A Chromebook is a laptop running the Linux-based Chrome OS as its operating system. The devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing in "the cloud". A Chromebook is an example of a thin client.

The first Chromebooks for sale, by Acer Inc. and Samsung, began shipping on June 15, 2011.[4] In addition to laptop models, a desktop version, called a Chromebox, was introduced in May 2012, and an "all-in-one" device was introduced in January 2014, by LG Electronics.

Chromebooks are primarily sold both directly from Google and from the company's retail partners. By 2012, schools had become the largest category of customer. That October, Google broadened its marketing strategy to include first-time computer users and households seeking an additional computer.