There are significant advantages in using a Chromebook over a PC, especially for artists. Even though the specs aren’t as high as some PCs, running a slimmer operating system gives better performance.
The processor can dedicate itself to running the app rather than wasting its resources. The touchscreen technology is fantastic in Chromebooks as well, which makes compatibility with a stylus a superior experience. Add in Adobe compatibility, and Chromebooks become an affordable, viable option.
So, let’s take a look at the best Chromebooks for artists available on the market right now and find the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 8 Best Chromebooks For Artists In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Samsung 11.6” – Best Entry Level Chromebook for Artists
- 1.2 2 Google Pixelbook – Best Premium Chromebook for Artists
- 1.3 3 Acer Chromebook – Longest Battery Life Chromebook for Artists
- 1.4 4 ASUS Flip C302 – Best Lightweight Flexible Chromebook for Artists
- 1.5 5 HP 14” – Best Value Chromebook for Artists
- 1.6 6 Dell Inspiron 14” – Best Midrange Chromebook for Artists
- 1.7 7 Acer R11 – Most Elegant Chromebook for Artists
- 1.8 8 Lenovo S330 – Best Affordable High Res Chromebook for Artists
- 2 Best Chromebooks for Artists Buying Guide
- 3 More Superb Products For Artists…
- 4 So, Which Is The Very Best Of The Best Chromebooks For Artists?
Top 8 Best Chromebooks For Artists In 2021 Reviews
1 Samsung 11.6” – Best Entry Level Chromebook for Artists
First up in our best artists Chromebook roundup is for those just starting out. However, while this might be an entry-level Chromebook, it is not short on features. With a screen that produces bright, vibrant results like only Samsung can. Not only will it display your artwork beautifully, but it’s also great for watching TV shows and movies too.
Of course, there are some sacrifices that are necessary to make a product this affordable. For example, the storage capacity is minimal at only 16GB. This can easily be expanded with an external device, though.
Besides the 16GB of flash storage, this Chromebook offers 4GB of RAM. Running the show is a 1.6Ghz Intel Celeron N360 processor. Think more tablet than PC performance, with the convenience of a laptop package.
To assist with that beautiful 11.6-inch 1366 x 768p HD resolution, LED-backlit display is Intel HD graphics 400 processing. The color accuracy on this Chromebook is so good that it really puts other budget laptops to shame.
Other im-port-ant items…
Connectivity and port availability is excellent for this affordable device. Bluetooth 4.0 provides a reliable and stable wireless connection. For wired connection, the single USB port is 3.0, allowing for both fast charging and data transfers.
HDMI output offers an easy way to connect to an external display. If you prefer wireless connections, wireless-ac (867Mbps) provides fast network speeds. This can be put to use well with one of the clearest webcams we’ve seen.
- An affordable, excellent value option.
- Beautiful display.
- Great connectivity options.
- Small storage of only 16GB.
- Only one USB port.
2 Google Pixelbook – Best Premium Chromebook for Artists
While our first product was an entry-level Chromebook, we have now gone straight to the other extreme. The Google Pixelbook packs a massive punch with top of the line specs and a user-friendly design that feels great.
This is probably the most worthy adversary to Windows 10 notebooks, and it should be as the price almost rivals them too. For artists, the Pixelbook Pen, which is fantastic, has full support but unfortunately isn’t included.
When only the best will do…
At the heart of the Pixelbook is an Intel Core i7 7th generation processor. Paired with 16GB of RAM, running apps is handled at lightning speed. Even the most demanding Adobe programs won’t cause the Pixelbook to skip a beat.
Storage is handled by a 512GB SSD, which also offers super-fast access speeds. Waking up and launching apps are performed in an instant. Running the latest version of Chrome OS requires much less effort, putting more focus into your tasks.
Get a full day of use…
Thanks to superior battery performance, you can enjoy up to 10 hours of use off a single charge. Using the latest technology, if you need a quick boost, only 15 minutes of charging will give you 2 hours of use.
As an artist, we would highly recommend the Pixelbook Pen, as it really enhances the experience. With features like pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition, and minimal lag, drawing with it becomes an absolute pleasure.
- Top of the line specs.
- Super long battery life.
- Well-designed, user-friendly experience.
- Pixelbook Pen not included.
- More expensive than other options.
3 Acer Chromebook – Longest Battery Life Chromebook for Artists
This Chromebook from Acer is another affordable option but is a slight step up from the Samsung model. While the processing power is still a little underwhelming, it is the construction materials where you’ll notice the most considerable improvement.
Instead of being constructed entirely of plastic, the Acer Chromebook has an attractive aluminum finish. Combined with a comfortable keyboard, extremely long battery life, and a clear 1080p display, there is plenty to get excited about.
What’s under the hood?
This is the first Chromebook that doesn’t use an Intel processor. Instead, Acer has gone for a MediaTek MT8173C quad-core 2.1Ghz processor. It includes a video decoder that features 4K and H.265 support.
