Chromebooks are laptops that focus on the online experience. The operating system revolves around Google’s Chrome suite, which makes them more portable and more battery-efficient as compared to Windows and Mac laptops.
Perhaps the main draw in getting a Chromebook is its affordability. Today, almost all laptop manufacturers have their own version of this efficient machine, but remember that not all of them are equal. Here’s a list of the best budget Chromebook that address a wide variety of needs:
|Acer Chromebook 14
|Samsung Chromebook 3
|ASUS Chromebook C202
|HP Chromebook 14
|ASUS Chromebook C302
|Acer Chromebook R11
|Dell Chromebook 11
1. Acer Chromebook 14
Acer holds the distinction of having one of the largest Chromebooks around. The Acer Flagship Chromebook comes with a 90-day warranty and is offered as a brand new or refurbished machine for those on a very limited budget.
The CB3-532 contains the standard N3060 Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 16 GB of SSD, which makes booting up extra fast. Chrome OS loads up and is ready to go in just a mere 7 seconds!
The display deserves special mention here. You get a crisp, 14.3-inch screen that runs at an eye-pleasing 1366 x 768 resolution with anti-glare and ComfyView technology. There’s 2 upward facing stereo speakers that belt out the sound and an HD webcam for online chats and video conferences.
The extra plastic covering on the screen may make this Acer Chromebook look cheap, but it delivers awesome value for its price. Overall design leaves something to be desired, but if you want a Chromebook that has long battery life and an impressive display, then the Acer Chromebook 14 is for you.
- 15 hours of battery life
- Decent performance
- 15.6 inch HD screen
- Good value for money
- Key travel may be a bit short
- Uninspired design
2. Samsung Chromebook 3
Samsung has built a Chromebook on the cheap and manages to sell it for under $200. This budget laptop works best as a portable machine for occasional browsing on the web and on social media.
For a basic Chromebook, you shouldn’t expect bells and whistles. The Chromebook 3 does a good job in delivering reasonable performance, mainly due to its generous 4 GB of RAM, 16 GB of SSD storage and an N3060 Intel Celeron processor. It can be updated to the latest version of Chrome OS so you get full Play Store access and its millions of apps.
Screen size is at 11.6 inches with 1366 x 768 resolution. Samsung has thrown in neat features such as Imaging Enhancer and Anti-Reflective technology for comfortable viewing. The front camera is decent enough for Skype and video calls. The keyboard is tough and can take a beating.
Battery life is rated at 11 hours with moderate use, which should last you the whole day. The screen is made up of plastic and affects the feel of the machine, but overall the shell is quite sturdy and will likely survive the usual bumps and spills. You get netbook functionality without breaking the bank.
- Thin and relatively lightweight
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- The screen is accurate and bright
- 11 hours of battery life
- Lack of ventilation makes it warm
- Muddy audio
3. ASUS Chromebook C202
The Chromebook C202 is for students and teachers who won’t dare use something more expensive in a classroom setting. ASUS has built the C202 with a rugged, durable shell that can take the daily rigors of an active life.
Don’t expect lavish trappings and features such as touchscreen displays or dedicated graphics. In terms of performance and toughness though, the C202 is admirable and works as promised. There are 2 strategic grips installed on the lid and the other side to provide a secure hold as you move from one place to another. Moreover, the rubberized frame and exterior edges are all coated with nano-molding technology to absorb bumps, shocks and untimely drops and accidents.
As for the innards, the ASUS Chromebook is an 11.6-inch wonder with an N3060 Intel Celeron processor, 16 GB of fast SSD storage and 4 GB of usable RAM. You can update the Chrome OS and unlock Play Store app download capabilities for making the most out of the device. Battery life isn’t a problem as the C202 can be used for 10 hours straight before needing a charge.
Typists and those who work with words will be pleasantly surprised at how much attention ASUS has given on the keyboard aspect. The Chromebook touts 2 mm key travel and 15 percent larger character keys for added comfort and accuracy. The pad itself is spill-proof, so you won’t have to worry about liquids damaging the innards of your laptop. You can take the C202 anywhere- in fast foods, coffee shops, and the cafeteria, making it the perfect companion for those who are constantly on the go.
