1080Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a3098*1033*7600*4 GB16 GB13 hr3.31 lb1.5 kg
AcerChromebook 15 Mar15.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 3205U1.5 GHz21703*2600*1490*14200*2 GB16 GB9 hr4.85 lb2.2 kgyes
AcerChromebook 15 Mar15.6"1920x1080Intel Celeron 3205U1.5 GHz21703*2600*1490*14200*2-4 GB16-32 GB9 hr4.85 lb2.2 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 15 Mar15.6"1920x1080Intel Core i3 5005U2.0 GHz22920*4500*2100*20300*4 GB32 GB9 hr4.85 lb2.2 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 15 Mar15.6"1920x1080Intel Core i5 5200U2.2 GHz23526*5800*2900*25300*4 GB32 GB9 hr4.85 lb2.2 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 15 C910 Feb15.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 3205U1.5 GHz21703*2600*1490*14200*2-4 GB16-32 GB8 hr4.85 lb 2.2 kgyes
AcerChromebook 15 C910 Feb15.6"1920x1080Intel Celeron 3205U1.5 GHz21703*2600*1490*14200*2-4 GB16-32 GB8 hr4.85 lb2.2 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 15 C910Feb15.6"1920x1080Intel Core i3 5005U2.0 GHz22920*4500*2100*20300*4 GB32 GB8 hr4.85 lb2.2 kgyesyes
AcerChromebook 15 C910 Feb15.6"1920x1080Intel Core i5 5200U2.2 GHz23526*5800*2900*25300*4 GB32 GB8 hr4.85 lb2.2 kgyesyes
AcerR11 CB5-132TOct11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N31501.6 GHz41530*2920*870*8100*2-4 GB16-32 GB10 hr2.76 lb1.25 kgyesyesyes
AcerR11 C738TNov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N31501.6 GHz41530*2920*870*8100*4 GB16-32 GB9.5 hr2.76 lb1.25 kgyesyesyes
AcerR11 C738TNov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30501.6 GHz2890*1680*960*7200*4 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.76 lb1.25 kgyesyesyes
ASUSChromebook C201May11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2-4 GB16 GB13 hr2.16 lb0.98 kgyes
ASUSChromebook FlipJun10.1"1280x800Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2-4 GB16 GB8 hr2.0 lb0.91 kgyesyesyes
CDIeduGear K2 / K4Jun11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB10 hr2.46 lb1.12 kgyes
CDIeduGear M2 / M4Jun11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2-4 GB16 GB10 hrn/an/ayes
CDIeduGear R4Jun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29401.83 GHz41790*3000*930*8100*2 GB16 GB10 hrn/an/ayes
CDIeduGear CMTJun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N30601.6 GHz21040*1870*990*8800*4 GB32 GB10 hrn/an/ayesyesmaybe
CTLChromebook J2/J4Apr11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7700*2-4 GB16 GB9 hr2.4 lb1.09 kgyes
CTLChromebook J4 PlusAug11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7700*4 GB16 GB9 hr2.46 lb1.12 kgyesyes
CTLNL6 (2015)Jul11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29401.83 GHz41790*3000*930*8100*4 GB16 GB9 hr3.04 lb1.38 kgyes
DellChromebook 11 (2015) Feb11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N2840 2.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2-4 GB16 GB10 hr2.74 lb1.25 kgyes
DellChromebook 11 (2015, touch)Feb11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N2840 2.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2-4 GB16 GB10 hr2.91 lb1.32 kgyesyes
DellChromebook 13 Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Celeron 3205U1.5 GHz21700*2600*1490*14600*4 GB16 GB12 hr3.24 lb1.47 kgyesyes
DellChromebook 13 Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Core i3 5005U2.0 GHz22920*4500*2100*20300*4-8 GB16-32 GB12 hr3.24 lb1.47 kgyesyes
DellChromebook 13 (touch)Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Core i3 5005U2.0 GHz22920*4500*2100*20300*4 GB32 GB12 hr3.56 lb1.62 kgyesyesyes
DellChromebook 13Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Core i5 5300U2.3 GHz23800*6100*3050*27800*8 GB32 GB12 hr3.24 lb1.47 kgyesyes
DellChromebook 13 (touch)Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Core i5 5300U2.3 GHz23800*6100*3050*27800*8 GB32 GB12 hr3.56 lb1.62 kgyesyesyes
GooglePixel (2015) Mar12.8"2560x1700Intel Core i5 5200U2.2 GHz23630*5800*2900*25000*8 GB32 GB12 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgyesyesyes
GooglePixel LS (2015) Mar12.8"2560x1700Intel Core i7 5500U2.4 GHz24055*6700*3160*28000*16 GB64 GB12 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgyesyesyes
HaierChromebook 11Apr11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB10 hr2.54 lb1.15 kgyes
HaierChromebook 11e Apr11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB10 hr2.76 lb1.25 kgyes
HaierChromebook 11 G2Oct11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2 GB16 GB10 hr3.8 lb1.72 kgyes
HisenseChromebook (C11/12)Apr11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7100*2 GB16-32 GB8.5 hr2.54 lb1.15 kgyes
HPChromebook 11 G4Sep11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2-4 GB16-32 GB9.5 hr2.82 lb1.28 kgyes
HPChromebook 14Oct14"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2-4 GB16 GB8 hr3.73 lb1.69 kgmaybe
HPChromebook 14Oct14"1920x1080Intel Celeron N29401.83 GHz41790*3000*930*8200*4 GB16 GB8 hr3.73 lb1.69 kgyesmaybe
HPChromebook 14 G4Nov14"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2-4 GB16-32 GB9 hr3.78 lb1.71 kgyes
HPChromebook 14 G4Nov14"1920x1080Intel Celeron N29401.83 GHz41790*3000*930*8200*4 GB16-32 GB9 hr3.78 lb1.71 kgyesyes
LavaXoloMay11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB10 hr2.54 lb1.15 kgyes
LenovoN21 Mar11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8300*2-4 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.85 lb1.29 kgyes
LenovoChromebook 100SSep11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8900*2-4 GB16-32 GB8 hr2.6 lb1.2 kgyes
MedionAkoya S2013Dec11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB8 hr2.54 lb1.15 kgyes
NexianChromebookMar11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB8 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgyes
PCmergePCM-116EDec11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB10 hr2.76 lb1.25 kgyes
Poin2Chromebook 11Aug11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB8.5 hr2.53 lb1.15 kgyes
RGSEdu. ChromebookMar11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7600*4 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.85 lb1.29 kgmaybe
RGSEdu. ChromebookMar11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29301.83 GHz41710*2819*866*7400*4 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.85 lb1.29 kgmaybe
Sector 5E1 Rugged ChromebookAug11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2-4 GB16 GB10 hr3.3 lb1.5 kgyes
ToshibaChromebook 2 (2015)Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Celeron 3215U1.7 GHz21830*2700*1500*17600*4 GB16 GB9 hr2.95 lb1.33 kgyesyes
ToshibaChromebook 2 (2015)Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Core i3 5015U2.1 GHz23150*4520*2200*21400*4 GB16 GB8.5 hr2.95 lb1.33 kgyesyes
TrueIDCChromebook 11Jun11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2 GB16 GB8 hr2.53 lb1.15 kgyes
ViglenChromebook 11Jul11.6"1366x768Rockchip RK32881.8 GHz4n/a*2500*880*7400*2-4 GB16 GB10 hrn/an/ayes
Benchmark type:

