Cheaper, lighter, faster, and a whole lot more durable (structurally and battery-wise) than your regular Windows 10 devices, Chromebooks have made their mark for quite some time as the ideal accomplice for travelers, entrepreneurs, generally, people who find themselves on-the-go most of the time.
I already have a couple of Chromebook-related posts, Chromebooks for travel, and Chromebooks with a backlit keyboard (never underestimate that feature), but in this post, I’ll look for the best Chromebook for the money complete with our quick Chromebook reviews.
Note – Please know, some of the external links on this page are affiliate links, this means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself.
What is a Chromebook?
Chromebooks are laptops, just smaller, with lesser processing power and greater dependence on cloud storage. Recent designs offer tablet options or 2-in-1 options whereby users can use them either as laptops or tablets.
They are all built on the foundations of Google’s Chrome OS, hence the name, and they all pack extraordinary capacities of battery life and functionality. In fact, Chromebooks released since late 2017 have been designed to also run Android apps alongside the Linux operating system recently initiated.
Perhaps the most striking feature is the absence of offline apps except Gmail, Google Drive, Pocket and of course, Angry Birds.
Instead, Chromebooks make use of web apps to get you connected to your favorite applications through the Chrome browser – the secret behind how Chromebooks are so light.
While this limits the power of the Chromebook to less-intensive apps and games, the connectivity to the Android Play Store more than makes up for the deficiencies, and as for gaming, one can only wonder how dope the Chromebooks will be when the preparations for Google Stadia are over.
However, as attractive as all these features are, you must be careful not to become a victim of wasteful purchases in the tech market.
The sheer number of Chromebooks available makes it extremely important to do more than search for just the most dependable brand name. On that note, here is a brief, yet profound, register that will help you determine the best budget Chromebook in the market right now.
Who is a Chromebook for?
Originally, young students were top on the list of Chromebook users since Chromebooks are so easy to use and have a generous inventory of educational apps.
Also, Chromebooks are popular with travelers, the incredible value drive prices and the ability to handle common tasks such as web browsing and writing blogs effectively.
However, since the best cheap Chromebook deals offer its users more than adequate utility to perfectly justify any outlay, the past few years has seen Chromebooks spread among those in need of a device that can multitask between its full suite of office software tools and light entertainment.
Chromebooks also serve up faultlessly as the perfect tech gift for your loved ones, as they don’t cost too much although they provide so much value.
The Best Chromebook for the money
- Dell Inspiron 11.6″ HD Chromebook
- Lenovo Chromebook C330
- HP 14″ HD Touchscreen Chromebook
- Acer Chromebook Spin 15.6″
- Samsung Chromebook 3
- Lenovo Chromebook Duet
- Acer Chromebook Spin 311
- Samsung Chromebook 4 plus
- Lenovo Flex 5
1. Dell Inspiron 11.6″ HD Chromebook
As far as cheap Chromebooks go, the Dell Inspiron 11.6″ HD Chromebook offers a very good deal, enough to set a standard of what all Chromebooks should be: cheap, efficient, and resilient. Its uncomplicated interface and dogged durability make it the ideal device to introduce your kids to tech and if you are looking for the best Chromebook under 200 dollars, this is certainly a contender.
- is extremely cheap
- is easy to use
- is rugged – it can really take a beating
- has a passable battery life
- has an unimpressive screen size and specifications
- is pretty heavy
- can be quite slow
- is comparatively outdated
- Typical 11. 6 inch HD(1366 x 768) Non-Touchscreen Display. Intel HD Graphics 400
2. Lenovo Chromebook C330
It might be a weird thing to say, but the HDMI port on this piece makes it a unique commodity in the Chromebook market. Add that to a wonderful keyboard, super-responsive touchpad and a battery life with reliable and solid performance. But the Lenovo Chromebook C330 negates all its plusses with a worryingly low-resolution display and even worse performance. Its inability to effectively multitask simple tasks like videos and a few browsing tabs is also a concern.
- is a really cheap Chromebook – costs around $260
- has a great keyboard
- has an HDMI port!
