If you want to buy a laptop and you have a low budget, a Chromebook can be a great option. The cheapest Chromebook is surely faster than the cheapest windows laptop. However, there are important factors that you need to consider when buying a cheap Chromebook.
In this article:
- All you need to know about cheap Chromebooks
- The minimum requirements of a good cheap Chromebook
- The review the best available cheapest chromebook devices
- Lenovo 11e Chromebook
- HP 14 chromebook
- Acer Chromebook 315
- How to find Chromebooks at a discounted price
A bit of background
Chromebooks are laptops that run on Chrome OS. The main advantage of chromebooks is that Chrome OS is a very light operating system.
This means that even a Chromebook with cheap hardware can perform really well. When it comes to battery life, Chromebooks also offer superior performances for a great price. However, Chromebooks have quite some limitations when it comes to available software and computational power. Before even considering buying a Chromebook, make sure to know what the differences between a chromebook and a normal laptop are.
How cheap can a good Chromebook be?
As usual, it all depends on your needs. If you want to buy a Windows gaming laptop, it will be very difficult for you to find something below $500. Fortunately when it comes to Chromebooks, the minimum budget required to buy a good Chromebook is much lower.
In fact, you can buy an OK Chromebook for less than $300, even without looking for special discounts. If you wait for Black Friday or some other sales, the cheapest Chromebook you can find will possibly be around $200. Not bad right!? Let’s now take a look at the characteristics of a good Chromebook.
The minimum requirements for a Chromebook
The fact that you can find a good Chromebook device for less than $300, does not mean that all Chromebooks in such price range are good enough. Later in this article I will review a few good cheap Chromebook devices. There are so many Chromebooks available that it would be really limiting to only consider the devices I reviewed. The best you can do is to learn how to distinguish a good Chromebook from a bad one yourself.
The cheapest Chromebook according to your priorities
If you decided to buy a Chromebook instead of a normal laptop, this is probably because you value simplicity and battery life more than high performances. You should use the same approach when choosing which Chromebook to buy.
As you are looking for a cheap Chromebook, you will have to compromise on something. When buying on a limited budget you should always focus on the features that are most important for you. For example, if you plan to use your Chromebook to watch movies, your priority will be a good screen. If you plan to use your chromebook to write essays on the train, a small Chromebook with good battery life is probably the best option for you.
What are the two most important features for you?
Try to think how you will be using your Chromebook and identify the two most important features you will need. Yes, focus on the top two! Let’s not forget that you are looking for the cheapest Chromebook, so you cannot expect to have a 4K touch screen and 500GB memory!
Good examples of features are:
- Battery life
- Storage place
- Screen size
- Screen quality
- Quality of materials
What do you need exactly?
Hopefully you could find the two most important features for your Chromebook from the list above. I will now explain what are good specifications for each of the features above. This will help you understand what to look for in your Chromebook. Remember, my recommendations below are for the cheapest Chromebook possible, not for fancy ones. If you have a higher budget, you can surely strive for something better!
Battery life for a cheap Chromebook
When it comes to battery life, basically all chromebooks perform well! If you find battery life an important parameter I would recommend you to buy a Chromebook with a DECLARED battery life of 10h or more. Don´t forget that the declared battery life is usually way too optimistic. Most likely, the real battery life in normal conditions will be at least a good 30% lower than the declared battery life.
Also, if you plan to keep your Chromebook device for long, consider buying one with a replaceable battery. This will allow you to change the battery without having to buy a new device. If you are a bit handy you can buy the battery and exchange it yourself.
RAM for the cheapest Chromebook
If you want a fast Chromebook, having a bit more RAM will surely help. If the RAM is not too important for you, you can live with 4GB RAM. If you want your Chromebook to be a bit faster, you can look for a Chromebook with 8 or 16 GB RAM. As usual, if you are handy enough, you can buy and install more RAM on your Chromebook yourself.
Is storage place really that important for a cheap Chromebook?
Some weeks ago I explained in another article how Chrombeooks do not need much storage space because files are saved in the cloud. However, there are certain situations where local storage space can be very important.
For example, if you want to use your Chromebook without internet connection for a long time, some local space can be very useful. Most cheap Chromebooks only have 32 GB memory. If you plan to use your Chromebook offline, I would recommend a Chromebook with at least 64 GB of local storage space. Remember that if you have enough data on your mobile you can use your phone’s hotspot to connect your Chromebook to the internet.
Screen size and quality
It is obvious that if you want to watch movies from your Chromebook you need a good screen. However, do not forget that you are looking for the cheapest Chromebook. Fancy 4K touch screens are not an option! Full HD is probably the best you can get with a low budget.