- Tough rubber frame
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- Long battery life
- Slows down when working multiple tabs
- No touchscreen feature
4. HP Chromebook 14
Online reviews are calling the HP Chromebook 14 a poor man’s MacBook Air, which is actually a compliment because of the Chromebook’s stylish looks and adequate performance. If you’re leaning more towards a slim and stylish machine, then here it is!
Budget aside, the HP Chromebook 14 successfully imitates the aesthetics of Apple’s notebook. HP has trumped the competition by offering a full HD screen that’s bright and clear enough for most tasks, including browsing the web, posting on social media and watching YouTube videos. The touchpad and keyboard are both solid, like the rest of the laptop. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth when you choose this Chromebook for your casual tasks.
- Great looks
- Excellent touchpad and keyboard
- Video playback is a bit laggy
5. ASUS Chromebook Flip C302
One of the more stylish contemporary Chromebooks out there! The Flip C302’s aesthetics are pleasing and will remind you of Apple’s MacBook Pro. Open it up and you’ll be treated to plenty of capable hardware- an M3 Intel processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of SSD space, which would be more than what other Chromebooks are offering.
Performance is surprisingly quick- booting up the Chrome OS only takes a few seconds, and most of the pre-installed apps are responsive. Plus, you get a battery that lasts most of the day, and an innovative 12.5 inch HD touchscreen display that can be rotated a full 360 degrees for a variety of viewing modes.
The Chromebook Flip C302 is a great investment and will work as a reliable laptop for years on end.
- Touchscreen display
- Rotatable hinge
- Good battery life
- One of the pricier offerings in this list
6. Acer Chromebook R11
Hybrid Chromebooks are a dime a dozen, but the R11 laptop stands out due to its low price tag and decent hardware specs. Though there’s the Spin 11 already out there in the market, bargain hunters will want to consider the R11 and save a few precious dollars in the process.
For roughly $100 you get the hardware of the Samsung Chromebook 3 with a few notable upgrades. An N3150 Intel Celeron processor, 32 GB of SSD storage and 4 GB of RAM should more than suffice for taking notes, reading curriculums and completing school work. Explore a bit further and you’ll be able to access the Play Store to get the needed apps for school or work.
The R11 has a bright 11.6-inch touchscreen display that’s excellent for consuming content, i.e., videos, movies, and photos. Moreover, the hinge can be rotated a full 360 degrees to accommodate a variety of modes. Users will be pleased to know that they can squeeze around 9 hours out of the R11 before needing a power outlet.
- Touchscreen display
- Convertible Chromebook
- All-metal chassis
- Wonky trackpad
7. Dell Chromebook 11
Dell’s Chromebook 11 packs dependable hardware inside a compact shell that works perfectly for everyday wear and tear.
Survivability of the laptop is increased due to strategic rubberization, preventing untimely slips, bumps, and accidents. The hinge can be turned to a maximum 180 degrees. The keyboard is sealed and puts up a punchy, tactile response. The Chromebook 11 is a versatile machine that can be called upon for light work, web browsing or for responding to emails. For entertainment, the speakers are loud enough to hear videos and music.
Battery life is rated at around 7 hours. Don’t worry about dents and dings because the Chromebook 11 is tough and can take a beating!
- Durable design
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Good quality speakers for the price
- Good battery life
- Display may contain some glare issues
- Design is on the thick side
Chromebooks are quite simple machines that do what they’re supposed to very well, whether it be word processing, creating documents, watching multimedia or browsing the web. Budget Chromebooks are available for those who want a device that can serve as your in-between for your desktop and mobile phone.
Couple that with the fact that new Chromebooks can now install apps on the Play Store and you’ll now have a laptop that can do more. Functionality, portability and lengthy battery life packed in an efficient OS for everyday use can be yours at an affordable price!