With video conferencing gaining traction over the years, the rise of popularity of Chromebooks for this task was only inevitable, particularly with pandemic related social distancing measures and lock downs in effect.
The nature of Chromebooks being light, highly portable, and affordable makes them an essential device for family face-time, homeschooling and even for business video conferencing.
In this article we will thus review some of the best Chromebooks for video conferencing from various budget ranges.
The point to note is that a Chromebook for video conferencing does not have to be expensive. Any reasonably powerful Chromebook can give you a smooth and a lag free experience for tasks performed on the Internet. The Chrome OS found on these laptops is purpose built for using internet and online based apps hence apps like
720P vs 1080P Webcams
When it comes to the quality of the video feed during video chats, the key ingredient is, of course, the built in camera.
There are two resolutions that you can find on these cameras, 720P and 1080p.
720p resolution cameras are the most common and found on many budget and mid range Chromebooks. 1080P, on the other hand, is reserved for high end Chromebooks.
If you want to have the best video feed and you want to look good, then a Chromebook with 1080P webcam built in is ideal. On the other hand, if you want to go for a budget option, 720P is ideal.
Comparison of Best Chromebooks for Video Conferencing
|8 GB||64 GB|
|4 GB||32 GB|
|4 GB||32 GB|
|4 GB||32 GB|
|Lenovo Flex 5||13"|
|4 GB||64 GB|
|4 GB||16 GB|
List of Top Chromebooks for Video Conferencing
The following Chromebooks are selected from different size and price ranges.
- Google Pixelbook Go – Recommended Chromebook for Video Conferencing
- HP Chromebook 14a – 14 inch – Highly Affordable Chromebook For Students
- Lenovo C340 – 15.6″ – Large Screen Convertible Chromebook with Best 720P Camera
- ASUS Flip C434 – 14″ – 2 – in – 1 Chromebook
- Lenovo Flex 5 – 13″ – 2 in 1 – Powerful 13″ Budget Chromebook
- Samsung Chromebook 3 – 11.6″ – Compact and Mini
1. Google Pixelbook Go – Recommended Chromebook for Video Conferencing
Google Pixelbook Go is an expensive machine. The top configuration can cost you well over a thousand bucks.
However, if you could settle for a lower end configuration, you can get yourself a fairly decent Chromebook with a beautiful 1080p webcam.
The webcam stays the same regardless of whether you choose a low end or a top of the line hardware configuration.
The lowest configuration that you can find is with an Intel Core M3 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 64 GB of SSD storage. This costs almost as much as any mid range Chromebook, however, we personally feel that the value you get here is enormous.
Aside from a high quality webcam for video conferencing, a good RAM and a decent amount of internal storage is something that is quite rare on most Chromebook.
Other than that, you get a slim and a compact 13.3″ screen and profile. It is also features a touchscreen as well as a Full HD screen resolution.
In short, if you want to go for a high quality option and you are truly looking for the best video calling experience on a Chromebook, then we recommend this.
2. HP Chromebook 14a – 14 inch – Highly Affordable Chromebook For Students
First up we have our most recommended Chromebook for video conferencing as it combines both functionality as well as a fairly reasonable price.
For starters, this is a 14″ Chromebooks which is seen as the perfect size for casual and office users. 14″ is neither too small to give you an uncomfortable working experience, nor is too large and bulky.
On top of that, 14″ Chromebooks and laptops are generally cheaper than both their 13″ and 15.6″ counterparts. Hence, value wise, we highly recommend these.
As far as the video conferencing quality goes, this Chromebook houses a 720P webcam. The quality of the video calls will not be extraordinary but quite reasonable for school and general meeting.
Other than that, like most Chromebooks out there, this has a weak internal hardware. It features the entry Level Intel Celeron N4000 processor.
For using a video conferencing app like Zoom or Skype, this is more than ample.
However, if you plan to use beefier apps we would recommend opting for a more powerful option. The bottom line here is that for students on a budget, this is quite reasonable.
It features a decent 4 GB of RAM and a low 32 GB of eMMC storage. Again, note that this has a small storage device, like most Chromebooks out there, because you are encouraged to use cloud based storage such as Google Drive with this.
All in all, if you want an affordable 14″ model, then this is the best Chromebook for Video Conferencing in our opinion.
3. Lenovo C340 – 15.6″ – Large Screen Convertible Chromebook with Best 720P Camera
Large affordable 15.6″ Chromebook with the best 720P quality in the budget range.
Lenovo C340 is a Chromebook with arguably the best 720p webcam in the market. If you want to look good, save up on cost as well as have a fairly large and a comfortable screen, then this is the best Chromebook for video conferencing.
Now 15.6″ screen is generally preferred by power users. The viewing comfort and the feel of working on a decent workstation makes 15.6″ Chromebooks or laptops a lucrative option for office and home users.
They are not as portable as 14″ or 13″ models, but they sure are better for work.
