Memorial Day sales have arrived earlier than expected for the Acer Chromebook 15, Asus Chromebook A202, Dell Chromebook 3100, and HP Chromebook 14A G5, which are on sale from as little as $236 today. Best act fast, though: Chromebook deals don’t tend to sit around.
— $236, was $269
The Asus Chromebook C202 is an education-focused Chromebook that boasts a sturdy build construction, comfortable keyboard, and very good battery life. Best of all, mommy and daddy won’t go broke purchasing it as it’s one of the most affordable kiddie Chromebooks we’ve ever encountered. Right now, you can get the Chromebook C202 at Amazon for the incredibly low price of $236 instead of $269 — a cool $33 off.
Asus claims that the Chromebook C202 is built to withstand the rigors of educational use. Featuring a rubber bumper that wraps around the entire notebook with reinforced corners for extra protection, the C202 also brings with it a spill-resistant keyboard, a scratch-resistant finish, and a shock-proof solid-state drive. It’s even been exposed to military-grade reliability tests. Asus clearly designed this laptop with the most demonic fourth-graders in mind.
Since this notebook is geared toward grade school students looking to do the bulk of their work online, it doesn’t necessarily need that much power. Its Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 4GB of onboard memory isn’t the most impressive CPU combination, but it doesn’t have to be. Further, its 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 screen isn’t the sharpest, but it’s as crisp as you can expect from a Chromebook at this resolution. Its keyboard, however, is one of the best we’ve ever seen on a budget Chromebook. The keys have 2.1 millimeters of travel and require 60 grams of force to press, resulting in an extremely comfortable typing experience. Your kids will never complain that their fingers hurt after hours of typing their book reports. Finally, this Chromebook was able to last an impressive 8 hours and 23 minutes in our strenuous web-browsing test.
The Asus Chromebook C202 is a rugged portable PC that’s ideal for kids who are prone to roughhousing. Get it for just $236 on Amazon today. What’s more, you can score an additional $50 off instantly upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, bringing the price further down to $186.
— $269, was $377
Just like the Asus Chromebook C202, the Dell Chromebook 3100 is designed for education. It is virtually indestructible which makes it perfect for the most accident-prone of students and features a 360-degree hinge display so they can easily share their schoolwork (hopefully not to cheat). However, its screen is small and low-resolution, and its similarly low-end components can only tackle basic document editing and web surfing. Right now, the Chromebook 3100 is available on Dell’s official website for just $269 instead of $377 — a huge $108 off.
For starters, the Chromebook 3100 isn’t the prettiest machine out there. Its giant 2cm bezels are practically prehistoric, with plastic chiclet keys and a bulky chassis with rubberized edges. The material serves a purpose though, as it’s shock-absorbent and has been tested to survive 5,000 micro-drops and 30-inch drops onto steel. It will certainly withstand classroom wear and tear. Even its 360-degree hinge, while far from pretty, has a solid locking mechanism that almost doesn’t flex. Furth, its keyboard is splash-resistant so it’ll survive the accidental spilling of milk or juice.
Despite its incredible ruggedness, this Chromebook is decidedly a very basic machine. It is powered by an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU with 4GB of LPDDR4 memory and 34GB of eMMC storage. This system is as light as it gets, just enough to run Chrome OS and to do things like web browsing and document editing. Even running the web-based photo editing program Pixlr can cause serious stuttering. While on the small side, its 11-inch (1,366 x 768) screen has a max brightness of 274 nits which is plenty bright and can easily tackle direct sunlight. Unfortunately, its keyboard seems rather flimsy and cheap, offering poor travel and an unpleasantly squishy actuation point. At least this Chromebook was able to ace our web-browsing test, lasting a very good eight hours.
The Dell Chromebook 3100 may not be that powerful, but if you have kids and need a device that’s built like a tank, this is what you should get. Purchase it at Dell today for just $269.