Touchscreen: Acer R11, ASUS Chromebook Flip, Google Pixel 2015 and some models of the Dell Chromebook 11 2015 and Chromebook 13 are available with touchscreen. 
Display Tech.: The Acer R11, ASUS Chromebook Flip, CTL J4 Plus, Dell Chromebook 13, Google Pixel 2015, Toshiba Chromebook2 and full HD models of the Acer Chromebook 15/C910 and HP Chromebook 14 come with an IPS display. 
Notes: All of the Acer Chromebook C910, C740, CDI eduGear, CTL J2/J4/J4 Plus/NL6, Dell Chromebook 11, Haier Chromebook 11e, Lenovo N21, RGS and Sector 5 Chromebooks have features designed for the educational market, but are available for general sale also. “Chromebook 15” / CB5-571 is the consumer version of the C910. Octane scores marked with a red star are estimates based on past CPU model performance.

2014 Chromebooks

BrandNameMonthScreenResolutionCPU modelCPU speedCorePass MarkGeek BenchGeek BenchOctaneMemoryStorageBatteryWeight
AcerC720 (3404, 3871) Jul11.6"1366x768Intel Core i3 4005U1.7 GHz22480*3306*1588*14600*2-4 GB32 GB8.5 hr2.76 lb1.25 kg
AcerC730Dec11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2-4 GB16-32 GB8.5 hr3.31 lb1.5 kgyes
AcerC730Dec11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29401.83 GHz41835*2900*900*8200*2-4 GB16-32 GB8.5 hr3.1 lb1.4 kgyes
AcerChromebook 11 (CB3-111)Sep11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7600*2-4 GB16-32 GB8.5 hr2.43 lb1.1 kgyes
AcerChromebook 13 (CB5-311-T1UU)Aug13.3"1920x1080Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a*3098*1033*7600*4 GB32 GB11 hr3.31 lb1.5 kg
AcerChromebook 13 (CB5-311-T7NN)Aug13.3"1366x768Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a*3098*1033*7600*2 GB16 GB13 hr3.31 lb1.5 kg
AcerChromebook 13 (CB5-311-T9B0)Aug13.3"1920x1080Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a*3098*1033*7600*2 GB16 GB11 hr3.31 lb1.5 kg
AcerChromebook 13 (CB5-311-T9Y2)Aug13.3"1366x768Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a*3098*1033*7600*4 GB16 GB13 hr3.31 lb1.5 kg
AcerChromebook 13 (CB5-311P)Sep13.3"1366x768Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a*3098*1033*7600*4 GB16-32 GB13 hr3.31 lb1.5 kgyes
ASUSChromebook C200Jun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7300*2-4 GB16-32 GB11 hr2.5 lb1.13 kgyes
ASUSChromebook C300Jun13.3"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7300*2 GB16-32 GB10 hr3.1 lb1.4 kgyes
CTLNL6Jun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29301.83 GHz41710*2819*866*7400*4 GB16 GB9.5 hr3.04 lb1.38 kgyes
DellChromebook 11Jan11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 2955U1.4 GHz21555*2117*1244*11600*2-4 GB16 GB10 hr2.9 lb1.32 kg
DellChromebook 11Dec11.6"1366x768Intel Core i3 4005U1.7 GHz22480*3306*1588*15400*4 GB16 GB10 hr2.9 lb1.32 kg
EdxisEducation ChromebookSep11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29301.83 GHz41710*2819*866*7400*2-4 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.86 lb1.29 kgyes
HexaChromebook PiJul11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7200*4 GB32 GB10 hr2.65 lb1.2 kgyes
HPChromebook 11 G3Oct11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7600*2-4 GB16 GB8 hr2.83 lb1.34 kgyes
HPChromebook 14 G3 Oct14"1366x768Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a*3098*1033*7600*2-4 GB16-32 GB8 hr3.78 lb1.71 kg
HPChromebook 14 G3 (x050nr)Dec14"1920x1080Tegra K1 A15 ARM2.1 GHz4n/a*3098*1033*7600*4 GB32 GB8 hr3.77 lb1.71 kgyes
LenovoN20Jul11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7700*2 GB16 GB8 hr2.6 lb1.18 kgyes
LenovoN20Jul11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7700*2 GB500 HDD8 hr2.6 lb1.18 kgyes
LenovoN20pAug11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7700*2-4 GB16 GB8 hr2.9 lb1.32 kgyesyes