Being a convertible laptop, you can use this in the Tent as well as tablet mode along with usual laptop mode.
As far as the performance goes, this laptop features an Intel Pentium Gold 4417U processor. This processor is more powerful than the Intel Celeron N4000 processor, but less capable than the Intel Core m3-8100Y processor we see in some options here.
According to PassMark CPU benchmark, the Intel Pentium Gold 4417U is almost twice as powerful in all total, single and multi core performance scores compared to the Intel Celen N4000 commonly found on budget Chromebooks.
So while this is not the most powerful Chromebook out there, it reasonably capable of handling the basic tasks smoothly. Its large and functional screen makes this the best Chromebook for video conferencing.
This too features the usual 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of SSD. One point to take note of is that the screen on this Chromebook is Full HD so you get more pixel real estate to work on. Most budget oriented Chromebooks only have an HD screen.
Again, the intended purpose of this Chromebook is not to be used for designing and editing tasks. Instead, it is great for video chats, conference calls and in the budget range, this certainly has the best camera as well as sound quality.
4. ASUS Flip C434 – 14″ – 2 – in – 1 Chromebook
A mid range convertible Chromebook with mainstream hardware and touch screen.
Next up we have another 14″ option. However, performance wise, this is far better than most mid-budget range Chromebooks.
It differentiates itself from the HP Chromebook 14a above in many. For starters, it features a much more powerful processor i.e the Intel Core M3-8100Y.
Secondly, this is a convertible model. This Chromebook is a 2 in 1 model. Hence, you can use this both in laptop as well as tablet mode. You can also use it in the tent mode which is appreciated by artists generally.
This is a hinge-rotate type convertible laptop, meaning the screen rotates on top of the keyboard instead of detaching itself.
For pure video conferencing, this may be a bit overkill. The processor in this much more powerful than the Intel Celeron N4000 featured in most budget Chromebooks.
Here you can see that the Intel Core M3-8100Y processor is about 72% better than the Intel Celeron N4000 and almost twice as powerful based on the CPU Passmark Benchmark results.
The 720P webcam on this Chromebook is almost as good as any other found on budget options. However, if it is purely video chat and small easier tasks that you want to perform, then sticking with the cheaper HP Chromebook 14a would be a better option.
However, if you want perform somewhat heavier tasks like casual video or photo editing etc, then this particular option makes more sense.
While still not nearly as capable as an average processor found on an average laptop, for Chrome OS, the Core M3 is more than enough.
Whether it is video conferencing or performing online editing jobs, this processor can handle most tasks on a Chromebook.
The relative drawback on this machine is that the base model offers a low 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. At this price point you would at least expect a higher RAM.
However, if you choose to invest more, you can get upto an Intel Core i5 processors, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of internal storage. This hardware would be capable of performing tasks at a professional level.
In short, if you want a 14″ convertible option with a decent processor, then this is the best Chromebook for video conferencing.
5. Lenovo Flex 5 – 13″ – 2 in 1 – Powerful 13″ Budget Chromebook
A budget 13″ compact convertible chromebook.
Next up we have a smaller 13″ convertible Chromebook with one of the best hardware configuration that you can find on a Chromebook at a budget.
13″ Chromebooks or laptops are generally preferred by those who want a very light and a thin device that they can carry around easily.
Since they are smaller, they also work better in the tablet mode as they are easier to handle.
While it features a 720P webcam like most budget option, if you came here specifically looking for a portable and a high quality 13″ model, then this could be best Chromebook for video conferencing for you if you have budget constraints.
But the real beauty lies with the processing power of this machine. This Chromebook features the powerful Intel Core i3-10110U processor. This is one of the most powerful processors you can have on a Chromebook at this price point
While it may not seem much if you are a conventional laptop/desktop user, for basic to intermediate users of Chromebooks, this is a powerful piece of hardware to have.
Imagine running your android phone with an Intel Core i3 latest gen processor. The idea here is almost the same.
In terms of performance, the Core i3-10110U also beats the Core m3-8100Y by a good margin.
Other than that, while the 4 GB of RAM it features is the standard amount, it does offers a much higher SSD at 64 GB capacity for a budget category Chromebook.
The RAM, unfortunately, is low and does not pair well the performance of the processor. A higher RAM would have been nice, but since the Chrome OS is light on RAM usage as compared to Windows, 4 GB is still decent for most tasks.
6. Samsung Chromebook 3 – 11.6″ – Compact and Mini
Finally we have the smallest Chromebook of this list. This is not only the cheapest option on this list, but it is also the most compact.
This is a mini 11.6″ Chromebook particularly designed for those who value portability above everything.
This is purpose built Chromebook for Video Conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Classroom, Remote Learning etc.
Performance wise, this is not going to win any speed records. It has a weak Intel Celeron N3060 processor with a 4GB of RAM and a measly 16 GB of internal eMMC storage.
You can expand the storage using a cloud storage service, external hard drive or an SD card.
