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These Chromebooks really shine

Google Pixelbook has a sleek convertible design and

Google Pixelbook has a sleek convertible design and a bright and colorful touchscreen Credit: CBS Interactive

Consider the Chromebook, the (mostly) economical laptop that runs on Google's browser-based operating system Chrome. It is naturally suited for the cloud-based services prevalent in modern work life, but it's also great for watching movies, listening to music and browsing the web. If your budget isn't up for the four-figure outlay required for a Mac and you do all your computing at home, the office or in school, one of these four Chromebooks might be a good bet.

The following people contributed to this story: former CNET staff member Xiomara Blanco and current senior editors Justin Jaffe and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit cnet.com.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

THE GOOD It has an excellent 4K display that’s a joy to use in laptop and tablet mode, a durable all-aluminum chassis, and solid performance and battery life.

THE BAD The keyboard is a bit mushy, a stylus is not included and you can’t run those few Windows- and MacOS-only applications on the Chrome operating system.

THE COST $639.97 to $705

BOTTOM LINE For hundreds less than its Windows near-equivalent, the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 features a sweet, versatile 4K display on an all-around solid laptop.

HP Chromebook x2

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

THE GOOD The x2's compelling design makes it simple to shift from laptop to tablet and back. A stylus and keyboard included, the responsive touchscreen looks good, and it has two cameras and great speakers. There's also a sufficient array of ports and connections.

THE BAD Integrated storage is limited to a measly 32 gigabytes.

THE COST $465.00 to $496.75

BOTTOM LINE HP’s Chromebook x2 combines effective design, peppy performance and a fine display at a killer price.

Acer Chromebook 15

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

THE GOOD This is a stylish notebook with a large 15.6-inch screen. It has a backlit keyboard, touchscreen and loud speakers and long-lasting battery life.

THE BAD The screen is dull, Chromebooks have inherent operating-system limitations you need to be aware of and the low-end CPU hampers performance.

THE COST $231.23 to $307.14

BOTTOM LINE The Acer laptop is perfectly priced for anyone interested in a big laptop for basic online use.

Google Pixelbook

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

THE GOOD It has a sleek convertible design, bright and colorful touchscreen and its performance is fast, lag-free and smooth. The dedicated Google Assistant button is useful.

THE BAD It’s very expensive, and the stylus is sold separately. It has the same built-in limitations as other Chrome operating systems.

THE COST $1,389 to $1,649

BOTTOM LINE The Pixelbook has high-end hardware and a great hybrid design.

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