Best Chromebook with Stylus for Artists in 2021

As I was preparing my last article – Best Laptops for Drawing in 2021 – it became very clear to me that I would have to write another article right away, this time exclusively about Chromebook computers, not just to help artists find the best Chromebook for drawing and painting, but also to keep people from getting the worst ones.

💡 Please note: This article may include affiliate links. When you buy through those links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Table of Contents

Because, as much as I never want to say anything negative about other articles and sites out there, it became painfully clear to me as I was doing research that the vast majority of computers that are being recommended as the best Chromebook for artists, the best Chromebook for art students, the best Chromebook for painting or the best Chromebook for drawing, simply would not work for those things, or those people, at all.

I’m not sure why the authors of those articles and buyer’s guides ever thought the Chromebooks they were recommending would work for an artist, but I can tell you that of the dozens of different models touted as perfect choices for artists, literally only one or two would actually be appropriate. And the reason comes down to just three letters – USI.

What is USI, and Why Does It Matter to an Artist?

USI stands for Universal Stylus Initiative, and is a standard which has been put into place to ensure that different brands and types of pens meant to be used on touchscreens work universally, and that they offer a basic level of performance and functionality – including 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition.

This is still a very new standard, but seems already well established, and it looks like all computer and pen manufacturers will eventually conform to the USI specifications. But for now only a very small number of pens do, and only a very small number of Chromebooks are compatible with USI pens.

Is a Chromebook with Chrome OS a Good Computer for an Artist?

Most Chromebook computers at this point – and really I mean most – without having USI standards, offer at best very crude, limited drawing and painting capabilities. You may have the best art programs, a bright, high resolution screen and all that, and still not be able to create art at any kind of reasonably high level.

However, right now there are a few incredible choices for artists, Chromebooks with styluses which offer full control and sensitivity and are perfect creative tools for any commercial artists, fine artist, art student or beginner. The Chromebook laptops I have included in this list of best Chromebooks for Artists either will include a great active stylus or are fully USI compatible, and either way they all will allow for complete expressive control and freedom, and will help you produce beautiful art.

And it’s not just a great pen which makes a Chromebook the perfect choice for so many artists. Chromebook computers now run almost all Android software, like the apps available at the Google Chrome store, and so you have access to some very nice art programs, such as:

  • Autodesk Sketchbook
  • Ibis Paint
  • CorelDraw
  • Adobe Illustrator Draw
  • Adobe Photoshop Sketch
  • Artflow

The best Chromebooks for artists also have really nice displays, high resolution and display size, accurate colors with great saturation, brightness and contrast. 

And while you will probably be more than happy to work on the touchscreen, you will also find that the leading art tablet manufacturers – like Wacom, XP Pen and Huion – are making sure their new art tablets are fully compatible with Chromebooks and the Chrome OS. 

And let’s not forget what makes a Chromebook so special in the first place – they are inexpensive, light and portable, and really easy to use.

How Can You Find the Best Chromebook with Stylus for You?

Again, all of the computers I am including in this buyer’s guide for the best Chromebooks for artists will either have full USI compatibility, or they will include a great, fully active and controllable stylus designed for artists and artwork.

They will also have extremely attractive and usable touchscreens, with the levels of resolution, color accuracy, brightness and contrast an artist needs. 

All of these Chromebook are also 2 in 1 laptops, meaning that you can fold the keyboard away and use them as tablets, creating art with the pen directly on the screen.

In every way, then, any of these beautiful computers on my list of best Chromebooks for artists in 2021 would be a great choice, a complete, high level portable art studio and a brilliant artist’s tool

So if you know how much you want to spend, you can read my brief review of the models in that range and buy with confidence, knowing you will be getting one of the latest and greatest computers on the market, and a Chromebook which will be perfect for you as an artist.

