Most of us have probably adopted a work from home setup and while our kids can’t go to school as well, they’d also need their own set of gadgets to continue learning at home. The ultimate perk laptops have over desktop computers is that it’s geared with all the necessary features for productivity in a portable and compact package. And now that almost everything is available online, Chromebooks have become cheap and easy alternatives to costly laptops. Best Buy and Walmart’s deals on the Acer Chromebook 14, HP x360, and Samsung 4+ Chromebooks makes it all the more affordable with up to $100 in discounts.
Acer’s Chromebook 14 is stunningly sleek that you might just mistake it for the more premium MacBook Air at a glance. Its top-notch build quality certainly nailed the tapered design, the all-metal chassis, and Apple’s distinctive hinge for a fraction of the cost. Rest assured, you’d be able to open your laptop with minimal flexing and almost no creaking to a full 180 degrees. Its brushed metal surface means that you wouldn’t have to worry about it being much of a smudge magnet so it looks smart and professional instead of a budget find.
It has a 14-inch IPS display that flaunts a screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 for a comfortable viewing experience. The only drawback about its matte finish is that its brightness may be overpowered by direct sunlight but it does do a good job at reducing reflections. Its high contrast display makes colors pop but there are instances wherein darker areas of images don’t match up in detail. Acer’s Chromebook 14 comes with a full-sized keyboard and a wide enough trackpad that is acceptable responsive for typing and switching windows. It has two stereo speakers that do get loud for casual listening but you’d want headphones or speakers to actually blast good tunes.
Running in its circuitry is Intel’s Atom x5-E8000 Quad-Core Processor. It’s not exactly a multitasker but you can expect things to fire up quick and smooth when you’re streaming, browsing, typing or for basic photo/video editing. With 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and no SD card slot, you can prevent it from lagging by limiting the number of apps you have in the background. Being a Chromebook and all, it is powered by Google’s Chrome OS that is mostly dependent on the internet to function. The great thing about your work being saved on the web is that you’ll always be able to access your files from any computer. Plus, you’ll simply be able to grab your favorite apps for entertainment or productivity from Google Play store.
While it is short of being a powerhouse, power users won’t be disappointed with a battery life that can stretch to eight hours. Parents can have peace of mind with the option to set digital ground rules and lock devices with Family Link. Score the Acer Chromebook 14 at only $199 instead of $299 from Walmart today.
The HP x360 is a 2-in-1 Chromebook that works as both a tablet and a laptop. If you find the Acer Chromebook 14’s 180-degree tilt to be too close or limiting, then you’ll be thrilled that HP’s x360 as the moniker suggests can be rotated up to 360 degrees. This gives you more flexibility in terms of usage and placement whether as a laptop, a touchscreen tablet, or at tent mode for interactive presentations. While its matte white ceramic finish upscales its look, the fact that it’s white makes it a bit high-maintenance as it’ll call for more frequent cleaning.
HP’s x360 Chromebook has a 14-inch energy-efficient WLED display that is bright and crisp with vivid colors and support for full HD resolution. It is simply great for viewing multimedia content, gaming, or kindle reading. And the chiclet keyboard is a joy to use, you get to experience a good amount of travel and its backlit too. Its spacious trackpad won’t disappoint either which makes it easy to perform gestures on Chrome OS.
A zippy performance is ensured with Intel’s Pentium Silver processor N5000 that is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage and it that doesn’t prove to be enough, you’ll be thankful for the provision of a MicroSD slot. You can also opt to upload your files on to your Google Drive account to sync your devices and so you can work offline. Apps are made available in Google’s Play store and viruses are out of its radar with multiple layers of protection against malware. It also has ports for a full-sized USB, headphone/mic jack, and chargeable through either of its USB-C inputs. Usually listing for $419, Best Buy gives you a better price at just $339.
Samsung’s 4+ Chromebook is ultrathin at 0.6 inches and ultralight at 3.75 pounds with impressive color and clarity on a 15.6-inch Full HD display of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Blacks may not appear as deep and you’d probably hope for it to get brighter but it’s no less of a decent screen at this value. It also takes after the MacBook with curved edges, silver plating, but on a plastic casing. This investment will most probably last you a while since Samsung claims the Chromebook 4+ passed multiple MIL-STD 810G durability tests (including transit drop, vibration, high temperatures and freezing, humidity, blasts of dust and low pressure)
As with all Chromebooks, Samsung’s 4+ keeps you in store for thousands of apps, built-in virus protection, and cloud backups with Chrome OS which is now infinitely better than it used to be. People accustomed to using Windows and OS X would find this interface quite similar. Unfortunately, there are still a limited number of offline apps that you can download from the Chrome Web Store. Fast connectivity is then facilitated by Intel’s Celeron Processor N4000. And with Intel’s UHD Graphics 600, this Samsung Chromebook not only tackles everyday computing tasks but also equipped for research, photo editing, and casual gaming. It has 4GB of RAM to launch quite a few apps simultaneously, and 32GB of internal storage that is expandable via MicroSD card to support your growing collection of media. Not having a lot of ports isn’t really a drawback when everything is accessible online but if you want a physical backup, it does have inputs for USB.
The Samsung Chromebook 4+ is inexpensive but powerful and its ability to last roughly ten hours on a single charge makes it an excellent bet for those who want to stay unhooked as much as possible. Now is your chance to get it along with Best Buy’s $50 discount that plummets its $299 list price to a more feasible $249.
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