Best overall

Acer Spin 3

For similar money to the top of the line Chromebook you could get the excellent Acer Spin 3. The pick of the bunch is a little more at $699, but you get a 256GB SSD, an 8th Gen Core i5 and 8GB of RAM for that.

Throw in a 1080p touchscreen, large hard drive and, you know, Windows 10, into a sleek convertible body and you've got a perfect reason to ignore Chromebooks forever.

As an added bonus, the Spin 3 is one of the first laptops to officially support Amazon Alexa, which comes pre-loaded. If you'd prefer to spend less, there's a lower spec version with a Core i3 and 1TB HDD for under $500.

Bottom line: Similar money to the best Chromebooks, but better in virtually every way.

One more thing: One of the first laptops to officially support Amazon Alexa.

See at Amazon

Why the Acer Spin 3 is the best

The price consideration was placed, in part, down to our colleagues at Android Central and their choice for best Chromebook. The Samsung Chromebook Plus costs about $500, with the Pro model closer to $600, and while it has a pen and a really nice display, they're somewhat underpowered and running Chrome OS. The uber-expensive Pixelbook isn't even a consideration here, because you can definitely buy a better Windows laptop than a $1,000 Chomebook.

Would you spend $600 or more on Chrome OS?

Is Chrome OS worth spending that much money on?

The Acer Spin 3 loses out in some areas, such as having a lower-res display, but it makes up for it by having proper laptop specs. We're getting an 8th Gen Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD as well as being a convertible with a touchscreen.

The killer feature though is Windows 10. It's still a much more powerful laptop operating system than Chrome OS, even with Android apps on it now. And it comes included with the Spin 3, and every other pick on this list.

Best budget

Lenovo Ideapad 110S

Folks buying Chromebooks are often doing so because they're cheap. Really cheap. But when you can spend just $225 and get an excellent laptop like the Lenovo Ideapad 110S, there's no need to.

The hardware is on par with what you might expect from a lower-end Chromebook, with 32GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. The display is low-res but still nice to use, and you get full Windows 10 and all the benefits it brings.

Bottom line: Don't just go Chromebook because they're cheap, check out the Ideapad 110S for a similarly priced, better experience.

One more thing: This is also perfect to give to the kids to get some school work done.

See at Amazon

Best 2-in-1

Microsoft Surface Go

Chromebooks with pens or detachable tablet portions are still very much in their infancy, but it's something Windows has had for some time. If an affordable, compact 2-in-1 is what you seek, the Surface Go is the one to get.

With an Intel Pentium processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage, the Surface Go is the traditional Surface experience in a slimmed down package. You can still use a Surface Pen for inking, you still have an optional keyboard and you definitely still have the Surface quality.

It comes with Windows 10 S but that can be upgraded to Windows 10 Home to give you access to apps from outside the Store. Prices start at $399.

Bottom line: Surface quality at a Chromebook price.

One more thing: If you can afford the extra for the 128GB model it's definitely worth it.

See at Microsoft

Conclusion

The Acer Spin 3 is a great alternative to the best Chromebook around right now, but there's flexibility thanks to the strength of the Windows hardware ecosystem.

You can get a great budget laptop in the Lenovo Ideapad 110S, and get fancy without breaking the bank with the excellent Surface Go.

Best overall

Acer Spin 3

For similar money to the top of the line Chromebook you could get the excellent Acer Spin 3. The pick of the bunch is a little more at $699, but you get a 256GB SSD, an 8th Gen Core i5 and 8GB of RAM for that.

Throw in a 1080p touchscreen, large hard drive and, you know, Windows 10, into a sleek convertible body and you've got a perfect reason to ignore Chromebooks forever.

As an added bonus, the Spin 3 is one of the first laptops to officially support Amazon Alexa, which comes pre-loaded. If you'd prefer to spend less, there's a lower spec version with a Core i3 and 1TB HDD for under $500.

Bottom line: Similar money to the best Chromebooks, but better in virtually every way.

One more thing: One of the first laptops to officially support Amazon Alexa.

See at Amazon

Updated July 27, 2018: The Acer Spin 3 takes its place atop our list while the new Microsoft Surface Go also makes its debut as the best 2-in-1 alternative to a Chromebook!