Best 13"+ Chromebook, Dec 2016?

M. Gustave

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I'm considering picking up my first Chromebook. I've been surveying what's out there, but it's frankly a confusing mess. Dozens of listings on Amazon for what look like the same computer, wildly different prices each week, models "discontinued" left and right, but still listed on the manufacturer's websites...

I need a 13.3" or larger bright IPS screen, 10 hour battery life, and 4GB RAM.

What do you recommend? I'm leaning toward the Acer Chromebook 14. I don't think Android app compatibility or touchscreen are concerns for me.
 

DaveOP

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I'm considering picking up my first Chromebook. I've been surveying what's out there, but it's frankly a confusing mess. Dozens of listings on Amazon for what look like the same computer, wildly different prices each week, models "discontinued" left and right, but still listed on the manufacturer's websites...

I need a 13.3" or larger bright IPS screen, 10 hour battery life, and 4GB RAM.

What do you recommend? I'm leaning toward the Acer Chromebook 14. I don't think Android app compatibility or touchscreen are concerns for me.
As someone who has owned a Chromebook in the past, get a model with Android apps and touchscreen. The Play Store provides a huge number of applications that will only make your Chromebook better.
 

Lloydbm41

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I'm considering picking up my first Chromebook. I've been surveying what's out there, but it's frankly a confusing mess. Dozens of listings on Amazon for what look like the same computer, wildly different prices each week, models "discontinued" left and right, but still listed on the manufacturer's websites...

I need a 13.3" or larger bright IPS screen, 10 hour battery life, and 4GB RAM.
What do you recommend? I'm leaning toward the Acer Chromebook 14. I don't think Android app compatibility or touchscreen are concerns for me.
There is only one Chromebook to consider right now. Samsung Chromebook Pro
Link: http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/samsung-chromebook-pro-price-specs
 
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mclld

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I use a cheap Toshiba Chromebook 2 and love it, I cant imagine how good a higher end one would be. I use mine daily as my main computer and hardly ever touch my desktop anymore
 

Lloydbm41

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Nope. The Chromebook Pro is vaporware at this point in time.
Vaporware would indicate a non-existent product. We have had pre-order pages pop up for the Pro before they were hastily taken down and Samsung has given out info in the device. We know it is coming, we just don't have a confirmed date (although rumors are pointing to Jan). I call that far from vaporware.

I think the Note 7 battery fiasco meant going through and QA'ing these machines to weed out any more battery problems before release. Last thing Samsung needs for their reputation is another recall.
 

sracer

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Vaporware would indicate a non-existent product. We have had pre-order pages pop up for the Pro before they were hastily taken down and Samsung has given out info in the device. We know it is coming, we just don't have a confirmed date (although rumors are pointing to Jan). I call that far from vaporware.

I think the Note 7 battery fiasco meant going through and QA'ing these machines to weed out any more battery problems before release. Last thing Samsung needs for their reputation is another recall.
I won't get into a tug o war over semantics. The chromebook pro is not available for purchase now and there is no ETA for it. There is only rumor of when it might go on sale. And there is no guarantee that it will.

If someone needs to buy a chromebook now, telling them to wait for maybe some glimpse of a shadow of an availability date is not very helpful.

When you mentioned the chromebook pro you gave the impression that it is available now. That too is not helpful.
 

T5BRICK

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I just ordered a Lenovo Thinkpad chromebook. It showed up yesterday but I didn't get a chance to turn it on. I'll try it out tonight and give some feedback.
 
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T5BRICK

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The 13"? Or an 11e?
The 13" model, 20GL.

The screen is garbage coming from my 2015 13" rMBP. But I'm comparing a $185 computer to a $2000 computer, so that's not really fair.

ChromeOS is pretty slick and the computer is certainly fast enough. The build quality is actually really good. It has a solid feel.
 
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M. Gustave

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The 13" model, 20GL.

The screen is garbage coming from my 2015 13" rMBP. But I'm comparing a $185 computer to a $2000 computer, so that's not really fair.

ChromeOS is pretty slick and the computer is certainly fast enough. The build quality is actually really good. It has a solid feel.
I don't get this whole crappy screen thing. These companies must be sourcing cheap 10-year-old junk. I bought a $150 Asus 22" IPS monitor, and it's absolutely brilliant.

Then my $1500 Lenovo 15.6" Thinkpad had one of the worst screens I've ever used, and it was the FHD "upgrade"! Every Dell I've bought has had a junk screen too.
 

jamesrick80

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As someone who has owned a Chromebook in the past, get a model with Android apps and touchscreen. The Play Store provides a huge number of applications that will only make your Chromebook better.
The problem currently...android apps are just not truly stable with chromebooks yet...i think next fall will be the best time to get a chromebook and there should more 2 in 1 options...google isn't even promoting chromebooks much currently....for now they are still limited....
 

