When Chromebooks first emerged, few had reason enough to become instant fans of this new venture. However, with time, Chromebooks have evolved into highly productive devices capable of working with a wide range of software.
Apart from these across-the-board improvements for Chromebooks, Google has recently welcomed another system to the ChromeOS family, titled Chromebook Plus. If you missed the initial announcement, here’s a comprehensive rundown of the Chromebook Plus category.
Now, if you’re not too keen on upgrading to a specialized Chromebook Plus device, Google has laid out a crystal clear requirement standard for existing Chromebooks that will receive a free upgrade to Chromebook Plus. This guide entails 10 of the best Chromebooks you can buy and tune up to the Plus standard when the update launches in October.
Read until the end, therefore, for the best results.
Top 10 Chromebooks ready for plus upgrade
The following is our round-up of the most worth-buying Chromebooks that can be upgraded to ChromeOS Plus, should you choose to do so. Having a Chromebook Plus device opens up new doors for you in the realm of AI and a deluge of quality-of-life features, with Google having planned many more enhancements down the road for ChromeOS.
Please note that it’s important to properly get down the exact version(s) of the forthcoming devices that ChromeOS Plus will be compatible with. The support page detailing the names of the supported Chromebooks also sheds light on the model number, so do look into that diligently to avoid making the wrong purchase.
1. Acer Chromebook 516 GE
- CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i5-1240P
- GPU: 16″ LCD IPS ComfyView Quad HD (2560 x 1600p), 350 nits, 120 Hz display
- Display: Intel Iris XE graphics
- RAM: 8 GB LPDDR4X
- Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Price: $649.99
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE starts this list with nothing but sheer confidence, offering users the flexibility to utilize this Chromebook for various purposes. Acer advertises the unit as a “gaming Chromebook,” and rightfully so, considering how the 516 GE, which is shorthand for Gaming Edition, actually puts in the effort toward living up to its moniker.
Outside of its fantastic RGB keyboard with no gimmicky lighting and actual useful stuff, followed by the stellar level of performance that the 516 GE boasts day in and day out, the device has an impressive 16-inch LCD IPS ComfyView Quad HD (2560 x 1600p) display that looks just outright gorgeous.
In simple words, devices like these make ChromeOS great for gaming, making it possible to try out titles such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Lost Ark, Apex Legends, and a host of other top-grade PC games. And the best part? When the 516 GE receives the ChromeOS Plus upgrade, you can enjoy high-end Adobe Photoshop editing on it swiftly just as well.
2. Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
- CPU: Intel Core i3 1115G4 processor
- GPU: Intel UHD graphics
- Display: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080p), 16:9 aspect ratio, touch-enabled screen
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 128 GB NVMe storage
- Price: $569
Being one of the world’s most capable Chromebook manufacturers, Asus knows how to create an everlasting impression with its range of first-rate devices. The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5, being no exception, is one of the most aesthetically appealing devices in the ChromeOS sector.
And it’s not just the looks that make us recommend the Flip CX5, but the overall quality of the Chromebook that puts it well among the best Chromebooks you can buy in 2023. A stand-out factor of the device that I benefited greatly from is its generous port selection.
Asus has slapped on two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports on both sides of the Chromebook, followed by a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port for legacy peripherals, a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, a microSD card reader slot, even an HDMI 2.0 port, in case you’d want to hook your device up to external monitors for video conferencing or anything of the like.
3. Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition
- CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i5-1240P (Up to 4.4 GHz, 4+8 cores)
- GPU: Intel Irix Xe
- Display: 13.5 diagonal, 3:2 aspect ratio, QHD panel, 400+ nits brightness
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4-3200
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- Price: $999
The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is one-of-a-kind, and you probably won’t find anything like this Chromebook out in the ChromeOS business. Apart from its terrific performance, a build that encompasses sustainable materials, and a rock-solid combo of trackpad and keyboard, what makes the Framework Chromebook unique is its modularity.
This is the world’s first modular Chromebook and is, therefore, extremely customizable. We gave the device a 9/10 when we reviewed it in detail, praising its capability to deliver a premium ChromeOS experience with a ton of flexibility side by side. It is a costly venture, though, and will set you back $999 for its base edition.
Putting the initial cost aside, the manufacturer has dedicated a specialized storefront called Framework Marketplace that lets you buy parts for the Framework Chromebook. That way, you can choose the port selection of your preference on the device, change the colors of the screen bezels, and even replace primary components, such as the keyboard, mainboard, storage, and RAM.