LenovoN20pAug11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29301.83 GHz41710*2819*866*7400*2-4 GB16 GB8 hr2.9 lb1.32 kgyesyes
LenovoThinkpad 11eJun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29301.83 GHz41710*2819*866*7400*4 GB16 GB8 hr3.1 lb1.4 kgyes
LenovoThinkpad Yoga 11eAug11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29401.83 GHz41835*2900*900*8200*4 GB16 GB8 hr3.1 lb1.4 kgyesyesyes
M&AChromebookJun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7700*2 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.84 lb1.29 kgyes
M&AChromebookJun11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29301.83 GHz41710*2819*866*7400*2 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.84 lb1.29 kgyes
SamsungChromebook 2May11.6"1366x768Exynos 5420 ARM1.9 GHz4n/a*2661*891*7000*4 GB16 GB8 hr2.65 lb1.2 kg
SamsungChromebook 2Oct11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8500*2 GB16 GB9 hr2.65 lb1.2 kgyes
SamsungChromebook 2May13.3"1920x1080Exynos 5800 ARM2.0 GHz4n/a*2941*985*7100*4 GB16 GB8.5 hr3.09 lb1.4 kg
SenkatelEdu. Chromebook (C1101-2G)Aug11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N28302.16 GHz21016*1506*879*7700*2 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.88 lb1.29 kgyesyes
SenkatelEdu. Chromebook> (C1101-4G)Aug11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron N29301.83 GHz41710*2819*866*7400*4 GB16 GB9.5 hr2.88 lb1.29 kgyesyes
ToshibaChromebookFeb13.3"1366x768Intel Celeron 2955U1.4 GHz21555*2117*1244*11800*2 GB16 GB9 hr3.3 lb1.5 kg
ToshibaChromebook 2Sep13.3"1920x1080Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8200*4 GB16 GB9 hr2.95 lb1.34 kgyesyes
ToshibaChromebook 2 Sep13.3"1366x768Intel Celeron N28402.16 GHz21148*1667*954*8200*2 GB16 GB11 hr2.95 lb1.34 kgyes
Benchmark type:

Touchscreen: Lenovo N20p, Thinkpad Yoga 11E, HP Chromebook 14 G3 (1920×1080 edition) and
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311P models are touchscreen enabled. 
Display Tech.: Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E, Toshiba Chromebook 2 (1920×1080 version) and Senkatel Chromebooks use an IPS type display. 
Notes: CTL NL6, Dell Chromebook 11, Edxis, M&A, PCmerge, Senkatel Chromebooks and Lenovo Thinkpad 11E / Yoga 11E are editions which are also aimed at the education market.
Full model numbers for the Toshiba Chromebook CB30/CB35 (Feb ’14) include CB30-102, CB30-A3120, CB35-A3120.
The Toshiba Chromebook 2 (Sep ’14) editions may be designated as CB35-B3330 (1366×768 version) and CB35-B3340 (1920×1080 version).

2013 Chromebooks

BrandNameMonthScreenResolutionCPU modelCPU speedCorePass MarkGeek BenchGeek BenchOctaneMemoryStorageBatteryWeight
AcerC720Oct11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 2955U1.4 GHz21555*2117*1244*11600*2-4 GB16-32 GB8.5 hr2.76 lb1.25 kg
AcerC720PNov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 2955U1.4 GHz21555*2117*1244*11600*2-4 GB16-32 GB7.5 hr2.98 lb1.35 kgyes
GooglePixelFeb12.8"2560x1700Intel Core i5 3427U1.8 GHz23600*4446*2186*20400*4 GB32-64 GB5 hr3.35 lb1.5 kgyesyes
HPChromebook 11Oct11.6"1366x768Exynos 5250 ARM1.7 GHz2n/a*1503*870*5800*2 GB16 GB6 hr2.26 lb1.0 kgyes
HPChromebook 14Oct14"1366x768Intel Celeron 2955U1.4 GHz21555*2117*1244*12000*2-4 GB16 GB9 hr4.07 lb1.85 kg
HPPavilion 14Feb14"1366x768Intel Celeron 8471.1 GHz2982*1565*905*7200*2-4 GB16 GB4 hr3.96 lb1.8 kg
LenovoThinkpad X131eJan11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 1007U1.5 GHz21460*1989*1178*9800*4 GB16 GB7.5 hr3.92 lb1.78 kg
Benchmark type:

Touchscreen: Acer C720P and Google Pixel models are touchscreen enabled. 
Display Tech.: HP Chromebook 11 and Google Pixel both use an IPS type display.
Notes: The Lenovo Thinkpad X131e is a ruggedised edition geared towards the education market.

