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Best Chromebooks in Australia 2024

Simplify your computing life with one of the best Chrome-powered laptops available in Australia for every need and budget.

Chromebooks

The best Chromebook in Australia

Finder's editorial team checked out dozens of the latest Chromebooks available on store shelves in Australia and made our selections based on critical reviews from professional reviewers as well as customer feedback. For every category, we looked into device specifications and features to determine which were most suitable.

Read more detail on our methodology below.


Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i

Best overall Chromebook

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Intel CPU gives it a real performance edge
  • Good keyboard

Cons

  • Easily confused with its Windows counterparts
  • Pricey

In the Chromebook space, especially for the smaller pool of available Chromebook devices in Australia, there's a tendency towards shipping as cheap as possible with low-power, low-cost processors.

That does deliver a Chromebook at a certain price point, but it's going to be one that runs quite slowly and will typically fail to satisfy.

That's not what Lenovo's IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook does. It's built around Intel Core processors, giving it a distinct local performance edge. While much of what you do with a Chromebook may be web-based, with the inclusion of Android applications on Chromebook there's a lot of scope to use that kind of power in a productive way.

Reviewers noted that the IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook benefitted from a better keyboard than you see on most Chromebooks – and again, there's that focus on delivering a cheap Chromebook coming into play, rather than a good one. However, on that note, the IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook isn't an inexpensive unit. It's also worth being careful when you
buy because Lenovo has a lot of units under its IdeaPad branding, not all of them Chromebooks.


ASUS Chromebook Flip CM1

Best mid-range Chromebook

ASUS Chromebook Flip CM1
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Fully flips into tablet or laptop with ease
  • Touchscreen display

Cons

  • Reviewers noted dim screen display
  • Middling battery life

While many Chromebooks on the local market are of the more cheap and cheerful variety, you can get a better experience if you are able to step up your budget to the mid-range in price terms.

ASUS's Chromebook Flip CM1 won praise from reviewers in this price bracket thanks to – as its name suggests – the ability of its full 360-degree hinge to flip around, converting it from a Chromebook to a Chrome tablet with ease. Based on AMD's Ryzen processors, it's also a slightly more powerful unit, with reviewers noting that even under heavier app load it didn't get noticeably hot or noisy.

It's also touchscreen capable – which it needs to be, naturally to accommodate tablet-style usage – but with the caveat that the screen display isn't particularly bright, which could be problematic if you needed to use the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM1 in direct sunlight. Some reviewers also noted that the AMD processor gave it processing grunt, but at the cost of some mediocre battery endurance.


Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (DEAL: get 31% off)

Best budget Chromebook

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i (DEAL: get 31% off)
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • More storage than most cheap Chromebooks
  • Good reported battery life

Cons

  • Low resolution display
  • Poor webcam

The selection of available Chromebooks in Australia is nowhere near as wide as it is in other markets, with budget models predominating over all other types. They're all built to suit a price with simple plastic bodies, basic keyboards and lower-end processor choices.

When you're picking within limitations, it pays to work out where the added benefits of one model sit over others. It's one reason why we've picked the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i. It's typically sold at a budget price with 64GB of onboard eMMC storage whereas competitors offer only 32GB.

For a cloud-based device, local storage might not seem like much, but if you start adding lower-end Android apps to it, that storage can fill up quite rapidly.

Reviewers also noted that while it isn't a super-fast Chromebook, the use of lower-end Celeron processors means that it sips from its included battery quite lightly. With a stated battery life of up to 10 hours that's not extensive, but it's great to see a device that actually lives up to its battery claims in most cases.

One area that reviewers were less happy about was its integrated 720p webcam, which struggled in many instances to deliver pleasing images.


Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 16-inch Chromebook

Best premium Chromebook

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 16-inch Chromebook
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • High performance

Cons

  • Gaming performance is largely tied to cloud issues, not hardware
  • It’s quite pricey

You don't have a lot of choices on premium Chromebooks in Australia. While the likes of Google and Samsung offer some tasty treats in other markets, they're not officially sold here in the premium space.

Lenovo does offer its take on a "gaming" Chromebook with the definitely premium-priced IdeaPad Gaming 16-inch Chromebook. As the name suggests, it's a much larger Chromebook with a 16-inch 2.5K-capable 120Hz display to use – not your typical Chromebook fare for sure.

That's backed up with an Intel Core i5-1235U processor, 512GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM, putting the IdeaPad firmly in the premium Chromebook space. Reviewers noted not only that it was fast for local tasks, but also that it was very well built, with a robust body and a good responsive keyboard.

So what's not to like? While it's built for "gaming", right now the gaming space on Chromebooks largely relies on cloud-based solutions such as Xbox GamePass. In cloud gaming, you'll see more benefit from a faster broadband connection than a faster computer to speak of. Also, there's no getting around the fact that this is a Chromebook that'll deplete your laptop of around $1,600 at the time of writing. That's quite premium laptop money, not just premium Chromebook money.


Acer 14 Chromebook 514

Best Chromebook for students

Acer 14 Chromebook 514
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Built well for its price

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Touchscreen can be finicky

The reality for most students is that a Chromebook suits best where you can use it almost exclusively as a cloud-based device. Your study work is secure online and it matters little if you need to refresh the Chromebook at any time because of that fact. As such, nearly any Chromebook on this list could be the "best" student Chromebook depending on the price you can get it for.