Memory for the Acer is covered with 4GB of RAM. We wouldn’t want any less, and if there was one thing we could upgrade, this would be it. That and possibly the storage, as there’s only 32GB of flash storage that can easily be filled by apps quickly.
Convenience and flexibility…
As an artist, when drawing, having a laptop-style device can make it challenging to achieve the correct angles. Luckily, the screen on the Acer Chromebook can fold right back on itself. You can then enjoy a flat tablet-style device, giving you full access to the screen.
However, where this device really stands out from the rest is its battery performance. Offering up to 12 hours of use off a single charge, you can take it with you everywhere. You won’t need to be searching for a power outlet when inspiration strikes.
- Aluminum construction.
- Flexible screen positions.
- Impressive battery life.
- Lacking processing power.
- Heavier than competitors.
4 ASUS Flip C302 – Best Lightweight Flexible Chromebook for Artists
When the ASUS Flip was released, it was the first product to inspire the premium Chromebook market. Previously a Chromebook was seen more like a tablet trying to be a PC rather than a direct competitor.
There are three different variations here available with different processors and RAM combinations. Other than that, everything else is shared across the models. So no matter what your budget, there is a Flip for you.
What a lineup…
At the beginning of the lineup is the Intel Core M3 model with 4GB of RAM. Perfect for those on a budget if you can handle the reduced processing power. Next up is the Intel Core M5 model, also with 4GB of RAM giving a slight boost.
At the very top of their chain is a rather large leap. Featuring an Intel Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM gives the ASUS Flip comparable power to a PC. All models share 64GB of flash storage, something we felt was lacking in the i7 model given the price.
Flexible and maneuverable…
Just like the Acer model, the ASUS can be maneuvered into a range of different positions. This is perfect for artists, as having full access to your canvas (screen) gives greater ability to express your creativity.
Another excellent feature of the Flip is that it’s incredibly light at only 2.64lbs (1.2kgs). That means you can comfortably carry it with you wherever you go. You never know when something might inspire you, and now you’ll have your Flip ready to go.
- Three model options to match your budget.
- Lightweight aluminum design.
- Flexible screen orientations.
- Small storage capability.
- Intel Core i7 model only has 8GB of RAM.
5 HP 14” – Best Value Chromebook for Artists
Next in our Best Chromebooks for Artists review, if you have limited funds but still would like a big screen Chromebook, this HP 14-inch model might just be for you. However, the big screen isn’t the only attractive thing on this Chromebook; it still has some decent specs too.
Unlike a few of the other models, instead of aluminum construction, HP has saved money by using plastic. There’s a variety of different textures used in the design, and it still appears rugged enough to deal with daily use.
Bang for your buck…
HP uses an Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core 1.1Ghz processor that can run at a boosted 2.4Ghz. This is impressive performance given the price. 4GB of RAM is slightly lacking but will get you by with most tasks.
Helping with the ram is 32GB of flash storage capable of providing high-speed access to apps. This performance can all be viewed via the 1080p display, which receives a boost from Intel HD graphics 500.
It should be easy to get an entire day’s use off a single battery charge. We managed just over 9 hours before needing to plug it in. That was with continuous use of Wi-Fi, web browsing, and at 150 nits of brightness.
While this model may struggle with the more demanding apps, it is hard to go past at such an affordable price. That extra screen real estate makes this budget model a great contender among some tough competition.
- Large screen for a budget model.
- All-day battery life.
- Rugged design.
- Struggles with more demanding apps.
- Plastic construction.
6 Dell Inspiron 14” – Best Midrange Chromebook for Artists
While this Dell Inspiron model is packaged as a Windows PC, it can still run Chrome OS and shares similar performance. Offering the flexibility of a tablet with its touchscreen and mid-range performance specs.
This is an attractive machine that is small and light enough to bring with you wherever you go. The chassis is made from polycarbonate, with a brushed metal lid. We have experienced better keyboards, though, as this one has some flex to it.
Dell’s Inspiron uses an Intel Core i3 8th generation processor, running up to 3.9Ghz. Featuring 8GB of RAM makes multitasking pretty seamless, especially running Chrome OS instead of Windows.
A 14 inch HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768p provides beautiful images with help from the Intel UHD graphics 620. Instead of Flash storage like most of its competitors, you receive a more generous 256GB NVMe SSD.
Bend over backward…
Like a couple of the other models, the screen can bend back on itself, creating a tablet-like experience. The touchscreen is very responsive with minimum lag and functions well when used with a stylus.
As a test for the battery life, we left the Inspiron running performing video playback. Power lasted for just over seven hours, meaning you should get a full day of use. The battery life is less impressive than other competitors, though.
- Slim and lightweight design.
- Flexible 14 inch HD screen.
- Large 256GB SSD.
- Not optimized for Chrome OS.
- Shorter battery life than competitors.
7 Acer R11 – Most Elegant Chromebook for Artists
Acer’s R11 Chromebook is decked out in a clean and elegant white finish. The lid is made of aluminum, although it is relatively thin and showed some flex. When you open up the device, you are greeted with black keys that contrast beautifully against the white.
