Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide: Find the Best Chromebook Tablet for You

Get up to Speed on All the Key Chromebook Tablet Specifications So You Can Make the Best Purchase Decision for Your Needs

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Chromebook Tablets Give You a Chromebook Laptop and Chromebook Tablet With Android Apps in a Unified Single-Computer Experience

Are you in the market for a Chromebook tablet, also called a tablet Chromebook?

Are you looking for a Chromebook tablet shopping guide to help you put into perspective the dizzying array of Chromebook specifications that can, ultimately, make or break your experience with a Chromebook tablet?

Chromebook Tablets creator Brian Rossiter has used enough Chromebooks and Chromebook tablets to know what makes for a fantastic computer experience.

This Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide is designed to help users make sense of Chromebook tablet specifications so you can make an educated choice to get the detachable computer you want for personal and/or work use.

Let’s zoom in on what Chromebook tablets are, how Chromebook tablets work, top Chromebook specifications and the best Chromebook tablets.

Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide: What Are Chromebook Tablets and How Do Chromebook Tablets Work?

Chromebook tablets are highly versatile 2-in-1 detachable Chromebook laptop computers running Google’s lightweight ChromeOS operating system that can also be used solely as handheld tablet computers.

Chromebook tablets are also capable of running apps made for Google’s Android OS with an ARCVM container and, for some models, Linux apps within a Debian-based virtual machine.

Unless manufacturers specify otherwise, all Chromebooks launched since 2019 feature the ability to run Android apps plus Linux apps. A common gripe with pure Android tablets is that Android OS (operating system) updates don’t come for long—if they come at all.

With Chromebook tablets, however, ChromeOS, at least, will receive updates for several years, and you can check models you’re eyeing on this Google list. Whether specific Chromebook tablets will receive Android OS updates is another matter, however, and will depend on computer capabilities. Google doesn’t release a publicly available list on Android OS updates for ChromeOS computers.

Many Chromebooks launched since the late 2010s have featured 2-in-1 functionality, meaning these laptop computers can be positioned as standard laptops but also as tablets, with the keyboard-and-trackpad base snapping backward, thanks to cleverly designed hinges.

Although some computer enthusiasts might refer to these Chromebooks as Chromebook tablets, most save this designation purely for the kind of Chromebooks that feature detachable screens. These particular 2-in-1 Chromebook tablets come with detachable keyboard-and-trackpad bases, connected via technology called pogo pins.

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Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide: Chromebook Tablet Specifications

In this section of the Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide, let’s now turn our attention to some key specifications that shoppers look for when making a purchase decision.

We’ll put Chromebook tablet display specifications, processor and RAM specifications, and battery specifications under a microscope.

Chromebook Tablet Display Specifications

Most people buying Chromebook tablets are looking for a solid display first and foremost.

At their heart, Chromebook tablets are media consumption devices, with users reading ebooks, comic books, magazines and newspapers as well as blog and website content. They’re also watching videos from Netflix, YouTube and other platforms. They’re also listening to music on Spotify or another service and taking in their favorite podcasts.

Many Chromebook tablet users are also playing games, including Android games and games from Google’s Stadia streaming platform. Many Chromebook tablet users are also making video calls such as through Google Meet or Zoom.

By now, it’s certainly clear that having a quality Chromebook tablet display is important to most customers. The first Chromebook tablet display specification to consider is screen size. It’s important to ask yourself what size screen is appropriate for your needs, hand size and eyesight. The earliest-released Chromebook tablets featured screens with roughly 10-inch displays, but some modern models have bumped up the screen size to 13.3 inches. Also, keep in mind that, the larger the screen size, the larger the keyboard keys and trackpad. For some users with large hands, typing on a cramped keyboard is a no-go, even if using a tablet for only occasional typing.

Next, screen resolution is important to consider when shopping for a Chromebook tablet. Generally, most Chromebook tablets feature sharp displays, with at least Full HD, or 1920×1080 resolution, or better resolution. These displays will produce pinpoint-sharp video, but shoppers wanting the crispest text for reading are advised to consider Chromebook tablets with the best screen resolution, as the machines will be held closer to the eyes, and pixelation might be visible.

Dovetailing with screen resolution is screen dimension ratio. Some Chromebook tablet models feature the 3:2 aspect ratio, with the tablet screen running 3 units of measurement (such as inches) in width and 2 units of measurement in height when in landscape mode. These Chromebook tablets closer resemble squares than models with 16:9 screen dimension ratios, which are identical with those of HD TVs and 4K TVs and are more rectangular in nature. Other models on the market come in 16:10 and 5:3 screen dimension ratios.

Next, screen brightness is another factor worth weighing when deciding on a Chromebook tablet to ensure adequate visibility, especially if you plan to use your Chromebook tablet outside in the glaring sunlight. Screens boasting 400 nits or higher tend to perform better outside, but screens with 300 nits or higher will perform sufficiently indoors.