— $308, was $400
It’s easy to excuse the Acer Chromebook 15’s aversion to the current design trend of Chromebooks to be 2-in-1 devices. This is thanks to its excellent build quality which surprisingly rivals a MacBook despite coming in at a fraction of the cost. Although it’s made entirely of plastic, it’s built like a brick with minimal flexing when pressure is applied to it. At 14.9-inches wide, 10.1 inches from front to back, and 0.75-inches high, it’s one of the largest Chromebooks we’ve come across. Its hinge turns a full 180 degrees, allowing it to lie completely flat so you can share the screen with anyone. Its bezels are reasonably sized and it’s painted almost entirely in a gorgeous silver finish except for the keyboard.
This Chromebook’s 15-inch IPS display has a pixel resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. Quite honestly, colors look a little washed out on it. And since it’s a large screen, the pixel count isn’t that high so images don’t appear sharp. Still, it’s a good big screen for productivity tasks. Thankfully, the same cannot be said about the front-firing speakers. Audio doesn’t sound metallic and muffled, which is typically the case with laptops with speakers beneath the keyboard. However, basses can get a little distorted especially when the volume is at its loudest, but color us impressed considering the Chromebook 15’s low price. Acer also decided to rip out the number pad, resulting in a nicely spaced keyboard that’s very comfortable to use. The touchpad is large and responsive, capable of moving the cursor at the lightest touch.
Underneath the hood, the Chromebook 15 is powered by Intel’s Celeron Core N3060 processor. It’s not meant to be a powerhouse, but it does run things smoothly while only eating six watts of power. It feels zippy when loading applications, streaming videos, and browsing the internet. Just don’t open too many tabs at once. Unfortunately, the Intel HD Graphics 400 card isn’t powerful enough to handle high-resolution gaming. You’d have to lower the graphics to its moderate setting in order to play them smoothly. Finally, battery life is good and was able to last an impressive 12 hours during our video loop test. This can be attributed to Intel’s power-sipping processor and, of course, the extremely lightweight Chrome operating system.
The Acer Chromebook 15 normally retails for $400, but with Amazon’s huge $92 discount, you can get it for $308. And if you pay via the Amazon Rewards Visa Card and get approval, you’re entitled to an additional $50 off instantly, bringing the price even lower to $258.
HP Chromebook 14A G5 — $385, was $482
The HP Chromebook 14A G5 is a good all-rounder that boasts a sharp 14-inch display, comfortable keyboard, and reasonably attractive chassis. Most importantly, it’s quite inexpensive, currently worth $385 instead of the usual $482 at HP’s official website. What’s keeping it from being the budget Chromebook to beat its below-average performance, but it’s hard to fault considering the price.
This Chromebook flaunts a sleek and clean design that stands out in the crowd. Its lid has a textured finish with the glossy HP logo sitting proudly in the center. Although it’s made almost entirely of plastic, we’re pretty confident with its build quality and it’ll surely survive a drop or two.
Its 1080p display honestly deserves applause as it can be considered a luxury for the price point. While it’s certainly not the brightest nor the most vibrant display out there, it’s better than those outdated 1,366 x 768 panels. Watching movies and TV shows on this would be an utter delight. We also have no major complaints about its keyboard, despite the lack of backlighting. The chiclet-style keys are snappy and offer a comfortable typing experience. Its touchpad is also quite impressive, capable of responding accurately to multi-finger gestures.
While other similarly priced Chromebooks offer better performance, the HP Chromebook 14A G5 is good if all you’re going to use it for is the most basic of tasks. Its AMD A4-9120C accelerated processor and 4GB of RAM has enough power for simple day-to-day work, but we definitely dissuade you from running any demanding apps on this budget machine. Finally, this Chromebook has the stamina to last an entire workday, as it managed a very good nine hours during our continuous web surfing test.
If you need a budget-friendly laptop for doing simple tasks like browsing the internet, sending emails or watching YouTube videos, then the HP Chromebook 14A G5 is a solid option. Get it for $385 at HP today.
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