Overview: The Best Chromebooks for Artists in 2021

  1. Acer Chromebook Spin 13
  2. Acer Chromebook Spin 13

    2-in-1 Convertible, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 13.5" 2K Resolution Touchscreen, 8GB LPDDR3, 128GB eMMC, Backlit Keyboard, Aluminum Chassis


    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Amazon UK
  3. HP Chromebook X360 12-Inch
  4. HP Chromebook X360 12-Inch

    HD+ Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4. GB SDRAM, 32 GB eMMC, Chrome


    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Amazon UK
  5. HP Chromebook x360 14-inch
  6. HP Chromebook x360 14-inch

    HD Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, ChromeOS


    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Amazon UK
  7. Acer Chromebook Spin 11 Convertible Laptop
  8. Acer Chromebook Spin 11 Convertible Laptop

    Intel Celeron N3350, 11.6" HD Touch Display, 4GB DDR4, 32GB eMMC, 802.11ac WiFi, Wacom EMR Pen, Sleeve


    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Amazon UK
  9. Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1"
  10. Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1

    WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Display, MediaTek Helio P60T, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB eMCP SSD, Integrated ARM G72 MP3 Graphics, Chrome OS


    Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Amazon UK

Google Pixelbook 2-in-1 Chromebook with 12.3 Inch Touchscreen Display

Best Chromebook for Artists
Google Pixelbook

i7, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB


Probably the most expensive Chromebook with Chrome OS on the market today, the Google Pixelbook is also widely regarded as the finest Chromebook available, and one of the best computers of any kind. It is certainly the very best Chromebook for artists in 2021.

Unlike other Chromebooks, the Pixelbook has lots and lots of onboard memory – both RAM and SSD storage, so you can work on and store even the biggest, most complex and highest quality artwork right on your machine. 

And the screen is a thing of beauty, with such incredible resolution, brightness and contrast that it will support absolutely any level of art, showing your work and results fully and with real impact.

The screen to pen interface is natural, predictable and flowing, and allows for high precision and full expressive control. (Note that you need to purchase the Google Pixelbook Pen separately.) The machine itself feels like a truly premium product, light and slim but with solid, durable construction and a beautiful fit and finish.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Google Pixelbook is the finest Chromebook for artists in 2021, a superb product in every way and one that will support any commercial or fine artist on any level for many years.

Features of Google Pixelbook 2-in-1 Chromebook with 12.3 Inch Touchscreen Display​

  • Type: Convertible 2-in-1 Chromebook
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • Intel HD Graphics 615 (Graphics Processing Unit)
  • 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB SSD
  • 2400 x 1600 Pixels Resolution
  • Display Size: 12.3 Inch Touchscreen
  • Requires Google Pixelbook Pen

Acer Spin 13 2-in-1 Chromebook with 13.5 Inch Touchscreen Display

Great value
Acer Chromebook Spin 13

2-in-1 Convertible, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 13.5" 2K Resolution Touchscreen, 8GB LPDDR3, 128GB eMMC, Backlit Keyboard, Aluminum Chassis


Another truly premium Chromebook, like the Google Pixelbook just above, the Acer Spin 13 comes in at more than 400 dollars less and still offers the highest levels of performance, material quality, fit and finish, design and creative interaction – not to mention a drop-dead gorgeous display screen.

The Acer Spin 13 is also, like the Google Pixelbook, one of the most beloved of all computers among end users, and enjoys incredibly positive reviews and high ratings among its fiercely loyal customer base.

Coming with a fantastic Wacom digital stylus, the Acer Spin offers real creative control in its pen-to-screen interface and creative process, and the quality of the display allows you to do anything and everything with accuracy, subtlety and confidence. 

This is also a perfect computer for displaying finished artwork, and would thus be an ideal portable studio and also the perfect electronic portfolio – the perfectly executed convertible design allows for full tablet-like productivity and stand-up display mode as well as normal laptop functionality.

Still expensive, the Acer Spin 13 is nonetheless my clear recommendation for best value in a high-end Chromebook with stylus, and is a serious contender for the best of the best for any artist.

Features of Acer Spin 13 2-in-1 Chromebook with 13.5 Inch Touchscreen Display

  • Type: Convertible 2-in-1 Chromebook
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620 (Graphics Processing Unit)
  • 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB SSD
  • 2256 x 1504 Pixels Resolution
  • 13.5 Inch Touchscreen

HP x360 12b 2-in-1 Chromebook with 12-inch HD Touchscreen Display

Great value
HP Chromebook X360 12-Inch

HD+ Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4. GB SDRAM, 32 GB eMMC, Chrome


HP x360 14b 2-in-1 Chromebook with 14-inch HD Touchscreen Display

Great value
HP Chromebook x360 14-inch

HD Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, ChromeOS


Best for Chromebook
Penoval USI Stylus Pen for Chromebook

With 4096 Levels Pressure for Lenovo chromebook Duet, ASUS chromebook C436, HP chromebook X360 12b, HP chromebook X360 14b,Including AAAA Battery & Spare Tip


With the HP Chromebook x360 models we are getting into slightly more familiar territory, with the lower price and a very high performance/cost ratio we’ve come to expect from the best Chromebooks for artists. Both of these HP Chromebooks are still medium-priced models, but far less expensive than you might expect to pay for this level of machine.