An 11.6-inch touchscreen display boasts a dark black bezel around it. This device features 360-degree swivel hinges, which allows both PC and tablet mode. The thin and light design makes it simple to bring along with you on your journeys.
But, as always, it’s what’s on the inside that counts…
Running the show for the buttery smooth Chrome OS is an Intel Celeron N3150 processor. To help with multitasking and memory function is 4GB of RAM. Storage is a bit lacking, though, with only 32GB of Flash available.
Wi-Fi connectivity is supplied with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, ensuring super-fast network speeds. For wired connections, there are two USB ports. A USB 3.0 on the left and a USB 2.0 on the right. HDMI provides external display connectivity too.
Everything on display…
Acer’s R11 Chromebook uses a touchscreen HD 1366 x 768p resolution display. The range of colors and accuracy is well above average. Maximum brightness sits at 224 nits, which is fine for indoors but falls short for outdoor use.
This device performs well with remaining cool, even when running demanding apps. After 15 minutes of heavy use, the entire device still remained under 185°F (85°C). That’s still a little toasty for your lap but much better than average.
- Elegant white design.
- Fast Wi-Fi connection.
- Better than average cooling.
- The lid flexes.
- Screen could be brighter.
8 Lenovo S330 – Best Affordable High Res Chromebook for Artists
Lenovo knows how to make a decent laptop, so it would make sense that their Chromebook would be great too. Constructed predominantly from two sheets of thick black plastic, the finish is nice but is susceptible to fingerprints.
Don’t let the simplicity of that description fool you, though; this device is well-made. You would be forgiven for thinking you paid double the price. There are no signs of creaking or sagging panels here, as is common with affordable laptops.
What makes it tick?
Instead of an Intel, this is the second Chromebook to use a MediaTek processor. Lenovo has gone with the same 2.1Ghz MT8173C. This is coupled with 4GB of RAM for multitasking assistance that will just get you by.
Storage is handled by a 64GB flash unit, which as with most of these Chromebooks, is their biggest downfall. This can be negated by either external storage or even cloud storage solutions, but something bigger would be nice.
Lenovo’s Chromebook has one of the best bang for your buck displays here. While most settle with an HD 720p display, the Lenovo sports an FHD 1080p resolution display. It does use a TN panel, though, which can reduce the viewing angle slightly.
Your Chromebook will be ready to go when you are, offering sensational battery life. Enjoy up to ten hours of use off a single charge. You can leave your charger at home, making bringing your device with you even lighter and easier.
- Well constructed and stylish design.
- Full HD 1080p display.
- All-day battery life.
- Easily collects fingerprints.
- Underpowered processor for demanding apps.
Best Chromebooks for Artists Buying Guide
Now that all you budding and experienced artists have seen what is available in the way of Chromebooks, it’s probably time to make a purchase. After all, what’s not to like about a small, light, and affordable device with long battery life?
However, before you go rushing out to grab a shiny new Chromebook, you might want to take a look at our buying guide. We identify the main differences between each of these products so you can make the most informed decision possible.
Which App Do You Use?
While the Chrome OS’s stripped-down nature allows for more efficient processing, many of these devices can feel underpowered. That all depends on how demanding the app is that you’ll be using.
If you are just starting out, you probably won’t need an app that requires too much processing or memory resource. If you only plan on using Sketchpad, or Infinite Painter, then any of these Chromebooks will get you through.
For the more professional user that relies on something like Sketchbook, Concepts, or Adobe Illustrator, then you are going to need something with a little more juice. Luckily you too are covered in the Chromebook space.
Both the Google Pixelbook and the ASUS Flip offer an Intel Core i7 processor that is perfect for the job. Google’s offering does have double the RAM of the ASUS, though. Plus, the Pixelbook Pen is a dream to use, even though it’s an additional purchase.
Hopefully, by this stage, you have a little better understanding of both what’s available and which product will suit you best. If you’re still unsure, though, stick around because next, we reveal which we think is the very best Chromebook for artists and why.
More Superb Products For Artists…
There’s a whole bunch of artist-specific tech and gear worth looking into! So, take a look at our Best Desk for Artists Review, our Best Drawing Boards Review, our Best Drawing Tablets Review, our Best Fine Point Stylus Pen Review, and our Best Verticle Mouse Reviews!
Commercial artists also won’t want to miss our Best Large Format Scanner Review, our Top 5 Best Touch Screen Monitors Review, our Best Scanner for Artwork Review, and the Best Printers for Art Prints for your money in 2021.
Ok, back to the best Chromebook for artists…
So, Which Is The Very Best Of The Best Chromebooks For Artists?
While there are many great products within this category, all able to offer a great user experience, we are looking for the best. For an artist, this means having a product that can run the best programs and provide the best performance.
Although it’s much more expensive than most of the other products, the choice, in the end, was easy. It has to be the…Google Pixelbook
Even though it costs more, it also offers so much more. We think in the end, the extra spend is worth it on this occasion.