While it’s no problematic affair to find yourself a high-quality external keyboard in these tech-forward days of 2021, the feeling is just different when the device you buy is shipped with a top-tier keyboard right off the bat. Chromebooks are excelling in various aspects of a modern-day computer device, may it be display or performance. As the days go by, different manufacturers are hard at work to produce the best Chromebooks, with each subsequent one being better than its predecessor. Look at the ASUS Chromebook CX9, for instance. What a fine specimen!
You’ll find Chrome OS making headway in the entirety of this industry. Last year’s market share results by the IDC showed the world how this slick operating system overcame macOS by a decent margin. If things keep up like this, Chromebooks will throw their competitors out of business!
While this is a topic for another day, let us focus on the Chromebooks with the best keyboards. We’ll list down 10 of the top ones to help you make an open-ended purchasing decision. Be sure to read the interlinked review article with each of the devices for more in-depth information. Without any further ado, then, let’s take a deep dive into this guide.
10 of the best Chromebooks with top-tier keyboards
The following is our curated list of Chrome OS laptops with comfortable and high-quality keyboards.
1. ASUS Chromebook CX9
To begin this list of the Chromebooks with the best keyboards, we couldn’t help but mention the glorious ASUS Chromebook CX9 right at the very top. This workhorse is loaded with features and is currently the king of all Chrome OS laptops in 2021. From the device’s design to its looks, feel, and performance, you’re not going to find a worthy rival for the CX9. In our dedicated review article of this device, we’ve allotted a 9/10 rating, which is the highest any device has got on our website.
The only gripe that we’ve had with this machine is its non-convertible form factor which, on the contrary, might not be that much of a red flag for many users. Where the CX9 faulters in an area or two propels to excellence in others, and this is where things start to get interesting. You look at the design of this machine, for instance, and you’ll instantly acknowledge that this is a different beast. The CX9 adopts the “Ergo Life” hinge, which is no less than futuristic. What happens is that as soon as you open up the clamshell Chromebook, the keyboard comes up considerably and gives you a comfortable typing position, and this brings us to the device’s keyboard.
In short, the keyboard of the CX9 is sturdy, firm, durable, and outright excellent. It comprises dark keys and also comes with backlighting. The brightness of the LED illumination, in this case, can be optimized to your liking as well. To talk about the keyboard, which lives up to the hype as well, we’ve been simply amazed at the level of quality implemented here. It consists of a built-in number pad toggle that can be activated and disabled with just the effort of a single tap. The trackpad becomes outlined with numbers and a few special characters, such as asterisk and hyphen, as soon as you enable it.
Furthermore, what makes this machine so desirable is the overall value you get. The CX9’s base model does cost somewhere around $749, so it’s by no means a budget-friendly Chromebook. That said, every single penny that you pay for this machine pays itself off sooner or later. Top-tier screen? Check. Blazing-fast performance? Check. Top-of-the-line build quality? Absolutely.
Not only the keyboard, but there’s just a lot that the CX9 offers to end-users. You will, however, have to settle for standard battery life with this device. Chrome OS produces stellar battery runtimes consistently, so anywhere from 8-10 hours is typical stuff for this operating system. The CX9 averages out within those figures, so nothing special to admire here. You can read more about this unit in our dedicated review article here, including other pros and cons as well.
2. ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5
The ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 establishes itself as a device with one of the best keyboards out in this business. Power users will grow to adore this dazzling beauty. Apart from the glamor of the specifications and the design, you’ll find the aesthetic appeal of the CM5 to work out exceedingly well. That is to say; the CM5 comes with color-blocked WASD keys for enthusiastic gamers. This nifty touch isn’t a mind-boggling upgrade but still a nice gesture from the manufacturer that shows the care that went towards this device.
The aluminum-alloy metal lid chassis with the plastic bottom of the Chromebook Flip CM5 blends durability and portability in equal measure. This makes the CM5 an incredibly versatile device. The brand logo has been etched on the top of the unit, and the overall design boasts reflective properties. This only adds more and more to the CM5’s quality. However, portability does take a hit here due to all the extra space that the CM5 has been given. It is a sizable Chromebook, after all, with a 15.6-inch display and a less than 2 kg weight.