As a general-use device, Acer's Chromebook 514 offers a good balance that should appeal to most students. Reviewers liked its good balance of price for performance, although they did note that Acer makes several differing models in this space, so your experiences here could vary. However, all of them did appreciate its design that's slightly better than mid-range, noting that it felt like a premium laptop in use and not a cheaper model.

Battery life is stated at up to 15 hours, but some reviewers – not all – struggled to get near those figures. Again, differences in internal configuration may be at play there, but as long as you're not planning an all-night study session with no power points nearby, you should be okay.


Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook (DEAL: get 43% off)

Best Chromebook for battery life

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook (DEAL: get 43% off)
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Large, attractive OLED display
  • Chromebooks are nicely fuss-free
  • Surface-inspired design works well
  • ChromeOS is locked down with greater security than a Windows 11 laptop

Cons

  • No biometric authentication
  • It's huge and a little slippery
  • ChromeOS is locked down with less flexibility than a Windows 11 laptop

Chromebooks have a distinct advantage over traditional Windows or Mac laptops in the battery space because the limitations on largely web-based apps mean that you're never likely to throw tasks that are quite as resource-intensive at them. Less demanding apps means less power draw, which tends to lead to very pleasing battery life.

In our tests, backed up by independent reviews, the Lenovo Ideapad Duet 5 impressed, living up to its 15-hour claimed battery life and often exceeding it. We could hit 2 days of moderate workday usage in some scenarios, which is exceptional for any laptop.

Part of the reason why the Lenovo Ideapad Duet 5 can manage that battery life is that it's a larger unit, built around a very nice 13.3-inch OLED display. A larger screen on a hybrid tablet-style device like this gives Lenovo more space to pack batteries in, and that's what it's done.

The downside of being big is that it's, well… big. There's a fair amount of Chromebook to heft around here, even if it is a shameless Microsoft Surface clone. And we did find it a little slippery in the hand if you do want to make the most of its tablet form factor.

You can read our full Lenovo Ideapad Duet 5 Chromebook review here.

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ASUS Chromebook Flip C214

Best rugged Chromebook

ASUS Chromebook Flip C214
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Built to take the knocks that life can dish out
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Slow within its price bracket
  • Small size for the money

The smaller selection of easy-to-purchase Chromebooks in Australia makes it tough to pick out the best "rugged" Chromebook because there's a very small selection of candidates.

ASUS's Chromebook Flip C214 stands out in the space as a convertible Surface-style tablet/laptop device, but one that isn't just your typical flimsy small Chromebook tablet. Instead, it's built tough with rugged bumpers to protect against inadvertent drops and a spill-resistant keyboard to keep fluids at bay. That won't cover every single emergency or disaster, but it's well above the durability of most competing Chromebooks.

All of this heavy-duty build does come at a price. Those rugged bumpers lead to chunky bezels around its 11.6-inch touchscreen. The display is relatively dim and low resolution, so not ideal if you wanted it for watching videos or displaying photos with ease. It's also running on an older and slower Celeron processor with just 4GB of RAM, with reviewers noting that it wasn't notably quick for local tasks. Stick to single-use cloud-based apps and it should be workable, but not nimble.

As with any other laptop, there's a premium to pay for durability features, and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is a device that plays a balancing act. If you want the fastest Chromebook at this price, the C214 isn't it. If you want the one that'll survive the bumps and shocks that life can bring with it, it just might be the right Chromebook for you.


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Up to 70% off computers, laptops and more

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30% off Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 13Q7C6 Chromebook

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44% off MSI Thin GF63 12UC-825AU Gaming Laptop 15.6 Inch: $895.44

Ends


Amazon prices last updated on 15 July, 2024 at 07:01 pm
eBay prices last updated on 15 July, 2024 at 10:04 pm

Methodology

7
Brands considered
40+
Products compared
7
Best products chosen
  • We looked into more than 40 Chromebooks from 7 leading brands to pick out the best devices for a range of needs.
  • We made these picks by looking at our reviews and professional competitor reviews, as well as customer feedback and consideration of each key selling points and price at the time of writing this list.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

Why you can trust our picks

We checked out a few dozen Chromebooks from several of the world's leading laptop brands to find out which are best suited for different use cases. We've only included devices that are available here in Australia from the brands listed below:

  • Acer
  • ASUS
  • Dell
  • Google
  • HP
  • Lenovo
  • Samsung

When choosing the best Chromebooks, we used our own reviews as well as competitor reviews to make our final selections. Many Chromebook models sold overseas aren't officially available here. For models that were only available as imports, we considered them as part of our selection matrix but marked them down for lower availability and the potential for challenging warranty issues for consumers.

From that pool, we selected the best models to suit a range of budgets and use cases, taking into consideration the average retail prices that you could buy them for at the time of writing. As always, prices can fluctuate over time.


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Written by

Contributor

A multi-award winning journalist, Alex has written about consumer technology for over 20 years. He has written and edited for virtually every Australian tech publication including Gizmodo, CNET, PC Magazine, Kotaku and more. He has also been the Editor of Gizmodo Australia, PC Mag Australia, CNET.com.au and the Tech and Telco section at Finder. Alex has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England and a serious passion for retro gaming. See full bio

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