- has an impressive battery life
- has a grey, low-resolution screen display
- is not as durable as many Chromebooks available at similar prices
- Get high performance when you need it – The Chromebook C330 boots up in seconds and features easy-to-use Chrome OS, plenty of memory and storage, and so...
3. HP 14″ HD Touchscreen Chromebook
Hewlett Packard proved their designing genius again with a specimen blessed with a sleek shape that was finished beautifully with picture-perfect colors. In addition, the screen extends the beauty with superb resolution that will make it a worthy investment if your goal is a tech accessory you want to show off.
Fascinatingly, it is more than just a pretty face as it was made to seamlessly deliver the best parts of the Chrome OS. But alas, it is plagued by a detestable battery capacity that mocks the compactness of its design, yet, the HP 14″ HD Touchscreen Chromebook can hold its head high as one of the best budget Chromebooks out there.
- is a really cheap Chromebook – costs between $269 to $329
- has a clicky keyboard
- has a 1080p touch display
- looks really good
- has poor speakers
- has sub-par battery capacity
- provides very average performance
- 14-inch Touchscreen HD (1366 x 768 ) WLED backlight Display, Built-in cloud support, Built-in virus, protection and Google products, No Optical Drive
4. Acer Chromebook Spin 15.6″
Yes, it is not the best-looking Chromebook in the store, but Acer’s Chromebook Spin 15.6″ gets not much else wrong, especially with a battery that beats any imagination of how long a battery should last – it lasted through 17 hour-long episodes of the TV series ‘Into the Badlands’ with some power left to spare.
Also, while it doesn’t follow the 2-in-1 convertibility trend most Chromebooks seem to follow these days, the horizontal mode is a welcome improvement from Acer’s previous insistence on keeping all Chromebooks ‘laptoplike’.
Perhaps more importantly, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15.6″ becomes a perfect candidate for the cheap Chromebook deals with a processor that handles multi-tasking like no man’s business. For these reasons and plusses like a real classy keyboard, the visible confusion of Acer’s designers can be forgiven for their ridiculous waste of structural real estate, more so since the Chromebook is a figurative rock during drop tests.
- has an insanely good battery life
- is one of the best budget Chromebooks for its quality
- has a clicky keyboard
- has a flawlessly responsive screen
- could have been made to look so much better
- has bang-average speakers
- Google Chrome OS; Intel® Pentium® N4200 processor; 15.6" display; 4GB memory; 64GB solid state drive; Bluetooth; touch screen; DisplayPort; DVD/CD drive...
5. Samsung Chromebook 3
When the complaints that resound the most about a Chromebook that costs just $179 is that the qwerty layouts look weird, you shouldn’t really need much else to be said about its quality. And for good reason too, since the Samsung Chromebook 3 covers all its bases remarkably well.
First, it has a screen with quality of resolution and imposing touch response that is undoubtedly the envy of all other Chromebooks, and their users. Then, it is sturdy enough to pass any reasonable drop tests, while the material selection being plastic does not limit it from being easy on the eyes as its display is elusively draped with the perfect texture to milden the gloss of the bezel display.
The edges of the 11.4 x 8 x 0.7 inches of this cheap Chromebook provide sufficient space for every port that you might need from HDMI and USB ports to SD card slots, and weighing 2.5 pounds it is lighter than other Chromebooks within the same price range. When it comes to performance, the Chromebook 3 is a pace-setter among the very best budget Chromebooks, posting elite numbers for rendering speed and weight of processing. The Chromebook 3’s keypad, touchpad, battery life and audio quality are less overwhelming, but just as impressive, although the speakers are quite puny.
- has a decent battery life
- is really, really cheap for its quality
- has a keypad without the flexing problem other Chromebooks have
- has a bright, colorful, and responsive screen
- has a lovely webcam
- has a keypad that looks weird
- heats up a bit
- 11.6 inch ( 1366 x 768), 16:9
6. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
With the world going digital, most travelers need a cheap and portable option for logging into web meetings, browsing the internet, and taking notes from classes while on the go. The Lenovo Chromebook duet (also called the 2 in 1 Chromebook) offers this option to travelers and students.
