Chromebooks have grown up over the past few years. They’re faster, better built, and more attractive than ever. That also means they’ve increased in price. Options like the HP Chromebook x2 or Lenovo Yoga Chromebook easily break the $500 mark, while the Pixelbook will push you closer to $1,000.
Fortunately, cheaper models are available too, though you’ll need to be careful not to buy something completely outdated. If you’re careful, you can pick up a Chromebook that covers your bases for just a few hundred dollars. The list below is a good place to start.
Lenovo is putting out some of the best Chromebooks on the market today, but its high-end offerings naturally don’t come cheap. For a super-affordable alternative to laptops like the Yoga, consider Lenovo’s Chromebook S330. This 14-inch computer runs on a quad-core CPU and 4GB of RAM – snappy enough for work tasks like web browsing and word processing. It also comes with 32GB of flash storage for files and apps. Since Chrome OS is largely cloud-based, you don’t need too much space to handle your basic needs.
It may not replace your full-featured Windows, Mac, or Chrome OS laptops, but for this much money, it’s hard to find this much laptop.
Hybrid laptops are a big thing now, and the Chromebook market has also seen its fair share of these handy 2-in-1 convertible computers. Lenovo’s Chromebook C330 is one of the most affordable 2-in-1 laptops out there. It’s got solid enough specs for the price, too, with a 2.1 GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a boosted 64GB of flash storage.
The 360-degree hinge on the 11.6-inch HD touch display works so that you can fold it completely flat, letting you use this compact Chrome OS laptop as a tablet when you need to – or you can just use the keyboard as a built-in stand for enjoying some entertainment on the go. A nice discount from Newegg knocks the Lenovo Chromebook C330 down to a super-affordable $280.
Compact laptops are handy for travel, but for hours of regular use and work, a full-sized computer like Acer’s excellent Chromebook 15 might be a better option. This Chrome OS laptop features a quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 CPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and 32GB of storage for handling basic tasks. But the highlight of this model is its 15.6-inch HD touch display, which gives you a lot more screen real estate to work with.
It’s still fairly sleek and lightweight, though, and its internal battery provides up to 12 hours of juice, giving you more than enough for a day’s worth of work and entertainment.
Although our roundup contains a number of cheap Chromebooks in the sub-$400 range, we’ve included some upgrade picks for those interested in something with more juice. Samsung’s Chromebook Pro is one of our favorites owing to its compact yet sturdy build, great 2-in-1 hybrid design, vibrant 12.3-inch touch display boasting an HD resolution of 2,400 x 1,600, and snappy performance with wide support for Chrome OS apps.
The Samsung Chromebook Pro isn’t quite as affordable as the other cheap Chromebooks on our list, but at $495 from Amazon after a $55 savings, it’s still well within the “budget laptop” price bracket and is one of the best Chrome OS laptops you can buy.
If you’re looking for a Chromebook with a little extra horsepower but don’t want to go all in with something like a Google Pixel Slate, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is a pretty good alternative. With an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 has many similar specs to the Google Pixelbook. As a convertible 2-in-1, it comes with a 10-point multi-touchscreen so you can use it on the go or at work. It also boasts a solid 10-hour battery life, so you won’t need to hang out near an outlet during continued use.
This Acer Chromebook is a little bit more on the expensive side, but with some impressive features, you get what you pay for. Previously priced at $900, you can pick it up for just $750 from Amazon.
Given that Google pioneered the Chrome operating system, it’s only fitting that the company’s own Chromebook is one of the best that money can buy, and we’ve saved the best for last. The Google Pixelbook has the look and feel of a high-end Chrome OS laptop with a super-slim and attractive design, great build quality, a beautiful high-resolution touch display, and fast performance under daily workloads. It’s the most high-end laptop you can buy.
The touchscreen can fold flat for tablet-like use (or can stand up in tent mode if you just want to watch some entertainment), and the Pixelbook has better specs than most Chromebooks with its 7th-gen i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. All of these features would normally run you $999, but it’s on sale now for a nice cut on Amazon.
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