It is not going to win any video quality records as well since it features an average 720P Webcam. However, if it is the utmost portability that you are after, then this is certainly the best Chromebook for video conferencing in our opinion.
For school, casual entertainment and as a learning tool for kids, this is an excellent machine. It has also been reviewed to have among the best battery life among other Chromebooks.
Popular Apps for Video Conferencing
There are many video conferencing apps out there that you can install on your Chromebook just as you would using an Android phone.
While there are specialized video conferencing apps, Zoom, by far is the most popular one out there for an average person. Whether you want to have business meetings, or online classroom, Zoom is an app you will hear about quite often. And of course, it is free to use.
The other famous video conferencing apps are as follow:
- Google Hangout
- Microsoft Teams
Also Read: Best 2 in 1 Laptops for College
How to Install Zoom on Chromebooks?
Not all Chromebooks, at the moment, support Google Playstore. Meaning, you cant simply install apps on these just as you would install on an Android phone.
Therefore, in order to install Zoom (or other popular video conferencing app) you can install a Chrome Browser Web App through the Chrome Web Store.
The following video explains the process:
Do Chromebooks Have Google Play Store?
Many Chromebooks do support Android Apps downloading through Google Play store.
The support for Play Store for Chromebooks was launched in 2016. Google has a list of pre-2019 Chromebooks that do support Android Apps. You can view it here.
How to Choose the Right Chromebook for Video Conferencing?
You don’t need an overly powerful Chromebook for video conferencing.
Deciding on the Webcam Is the First Step
When choosing the right Chromebook for video conferencing, the first thing to consider is the quality of webcam that you are interested.
We covered this in the opening part of this article, but basically, you have to decide between an average and 720P camera or a high end 1080P camera.
The 1080P camera is generally found only on premium models such Google Pixel Go, Google Slate or on Samsung Galaxy XE930QCA.
Hence, deciding on the webcam that you need would inadvertently reflect your overall budget.
The next part is the hardware configuration and the size of the screen.
You need to remember that you cant measure the performance of a Chromebook the same way that you would of a laptop or a desktop based on Windows OS.
The hardware configuration on Chromebooks may seem weak on the first glance, but you have to know that Chromebooks are designed to use the Internet and online apps to their fullest extent instead of having a native powerful hardware.
The Chrome OS is also lighter and thus uses fewer CPU and RAM resources as compared to Windows.
Let us look at some the things that matter when choosing the right Chromebook for Video Conferencing.
A Comfortable Screen Size
After you have decided the webcam (and in a sense the budget category of your Chromebook), the next step is to decide on the screen size.
Chromebooks come in sizes ranging from 10.2″ all the way to 15.6 inch. In between you can find the most common sizes i.e 14″ and 13.3″.
The size of the screen relates to two things: portability and viewing comfort. If you want portability, you would naturally want to go for smaller screens.
On the other hand, if you want viewing comfort, you would want to go for larger screen. Larger screens are preferred by power users.
14″ and 13″ are two most popular sizes for Chromebooks since they are neither too bulky nor too small.
13″ Chromebooks are generally expensive since this is a screen size generally reserved for premium ultra thin models with powerful hardware. This is a phenomenon found not just on Chromebooks but also on average laptops.
Also Read: Best 2 in 1 Laptops for Work
2 – in – 1 / Touchscreen
Another aspect to take into consideration is whether you want to have a 2 – in – 1 or a convertible Chromebook.
Convertible Chromebooks, as the name suggest, turn into tablets and can also be used in the tent mode which is preferred by artists.
While, the convertible feature has little to do with video conferencing, some user may just find it a neat feature to have.
Core Hardware Configuration
Hardware configuration, as with all IT devices, is a hugely important consideration for Chromebooks.
However, for video conferencing alone you don’t need to worry much. The apps mentioned above can be worked on comfortably on entry level hardware.
As far as the general hardware configuration goes, Chromebooks have weaker hardware. It is not uncommon to find Chromebooks featuring entry level Celeron processors.
You can, however, find models that feature upto Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a huge internal storage, but for most users this is an overkill for a Chromebook.
Unless you are a professional, designer, editor etc, you can settle for Intel Pentium, Core M3 or Intel Core i3 processors easily and have a comfortable video chat, work and entertainment experience.
The three most common processors found in the budget range are as follows. This should give you an idea of what kind of performance to expect from the choice of your CPU.
Chromebooks are specialized devices built for work performed on the internet and since video conferencing is an online task, Chromebooks are perfect.
Whether you want to use the Zoom, Skype, Google Classroom app, Chromebooks are easy and an affordable device for video chats.
The best Chromebooks for video conferencing are generally those with the 1080P webcam. However, Chromebooks featuring this webcam are premium in nature and thus not feasible for students or kids.
Hence, 720p budget Chromebooks are what we recommend for most users. The choice depends upon what kind of hardware configuration and screen size you prefer.