M. Gustave

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From this list, you currently only have these three options if you want Android apps:
  • Asus Chromebook Flip.
  • Acer Chromebook R11 / C738T
  • Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)
Pixel is out of my budget, even used; and the Flip's screen is too small. Does anyone here have an Acer R11? It gets pretty good reviews, although the screen is a bit dim.
 

sracer

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From this list, you currently only have these three options if you want Android apps:
  • Asus Chromebook Flip.
  • Acer Chromebook R11 / C738T
  • Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)
Pixel is out of my budget, even used; and the Flip's screen is too small. Does anyone here have an Acer R11? It gets pretty good reviews, although the screen is a bit dim.
One thing to consider in selecting a Chromebook is how long do you expect to keep it? a year... 2 years... 5?

The reason for asking is that Google will continue to push support for Android apps to other Chromebooks and certainly newly released Chromebooks 2-3 years out will have Android support out-of-the box. I don't know if I would limit myself today to a few Chromebooks that currently support Android apps when I could perhaps buy a higher quality CB today and then if the CB works well with my workflow, replace it with a newer one that does.

There is a seller (Speedy Mobile) on Amazon who is selling supposedly NEW 2013 Chromebook Pixel for $359 (w/free shipping). If I didn't just purchase an iPad Mini 4, I would be jumping on this deal.

The 2013 edition won't get support for Android apps, but it is still the Rolls Royce of Chromebooks.
 
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M. Gustave

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The price for the Acer R11 (4GB RAM/32GB storage) dropped to $249 on Amazon, and I couldn't resist.

It doesn't fully meet my wants, but it's a very favorably reviewed machine, and at this price I can afford to dip my toes in Chrome OS.

Excited! My first new laptop purchase since 2012. :)
 
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sracer

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The price for the Acer R11 (4GB RAM/32GB storage) dropped to $249 on Amazon, and I couldn't resist.

It doesn't fully meet my wants, but it's a very favorably reviewed machine, and at this price I can afford to dip my toes in Chrome OS.

Excited! My first new laptop purchase since 2012. :)
Congrats! Dive in with both feet. You'll be surprised at just how much can be done in Chrome OS. I was impressed...nearly to the point of ditching more traditional notebooks... but that is still an option. LOL :D
 
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throwthedice

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I'm looking to dip my toes into the Chromebook world :)
My main usage would be to browse and watch videos and try to reduce my dependency on my MBP while traveling etc.

@M. Gustave would you mind sharing the kind of usage you're getting out of this machine? And how is the screen and battery life of this device?
Is there some kind of a functionality that you hoped the Chromebook would perform but didn't meet your expectation?
 

lowendlinux

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As someone who has owned a Chromebook in the past, get a model with Android apps and touchscreen. The Play Store provides a huge number of applications that will only make your Chromebook better.
Honestly I can't think of an Android app that I'd want on my Chromebook.
 

M. Gustave

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@M. Gustave would you mind sharing the kind of usage you're getting out of this machine? And how is the screen and battery life of this device?
I haven't done any battery life tests, but it's something I don't seem to have to worry about with this machine. Laptop Mag says 9.3 hours on the N3150 processor R11. Interestingly, my R11 bought from Amazon was listed as also having an Intel N3150, but a system check shows it actually has an N3160. They're basically the same, but the N3160 is newer and has a slightly higher burst speed.

The screen is great, not iPad great, but still really nice color, contrast, viewing angles. No complaints there, and I'm pretty picky. I hate matte laptop screens, so the glossy IPS was another reason I went with this model.

Is there some kind of a functionality that you hoped the Chromebook would perform but didn't meet your expectation?
None! LOL, actually I've been eyeing Chromebooks for more than two years, so I already knew the benefits and limitations of ChromeOS. What's held me back until now was the junk hardware, but I have no complaints whatsoever about this Acer.

I can see why they're popular with schools, they're absolutely as simple to setup and operate as an appliance. But for someone who can afford an iPad and keyboard, I'm not sure yet why you'd choose the Chromebook, but I try not to make snap judgments after only a week of use.
[doublepost=1481890251][/doublepost]
Honestly I can't think of an Android app that I'd want on my Chromebook.
I said the same thing, until I tried a few out, and realized that in some cases the Android app has more features than the Chrome app. An example is Google Keep, which has two more note input types in the Android app.

I'm glad the option is there, but I have to say that even on the "stable channel", the whole "app" situation on a Chromebook is a real confusing mess at this point. Take the photo editor Polarr: should I install the Chrome "app", or the Android app, or use the website via the Chrome browser? I don't have a good answer.
 
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tbayrgs

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Looks like the Chromebook market just got a nice little bump with the release of 2 higher end machines.

Asus Chromebook C302

Samsung Chromebook Plus (and upcoming Pro)

While the higher res display and S-Pen of the Samsung has caught my eye, I can't help but drool a little at the option of 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and a Kabylake CPU of the Asus.

I've been hoping for a convertible option similar to iPP 12.9 or Surface Pro 4 but these both weigh barely more than the iPP 12.9 with a smart keyboard yet add so much functionality. I'm really quite tempted.
 
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mi7chy

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Looks like 6th gen Skylake options (6Y30 and 6Y75) on the Asus so more limited media capabilities.
 
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