Every student needs the right device to help them with their homework, do their research, and give them access to the world’s most expansive libraries — especially now that everyone has turned to studying at home. But, in a market as oversaturated with goods for working professionals like the best laptops and desktop computers, it can be hard to find the right device for young learners on a budget.
That’s why we’re here to tell you that what you need aren’t any computer or laptop deals. What you’re looking for is a Chromebook. These Chromebook deals from Acer, HP, and Dell will augment any student’s learning by cutting distractions — and price tags — while providing all the educational essentials. Get yourself or your young ones ready for school when it’s back in season for as low as $219 on Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Dell.
The Acer Chromebook 15 isn’t just insanely affordable, it’s also packed with incredible features that would put some pricier Chromebooks to shame. Its 15.6-inch display ensures that you get full coverage over whatever is on-screen, maximizing your viewing potential. The standard 1,366 x 768 resolution isn’t flashy or as pixel perfect as Chromebooks or laptops with higher resolution, but it gets the job done problem-free. And though the Acer Chromebook 15 doesn’t have a Full HD screen, it’s still equipped with Acer’s ComfyView technology that wouldn’t otherwise be available for displays less than 1080p. This way, you get a matte finish that reduces glare to a minimum.
It’s powered by an Intel Atom processor with 4GB of RAM, which, as we’ve stated before, is more than good enough for tablets and other mobile devices. It’s not as powerful as Intel Core processors, but the Atom is designed for efficiency in mobile devices so you get minimal lag and get decent speeds. You can even work non-stop for a whole day because Acer’s Chromebook 15 has a massive 12-hour battery life, so you won’t need to have multiple charging breaks in between productivity sessions. The built-in Intel HD Graphics isn’t suitable for anything more than casual games and videos, so video editing and hardcore online gaming are out of the question. But, for students who don’t need to edit videos, this shouldn’t be much of a bother.
The 16GB eMMC storage might be a bit small, however, if you plan on using the Chromebook 15 for the long run. Thankfully, the Acer Chromebook 15 comes with two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader, so you can make use of an external storage upgrade. It also comes with an HDR webcam and upward-facing stereo speakers, so you won’t miss out on any video conferences or online lectures. With a weight of 4.41 pounds, you can comfortably take this Chromebook around without breaking your back — or your bank account. If you’re interested, you can check it out on Best Buy where it’s currently on sale for only $219.
HP Chromebook 14 — $230, was $280
For only an extra $11 more than the Acer Chromebook 15, the HP Chromebook 14 offers marginally better features and, arguably, a more stylish chassis. The screen is downsized to 14 inches, making it a more portable option without ruining picture quality with an excessively small display. Like the Acer, it also uses the industry-standard 1,366 x 768 resolution. The smaller display reduces pixelation and provides a clearer picture than it would have with larger screens, making it feel as though it were high definition. Additionally, it has a touchscreen display, so you can maximize efficiency by touching what you need instead of fidgeting with a track pad or mouse.
The AMD A4-9120C processor is its biggest downside due to its noticeable weakness in processing power and overall performance, even with 4GB of RAM, so jumps from tab to tab can become an annoyance after a while. But if you won’t be handling intensive tasks, and are mostly reading, browsing, or typing, then you shouldn’t feel a hit to your productivity. The battery life is only roughly nine and a half hours, which is nearly three hours less than the Acer Chromebook 15, but if you won’t be using it non-stop for each working day, then this should be more than enough runtime to get you through. The integrated AMD Radeon R4 graphics card isn’t the best either, but simple online games can run just fine. However, video editing is off the table.
In terms of storage, the HP Chromebook 14 doubles the Acer’s capacity with its 32GB eMMC, allowing you to hold twice the number of files and documents. This reduces the need for external storage devices for a good while, but you will likely still need one eventually. It doesn’t have any USB 3.0 ports though, only two USB 2.0 and USB 3.1/3.2 ports each. This means that while it drastically lags behind when it comes to Type-A ports, the Chromebook is totally future-proof. You also won’t be left out of online teleconferences with the built-in microphone, webcam, and speakers. It’s only slightly heavier than the Acer with a weight of around 4.6 pounds, so you can take it with you wherever you need it. You can check out the HP Chromebook 14 at B&H Photo where it’s on sale for $230, letting you save $50 from its retail price.