2012 Chromebooks

BrandNameMonthScreenResolutionCPU modelCPU speedCorePass MarkGeek BenchGeek BenchOctaneMemoryStorageBatteryWeight
AcerC710 (2055)Nov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 8471.1 GHz2982*1565*905*7300*4 GB320 HDD6 hr3.2 lb1.45 kg
AcerC710 (2457)Nov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 8471.1 GHz2982*1565*905*7300*4 GB16 GB3.5 hr2.6 lb1.18 kg
AcerC710 (2487)Nov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 8471.1 GHz2982*1565*905*7300*4 GB320 HDD4 hr3.05 lb 1.38 kg
AcerC710 (2833, 2856)Nov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 847 1.1 GHz2982*1565*905*7300*2 GB16 GB4 hr3.05 lb1.38 kg
AcerC710 (2834)Nov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 1007U1.5 GHz21459*1989*1178*10000*2 GB16 GB4 hr3.05 lb1.38 kg
AcerC710 (2847)Nov11.6"1366x768Intel Celeron 847 1.1 GHz2982*1565*905*7300*2 GB320 HDD4 hr3.05 lb1.38 kg
SamsungSeries 3Oct11.6"1366x768Exynos 5250 ARM1.7 GHz2n/a*1503*870*5800*2 GB16 GB6.5 hr2.42 lb1.1 kg
SamsungSeries 5 550May12.1"1280x800Intel Celeron 8671.3 GHz21199*1767*1030*9000*4 GB16 GB6.5 hr3.3 lb1.48 kg
Benchmark type:

Notes: The multiple Acer C710 (also known as Acer C7) models represent different configurations of processor, RAM,
storage and battery capacity.

2011 Chromebooks

BrandNameMonthScreenResolutionCPU modelCPU speedCorePass MarkGeek BenchGeek BenchOctaneMemoryStorageBatteryWeight
AcerAC 700Aug11.6"1366x768Intel Atom N5701.67 GHz2595*925*383*3300*2 GB16 GB6 hr3.2 lb 1.45 kg
GoogleCr-48Dec12.1"1280x800Intel Atom N4551.67 GHz1290*502*364*3300*2 GB16 GB8 hr3.8 lb 1.7 kg
SamsungSeries 5Jun12.1"1280x800Intel Atom N5701.67 GHz2595*925*383*3300*2 GB16 GB6 hr3.06 lb 1.38 kg
Benchmark type:

Buying considerations

  • Screen size
    Smaller screens are more mobile, but display sizes of 12″ or lower can be difficult to work with for extended periods, especially if you’re used to a larger screen.

    13.3″ or 14″ screens are typically more productive for any type of content creation or design work, or simply a better option if you have trouble seeing or using small screens.
  • Display technology
    IPS type displays offer the best quality overall, with wider viewing angles and bright screens. These are the type of displays used by iPads and most Android devices.

    However, there is also variation in screen quality, contrast and brightness of non-IPS versions.

    FullHD screens have a vertical resolution of 1080 pixels or greater, compared to the usual resolution of 768 pixels.

    This can give greater clarity and definition to text and multimedia content, although a side-effect with earlier versions of ChromeOS was that some of the desktop components such as text and icons appeared visually smaller. This was changed in a recent update, so that you can now choose lower resolutions such as 1536×864 (or simply press Ctrl-Shift-minus or plus).

    Note that these are “virtual” resolutions – the screen always stays at the highest pixel resolution itself, but the desktop text and UI components are scaled to appear at the lower resolution, so they will appear visually bigger, but still using all of the 1080p pixels.

    Even when set to lower virtual resolutions, some content such as full-screen videos will be played back at the highest possible resolution.
  • CPU speed / number of cores 
    The overall computing capacity of your Chromebook depends on the CPU type and speed.

    Different CPUs can have different computing capacity even when running at the same GHz speed, so benchmark scores such as Octane are used to give an overall value for CPU performance.

    Faster CPUs are useful when running demanding applications, or web/Chrome apps with a lot of multimedia content such as games. A faster CPU with more cores will also generally improve overall system responsiveness.

    Historically, CPUs made by Intel were typically better for higher performance at the expense of battery life, while ARM-based chips offered extended battery life at the expense of performance, however the gap between the two is closing now as the newest Intel CPUs are much more power efficient.

    The Haswell based Celeron 2955U and Bay Trail Celeron N2830/N2930 are reasonably fast chips that both offer much better battery life than their predecessors. At the same time, the newest ARM-based Tegra K1 has performance broadly similar to the Celeron 2955U, as well as a powerful graphics core.

