Here's why Chromebook tablets are viable iPad alternatives

By Ben Schoon

November 4, 2021

Chromebook tablets probably aren't iPad killers per se, but they do present a very interesting alternative for different types of use cases, so let's take a look at a few reasons they shouldn't be ignored...

1. A proper browser As the connected world shifts further to web apps versus ones you install, Chromebooks only become more compelling. Unlike iPads, which have a limited web experience in Safari, Chromebook tablets get a full desktop Google Chrome experience, meaning you can surf the web as you would on a traditional computer, all from a small and light device.

2. Apps from anywhere Chromebooks used to be limited in regards to apps, but that's something that's been solved in a big way since. Chromebook tablets have the ability to use web apps, websites, Android apps from the pre-installed Google Play Store, and you can even install and run full Linux apps if you choose to. The possibilities are nearly endless, and it's a whole lot more flexible than an iPad's locked-down ecosystem.

3. Android integration While iPads are great for iPhone users, Chromebook tablets can better integrate with Android phones. This includes Nearby Share for wireless file transfers, mirroring notifications on your Chromebook from your phone, and more.

4. Cost One really big reason why Chromebook tablets are compelling over an iPad is cost. While some models, like the HP X2, are pricey, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet (10.1) starts at $300, less than your most basic iPad! The real cost savings, though, comes with the fact that the keyboard and kickstand and bundled in for free instead of being a pricey add-on.

What are the best Chromebook tablets?

The most affordable Chromebook tablet is the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, which costs around $299 (often on sale). It has a 10.1-inch display, MediaTek processor, and comes with a kickstand and keyboard included for no additional charge.

A step up on hardware, the HP Chromebook X2 has a bigger and better display, better speakers, and a fingerprint sensor all running on a Snapdragon chip. It even has optional LTE and includes a stylus, keyboard, and kickstand for free in the box. That comes at a much higher $599 price, though, but it's often on sale as low as $399.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 - $429

Coming soon, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 supercharges the company's more affordable machine with a bigger 13.3-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon chip, and a new kickstand and keyboard. It looks very promising so far!