Chromebooks may not be the most powerful laptops on the market, but they’re excellent options for students for the back-to-school season, casual home users, and mobile professionals. With Chrome OS, you can run Android apps, as well as access GSuite programs like Docs, Sheets, and Google Drive to save your projects automatically to the cloud.
And even though Chromebooks are some of the most affordable laptops available, we’ve still scoured the internet for discounts, bundles, and trade-in deals to help you save even more. We picked models from top brands like Samsung, HP, and Acer to help you find a Chromebook that fits both your budget and your needs.
Our top picks for September 2022 are below.
- Current price: $74
- Original price: $349
Samsung is offering the Galaxy Chromebook Go for just $74 with an eligible trade-in. And if you’re an educator, first-responder, government employee, or active or former military, you can save extra on accessories with Samsung’s Offer Programs. It features an Intel Celeron processor and 32GB of storage, and while it probably won’t replace your work machine, it’s still got plenty of power and space for everyday tasks.
The 12-hour battery also lets you stream, web browse, and work all day without needing to plug in. You can get a Wi-Fi only or LTE-enabled model for internet connectivity without a Wi-Fi network, which is perfect for commuter students and mobile professionals.
As an added bonus, you can save $80 on a pair of Galaxy Buds with any Chromebook purchase
- Current price: $200
- Original price: $250
The Acer Chromebook 311 is an excellent choice for students and professionals working from home, especially if you’re looking for a convertible machine.
While you can’t upgrade the storage drive yourself, you can expand your internal storage with microSD cards for working on larger files like photos and videos. It also has 2 USB-C ports for faster data transfers than USB 3.0 and for charging the laptop.
But with the 10-hour battery life, you won’t be worrying about topping up your laptop throughout the day. It even has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for setting up wireless peripherals like headsets, mice, and speakers.
- Current price: $399
- Original price: $469
At $399, if you are looking for a higher-end Chromebook, the Lenovo 13″ Ideapad Duet 5 could be for you. Available in blue for the current sale price at Walmart, this Chromebook comes with a 13.3″ touchscreen Full HD OLED 1920 x 108 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 processor, 4GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. In addition, there are four inbuilt speakers for improved audio and the chassis can be detached from the keyboard, making this device 2-in-1.
- Current price: $119
- Original price: $229
Walmart is offering the Samsung Chromebook 4 for just $119, letting you get your hands on a great Chrome OS laptop for less than your typical cable and internet package bill. It has an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 32GB eMMC storage drive.
The 11.6-inch screen gives you plenty of viewing areas for web browsing, word processing, and streaming shows and movies. And the 12.5-hour battery life lets you binge-watch old seasons of Seinfeld until you realize the sun has risen once again.
- Current price: $98
- Original price: $199
If you need a simple laptop for a cheap price that will get a student through the school year, this HP Chromebook is all you need. With an 11.6″ display and 4GB of RAM, they can access internet resources, knock out papers, and complete projects with ease.
Traveling can be hard on laptops, but this Chromebook is built to withstand backpack journeys. With metal-reinforced corners, this laptop was tested to survive drops of up to 122cm.
There are many different kinds of Chromebook out there that could be the perfect machine for you. Other options include:
The main difference between the two is what kind of operating system it runs. A Chromebook uses the ChromeOS, developed by Google, while most other laptops run either Windows or macOS, though there are some models that are capable of running Linux.
Chromebooks are also capable of running Windows if you’re willing to do a little work yourself, but they’re really at their best when left running ChromeOS.
You should keep in mind that the ChromeOS app ecosystem, by design, is limited. Therefore, if you need to run specific software on your new Chromebook, you should check that it is compatible first.
That is a solid “no.” Chromebooks are built to be used for everyday tasks like word processing and web browsing. They simply don’t have the correct components (like a discrete GPU and tons of RAM) to support any sort of gaming.
If you’re looking for an affordable gaming laptop, you can check out our list of the best cheap gaming laptops available.
The biggest disadvantage of Chromebooks compared to other kinds of laptops is their low RAM and storage capacities. Most cap out at maybe 16GB of RAM (which is soldered in place so you can’t upgrade it yourself) and at 128GB of storage. Though many Chromebooks have permanently installed 32 or 64GB eMMC storage cards, it is possible to find models equipped with a 128GB SSD; but since their processors aren’t very powerful either, 128GB is about all they can support for storage, so you can’t really upgrade the hard drive yourself either.
However, if you’re looking for a laptop your kids can use for schoolwork or just something to be able to watch Netflix and browse the web on, they’re a perfectly suitable option.
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