- Buy from Framework’s official website.
4. HP Dragonfly Chromebook Pro
- CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i5-1235U
- GPU: Intel Iris X graphics
- Display: 14″ diagonal, WXQGA (2560×1600), multitouch-enabled, IPS, BrightView, 1200 nits, 100% sRGB
- RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Price: $999
Moving forward, we’ve now got our hands on one of the best Chromebooks ever made, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook. HP has been a consistent player in the ChromeOS space, with its range of top-tier Chromebooks, but it’s pulled off quite the marvel with the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook’s successor.
The Dragonfly Pro takes pride in its impeccable hardware, boasting 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM, 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, an 8 MP camera with integrated dual array digital microphones, and a 12th generation Intel Core i5-1235U processor for blazing-fast performance levels. Amazing hardware? Check. Top-tier build quality? Check. Bank-breaking price? Also, check.
The look and feel of this device are outright unmatched, and its top-notch RGB keyboard offers a no-frills, all-thrills experience with magnificent typing comfort and almost zero missed inputs. And don’t get us started about this one’s display—the Dragonfly Pro is exceptionally bright at 1200 nits, featuring crisp and clear colors with terrific viewing angles.
- Buy from HP’s official website
5. Acer Chromebook Spin 714
- CPU: Intel Core 13th-generation i5-1335U (10-Core) processor
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe
- Display: 14″ WUXGA (1920 x 1200p) IPS panel, 16:10 aspect ratio
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 256 GB SSD NVMe
- Price: $699
Another Chromebook that can be brought up to the ChromeOS Plus standard is the fantastic Acer Chromebook Spin 714, the product in line with the brilliant Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Although this one does not sport the 3:2 aspect ratio like its older sibling, the Spin 714 is one whale of a package, combining reliable hardware with deft craftsmanship.
There is a rarity of Chromebooks with an above-average webcam, let alone a high-quality one. Thankfully, the Spin 714 fits the bill and allows users to create video calls with confidence, not to mention its stellar 14-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200p) IPS panel that offers best-in-class colors and appreciable viewing angles.
In terms of performance, the Spin 714 is a sheer workhorse, capable of running advanced programs, such as LumaFusion, Lightworks, and other robust Linux software, including OpenShot Video Editor, with ease. The Chromebook also sports a convertible form factor, offering a tablet ChromeOS experience where required.
6. Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Gaming Chromebook
- CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i3-1215U (6-core, 1.2 GHz)
- GPU: Intel Irix Xe
- Display: 16.0″ WQXGA, 2.5K (2560 x 1600), IPS panel, 16:10 aspect ratio, 350 nits brightness
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4-3200
- Storage: 128 GB eMMC flash memory
- Price: $429
Next up, there’s the high-profile Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook, with a colossal 16-inch screen size and optimizations put in place that offer admirable gaming potential on the device. For those not in the know, the unit in question is ideal for the best cloud gaming subscription services in town, including Nvidia GeForce Now and Amazon Luna.
Chromebooks have come a long way from where they first started, and today, they are capable of running PC games in a variety of different ways. But, speaking of the IdeaPad 5 Gaming Chromebook, the device makes the cut in other aspects, including entertainment, streaming, and video calling, considering its top-tier display panel.
Do be warned, though, that given the 4 lbs weight of the device, it won’t be as portable as some of the other entries in this write-up. If the overall portability is a concern and you find yourself on the fly most of the time, you may need to look elsewhere and leave this one out for the better.
- Buy from Walmart.
7. Asus Chromebook CM34 Flip
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 7320C mobile processor (4-core/8-thread, 2MB cache, up to 4.1 GHz max boost)
- GPU: AMD Radeon graphics
- Display: 14″ WUXGA (1920 x 1200p), 16:10 aspect ratio, 300 nits brightness cap
- RAM: 8 GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 128 GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
- Price: $499
The Asus Chromebook CM34 Flip is yet another Chromebook that manages to make the cut as one of the best ChromeOS Plus upgradable units in the market. It’s a military-grade durable unit that’s been through several survival and endurance tests, not to mention the AMD Ryzen 3 7320C processor for robust performance on a day-to-day basis.
Furthermore, the “Flip” moniker attached to the game’s name means that the CM34 features a 360° hinge that can rotate back to offer a flexible user experience. Whether you wish to sport the tablet or the tent mode, the CM34 Flip will pull off most takes for you on the fly.