This convertible Chromebook works as a tablet and laptop, with a kickstand and qwerty (with touchpad included) as standard accessories, allowing users to enjoy it as a mobile device and as a laptop whenever necessary.
Another absolutely ridiculous thing about this device is the price tag. Starting at just under $300, there are very few budget Chromebook purchases you can get for this quality. I personally believe that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet has no reason for being this cheap. It is definitely a steal.
However, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is not without flaws. With just 4GB of RAM, it lacks the ability for serious multitasking. Also, it has just one port, and that is not the headphone jack like other regular laptops; it’s the USB port.
With that being said, the Lenovo Duet is still a great option if you are looking for a budget Windows laptop. In addition, its impressive battery life, low price, and ability to switch between tablet and laptop mode make it a very desirable option for travelers.
- Affordable Price
- 10 hours of battery life
- Just one USB port
- Cramped qwerty and touchpad
- With the 10 1" FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS display and stunning colorful details you won't sacrifice for great visuals! The 10-point multitouch touchscreen is...
7. Acer Chromebook Spin 311
For students and workers who are always on the road but need something cheap and portable to use to respond to work emails and other work responsibilities, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a great option. It is especially great for children who use it to handle school work and light play every day.
The price of the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is quite reasonable for a 2-in-1 Chromebook its size. However, starting at just below $260, it can rise to above $270 if you want an improved model with better storage.
There are many good perks of the Spin 311 that serves travelers. First, it has a very tough screen, protected by Gorilla Glass, meaning it can withstand some brutal falls that are bound to happen if you are constantly taking it on the road.
Secondly, it is very portable, meaning it is lightweight and has a small screen. It also has a portable detachable keyboard that makes it possible to type while on the train or on an airplane.
Finally, it has an excellent battery life, and although it falls short of the advertised 15-hour playtime, it is still substantial at 12 hours. A solid choice for professionals looking for great value at the best prices.
Like many other devices, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is not perfect. It has low storage, and the performance isn’t all that great, but it is forgivable, considering that it was created for travelers and children looking to do light work.
- A cheap laptop with so many key specs
- Impressive battery life
- Low Storage
- Low Performance
- Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - An operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates...
8. Samsung Chromebook 4 plus
The Samsung Chromebook 4 plus offers something that many premium Chromebooks don’t – a big screen and massive display. The 15.6-inch screen provides an HD view (1920 by 1080 pixels) instead of the lowly 1,366 by 768 pixels offered by 11.6-inch Chromebooks.
Another great thing about the Chromebook 4 plus is the excellent keypad. The portable keyboard is also comfortable to type in, making it a traveler’s choice.
The Chromebook 4 Plus is also an excellent low-budget laptop. Starting at just under $250, these premium models represent good value and the best deals for people who are not looking to break the bank.
With all that being said, the Chromebook 4 plus is still very far from perfect. It has minimal storage. With only 32GB in storage, you have less than 19GB to store your files and downloads. This might not be a problem for many travelers who prefer to keep their files in the cloud. However, it’s pretty undesirable if you plan on using it for serious jobs at work.
It is also bigger than most on this list, which should be expected considering the size of the screen. However, it is still portable and cheap enough to be an excellent option for traveling.
- Cheaper than most Chromebooks out there
- Well-designed keypad
- Three USB ports (2 USB C-Ports)
- Low Storage
- No HDMI port
- Large and immersive 15. 6” display in a compact frame
9. Lenovo Flex 5
The Lenovo Flex 5 is, in my opinion, one of the best 2-in-1 Chromebooks on this list. Although it is listed at a price higher than most on this list, it is worth every dollar. The manufacturers of this brilliant convertible device have managed to find a way to blend high performance with mid-range pricing, so you don’t have to compromise much on pricing or performance.
It has a traditional, not too flashy design, with a comfortable and portable keyboard. The keypad is more shallow than the regular one you might be used to, but the typing experience it produces is very desirable.
The Flex 5 also has a great audio system that produces a refreshing listening experience. The speakers manage to provide a full, rich sound even at total volume, a very rare feat by laptops its size. However, there might still be a little work to be done for heavier bass sounds.