The above paragraph has been taken as an excerpt from our dedicated review article of the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5. We highly recommend giving it a read for more pros and cons and important information.
3. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is premium in every sense imaginable, except for its 5-6 hours battery runtime. This device was the first-ever Chromebook to come out with a 4K AMOLED display, stunning rival domains with a dazzling, crisp resolution that happens to astound at every instance. This machine is a taste of something new, something that Chrome OS hasn’t dared venture into before. Top-notch hardware, sensational quality, and a jaw-dropping Fiesta Red-laden design are three of the most well-touted attributes of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook.
As for the keyboard, we’ve observed the keys to be whisper-quiet. The key travel isn’t up there with the likes of the Google Pixelbook Go, which is also coming up in this article, but you’ll still feel comfortable with its palm rest and typing position. Professional typists and those who tend to write more often than they’d like to admit will grow to adore the Galaxy Chromebook’s keyboard.
You can read more about this device in its overview that we’ve covered here. However, to get a good idea of its major pros and cons, we suggest reading the interlinked article for more information.
- The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook has made the list of the top 10 Chromebooks with built-in styluses, so do check that out if this is something that piques your interest.
4. Acer Chromebook Spin 13
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is a deluxe-quality machine that cost somewhere around $899 when it first came out. There was a significant appeal for this device on its launch, all because of its advertised QHD screen with 2K (2048 x 1080) resolution. However, the device has now seen a severe price drop. You can buy the Chromebook Spin 13 on Amazon for $594 now, which is an excellent price for a unit this versatile. The internals are also quite impressive, with the Spin 13 sporting an Intel Core i5 8250U processor with 8GBs of RAM and 128 GB eMMC flash drive storage.
We’ve talked an awful lot about this device while detailing all of its pros and cons in its full review, but to talk about the keyboard, which is the raison d’etre of this article, there’s high-quality all over. It’s LED illuminated, and the keys feel firm but reasonably comfortable as well. There’s practically no flex on the keyboard deck that could indicate it is made of low-cost materials.
Therefore, if you’re after a new Chromebook that’s incredibly versatile with a convertible form factor, high-performance levels, mesmerizing build quality, dazzling display, and, of course, an excellent keyboard, you can’t miss the target with the Acer Chromebook Spin 13.
5. Google Pixelbook Go
Establishing itself as the fifth entry on this list, the Google Pixelbook Go is an absolute phenomenon. This trend-setting device packs a keyboard that’s unlike any other Chromebook. Many machines in this price bracket come and go, but only an anointed few stays to leave an everlasting impression. The Pixelbook Go is one of those machines, costing you about $649 for its base model while going as up as $1,300 for its specced-out variant. Talk about performance, battery life, design, and other essentials, and this device has got it.
As for portability, we gave the unit a 10/10 rating in our review article of the Google Pixelbook Go and not without good reason. For starters, the device weighs about 2.3 pounds, which is a sheer shade above 1 kg. Picking it up and living an on-the-fly lifestyle will never be better once you’ve got this Chrome OS laptop by your side. Accompanying its excellent portability is the 12-hour battery runtime. No other device manages to get everything right, but the Pixelbook Go does. You plug this device in once, charge it fully within 90 minutes, and forget about juicing it up again for the rest of your day.
To concern you with the I/O, this Chromebook sports two USB-C ports, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot for expanding your storage. Unfortunately, there are no USB-A ports on the device, so you’ll have to opt for a USB-C dock to get that sort of functionality. Luckily, we know just what to go for.
- Check out the best USB-C hubs for use on Chrome OS in this article here.
In addition, the base model of the Pixelbook Go comprises an Intel Core m3 processor with a whopping 8GB RAM setup. The storage is fixed at 64 GBs, so other configurations are effortlessly available for purchase if that’s a red flag for you.
6. Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (2021 AMD)
The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 AMD 2021 is a sleek, shiny laptop with a lot to offer to fans of Chrome OS. This machine packs not only a build quality that astounds and inspires but also a high-quality keyboard that’ll have you hooked for days. With 4 GBs of RAM and 64 GB eMMC flash drive storage, you’ll appreciate the capable internals the Spin 514 AMD 2021 has. The wonder in this regard is the AMD Ryzen 3000C processor that powers this Chromebook and allows it to compete with the top dogs on the same plane as them.