    It’s worth mentioning that if you just want a Chromebook for typical use such as browsing, using apps and watching videos, it’s not really necessary to go for the highest specced CPU. It’s also worth looking at estimated battery life as there is often a trade-off between performance and run time, although this is much improved for recent models.
    Note re. Exynos 5 Octa: This ARM chipset has a combination of 4 high-power and 4 low-power cores with different performances, so we just list the 4 high-performance cores.
  • Benchmarks
    Octane is the most popular benchmark used for measuring Chromebook performance. It’s a browser-based test created by Google,  which means it can run on any platform or CPU type. You can try it yourself here.

    The scores we have listed are compiled from a number of sources and have been rounded to the nearest 100. Note that a difference of a few hundred points between Octane scores is not really significant, since performance will tend to gradually improve over time as newer releases of the Chromium browser contain performance improvements, which results in higher scores.

    We’ve only used Octane 2.0 scores in compiling the charts, and tried to establish reasonable values thanks to members of the Chromebook community on /r/ChromeOS, and on Google+ at Chromebooks and Chromebook Users.

    Where it hasn’t been possible to obtain a direct score for a specific model, the score has been estimated by using similar models with the same CPU specs. These entries are marked with a red asterisk * after them. Octane is a benchmark that mostly reflects the single core performance of a CPU, although there is a small contribution to the score from multi-core tests.

    Geekbench and PassMark are alternative general purpose benchmarks. The scores are listed on the basis of CPU model. Geekbench is available in versions which test a single core, or all cores.

    Although Geekbench is advertised as a cross-platform benchmark, some people have noticed that it appears to slightly overestimate ARM performance due to quirks in some of the tests used. For this reason, it’s probably better to consider Geekbench scores within their own processor family – i.e. comparing ARM with other ARM models, and Intel with other Intel models.

    PassMark is a multi-core, x86 only benchmark.
  • Graphics processor / GPU
    Most Chromebook graphics processors are integrated with the CPU chip in order to save costs and improve power efficiency. Newer CPU/GPU chipsets will typically have more powerful integrated graphics processing, which means better performance for games and applications using 3d graphics.

    For light usage such as typical web browsing and 2d graphics, the GPU performance isn’t so important. As a general rule though, models with higher CPU benchmark scores tend to have better GPU performance, so Intel Core i3 CPUs for example will usually do better compared to Intel Celerons.

    The Tegra K1 chip used in some newer ARM models features strong GPU performance and may be roughly similar to the Intel HD 4000 graphics found in some Core i3 models.

    A close-up photo of individual GPU cores on a Tegra K1 chip

  • Storage
    The storage values refer to SSD or eMMC storage unless otherwise indicated. “320 HDD” refers to a 320GB traditional disk drive.

    SSD drives are fast and light, but older models have quite limited amounts of storage space. This is not much of a concern though for the mostly online usage of Chromebooks. Note that the operating system installation will use up around 6GB of space, so for a 16GB model, there will be around 10GB available for storage.

    Bear in mind that you can also add extra storage space with USB flash drives, SD cards, or, in some models, upgrading the internal disk (see “Upgrade your Chromebook storage or RAM” section below for details on which models can be DIY upgraded).
    Memory card support – All Chromebooks models listed here have an SD card reader slot except for the 2013 version HP Chromebook 11 (it does, however have two USB ports).

    The 2014 HP Chromebook 11 has a normal SD card slot, and the 2014 HP Chromebook 14 has a smaller sized micro-SD slot. The 2014 Samsung Chromebook 2 also uses a micro-SD slot.
    Online storage using Google Drive – All Google accounts get 15GB free storage without restrictions or time limit. Additionally, each Chromebook comes with a free 100GB offer for 2 years. After this time, your files will still be available, but you won’t be able to store additional files without signing up to one of the storage plans (the basic plan costs / month).  

    The Google Pixel Chromebook comes with a free 1TB for 3 years offer instead.

    See here for more details about all of the Google Drive offers, and how to redeem them.
  • Connecting USB and other devices
    Most “generic” devices will work when plugged in to a USB port, such as keyboards & mice (both wired and wireless), external hard drives, and even data CD/DVD drives (but in read-only mode).

    The more specialised the device is, the less likely it is to work. Printers won’t usually work directly, but see the “Printing” section below. Support for transferring files to and from Android phones over a USB connection was recently added. For Chromebooks with Bluetooth support, you can also use Bluetooth keyboards and mice. Some Chromebook models offer HDMI or VGA video output.

    Need a wired Ethernet port? This inexpensive USB Ethernet adapter should do the trick, and it works right out of the box.
  • Skype, Webcams, Audio/Video 
    All Chromebooks come with a built-in webcam, stereo speakers and earphone/mic sockets (either separate or combined into one socket).

    However, although it’s perfectly possible to use YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, Chromecast and other streaming music/video services (including Flash sites), it isn’t currently possible to use Skype on a Chromebook without some changes. It can be installed when using Crouton (see Using Linux on Chromebooks section below.)

    New for 2016/2017: With Android apps coming to Chromebooks (see section below), the Android version of Skype is fully functional on supported Chromebooks!

    As of mid-2016, Skype has also added more support for voice calls to their web version – try it here:

    It’s also possible (although a little clunky) to use Skype and other apps via a remote desktop or VNC connection, details are here.

