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Top 7 Chromebooks for business use cases

Chromebooks are high-performing thin clients with great ease-of-management features, but the market has so many options that it's hard to distinguish between them.

Chromebooks are an affordable alternative to traditional PCs, and they are a natural fit with the prevalence of working from home and cloud-first environments in today's organization.

However, there are so many Chromebooks on the market with varied features, strengths and weaknesses that selecting one for an organization can be complicated and challenging.

To choose the right Chromebook for a business setting, organizations should review the management capabilities they need, establish a budget for their endpoints and survey the market for the most viable Chromebook models.

Managing Chromebooks in a business setting

Chromebooks are becoming more common in the business setting, and the Chrome Enterprise program can make it easier for IT to manage these devices from any location with different platforms. From Google's cloud-based admin console, IT specialists can enforce policies, enable access to internal VPNs and Wi-Fi networks, force-install Chrome extensions, configure native Chrome settings and perform a variety of other tasks.

If IT teams employ a unified endpoint management (UEM) platform alongside their Chromebooks, they should refer to that product's documentation for specific information about working with those devices. For example, suppose administrators use VMware Workspace One. In that case, they need to deploy version 9.3 or later, enable Chrome device management in the admin console and then integrate Google device management with the Workspace One platform.

Google has approved five UEM partners for managing Chrome OS devices:

  • Cisco Meraki
  • Citrix XenMobile
  • IBM MaaS360
  • ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus
  • VMware Workspace One

In some cases, administrators might want to use a UEM platform in conjunction with the admin console. If they do, they should also be aware that devices and users might belong to different organizational units in each console, or the same device might be assigned different policies in each console. In such cases, the UEM settings will take precedence over the admin console settings.

Administrators can also integrate their Chromebooks with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD). In this way, they can see the devices in both their domain controllers and the Admin console. However, they need to use Group Policy to manage the devices and push policies to users and devices, rather than going through the admin console. Employees can then use their AD credentials to sign into their Chromebook devices without synchronizing usernames to Google servers.

There is much more to managing Chromebooks in a business setting, but administrators have plenty of options, depending on their circumstances. These circumstances and use cases will largely drive the decision of which Chromebook to choose.

That said, Chromebooks in a business setting bring distinct challenges. For example, users generally require uninterrupted internet connectivity to work and they cannot run certain apps, such as the desktop versions of Word and Excel, without adding extra layers of complexity.

Even so, many organizations will look to the advantages that Chromebooks can offer when supporting a remote or distributed workforce.

7 Chromebooks for business

There are dozens of Chromebooks to consider for a business setting, but these seven options from leading vendors in the market can provide IT admins with a cross-section of options to consider.   

Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713

Because this is a Chromebook Enterprise model, the manufacturer has already unlocked the business capabilities in Chrome OS. These features allow IT to manage Spin 713 devices from anywhere. In addition, the top Spin 713 processor also makes it possible for users to wake their device from sleep mode in less than a second, fueling productivity even further.

The Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713
The Acer Chromebook Enterprise model Spin 713 with the display and keyboard

The Spin 713 Chromebook offers solid durability that meets MIL-STD-810G and Ingress Protection standards against water and dust, making it well suited to workers in the field or rugged environments. The device comes with a metal chassis and a touchscreen and touchpad made of scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. The Spin 713 offers a 360-degree convertible display that enables users to share their screens and collaborate on projects. The flexible display also makes it easier to work in space-limited environments such as planes or trains.

Specifications for Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713:

  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i5 or i7
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Monitor: 13.5-inch display
  • Resolution: 2256 x 1504
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Starting price: $1099.99

ASUS Chromebook Enterprise Flip C436

The Flip C436 comes with a magnesium-alloy chassis with a dual-tapered design. It also includes a 360-degree hinge that holds the display securely at any angle, making it possible to use it in laptop, tent, stand or tablet mode. It has a 13-inch laptop design but it offers a 14-inch FHD display. The Flip C436 is also a Chromebook Enterprise device, making it easier for IT to support.

The ASUS Chromebook Enterprise Flip C436
The ASUS Flip C436 showing its flexibility of display modes

The Flip C436 includes numerous features that can benefit business users who require a versatile laptop suitable to varying work conditions. The laptop comes with a backlit keyboard and a fingerprint sensor incorporated directly into the keyboard. It also comes with a 512 GB NVMe solid-state drive and two full-function reversible USB-C ports for charging the device or connecting to peripherals, including an external display. The Flip C436 also supports the latest Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) 1.0 standard, enabling users to draw or jot down notes and it comes with Wi-Fi 6 for faster streaming and file transfers.

Specifications for ASUS Chromebook Enterprise Flip C436:

  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7
  • Memory: 8 GB or 16 GB
  • Storage: 128, 256 or 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • Monitor: 14-inch display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Starting price: $999

Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise

The Latitude 7410 has some of the most advanced features of any Chromebook on the market. With processing, memory and internal storage resources comparable to the ASUS Chromebook Enterprise Flip C436, the decked-out Latitude 7410 also boasts the first 4K panel with Low Blue Light display on a Chromebook Enterprise device. The device also comes with Intel Integrated UHD graphics, and it offers a six-cell battery that users can charge up to 80% in one hour under the right conditions.

The Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise
The Chrome Enterprise model Dell Latitude 7410 functioning as a tablet

The Latitude 7410 comes with Chromebook Enterprise, Google zero-touch enrollment and a three-year hardware warranty with onsite service. It also provides strong durability, having passed 17 MIL-STD 810G tests, and it offers a modernized keyboard and touchpad with quiet clicking and a large surface area for more precision and comfort. In addition, this Dell Chromebook provides a privacy shutter to prevent the webcam from capturing images unintentionally, whether by accident or as a result of spyware. Dell also offers optional support packages and services and optional features, such as mobile broadband capabilities or a carbon fiber shell option.

Specifications for Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise:

  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7
  • Memory: 8 GB or 16 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • Monitor: 14-inch display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or 3840 x 2160
  • Battery life: 21 hours
  • Starting price: $1,188.99

Google Pixelbook Go

The Pixelbook Go offers several features that make it business-worthy, such as the Titan C security chip for protecting confidential information. The laptop is only a half-inch thick and weighs just 2.3-2.4 pounds, depending on the model. It also comes with a Full HD display or 4K ultra-HD molecular display, depending on the model, and it includes two 1080p webcams for high-resolution video chatting.

The Pixelbook Go includes a grip-friendly design that incorporates a textured bottom, making it easier to carry the laptop around. In addition, the backlit keyboard incorporates Hush Keys technology to ensure minimal noise. Users can also access Google Assistant with only a touch of a key. In addition, automatic updates help ensure that Chrome OS always has the latest security patches. Google also offers the optional Preferred Care program, which provides screen repairs, replacements and accidental damage coverage.

Specifications for Google Pixelbook Go:

  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 processor
  • Memory: 8 GB or 16 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB, 128 GB or 256 GB SSD
  • Monitor: 13.3-inch display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or 3840 x 2160
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Starting price: $1,399

HP Pro c645 Chromebook Enterprise

The Pro c645 is another strong option for a Chromebook Enterprise device, and, unlike the other models, this one comes with an AMD processor. HP offers five different AMD processor options for this device. The Pro c645 is a durable machine that has undergone MIL-STD 810H testing and can resist liquid spills up to 12 ounces.

The HP Pro c645 Chromebook Enterprise
The HP Pro c645 model thin client showing the front-facing display

The Pro c645 comes with the HP Privacy Camera that protects business users from remote camera hacking. In addition, the camera has a high-definition, 88-degree wide-angle view that can help facilitate group meetings. The laptop also includes a Bang & Olufsen audio system, an optional integrated fingerprint sensor and an optional backlit keyboard. Plus, the Pro c645 offers several display options, including an FHD touchscreen and 180-degree lie-flat chassis. In addition, the Pro c645 includes Wi-Fi 6 and HP Extended Range Wireless LAN and two USB-C ports and an HDMI port for adding a projector or other devices.

Specifications for HP Pro c645 Chromebook Enterprise:

  • Processor: AMD Athlon Silver or Gold; AMD Ryzen 3, 5 or 7
  • Memory: 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB eMMC 5.0; 128 GB NVMe SSD
  • Monitor: 14-inch display
  • Resolution: 1366 x 768 or 1920 x 1080
  • Battery life: 13 hours
  • Starting price: $589

Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook Enterprise

Like the HP Pro c645, the ThinkPad C13 Yoga is another Chromebook Enterprise laptop that comes with an AMD processor and integrated AMD Radeon graphics, delivering bootups that take only seconds. The ThinkPad C13 Yoga provides an aluminum chassis and weighs only 3.3 pounds. Users can charge the battery up to 80% in just 60 minutes. The device also includes a touchscreen monitor with a 360-degree hinge to function as a 2-in-1 laptop. Users can take notes with the optional USI pen or take advantage of the optional 5MP world-facing camera.

The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook Enterprise
The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga model Chromebook Enterprise in a folded display mode

The ThinkPad C13 Yoga includes four USB ports and supports fast Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. It is tested against 12 military-grade requirements and over 200 quality checks, making it well-suited to users on the go and those in a rugged workplace. At the same time, it can handle basic business operations such as presentations, conference calls or video streaming. The laptop also comes with the Google H1 TPM chip, a webcam privacy shutter and an optional touch fingerprint reader. In addition, the ThinkPad C13 Yoga includes a Kensington lock slot to protect against theft and is backed by ThinkShield, Lenovo's customizable security platform.

Specifications for Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook Enterprise:

  • Processor: AMD Athlon Gold; AMD Ryzen 3, 5 or 7
  • Memory: 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB eMMC; 128 GB or 256 GB SSD
  • Monitor: 13.3-inch display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Starting price: $584.35

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Like the Google Pixelbook Go, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is another Chrome OS device that does not come with the Chromebook Enterprise label. One of the most notable features is the high-definition QLED display with 100% DCI-P3 color: the format that cinema screens sometimes use. The result is a rich range of colors that make it possible to edit videos and photos to a professional standard.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 folded at an angle close to 360 degrees

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 weighs less than 3 pounds and is just over a half-inch thick. This Samsung offering provides an easy-to-use lattice keyboard that offers large keycaps and backlighting, along with small gaps around the keys to reduce wobbling. The laptop also includes two USB-C ports and supports fast Wi-Fi 6 connectivity based on Intel wireless hardware. It can also support any USI pen. Additionally, the Chromebook 2 has features for integrating with Android, such as using a smartphone to log into the laptop or tethering a smartphone's cellular connection.

Specifications for Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2:

  • Processor: Intel Celeron Processor or 10th generation Intel Core i3
  • Memory: 4 GB or 8 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB SSD
  • Monitor: 13.3-inch display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery life: 13 hours
  • Starting price: $549.99

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