Top 5 Best 13-inch Chromebooks 2015 – Inching into mainstream

Gone are the days when you could only buy small, 11-inch Chromebooks or 11.6-inch to be precise. There are now so many bigger Chromebooks on offer joining the ranks of their mid to full size equivalent running Mac OS and Windows. 

The maturing ChromeOS operating system; its simplicity, speed, maintenance free and built-in security coupled with great reliability and designs from major manufacturers such as HP, Asus, Toshiba, Acer and Samsung make it a viable and attractive alternative for those who would love a dependable and straight forward machines in which to operate. Here, we look at 5 of the best 13-inch Chromebooks on offer and how they compare with one another.

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The 5 Best 13-inch Chromebooks

A quick look at the line-up [IN OUR COMPARISON]:

  1. HP Chromebook 14 (G2) 14-inch (Tegra Version) – BIGGEST DISPLAY
  2. Asus C300MA 13.3-inch Chromebook – MORE RAM & STORAGE OPTIONS
  3. Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch – GOOD BATTERY LIFE
  4. Acer Aspire CB5-311 13.3-inch Chromebook – BEST BATTERY LIFE
  5. Samsung Chromebook 2 13-inch Luminous Titan – FULL HD, DOUBLE MEMORY

Also available Acer Aspire CB5-311P 13.3-inch Chromebook with Touchscreen

Now let’s look at the detail.

HP Chromebook 14 (G2) 14-inch (Tegra Version) – BIGGEST DISPLAY

Not quite 13.3-inch but 14-inch, the HP Chromebook G2 14 is the biggest Chromebook in our line-up. It is also the second generation Chromebook offering the 14-inch display, hence G2. Based on NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 processor, it requires no active cooling meaning you get a silent running, slim and fanless device. The ARM Cortex quad-core processor runs at speed of 2.10GHz. Being big mean HP can squeeze more USB ports onto the device, in this case, 1 more than the others in our line-up. However, the bigger screen also meant that there is a penalty on the battery life but still a respectable 8 hours.

  • NVIDIA Tegra K1 CD570M-A1 2.10GHz Quad Core Processor – ARM
  • 14″ HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 display – BIGGEST SCREEN
  • 2GB RAM DDR3L SDRAM, 16GB Flash Hard Drive, SD Card Reader
  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • 1.7 kg – HEAVIEST
  • Ports: HDMI, 1 x USB3.0, 2 x USB2.0, webcam, headphone/microphone combo socket – 3 USB PORTS
  • Available in Turquoise, Silver & White, Green, Orange – COLOUR OPTIONS

CML: 4.5 Stars

Asus C300MA 13.3-inch Chromebook – GOOD BATTERY LIFE

We have a soft spot for Asus when it comes to netbooks. One of the pioneers of netbooks back in the days, Asus, renowned for their motherboards and display adapters is also the first to introduce the Transformer tablets, convertible tablets with detachable keyboards. We found retailers carrying the C300MA 13.3-inch Chromebook with dual core processor Intel Celeron N2830 running at 2.16GHz with a burst speed of 2.41GHz with 2GB of RAM memory but with 32GB of storage. Asus does list 2GB or 4GB RAM memory options as well as 16GB or 32GB storage options for both models for different markets. There is also a quad-core variety, with Intel Celeron N2930 1.83GHz (Turbo Boost2.16GHz) Quad Core Processor but we have yet to see this.

  • Intel Celeron N2830 2.16GHz Dual Core Processor (Turbo Boost to 2.41GHz) / Intel Celeron N2930 1.83GHz (Turbo Boost 2.16GHz) Quad Core Processor
  • 13.3″ 16:9 HD (1366×768) HD display
  • 2GB / 4GB DDR3 SDRAM with 16GB 32GB eMMC Flash Hard Drive, SD Card Reader – MORE RAM & STORAGE
  • Battery Life: 10 hoursGOOD BATTERY LIFE
  • Dimensions and Weight: 33.9 x 23.0 x 2.03 cm (WxDxH) 1.4 kg
  • Ports: HDMI, USB3.0, USB2.0, SD Slot, Headphone/Microphone combo socket
  • Available in Black, Blue, Red or Yellow

CML: 4.5 Stars

Toshiba Chromebook CB30-B-103 13.3-inch – GOOD BATTERY LIFE 

Toshiba was one of the first to bring a 13.3-inch Chromebook market to the market. Since then, many have followed, as we can see here. With a brushed smart silver finish with dot pattern and the built quality you would expect from Toshiba, the Toshiba Chromebook features a TruBrite HD High Brightness display. Note that the second generation comes with the updated processor Intel Celeron N2840 2.16GHz instead of the Celeron 2955U 1.4GHz processor and offers better battery life, 11 hours instead of 8.5 hours in the previous model. You can also pay a bit more and get a higher resolution Full HD 1080p IPS display and double memory. However, with the Full HD IPS display, the battery takes a hit leaving you with up to 9 hours instead.

  • Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4GHz processor
  • 13.3-inches (1366 x 768) HD resolution display
  • 2GB RAM, 16GB Flash Hard Drive
  • Dimensions & Weight: 320 x 214.0 x 19.3 mm, 1.35 kg
  • Battery Life: 11.5 hour – GOOD BATTERY LIFE

Also consider: Toshiba Chromebook CB30-B-104 13.3-inch Full HD display (1920 x 1080)

CML: 5 Stars

Acer Aspire CB5-311 13.3-inch Chromebook – BEST BATTERY LIFE

The second Chromebook to be based on the NVIDIA Tegra K1 CD570M-A1 Quad Core Processor, an ARM Cortex processor as oppose to Intel Celeron, the Acer Aspire CB5-311 also has the best battery life in our comparison and available with a touch screen option. Although with the touch screen, the battery life dips to 11 hours.

  • NVIDIA Tegra K1 CD570M-A1 2.10GHz Quad Core Processor – ARM
  • 13.3″ HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 display, a Full HD version is available in some market.
  • 2GB RAM DDR3L SDRAM, 16GB Flash Hard Drive, SD Slot, a 4GB RAM/32GB storage option is also available
  • Battery Life: 13 hours or 11 hours (with touchscreen) – BEST BATTERY LIFE
  • Dimensions & Weight: 327 x 227.5 x 18mm, 1.5 kg
  • Ports: HDMI, 2 x USB3.0

CML: 4 Stars

Samsung Chromebook 2 13.3-inch Luminous Titan – BIGGER DISPLAY, FULL HD, DOUBLE MEMORY

Samsung is pulling out all the stops with this second generation Chromebook. Not only does it have a bigger display, the 13.3-inch screen packs 1920 x 1080 pixels, (Full HD 1080p resolution) and runs on the Exynos 5 Octa 5800 processor (2.0GHz Quad A15 / 1.3GHz Quad A7) for even better performance. It also has double the memory with 4GB of RAM and three times faster WiFi compared to previous generation with 802.11ac.

  • Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5800 2.0 GHz Processor (2 MB Cache)
  • 13.3-inch 16.9 1920 x 1080 LED Full HD Resolution – FULL HD
  • 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM, 16 GB Solid-State Drive, microSD slot – DOUBLE MEMORY
  • Dimensions & Weight: 32.3 x 22.4 x 1.7 cm, 1.4 kg
  • Battery Life: 8.5 hours
  • Ports: HDMI. 1 x USB3.0, 1 x USB2.0, microSD Card Slot, Headphone/micrphone combo socket

CML: 5 Stars