    Alternatively, you can use something like Google Hangouts as a Skype replacement directly on a Chromebook. Of course, you can’t make video calls to Skype users from Google Hangouts or vice versa, although Hangouts is integrated into the Gmail chat/contacts sidebar, and as a default app in newer versions of Android smartphones and tablets, so it is quite widespread.
    You can play HD videos on Chromebooks (at least on any models from 2012 onwards), either from the Web or local files. Use the built-in files app to simply double click on the video file, and it will open in the ChromeOS media player.

    All of the popular file formats such as .avi, .mkv, .mp4, .mp3 etc are supported (including DivX, Xvid ..), although you may occasionally find that some of the less common video (or audio) codecs are unsupported. If this does happen, uploading the video to your Google Drive will usually make it viewable again. Support for lossless audio FLAC file format playback was added in late 2013.

    iTunes – iTunes is not directly supported, however there is a workaround which involves uploading your iTunes library on your PC or Mac to Google Play. Once uploaded, they can be listened to in Google Play on your Chromebook (currently, only when online). The Music Manager software can also automatically upload any new additions to your iTunes library.

  • Heat and Noise
    Chromebooks are not usually very noisy computers, and all of the ARM based models and most of the newer Intel models are efficient at using power and will not get very hot or noisy in normal use.

    If you are concerned about heat or noise, choose an ARM model or one of the newest Bay Trail (Celeron N2830, N2840, N2930) models, most of which appear to be entirely fanless.
  • WiFi + cellular / mobile Internet
    All Chromebooks come with WiFi adapters (802.11 a/b/g/n). Recent 2014 models have 802.11ac wifi support, which is an evolution of the 802.11n WiFi standard to support faster speeds in proximity to a compatible wireless router. However, your local Internet connection speed is still much more likely to be a limiting factor, unless you have a 100Mbps or faster broadband package.

    Some Chromebook models offer a built-in 3G/4G LTE (WWAN) modem, usually as an optional extra. These may or may not come with data plans from mobile networks, although there are usually restrictions on the data allowance.

    You should be able to use your own data-enabled SIM in models with WWAN support, and therefore choose your own type of data plan (or perhaps use an existing one). However, be wary of Chromebooks branded with a specific mobile/cellular provider plan if you want to use your own network SIM – these models may possibly be locked to that specific carrier.

    Huawei USB mobile dongles are supported, although some other brands are also reported to work.

    If you have a Smartphone with a WiFi hotspot mode, you can use this to get Internet access (tethering) on any Chromebook while on the go. This may be an economical alternative to using a separate SIM-enabled Chromebook.
  • Chrome Store apps
    The Google Chrome Web Store contains a large collection of mostly free apps, games, productivity tools and more which can be installed on your Chromebook. You can check these out in your browser first if you’re using Google Chrome.

    Some apps support the full features of touchscreen Chromebooks – this can be useful for certain games, however there doesn’t appear to be an easy way to check for touchscreen support without actually trying the app or game.

    New: Google Play store support (see below) will mean that many more touch-compatible apps will soon become available.

    The HTML5 version of Angry Birds used touchscreen support to good effect

  • Android apps 
    Google are working to make Android apps run directly on Chromebooks, via their “App Runtime for Chrome”. There are currently just around a dozen apps that are officially available, but for those willing to experiment, it’s possible that other Android apps can be used successfully.

    2016 update: Google have announced Android app compatibility and Google Play store support. This will be available on all 2016 Chromebook models, most 2015 vintage models, and selected older Chromebooks (see charts above for details).

    Currently, only a small number of Chromebooks actually have the Play store available, but it’s possible to try using it on other supported Chromebooks with some tweaks. Touchscreen support is emulated by trackpad/mouse movements on models without a touchscreen.

    See the Reddit ChromeOS subreddit for more details on how to do this.
  • Online vs Offline use 
    Although still remaining true to the idea of an (almost) constantly connected world, Chromebooks have adapted to become more useful even when there’s no internet around. Check out the Chrome Web Store’s Offline Apps collection for an idea of what’s available (you can also filter search results in the Chrome store to show offline-capable apps).

    As well as having separate listings for offline apps in the web store, the core ChromeOS has also improved its own offline capabilities since the first Chromebooks came out. Local document editing is handled by activating the offline mode in Google Drive. This will then allow you to edit your files both online and offline, and handles syncing between the two. See here for instructions on how to enable this. 

    Google also have a page listing what you can do offline, although it’s worth pointing out that this is a continuous work in progress, and while some apps such as Gmail offline will work mostly ok, they may not be as fully-featured compared to the online versions.
  • Access controls and device management
    Apart from the standard Google user accounts, you can also setup “Supervised Users” where access to specific websites can be either whitelisted or blacklisted, and SafeSearch controls managed. Instructions for adding a supervised user can be found here. Once a user is added, the settings can be managed at the Supervised Users dashboard.

    One major drawback with this approach as it currently stands is that these users can’t access or use any Chrome apps (Issue tracking link).

    An alternative parental control solution is to simply configure something like the free OpenDNS Family Shield DNS settings. This can be setup on a Chromebook by changing the custom name servers to those provided by OpenDNS. This page has a step-by-step example of changing these settings (but make sure to use the DNS settings provided by OpenDNS instead). Note that you may want to use the OpenDNS settings on both Ethernet (wired) and Wi-fi connection settings.
    For schools and workplaces, Google have a separate, licensed management console programme. There’s also Google Play for Education which is currently available for K12 schools in the US.
  • Editing Microsoft Word and Office documents
    Google Docs will allow you to create, edit and open MS Word documents. It’s installed by default on ChromeOS, and works in offline mode (via Google Drive).

