When Chromebooks were first introduced in 2011, customers were instantly captivated by the potential of this low-cost alternative to traditional Windows-based laptops. After all, most users already spend most of their time inside a web browser, seldom venturing into other apps. It makes sense to base the whole experience around a browser and optimize it for performance and ease of use.
Best Chromebook Compatible With Android Play Store
But until recently, it was somewhat hard to justify a purchase of a Chromebook when much more versatile Windows laptops cost virtually the same. Sure, their build quality, performance, and battery life are usually subpar compared to Chromebooks, but their run Word, Photoshop, and other popular programs.
This has changed, however, with Google’s highly anticipated announcement. In it, the company has unveiled their plans to bring the Google Play store to Chromebooks. “This means you’ll be able to download and use Android apps, so you can make a Skype call, work with Office files and be productive offline — or take a break with games like Minecraft, Hearthstone or Clash of Clans,” explained Elijah Taylor and Dylan Reid in their blog post.
You can find a complete list of Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebases that will be able to install Android apps here. Currently, Android apps are available on Asus Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11, and Google Chromebook Pixel (2015), but the list is growing with each passing week.
If you own a compatible device, the first thing you should do is update your Chromebook software. Your Chromebook must run Chrome OS version 53 and up. Head over to Settings and check the box for “Enable Google Play Store on your Chromebook” in the “Google Play Store” section.
With this simple step, you get access to more than 2.4 million apps and games that are currently available in the Play Store, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. If you don’t own a Chromebook or Google is not planning to support it, we have 3 recently released Chromebooks that are worth every cent. Compared to similarly priced Windows laptops, you can expect superior build quality, long battery life, and smooth, polished user experience that removes all distractions, allowing you do fully focus on whatever it is that you’re doing.
Acer Chromebook R 13 Convertible
The Acer Chromebook R 13 Convertible is a new mid-range Chromebook from Acer that already supports Google Play through the Chrome beta channel. You can think about it as a more affordable alternative to the beloved Pixel. It has a bright, full HD 13” display on a 360-degree hinge that makes it possible to choose from four different viewing modes: notebook, display, tent, and tablet.
The laptop itself is made from solid aluminum, which not only elevates its appearance to a whole new level but also acts as a huge passive cooler. Consequently, the R 13 is fanless and never gets too hot even under heavy use. Inside is a MediaTek MT8173C chipset clocked at 2.10 GHz and 4 GB of RAM. Compared to older generations of ARM processors, the new MediaTek has much more processing power to spare. Even as much as 20 browser tabs don’t seem to faze it at all.
Excellent connectivity is provided by an 802.11ac WiFi featuring 2×2 MIMO technology, one USB 3.1 (Type C) port, one USB 3.0 port, and one HDMI port with HDCP Support. The 3-cell Li-polymer battery has a capacity of 4670 mAh, which translates to roughly 12 hours of uninterrupted usage.
For $399.99, the Acer Chromebook R 13 Convertible is really a heck of a deal. To get the same level of hardware polish from a Windows laptop, you would have to pay twice as much. Acer is paving the way for a whole new category of laptops that fit right between tablets and productivity-oriented machines, and we love it.
What Users Like
- Full HD display
- 360-degree hinge
- Excellent performance
- Stunning design and build quality
ASUS Chromebook Flip
As one of a few Chromebooks, the Flip already supports Android apps in the stable version of Chrome OS. Google has given the device a priority over other Chromebooks due to its tremendous popularity. The ASUS Chromebook Flip is the best-selling 2 in 1 laptop on Amazon, and customers love how useful it is, especially since it now can open and edit MS Office files using the official apps from Microsoft.
Flip’s small 10.1” touchscreen makes it extremely portable, lightweight, and downright adorable. Its full-sized keyboard stretches from corner to corner, allowing you to enjoy the same typing comfort as you can with much larger and heavier laptops.
Smooth performance is delivered by a Rockchip 1.8 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and the latest version of Chrome OS. Located on a side of the laptop is a built-in micro HDMI, USB ports, and a microSD card reader. The built-in microSD card reader supports up to 64GB for extra storage. You can expect around 9 hours of battery life, depending on how heavy your usage is.
What Users Like
- Smooth performance
- Long battery life
- Native support for Android apps
Google has confirmed that the ASUS C201 will work with Android apps later in 2016/2017, which makes this already popular, ultra-affordable Chromebook that more interesting. For less than $200, you can get a Chromebook that does virtually everything you could reasonably want it to do. The ASUS logo on the case means high build quality and reliable performance. With Rockchip 3288-C Quad-Core 1.8GHz processor with up to 4GB RAM, the C201 is a great life companion for both leisure and productivity.
High-school and college students will appreciate up to 13 hours of battery life and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for fast, uninterrupted web surfing and collaboration. Business users can rest assured knowing that the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware security keeps their sensitive information protected. And everyone else can marvel at the HD display with a glossy finish, the built-in SD card reader that supports up to 128GB for extra storage, or 100GB of free Google Drive storage space for 2 years.
What Users Like
- Low price
- Solid performance
- Durable construction
- Very long battery life
- Large touchpad
If you’re still not sure whether a Chromebook is a good fit for you, we encourage you to visit the Google Play store and browse through the wide selection of games and apps. A modern Chromebook is much more than just a window to the web—it’s a capable productivity machine with full-featured software for photo editing, note-taking, 3D modeling, coding, learning, and much, much more.