In addition, you’ll find a decent port selection on the Spin 514 AMD 2021. There are two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot for expanding your storage. As for the keyboard—which is why the device is earning a spot on this list—we’ve been left reasonably impressed with it. The keys feel firm and friendly with a fair amount of clickiness in them. The overall experience, if we’re being honest, is nothing but superb, and at an asking price of $479, the value proposition is nothing but fantastic. Read more about the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 AMD 2021 in our dedicated review article here before purchasing it.
7. ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5
ASUS is out there making surreal progress in the Chrome OS maker space. Its consistent delivery of high-performance machines has given the manufacturer the veneration of being a top-end Chromebook creator. For the first entry on this list, we’ve talked about the ASUS Chromebook CX9, which, by all means, is an all-time great device, but the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 arrived at the forefront before that and is quite something formidable to drool over. A few hiccups here and there don’t ruin the first-rate impressions of what is an otherwise brilliantly-made Chromebook.
To talk a bit about some of its most prominent features, the Flip CX5 has a terrific design and build quality. The white exterior donned by the aluminum top lid gives off royalty vibes and a color scheme to appreciate when it strikes its contrast with the all-black interior. The whole unit is nothing but premium, and by picking it up, you’ll acknowledge that instantly. On the other hand, it weighs about 1.95 kgs, so portability isn’t on an ultra level.
However, the Flip CX5 makes excellent use of all the real estate it’s been given, considering how sizable of a laptop it truly is, having a 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) touch-enabled display. Speaking of which, the colors look exceedingly sharp and clear, so you never miss a single detail on your screen, especially while binge-watching something on Netflix. However, avoid taking the Flip CX5 outdoors for the screen brightness maxes out at 250-nits, which is a tad bit disappointing, to be fair. Other than that downside, the display quality looks just on point and leaves users utterly satisfied.
Lastly, we’ve got the keyboard to jot down our thoughts on, and you know we didn’t put this Chromebook here for nothing. It is made out of plastic, but don’t nod your head in disapproval just yet. The whole keyboard deck feels high-end and attributes to a phenomenal typing experience that’s nearly as good as the aforementioned Google Pixelbook Go. You’ll get backlighting as well, and the click mechanism is nothing but high-quality. According to the manufacturer, the key travel of the keys is about 1.4 mm, which is more than satisfactory. Read how the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 fares in our dedicated review article here.
8. Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Acer is a massive name in the domain of PCs and Chromebooks. It is a Taiwanese manufacturer rich in experience and is known for its assembly of top-tier laptops. In the Chrome OS space, they’ve managed to deliver hit after hit as well as we hint towards the genius of the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 and, of course, the device that is in the question right now. The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a fantastic beast. It checks all of the boxes a Chrome OS machine should and goes above and beyond in proving that it is the best mid-range Chromebook, period.
People often compare the Spin 713 with the aforementioned Google Pixelbook Go. To state one highlight of the former, the Spin 713’s base model comes with an Intel Core i5 10210U processor, while the Pixelbook Go’s base variant has the Intel Core m3 processor running for it. In this aspect, the Spin 713 quickly takes the win, as it not only starts at $629, which is $20 lesser than the Pixelbook Go, it gives you a better CPU to play with. To talk about its keyboard, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has some of the finest keyboards out in the market right now. It feels super comfortable to type on, has broad and spacious keys, and has a commendable click mechanism.
It’s also LED illuminated, so there’s the additional plus point as well. If you’re a writer whose work revolves around typing on the internet, there’ll be no going back to regular keyboards once you’ve taken the 713 out for a spin. In terms of port selection, this device blasts away the Pixelbook Go as well. It has two 3.2 Gen 1 USB-C ports on each side, one 3.0 USB-A port, which is nowhere to be found on the Pixelbook Go, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader port, should you ever need to increase your storage size.
To surprise you, that’s not all. The 713 even has an HDMI port to make all your video conferencing easier and specify the device as more of a professional-grade affair. The battery life of the Spin 713 might be cut short by an hour or two compared to the Pixelbook Go, but it’s still somewhere around 11 hours on a single charge, which is right near the best-in-class figures. There’s a lot more to talk about this device, but we can’t discuss everything here, so better refer to our review article here for a detailed analysis. No matter what, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is one of the best devices ever made.