Quality of materials and weight
The best way to check the weight and quality of a Chromebook is to check it out at the store. As physical stores are usually more expensive than online stores, consider just going to the store to check the Chromebooks and then order the one you want online. It is not nice for the shop, but if you have a low budget this can really make a difference!
The cheapest Chromebook that meets your needs
Now you should know everything you need to select the cheapest Chromebook that meets your needs. To find the best Chromebook, you should shop online using Google Shopping. Google shopping will search all the available online stores for you and allow you to find the best price. Read the specifications fo the available Chromebooks and select these that meet your needs.
If you want some examples of good cheap Chromebooks, take a look at the reviews below.
Lenovo 11e Chromebook
If you are looking for a Chromebook between $230 and $300, the Lenovo 11e Chromebook is a great option. Lenovo is known for offering good quality for money and the 11e Chromebook surely offers superior quality for a great price.
The Lenovo 11e Chromebook has a 14 inch full HD screen, this is not particularly big but the quality is really good, in particular when you consider its really competitive price!
This device is top class for battery life and it is very light. WIth this Chromebook you can work a full day without charging the batter. Lenovo 11e Chromebook weighs less than 1.5kg, isn’t this amazing for one of the cheapest devices available on the market?
A great feature of this device is that it is fully configurable. You can choose to have 4GB RAM or 8GB RAM. The same goes for the local storage space, you can select either 32GB or 64GB.
Looking for the cheapest chromebook? Configure your Lenovo 11e Chromebook accordion to your priority and needs and you will have one of the best devices available for less than $300!
Chromebook HP 14
HP is well known for selling high quality devices and the Chromebook HP 14 is no exception. If you are looking for the cheapest chromebook, a 14 inch Chromebook from HP is a great option. As in the case of the Lenovo 11e, the Chromebook HP 14 can be customized in terms of RAM, storage place and much more. The price for this cheap chromebook ranges between $230 and $300 when you add some extra RAM or storage space. As for most Chromebooks battery life is never an issue with Chromebook HP 14. The quality of materials is quite good, in particular when considering that this is a budget device. The Chromebook HP 14 is equipped with a 14 inch full HD screen. This is surely good enough for you to watch movies or other videos. The Chromebook HP 14 weighs around 2 kg. Even if it is slightly heavier than the Lenovo 11e, it is surely light enough to be transported anywhere.
Acer Chromebook 315
If you are looking for the cheapest chromebook with a big full HD screen (15.6 inch), the Acer Chromebook 315 is the right device for you! The Acer Chromebook 315 offers all the functionalities of the Lenovo 11e and the Chromebook HP 14 but with a bigger screen. Of course, the downside of it is that the Acer Chromebook 315 is bigger than most Chromebooks and it is less easy to transport. If screen size is more important than portability, then go for the Acer Chromebook 315, else stick to one of the other two I recommend above. The price of this 15.6 inch Chromebook is between $250 and $300, not bad right?
How to find Chromebooks at a discounted price
If you are buying something on a tight budget, it is very important to look for discounts and special offers. Of course, this is also valid when looking for the cheapest Chromebook that satisfies your needs. I will now give you some tips on how to find special offers and get a device for the cheapest price possible. If you want more details on the best tips to find th best discounts, you can take a look at my article on how to find a good laptop below 500 dollars.
Keep an eye on the calendar
Is black Friday just around the corner? Then I would really recommend waiting for it. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two great opportunities to find the cheapest Chromebook ever! Fortunately, Black Friday or Cyber Monday are not the only two periods of the year where you can get good deals. Before buying anything try to understand if there will be a sale season in the coming weeks.
Buy online with Google Shopping
As I previously said Google Shopping is probably the best tool available to search for products online. In fact, Google shopping searches for the product you need in basically all the available online stores! If you do not use Google Shopping, you will have to search all the available shops yourself. This will not only cost you time but you will probably miss out some great opportunity to get the cheapest Chromebook available online
Physical shops are usually more expensive, but not always
Yes, just a few paragraphs before I told you to shop online to save money. Online shops are usually much cheaper, but not always. Physical shops sometimes have special offers that might be really convenient. Fortunately, you do not need to go to all shops to look for offers. Just go to their website and see if they have some good offers in the coming weeks.
Consider buying second hand
Let’s face it, the cheapest Chromebook is a second hand Chromebook! If you do not mind buying second hand you can really find nice deals! Just make sure not to buy a really old Chromebook as it will have old generation hardware and a reduced battery life. You can probably find a good second hand Chromebook for less than 200 dollars!
Now you know everything you need about cheap Chromebooks and how to buy them. If you plan to buy some other cheap technology you can take a look at our guide on how to buy from Aliexpress.