    You can try it out here by installing from the Chrome Store (or if you’re using GMail, you may have  seen it already when clicking on a document attachment and selecting the “Open in Google Docs” option).

    You can also edit Excel and Powerpoint files on Chromebooks (and view PDFs) – see here for more details.
    Microsoft also have Office Online – this allows you to edit Office docs in a web browser. It’s integrated with Microsoft’s OneDrive online storage instead of Google Drive, and doesn’t work offline.

    Update for 2016/2017: With Google Play becoming available on Chromebooks, the Android versions of Microsoft Office are now reported to be working correctly.
  • Printing 
    The official line on printing on Chromebook is to use a Google Cloud Print compatible printer. These are typically newer models with wireless capability which connect directly to the internet via a WiFi router.

    There’s a list of Cloud Print compatible printer models here.

    If you have an older model printer, you may be stuck in terms of printing directly from a Chromebook – try to connect a printer via USB cable in ChromeOS and it won’t be recognised.

    Cloud Print can also be used from iOS and Android devices

    However, if you’re willing to tinker with it, it’s possible to get some directly connected printers working via Crouton. The details are here.

    Some manufacturers have features for online/remote printing such as HP ePrint. These may also work (even though they may not mention Cloud Print), but check the first link above just to make sure.
  • Running Windows software on Chromebook
    Although not the intended purpose of these machines, any Chromebook with an Intel CPU can also run a variety of Windows software via the WINE emulator. This opens up a huge amount of additional software such as Office/Productivity apps, graphics/image editing apps, games and more. You will need to use one of the Chromebook Linux setups in order to use WINE (see Using Linux on Chromebooks section below).

    Windows emulation will only work well with Chromebooks using Intel CPUs – not ARM. Also, not all Windows applications work correctly with WINE, but a lot do. You can see some of the best ones here, (includes a lot of games), or if you’re interested in using a specific Windows package, you can check the compatiblity level here. Within the WINE compatibility grading system, anything rated Platinum, Gold or Silver should work quite well.

Using Linux on Chromebooks – Crouton, Chrubuntu and more..


Chromebooks are a great option for anyone looking for a portable, low-priced laptop that also runs Linux. The operating system that comes with Chromebooks, ChromeOS, runs on top of Linux, but since everything is designed around the Chrome web browser, you don’t normally have access to the underlying standard Linux OS functions such as installing extra apps, using different windowing systems and changing advanced settings.

Some of the most popular options for Linux on Chromebook are Crouton, Chrubuntu and GalliumOS –

  • Crouton – Crouton is the easiest way to use Linux on Chromebooks, since you can install it and then switch seamlessly between ChromeOS and Linux without rebooting, simply by pressing a key combination.

    You can install either Ubuntu or Debian Linux with Crouton. Check out the guide here for step by step instructions on installing Crouton.

    The main Crouton page is here.

    Crouton – more than just a tasty addition to soups & salads

  • Chrubuntu Chrubuntu is a distribution of Ubuntu for Chromebooks that runs as a “clean” install – not on top of ChromeOS. After you’ve installed Chrubuntu, you will need to reboot to switch back to ChromeOS.

    The advantage is that since Chrubuntu is less dependent on ChromeOS (it doesn’t use the ChromeOS Linux kernel), it shouldn’t suffer from any cases where the Crouton ChromeOS integration is causing a problem. It’s difficult to say in exactly what circumstances this might be an issue, but if you need maximum compatibilty with standard Ubuntu installations, then you will probably want to use Chrubuntu.

    For most people though, Crouton should work well enough, and has the significant benefit of easily switching back and forth to ChromeOS.

    Note: Some people have experienced problems with suspend and resume functions when using Chrubuntu on the Acer C720P. There is some discussion of the issues here, and you can also find custom ROMs which further improve Linux distro compatibility at

    Less popular or newer Chromebook models such as the Toshiba Chromebook 2 are likely to have more issues with hardware support when using a Linux distro outside of Crouton. If this is important to you, make sure to research any potential issues with respect to the specific Chromebook model you’re interested in before buying. Acer models such as the C720 versions are generally well supported however.
  • GalliumOS – Update: For a clean Linux install or dual-boot with ChromeOS, GalliumOS is now almost certainly one of the best choices compared to previous options. See full details on their install instructions page.

    We recommend installing a dual boot GalliumOS/ChromeOS using chrx, in order to have a fall-back to ChromeOS for maintenance and/or functionality purposes.
Developer mode
You’ll need to enable “Developer mode” on your Chromebook before installing either Crouton or Chrubuntu. There are instructions here. Note that this will deleted any locally saved files. Take care not to accidentally disable developer mode at boot-up (CTRL-D skips the delay, but Space will remove developer mode) since any installed files will be cleared again.

Install requirements
Both Crouton and Chrubuntu can be installed on either the internal SSD or external storage such as SD card or USB stick, however since Crouton is more integrated with ChromeOS, it also needs to modify the internal system a little more during installation.