Finally, when it comes to Chromebook tablet display specifications, you might want to check out models’ screen color gamut to ensure the computer you pick up is color-rich enough for your tastes. Some Chromebook tablets are budget-friendly, and compromises are made to reach a palatable price point. Some compromises involve the screen, with some screens featuring a good resolution but drab, or muted, colors.

All product pages featured in the Chromebook Tablet Computers category in the Chromebook Tablets Store feature display specifications under the Additional Information tabs.

The Chromebook tablet with the best visual display is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (82QS001HUS). This 13.3-inch, 400-nit OLED panel contains 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and colors roar off the screen with aliveness and richness. This Chromebook tablet is the only model manufactured with an OLED screen, which produces the strongest contrast, as the pixels are turned off the display when representing true blacks.

Some Chromebook tablet customers favor the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5’s Full HD 16:9 screen, especially for video consumption, but some others prefer a boxier screen dimension ratio, particularly when reading. It must be mentioned, however, that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5’s long screen, when held in portrait mode, enables one to have to scroll or turn the page less often when reading content.

Indian man holding computer tablet - Chromebook Tablets

Chromebook Tablet Processor and RAM Specifications

Because Chromebook tablets tend to be smaller and lighter computers, it’s important to understand that these devices are not designed to be blazing-fast machines able to juggle multitasking madness.

Rather, it’s best to set Chromebook tablet performance expectations, and they should be considered as computers that are average, at best.

The earliest Chromebook tablets left a lot to be desired in the performance department, but models released in 2021 and 2022 have raised the bar on Chromebook tablet performance.

In laptop mode, Chromebook tablets are best used for tackling some emails, shopping online, checking in with your favorite blogs and websites, chatting with your family and friends on social media and media consumption. Through and through, Chromebook tablets excel at versatility foremost and should not be expected to shine for intensive research purposes or to keep dozens of tabs and apps open.

Because new computer processors are hitting the market every month, this Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide isn’t the place for you to get the scoop on whether a given processor is robust enough to handle all the tabs and apps you’d like to run simultaneously.

Instead, you’re encouraged to pore over product pages in the Chromebook Tablet Computers category in the Chromebook Tablets Store. Each product page will offer model-specific processor information as well as serve up a detailed view of 50-plus other computer specifications that can help you make a sound Chromebook tablet purchase decision.

When it comes to RAM, however, guidance is generally easier to provide. Many Chromebook tablets come with 4 GB of RAM. On a Chromebook, this is enough to run about 15 active Chrome tabs, but once you add Android apps to the mix, the computer experience begins to get bogged down.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can make a Chromebook tablet with 4 GB of RAM work, but you need to know that, for best performance, it’s ideal to keep the number of tabs and apps to a minimum.

Chromebook tablets that come packed with 8 GB of RAM can handle more resource-demanding applications such as bouncing around from any one of 10 open tabs to a few Android apps.

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (82QS001HUS) features an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 processor running at 2.55 GHz along with 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM clocking in at 2133 MHz. If powerful (enough) performance is important to you, this Chromebook tablet model is worth your consideration.

Chromebook Tablet Battery Life Specifications

Chromebook tablets are likely to be held in hand or perched on a tablet stand inside or outside your home and, perhaps, too far away from an electrical outlet for battery juice.

It’s reasonable to think that you might spend the overwhelming majority of your time using your Chromebook tablet when it’s not plugged in.

This leads us to the final key Chromebook tablet specification worth weighing in this Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guides when making a purchase decision: battery life.

Most Chromebook tablets bring long-lasting batteries to the table, but only some go the extra miles you might need if relying on your Chromebook tablet when out and about or just away from a power source such as an electrical outlet or portable power bank.

Chromebook tablet manufacturers advertise battery life specifications and highlight how many hours models are expected to last. Know that these time estimates are flattering figures, with real-world usage typically running 67 percent to 75 percent of the amount of hours specified.

The reason for this discrepancy is that manufacturers run tests with computer brightness set at about 50 percent and only a single tab such as a streaming video up on screen.

Most Chromebook tablet users will have few to several tabs and maybe an Android app or two active. These extra resources can negatively impact battery life, resulting in significantly less battery juice availability.

If you’re relying on a Chromebook tablet for work, long-lasting battery life might be a critical feature and not just nice to have.

Most to even all product pages featured in the Chromebook Tablet Computers category in the Chromebook Tablets Store will note battery life estimates.

Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide: Summing up Chromebook Tablet Specifications

This Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide has spotlighted some key specifications that shoppers look for when making a purchase decision.

We’ve looked at Chromebook tablet display specifications, processor and RAM specifications, and battery specifications—the three key areas shoppers zoom in on when scoping out Chromebook tablets.

To view 50-plus Chromebook tablet specifications for each product you see in the Chromebook Tablet Computers category in the Chromebook Tablets Store, click on the Additional Information tab on each product page.

Here’s hoping this Chromebook Tablets Shopping Guide helps provide guidance to help you find the best Chromebook tablet for your needs!

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