If both of the previous options were too bulky, or if you don’t need the extra size but still want all the power that comes with it, then the Dell Chromebook 3100 should definitely be at the top of your priority list. Unlike the Acer and HP, this one has a much smaller 11.6-inch display. This allows the 1,366 x 768 resolution screen to appear in better quality with lesser pixelation. The screen is on the small side though, so it’s not for those with weak eyesight. It’s also equipped with anti-glare technology that allows you to work in any light setting. The keyboard is also designed to withstand minor spills and tumbles, so clumsy hands while working at the dinner table or walking around are nothing to worry about.
The Dell Chromebook 3100 uses an Intel Celeron N4000 processor with 4GB of RAM, which would normally be considered weak on average laptops — but on Chromebooks, it’s more than competent enough. It doesn’t work at the same efficiency as a regular laptop, but it can definitely handle multitasking and moderate tab-hopping just fine. The insane 14-hour battery life also reduces charging times per day to one at most. This way, you can work for every hour you’re awake — school or no school — and still not need to charge. And while its Intel UHD Graphics 600 card isn’t the most astounding, it can handle undemanding games and video-watching without a hitch.
Like the HP Chromebook 14, this Dell Chromebook 3100 also uses a 32GB eMMC for its storage, so you can download and store as many files, books, and documents as you need. You’ll still need an additional storage upgrade in the future, but the included space is more than enough for casual educational use. For its ports, it uses two USB 3.1 and USB Type-C ports each on both sides for increased connectivity with multiple devices. Lastly, the Dell Chromebook 3100’s screen can be flipped and rotated as you’d like, letting you convert it to fit a variety of purposes. If you want a reliable Chromebook that’s kid-proof and future-proof, the Dell Chromebook 3100 is available on their site for $109 off its retail price, leaving it at an affordable $269.
HP Chromebook X360 11 G1 — $289, was $329
The HP Chromebook X360 11 G1 is the last on our list, but is definitely not the least. It’s the only Chromebook on our list to feature a clean white facade, which means it already starts off strong with bonus style points. Its 11.6-inch screen is optimal for bringing it around, both in the classroom and at home, as it’s neither too heavy — weighing in at 2.87 pounds — nor too attention-grabbing. As is typical for Chromebooks, it uses a 1,366 x 768 resolution touchscreen display. This lets you maximize efficiency without being overly dependent on a mouse or track pad. Where this shines most is with its 360-degree flipping technology that allows you to transform it into a tablet or even a tent, depending on how and what you need for every situation.
It’s powered by an Intel Celeron N3350 processor with 4GB of RAM that can handle basic multitasking with ease. The Dell’s Chromebook 3100 has the most powerful processor on our list, but the HP Chromebook X360 11 G1 is only two steps behind, making it a worthy competitor in terms of performance and output potential. In terms of battery life, it can last up to 12 hours. This snuffs out the need for constant charging and chaining yourself to a socket for half a day. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 500 isn’t spectacular by any means, but for video-watching and simple arcade games, it won’t disappoint. Just avoid attempting to edit videos or playing heavy online games.
Now, while it’s not as powerful as the Dell, this HP Chromebook blows it out of the water with its 64GB eMMC storage space. This not only lets you store all the files, documents, and books a student would ever need, but you won’t need an external storage upgrade for a long, long time. It comes with two USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports with one SD card reader, so you can connect to multiple devices without needing an adapter. As with every other Chromebook on our list, this one also comes with a built-in webcam, mic, and set of speakers, so you won’t miss any teleconferences or class lectures. If the HP Chromebook X360 11 G1 tickles your fancy, you can check it out on B&H Photo where it’s on sale for $289, letting you save $40.
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