Review: 6 business-class Chromebooks test their mettle

Is a Chromebook for you? Which one? We put top models from Acer, Dell, Google, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba to the test

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Chromebooks can't do everything Windows PCs can do, obviously. You wouldn't want to saddle an Excel expert or PowerPoint power user with a Chromebook, and if Andrea in Accounting wants to run QuickBooks, she won't find a Chrome version. But neither individual users nor companies are homogeneous. Some people will breathe a sigh of relief when they discover that they don't have to wrestle with Windows Update and can get all their work done in a no-hassle browser.

For the user who likes to keep it simple -- and the company that could see a specific job function, carve it out, set it in Chrome, then strip back all the extraneous junk -- the Chromebook offers a way to pursue a nearly hassle-free cyber existence. With a Chromebook, the computer's no longer part of the problem. It's a simple tool, like a phone or a desk chair, and it doesn't require any care or feeding.

Talk about productivity.

InfoWorld Scorecard
Usability (30%)
Build quality (20%)
Performance (20%)
Battery life (15%)
Value (15%)
Overall Score (100%)
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 8 8 5 9 7 7.4
Dell Chromebook 11 CB1C13 5 9 8 8 8 7.3
Google Chromebook Pixel 10 10 10 5 5 8.5
HP Chromebook 14 G3 8 7 5 6 9 7.1
Samsung Chromebook 2 (Intel XE500C12) 7 9 6 6 8 7.2
Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35 8 9 7 8 6 7.7

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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