Google notes that Chromebook laptops start at just $199, making the Chromebook line especially appealing for students, families, or anyone who is on a budget. If you’re in the market for a shiny new Chromebook, the following models are all excellent choices.
1. ASUS C202 Chromebook
Chromebooks have really come a long way and this base model is a great choice for people who are fine with the features of a Chromebook and don’t need anything too special. It’s rugged, well-built, and boasts a 180 degree hinge. It includes QuickOffice, for editing Microsoft Word and other Office documents, and users love it.
So what’s not to like? Well really the biggest issues with this device stem not from the device itself, but from the nature of a Chromebook. This is a lightweight operating system that essentially only consists of the Chrome web browser. That said, Google has slowly upped their ante and added some basic file management to the OS.
This is a great PC for basic document creation. If you’re primarily doing word processing and similar tasks, you’ll be good to go. That said, for really any more advance use such as editing pictures or videos, the Chromebook can be a bit stifling; this model, for instance, boasts only a 1366 x 768 pixel screen. That’s less pixels than a lot of phones. It’s a good device for getting work done, but for consuming videos it’s not exactly the best. Still, if you just need the basics, this PC is great for research, word processing, spreadsheets, and other simple web-based uses. If you’re a Google fan, it will sync up with all of your accounts nicely.
2. Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook (XE303C12-A01US)
The Samsung Chromebook was the first laptop on TechRadar‘s list of best laptops for students. Here’s why TechRadar put this laptop on their list:
“It’s essentially a computer that does one thing: run a web browser. In this case, of course, the web browser in question is Google Chrome.
The offline mode supported by some apps mitigates against the constant internet connection problem and college campuses, and cafes usually provide accessible Wi-Fi services but we know it may still take some getting used to.
But once you get it, it gets under your skin. The simplicity and security of it – a nice compromise between the one-app-at-a-time mode of the iPad, say, and the potential complexity of a traditional computer – is refreshing and welcome.
It’s a slim, light, cheap, long-lasting little laptop that is very secure – partly it only runs a web browser and isn’t based on Windows.”
So as long as your campus has great Wi-Fi and you’re happy working out of Google’s document creation apps, this inexpensive notebook could be just the thing for you. You can get all the nitty gritty details on this Chromebook’s performance at TechRadar’s extended review of the Series 3.
This laptop has a 11.6-inch display. While it has just a 16 GB solid state drive and 2GB RAM, you can get more storage through Google Drive.
3. HP Chromebook 14
Check out an unboxing video for this Chromebook above.
The HP Chromebook 14 offers a ton of great features, from the cosmetic to the more technical. With a zippy solid state drive, laggy browsing is a thing of the past. Whether you’re looking for a laptop that’s suitable as your child’s first computer, or in need of a work laptop that will let you quickly access your GDocs on the go, this is a nice choice.
4. Toshiba Chromebook
Check out an unboxing video of the Toshiba Chromebook in the player above.
With about nine hours of battery life, a beautiful design, and a beefy solid state drive, the 13.3-inch Toshiba Chromebook has a lot to offer. Compatible with tons of accessories and cases, this Chromebook stands out from the rest of the pack because of its sturdy feel…though the 3.3 pound weight of the laptop may not appeal to all users.
5. Asus Chromebox M004U Mini PC
Processor / Passmark Speed Celeron 2955U / 1444 | RAM 2GB DDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 16GB SSD | Weight 1.3lbs |
For those who are willing to use only Chrome for their desktop solution, this Chromebox offers a ton of value for the price. While the processor isn’t exactly blazing fast, one has to keep in mind that Chrome OS is considerably more lightweight than a full blown Windows Installation. Users report that it’s fast and fun to use. It’s great for people who are comfortable using Google Docs, Sheets, and other free online apps. Plus, it’s great for those on the budget. While it’s not ideal for other uses like video games or graphical work, one can do a surprising amount of things in their browser such as edit photos (Pixlr.com) and transcribe. For the price in the desktop department, it’s tough to beat.
- Good value for the cost
- If you can deal with Chrome only
- Fanless PC, very quiet
- Can stream FHD (1080P) without any issues
- Generates very little heat
- Limited to only using Chrome
- Can’t run normal Windows applications
- A few users had issues with spotty Wi-Fi
Want more info about the Chromebook line? Check out this helpful guide from Google, or watch the video below from Google to get a handle on what using a Chromebook actually feels like.