And the best part is that it’s priced reasonably competitively as well at $499, given the hardware of the unit. The CM34 Flip comes with an AMD Ryzen 7320C CPU, 8 GB RAM, and 128 GB storage space for worry-free local storage reliance, not to mention the same generous number of ports as the aforementioned Asus Chromebook Flip CX5.
- Buy from BestBuy at a significant discount right now.
8. Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook
- CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 8505 processor
- Display: 14.0” WUXGA (1920 x 1200p) IPS panel, 16:10 aspect ratio, 300 nits brightness, touchscreen display
- RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X
- Storage: 64 GB eMMC
- Price: $389.99
Another preferable Chromebook that can be upgraded to the Plus standard is the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook. This device features speedy performance, a reasonably impressive display, and enough storage to meet the majority of your requirements, given that you can get some help from the cloud as well in the form of Google Drive.
Speaking of which, one of the features that Chromebook Plus brings revolves around automatic file syncing between the rest of your folders and the Drive section in the main Files app on ChromeOS. Therefore, it will be even easier to manage your cloud storage data on the Flex 5i Chromebook whenever you want.
It’s worth noting that only the 14-inch model of the Flex 5i Chromebook with a 12th-gen Intel processor is eligible for the Chromebook Plus upgrade. The most common variant of the device is the 13.3-inch one, which Chrome Ready has reviewed in a separate article here.
- Buy from Lenovo.
9. Acer Chromebook Vero 514
- CPU: 12th Generation Intel Core i3-1215U processor, 4.4 GHz speed
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe
- Display: 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080p) IPS display with anti-glare, 16:10 aspect ratio, 60 Hz refresh rate
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 128 GB SSD NVMe
- Price: Starts at $499.99
The Acer 514 Chromebook Vero is one of the most capable devices across the ChromeOS spectrum. It’s not just loaded full of quality tech specs and subsequent hardware, but it also happens to be the first eco-friendly Chromebook out in the business right now made with up to 50% PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) material.
Per our in-depth review of the unit, the Chromebook 514 sports an appreciable battery runtime of 9-10 hours.
Moreover, it’s got brilliant display quality that offers crisp and clear colors, all the while featuring fantastic viewing angles just as well. And then, there is the case of the device’s performance, which, in all fairness, beats most of the competition.
Google’s official blog has made it clear that the Vero 514 will receive the ChromeOS Plus upgrade, so you can utilize the device’s strengths to the full and put it to the test for a variety of use cases.
10. Acer Chromebook Spin 514
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5625C (hexa core 2.30 GHz) processor
- GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics shared memory
- Display: 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080p), 16:9 aspect ratio, touchscreen
- RAM: 8 GB LPDDR4X
- Storage: 128 GB flash memory
- Price: $699.99 MSRP
Last but not least, the final Chromebook worth purchasing in 2023 that will help you enjoy everything novel that the ChromeOS Plus moniker offers is the Acer Chromebook Spin 514—a device that’s even compliant with the mil-spec durability standard. This is a 2-in-1 device that packs impressive hardware and a firm build quality to adapt to numerous situations without breaking a sweat.
Quite interestingly, the Spin 514 also comes with an FHD webcam that will help you get excellent quality out of your video calls, no matter if you’re using WhatsApp or Telegram for the purpose at hand. Plus, combine that with the OS-level features for video conferencing that are baked into Chromebook Plus, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful combo here.
Please remember that only the (CP514-3H/CP514-3HH/CP514-3WH) models of the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 are supported for the Plus upgrade. The Spin 514 from 2021, with an AMD processor and a 720p HD webcam, is not the one we’re nudging you to here. The official Acer link will take you straight to the listing of the Chromebook at hand.
- Buy from Acer
Chromebook Plus has brought an exciting update for the future that ChromeOS holds, introducing practical enhancements on various fronts, including video calling, AI-driven assistance, and a specific hardware standard that meets most users’ needs. Moving forward, things are bound to be considerably easier when shopping for a new Chromebook.
In this guide, we’ve talked about 10 high-quality Chromebooks that do a phenomenal job already with their performance, battery life, and overall quality, but outside of all this, owning one of these means getting Chromebook Plus first-hand. Do let us know in the comments below whether the write-up helped you.
As always, Chrome Ready wishes you good luck!