Three Great Chromebook Options

chromebooks apps flyout 1 560x266Getting a new laptop is always a trial for the thoughtful buyer: You have to decide what brand to go with, what specs are most important to you – and how much you are willing to pay.

If that last point makes you shudder over today’s surplus of over-$1000 laptops, we have some good news for you. Chromebooks are a smaller, lightweight crowd of laptops that use Google’s Chrome OS and are designed to be affordable for nearly any budget. They are designed mostly for streaming and cloud computing work, but within these low-storage activities it’s hard to find a better class of laptop. Here are three of our best Chromebook choices if you want to save money while still getting a great laptop.

Toshiba Chromebook 2 – $430

Chromebook 2 560x315

With this excellent Chromebook upgrade, Toshiba makes sure that you don’t have to worry about cheaply made components. The laptop is durable and has an impressive 13-inch HD screen, a backlit keyboard, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage in an SSD. Those specs are great for doing what a Chromebook does best: Expert laptop streaming and cloud data work in a reliable framework that weighs under 3 pounds.

Note that our pick for the Chromebook 2 includes a particularly powerful 2.1GHz Intel Core i3 processor, which is why the price may seem a bit high for an affordable laptop. Knock back the processor to a less powerful version and the price drops by more than $100 if you need to save even more. Either way, keep in mind that low storage spec means you may want to also purchase an external hard drive for data.

View on Amazon

Dell Chromebook 13 – $490

Dell Chromebook 13 560x422

Dell’s latest version of the Chromebook 13 is a powerful and slim laptop equipped with 4GB of RAM and 16GB of SSD storage. It uses a slightly less powerful Intel Celeron processor compared to our Toshiba pick, but nothing that should limit everyday Chrome OS activities. This Chromebook is a bit heavy for a 13-inch model, but that’s a small tradeoff for advantages like a long 13-plus hour battery life and a frame that can withstand a few dings without blowing up on you.

View on Amazon

Acer Chromebook 15 C910 – $350

Acer Chromebook 15 C910 560x402

If you don’t like these models with such low storage space that your phone may be able to hold more data, this Acer model could be better-fitting for your lifestyle: It comes with a 32GB SSD, which is still low but significant higher than our other Chromebook picks. The laptop also includes 4GB of RAM, a 1.5GH Intel dual-core processor, and – this is the big one – a 16-inch screen. This laptop is much larger than the average Chromebook, and more suitable if need more screen details or are planning on streaming a lot of S.O.-friendly movies.

View on Amazon