Powerful new hardware, same Chrome OS: Dell Chromebook 13 reviewed

Most Chromebooks come with a caveat. Toshiba’s Chromebook 2 has a gorgeous display, but a slow processor. Acer’s updated C720 is a powerhouse with a Core i5 CPU, but it has a muddy display and a cramped design. The Chromebook Pixel combines a fantastic best display with a fast processor, but it’s exorbitantly expensive. The decision to buy a Chromebook also comes with the decision of what you were willing to compromise on—until now. Dell’s Chromebook 13 wants to be the Chromebook for anyone and everyone. To that end, it has a wide range of options and prices, including Core i3 and i5 models, touch and non-touch display options, up to 8GB of RAM and support from Dell and Google to keep your information easily accessible and safe.

Those options range from $399 to $899, and both in specs and price it sits between budget Chromebooks and the premium Chromebook Pixel. While the Dell Chromebook 13 proves that Chrome OS notebooks are not just toy laptops anymore, what it really needs to prove is that a midrange Chromebook is worth investing in over a traditional Windows PC or Mac.


Specs at a glance: Dell Chromebook 13
WorstBestAs reviewed
SCREENFHD IPS non-touch LCD at 13.3″FHD IPS touch LCD at 13.3″FHD IPS non-touch LCD at 13.3″
OSChrome OS
CPUIntel Celeron 3205UIntel Core i5-5300UIntel Celeron 3205U
GPUIntel HD Graphics (Celeron), Intel HD 5500 (Core)
NETWORKINGDual-band wireless-AC 7260 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
PORTSOne USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, one HDMI 1.4, MicroSD, noble lock slot, headphone/microphone combo jack
SIZE0.72 × 12.93 × 9.03″
WEIGHT3.23 lbs3.23 lbs3.23 lbs
BATTERY67Whr 6 cell battery
OTHER PERKSPrecision touchpad, backlit keyboard

Despite being “business class,” the Chromebook 13 doesn’t feel like a typical business notebook. Its carbon fiber and magnesium alloy chassis is smooth to the touch, and the notebook feels quite light at 3.23 pounds. On the lid is a faint matte checkered pattern with alternating slate and light gray colors, interrupted only by the glossy Dell logo in the middle and the Chrome logo at the top left corner.

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