And both are superb artist tools, with brilliant display touchscreens that work flawlessly with a USI stylus, and offer both great creative control and expression and a clear and impactful view of what you are doing. Even the most detailed and critical work is possible on either of these x360 screens, and in fact the pen-to-screen interface and the quality and accuracy of the displays make such work easier than you could possibly imagine.

The HP x360 Chromebooks do not include a stylus, but they are both fully USI compatible, meaning you can get a good USI stylus and enjoy a full 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition and an excellent overall experience. I would strongly recommend the Penoval USI Stylus.

While either of the HP x360 Chromebook 2-in-1 computers can be recommended as the best mid-priced Chromebook for an artist in 2021, it really comes down to size — the HP Chromebook x360 12b has a 12 inch screen, while the HP Chromebook x360 14b has a 14 inch screen. It may seem like a no-brainer, since the 14b is only 20 dollars more, but in fact many artists prefer to have a smaller screen for portability, and both are big enough to work nicely on.

So, again, either one of these x360 Chromebooks would make a great choice, and have the same features, specifications and overall performance. With their ingenious convertible design, allowing full tablet mode as well as display and laptop configurations, their bright and sharp screen, their high-level pen interaction and USI compatibility, both of the HP x360 Chromebook 2-in-1 Chromebooks are an easy recommendation for one of the best Chromebooks for artists in 2021.

Features of HP x360 12b & 14b 2-in-1 Chromebook with 12 & 14-inch HD Touchscreen Display

  • Type: Convertible 2-in-1 Chromebook
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4000 CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • Intel Integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
  • 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB SSD
  • 1366 x 768 Pixels Resolution
  • Display Size: 12 Inch (12b) or 14 Inch (14b) Touchscreen

Acer Spin 11 Convertible Chromebook Laptop with 11.6 Inch HD Touchscreen Display

Small and Powerful
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 Convertible Laptop

Intel Celeron N3350, 11.6" HD Touch Display, 4GB DDR4, 32GB eMMC, 802.11ac WiFi, Wacom EMR Pen, Sleeve


A nice, small convertible laptop, the Acer Spin 11 Chromebook allows the keyboard to be folded away so that you can use it as a tablet, creating art directly on the screen with the included pen, as well as using this nifty little computer as a regular laptop or in display (“tent”) mode for displaying your artwork or playing movies and videos.

While this is still a somewhat new and interesting design, and certainly incredibly useful, it isn’t really surprising – this is, after all, what convertible laptops do, and every recommendation on our list of best Chromebooks for artists does the same. What is surprising, though, is that the inexpensive Acer Spin 11 Chromebook is somewhat of a premium machine, with great material quality and a solid look and feel, a faster processor and an absolutely brilliant screen. Surprising too is that the Spin 11 comes with a top-level artist stylus – the Wacom Pen – included!

The Acer Spin 11 is a remarkably useful and well designed computer, with a transparent and intuitive interface, and it’s easy to get into a real undistracted creative space. The pen-to-screen interaction is great, predictable and controllable and with nice flow, and the whole thing seems to be designed with artist and artwork in mind

Yes, It is possible to find slightly better specifications for the money, but not to find a computer offering a better creative experience, or one that feels so solid and durable and inspires so much carefree confidence when you throw it into your knapsack.

Chromebooks are getting better and better, and the newest models even run almost all of the Android apps for even higher levels of utility, but they have always been known as great values and great, inexpensive computers. The Acer Spin 11 Chromebook is an amazing example of this, one of the best budget laptops of any type for drawing, and the best value in a 2-in-1 Chromebook with a stylus for artists in 2021.