The Flex 5 is a portable 2-in-1 Chromebook with Solid State Drive (SSD) storage. It also has about 16GB of RAM, making it one of the powerful laptops on this list. This powerful feature makes it possible for you to do a lot of work without fearing lag.
However, one issue with the Flex 5 is that it has just one, unlike the 2 USB C-ports expected in its class system.
- Great audio quality
- Long-lasting battery
- Comfortable keypad
- 1 USB-C port
- Work from home, school, or anywhere with the outstanding combination of performance, connectivity, and entertainment enabled by 10th generation InteI Core...
Quick Buying Guide for Chrome Laptops
Getting the best cheap Chromebook deals isn’t very easy. First, you need to have the correct balance of price, performance, and design to get the best Chromebook deal. Sometimes, you have to be willing to compromise because Chromebooks aren’t known for having the most elaborate properties, and it is difficult to find perfectly balanced ones.
To make it easy, we have helped you put together a couple of features you should look out for when buying a Chromebook, depending on the kind of performance or functionality you are expecting to get from the device.
The processor of the Chromebook deals of Windows laptops will go a long way in determining the device’s performance. The most common types are intel and ARM processor. You probably won’t distinguish between these two processor types, but most people agree that the intel processor is often slightly better.
Also, try to get a quad-core processor over a dual-core processor, even if the processor speed (measured in Gigahertz (GHz)) of the quad-core processor is slightly lower. Cheaper Chromebooks with an Intel celeron processor dominate the market currently, and can be more tempting than you’d expect with some extra features. However, it’s best to keep your eyes out for an Intel Core ( like a core i3 processor or even an Intel core m3) except you need the best cheap Chromebook for just basic tasks.
The screen is an essential feature of the Chromebook you should carefully vet, as you would spend most of the time looking at your device’s screen.
The most common screens of Chromebook laptops in the market are 11.6, 13.3, and 15.6 inch-sized, usually with Intel HD graphics. The 11.6-inch Chromebook laptop type is usually perfect for you if you want a budget laptop and portable. On the other hand, if you want something bulky with a good HD display, you might want to go for the 15.6-inch chrome type.
Another screen feature you might want to look at is the touchscreen. Many new versions of the best Chromebooks now have a touchscreen, so you might want to consider that as long as you are willing to pay a little extra.
Most Chromebook laptops come with eMMC and SSD internal storage instead of hard disk drives. These storages are more efficient and faster than the traditional complicated drive models.
There isn’t much difference between the eMMC and Solid State Drive. However, most of the time, the SSD has proven to be more proficient than the eMMC.
Most Chromebook devices usually have storage between 16 and 64GB, and they are made small to keep the machine efficient and portable at the same time. This feature also makes it appealing to travelers and workers on the go who store most of their work in the cloud or wish to use the Chromebook laptop as a backup laptop.
You need a Chromebook laptop with good battery life if you use the computer on the go. Most Chromebook laptops can last for about 10 hours, so you can start looking from there. There are also others with about 12 to 15 hours of playtime after full charge if you are willing to pay more money for it or compromise on other essential features of the laptop.
Most budget Chromebook laptops are around $300 or less, mid-range laptops are within $300 to $600, while high-range laptops are about $600 and above. Of course, the more you are willing to pay, the higher the quality of the device.
Final Thoughts on finding the best Chromebook for the money
With Chromebooks, you now have the option of getting a device to take care of your modest needs or keep you connected during an emergency without going all the way to buy a bulky laptop. The Dell Inspiron 11.6″ HD Chromebook is probably the best budget Chromebook if you need something easy to use to gift an elderly person or your children.
If you need something fancy, the HP 14″ HD Touchscreen Chromebook has got you covered. If you need a long-lasting device that ticks all the other boxes adequately, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15.6″ is the Chromebook for you. And if you need a device with a wonderful screen display at the cheapest of prices, then the Chromebook 3 should suit you just fine. The sine qua non of it all is that cheap Chromebook deals are all efficient, versatile and durable.
You Can Also Read: Laptop For Becoming A Digital Nomad