9. HP Chromebook x360 14c
The HP Chromebook x360 14c is one of the best HP Chromebooks made to date. It costs about $448 on Amazon, and its default MSRP is only a dollar higher than that value. We’ve mentioned the Chromebook in this list due to the level of the keyboard it’s rocking along with itself. What we have at our disposal, in this case, is a top-quality all-around keyboard that makes short work of any typing noise whatsoever. It’s wide and spacious and exceedingly comfortable to type on. There’s backlighting to vouch for as well in this case.
HP makes top-of-the-line keyboards in their devices, and the x360 14c puts more truth to that statement. The manufacturer first came out with the Chromebook x360 without the added 14c. That device, which we have discussed here in detail, is a $1000 affair that the masses cannot afford. The x360 14c is much more forgiving in this regard and a much better option to opt for. It has a fingerprint sensor allotted on the keyboard deck for effortless and lighting-fast sign-ins. Not many premium-range Chromebooks have this feature, so definitely a major plus point going x360 14c’s way.
You’ll also find the quality of the speakers much better than other Chromebooks. HP uses the Bang & Olufsen setup on most of their devices, which generally aren’t something to write home about. The x360 14c, on the other hand, is oblivious of the latter and has crisp, rich, and loud-sounding speakers that make your movie streaming experience as enjoyable as it can be. As for the performance, this machine has a 10th Generation Intel Core i3-10110U processor with 8 GBs of RAM.
While that’s quite decent at first glance, the 64 GB hard drive storage combo feels a bit uncanny. 8 GB RAM usually runs well with 128 GBs of storage, but we presume that you’ll have to make do with the microSD card reader slot for expanding your storage. Speaking of which, there are two USB-C ports for either fast charging or data transfer that HP likes to refer to as “SuperSpeed” and a single USB-A port, so your legacy peripherals don’t feel left out alone. Lastly, there’s a 3.5 mm headphone jack and the aforementioned microSD card reader slot.
Check out how we’ve reviewed the HP Chromebook x360 14c in one of our review articles here.
10. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the best budget Chromebooks that you can buy today. Given its price point, it comes loaded with utilitarian features and is just an easy machine to recommend. The Duet costs about $250, but it’s available for a bit cheaper on Amazon right now. In this price bracket, the Duet offers unrivaled portability, appreciable performance, and a quality keyboard. If you’ve got small hands, the latter will fit you even better. The spacing of the keys on the Duet’s keyboard is tight simply because of its tablet-first nature.
The keyboard is detachable from the screen, meaning that you can sport the Duet in tablet mode and use the touch-enabled 10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS display with comfort, speed, and stability. The unit weighs about 2.03 pounds when the keyboard is intact, but if you remove that component, the tablet weighs even less than 1 pound. If you’ve adopted a more on-the-go lifestyle, the Duet can come quite in handy as your daily driver for you. Specs-wise, the unit is packing a MediaTek Helio P60T processor, 4 GBs of RAM, and 64 GBs of storage. These are good components that can get you going the right way all day, every day.
Another highly enticing facet that has made the Duet even more interesting is its long-running battery life. On a single full charge, thanks to the slapped-on USB-C port, the machine will last you for somewhere around 11 hours. If you’re an office worker or a school-goer who cannot be bothered with charging their devices, again and again, this device is it for you. It has even got nice-sounding speakers, a prospect unknown and unheard of in this price range of Chrome OS laptops. To read more about the capabilities of Duet and how it’s one of the most bang-for-your-buck Chromebooks out there, give our review article a go.
Chromebooks have battled a lot of wars to get to the point they are at today. There was a time when these machines were exceedingly low in specifications, not to mention lackluster capability in other aspects. Fast-forward to 2021. Their glow-up is nothing to be taken lightly. In this article, we have discussed 10 of the Chromebooks with the best keyboards, so this is something that you should invest some time reading if you’re a tech enthusiast like us.
After reading our overview, comment below to let others and us know if you’ve decided to purchase any Chromebook. Chrome Ready wishes you good luck!
Do you know whether the Asus Chromebook Flip C536 would have the same quality keyboard as the Asus CM5 reviewed above?