If you’re installing either on USB or SD card, you might want to try to get a reasonably fast SD card, or use USB 3.0 if possible. If you have enough space on your internal SSD (or have upgraded it), you might prefer to install Chrubuntu on a separate partition here for best performance. With Crouton, you can follow the normal install process to install on internal SSD, or look at the “Mapping Chroot to SD Card” instructions here to put the Crouton files on SD card.

You can also try out some of these hints/tweak suggestions after installing Crouton.

The Benefits
LibreOffice (Free Microsoft Office alternative), Linux compatible Steam games, Minecraft, Thief-like game The Dark Mod (see our install guide here), Google Earth, WINE emulator for Windows apps, Arcade/console/8-bit emulators, local development environment and more..

Note: If you want to make use of Linux on Chromebooks, it’s recommended to get an Intel CPU Chromebook due to the much higher level of compatibility with various software packages and greater emulation possibilites. You might also want to look at getting a higher spec (4GB) RAM and storage, either in a particular model configuration or as a DIY upgrade (see below).

Other distros
Arch Linux and XUbuntu are also popular Linux distributions used on Chromebooks.

GalliumOS is a distribution especially made for ChromeOS devices, built on top of Xubuntu.

Upgrade your Chromebook storage or RAM


Most Chromebooks come with a 16GB or 32GB internal SSD drive and 2GB or 4GB or RAM, which is fine for the majority of users of Chrome OS. However for more demanding users (if you keep a ton of browser tabs open at once, you will probably appreciate more than 2GB of RAM), you can upgrade some models yourself.

We’ve listed details here where there have been reports of successful upgrades. In some cases, there is no clear information, especially for the newest models. Note that in many cases, such modifications may invalidate your warranty, and there is no absolute guarantee that replacement RAM or SSD drives will be compatible.

Where the storage upgrade is listed as “Unlikely”, it’s probably because it’s an eMMC module instead of SSD drive, and integrated into the motherboard without other expansion options.

Before upgrading your Chromebook, make sure to create a recovery image on USB or SD card by following the instructions here. You can then restore ChromeOS on to a new SSD by simply inserting the recovery image USB or SD card at the prompt after powering up.

BrandModelUpgrade RAM?Upgrade storage?Notes
AcerAC 700No - (2GB RAM CPU limitation)Yes - Half-Slim SSD
AcerC710Yes - 2 x PC3-10600 SODIMMYes - 7mm SATA SSDHowto Video
AcerC720 / C720P (2013)NoYes - 42mm M.2 SSDHowto
AcerC720 (Core i3 CPU, 2014)UnlikelyYes - 42mm M.2 SSD
AcerC740NoYes - 42mm M.2 SSDHowto Video
AcerChromebook 11 / CB3UnlikelyUnlikely
AcerChromebook 13 / CB5-311 (2014)UnlikelyUnlikely
AcerChromebook 13 / C810 (2015)UnlikelyUnlikely
AcerChromebook 15 / C910NoYes - 42mm M.2 SSDDetails
ASUSC200 / C300NoNo
CTLNL6UncertainUncertainClosed case design, but not soldered to MB.
DellChromebook 11 (2014/2015)NoNo
DellChromebook 13NoYes - 42mm M.2 SSDDetails
GoogleCr-48No - (2GB RAM CPU limitation)Yes - mSATA driveHowto
GooglePixel / Pixel LS (2015)NoNo
HPChromebook 11 (2013)NoNo
HPChromebook 11 G3(2014)UnlikelyUnlikely
HPChromebook 11 G4(2015)UnlikelyUnlikely
HPChromebook 14 (2013)NoYes - 42mm M.2 SSDHowto - requires extra disassembly
HPChromebook 14 G3(2014)UnlikelyLikelyM.2 SSD config option available
HPChromebook 14 G4(2015)UnlikelyUnknown
HPPavilion 14Yes - 1 x PC3-12800 SODIMMYes - 7mm SATA SSDHowto - requires extra disassembly, manual
LenovoN20 / N20pNoNo
LenovoThinkpad 11e / Yoga 11eNoNo
LenovoThinkpad X131eYes - 2 x PC3-12800 SODIMMYes - mSATA driveHardware maintenance manual
SamsungSeries 3NoNo
SamsungSeries 5NoYes - mSATA driveHowto
SamsungSeries 5 550Yes - 2 x PC3-12800 SODIMMYes - mSATA driveDetails
SamsungChromebook 2UnlikelyUnlikely
ToshibaChromebook 2 (2014)NoNo
ToshibaChromebook 2 (2015)NoYes - 42mm M.2 SSDDetails

Over to you..

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Specifications are accurate only to the extent of our best effort – we can’t absolutely guarantee that all specs. are correct at any given time, and they may be subject to changes by the manufacturers. Furthermore, some values such as benchmarks scores and battery life are subjective interpretations which are presented as a rough guideline to help compare models. Sources: Specs are sourced from manufacturer data where possible, otherwise specific model details have been cross-checked with a number of online vendors. Benchmarks: Except where otherwise marked, Octane scores are compiled from multiple user-reported tests for those models. Geekbench and PassMark scores are estimates based on results for specific CPU models, not entire systems. Links: We use affiliate product links – see the about page for more details.

Title image is adapted from an original photo by Barry Wise.