Features of Acer Spin 11 Convertible Chromebook Laptop with 11.6 Inch HD Touchscreen Display

  • Type: Convertible 2-in-1 Chromebook
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Processor: Intel CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • Intel HD Graphics 500 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
  • 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB SSD
  • 1366 x 768 Pixels Resolution
  • 11.6 Inch Touchscreen

Lenovo Duet 2 in 1 Convertible Chromebook with 10.1 Inch HD Touchscreen

Small and Powerful
Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1"

WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Display, MediaTek Helio P60T, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB eMCP SSD, Integrated ARM G72 MP3 Graphics, Chrome OS


Best for Chromebook
Penoval USI Stylus Pen for Chromebook

With 4096 Levels Pressure for Lenovo chromebook Duet, ASUS chromebook C436, HP chromebook X360 12b, HP chromebook X360 14b,Including AAAA Battery & Spare Tip


With the Lenovo Duet 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook we’re coming to what Chromebooks are really all about, and why they are so popular and enjoy such a buzz right now. Chromebooks are – and the Duet is perhaps the best example of this – a whole lot of computer for a very low price.

The 10.1 inch touchscreen features crisp and saturated high definition graphics that look great, and displays colors with excellent contrast, brightness and fidelity, making drawing and painting a real joy. The surface of the screen feels great with a pen, with good feedback and control, a natural feel and flow. 

The Lenovo Duet doesn’t come with a stylus, but it is fully USI compatible, and I would recommend the Penoval USI Stylus, which has great control and feels good in the hand.

Chromebook specifications are not really directly comparable to the numbers for Windows machines. They are cloud-based computers and so don’t have nearly as much on-board storage, and their RAM memory is generally lower too, to work perfectly with Chrome OS and Android software. 

And so it is with the Lenovo Flex 3, which runs fast and reliably, starts and saves quickly, and never causes any problems like delays or lags when you’re working. I had, in fact, a really nice and very focused creative experience with the Flex 3, which allowed me to get lost in my work without distractions, and this is, to me, about the most important thing in any artist’s tool.

Solid feeling, nicely designed, with a beautiful screen and a great stylus feeling, light and easy to take with, the Lenovo Duet is an ideal budget Chromebook for any artist, designer or art student. 

If you can’t afford more, don’t feel like you are going to have to compromise – the Lenovo Duet 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook will do everything you need and is a delight to use – top recommendation as the best inexpensive Chromebook with stylus for an artist in 2021!

Features of Lenovo Duet 2-in-1 Convertible Chromebook

  • Type: Convertible 2 in 1 Chromebook
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • MediaTek Helio P60T CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • ARM G72 MP3 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
  • 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB SSD
  • 1920 x 1280 Pixels Resolution
  • 10.1 Inch Touchscreen

Final Thoughts: Is a Chromebook With a Stylus a Good Choice for an Artist?

Featured
Online classes for creatives and hobbyists

Improve your art skills and learn how to make money as an artist with my easy-to-follow online classes such as Making Money as an Artist, Color & Light, Color Palettes, Perspective & Composition, Instagram, and more!

GET THEM HERE Buy Now on Amazon UK

If you had asked me a few years ago – back when Chromebooks with Chrome OS were still new and the platform relatively unsettled – if a Chromebook was good for drawing, painting or other creative work, I would have said no, it’s better to stick with something already established and proven like Windows or, of course, Apple OS. 

Even a couple of years ago, before the USI protocol was established, I would still have said no, because the machines just can’t offer a good, high quality creative experience, and will severely limit your expressive range and technique.

But now, there are several factors coming into play, including:

  • USI (universal stylus initiative)
  • Increased compatibility with plug-in artist tablets
  • Compatibility with Android software
  • Google’s push to make professional art software (Adobe, Corel, etc) available to Chrome OS

All of this, in addition to the already established niceties of the Chromebook world, like price-to-performance ratio, ease of use, built-in malware and fuss-free updates, light weight and overall cool and useful design, really changes things, and I can highly recommend the any of the above Chromebook computers to any artist – especially, perhaps, beginners and art students, who might have budget concerns, but when we look at top-tier Chromebook like the Pixelbook, it is clear that any artist, on any level, can use a Chromebook for anything and everything they might need or want to do.

Thanks so much for reading my latest article – The Best Chromebooks for Artists: A Detailed Guide to the Best Chromebooks for Drawing – and I encourage you to visit my blog – Art Side of Life – for other buyer’s guides, online courses, articles and lots of other resources.

More Reviews and Guides: