It’s quite common to think that Chromebooks are cheaper than Windows laptops. Yet if you want the latest and greatest Chromebook, however, you’ll still have to spend a pretty penny over $900 to get high-end specs like 12th generation Intel CPUs, or high-resolution 16:10 aspect ratio screens. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap Chromebooks!
The best part of the ChromeOS ecosystem is the number of different devices you can buy for under or around $300. In this guide, we’ll be looking at just that. From HP, Acer, Samsung, and more, we’ve collected some of the best Chromebooks that we’ve found across all kinds of retailers. We’ll also highlight things we like about each of these devices like the performance, design, and ports. There’s a Chromebooks for everyone these days, and you can find the one that’s right for you. Just navigate to the specific section that appeals to you with the links above
Best overall: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4+
Kicking off our list is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4+. We suggest this as the best overall Chromebook for a few different reasons. First, it looks a lot like an older MacBook Pro. Second, it has a huge display. Third, this Chromebook sports some perfect specifications for the price. All that said, here are the specifics on why we like it so much.
With the design, this is as close to a MacBook-looking Chromebook as you’ll get. The color of this Samsung Chromebook looks quite similar to an older Aluminum MacBook Pro. It’s a great way to fool people or have them ask you more about your laptop. What’s also great is the overall size, too. You might think that 15-inch Chromebooks are heavy, but this one is just right. Yes, it might look like a MacBook, but this Chromebook isn’t made of aluminum. You won’t find that on a $300 Chromebook, instead, it is plastic. It helps keep the device thin and light. Measurements come in at 14.16 x 9.64 x 0.65 inches, and the weight is just 3.75 pounds. You’ll be able to throw it in your bookbag and travel without issues.
Other bonus parts of the design include a spill-proof keyboard that can withstand accidents. Just keep in mind that the keyboard is not backlit, which is an expectation for this low price. While we hate devices with no keyboard backlighting, we think Samsung makes up for that by including a wide range of ports for you to use. The mix includes two USB-C ports for charging. You’ll also find a headphone jack and another USB-A port, too.
Going back to the display now, there’s a rarity for a Chromebook of this price. Instead of getting a sub-HD panel, this Chromebook has a 1920 x 1080 FHD display. When you combine it with the large 15-inch screen space, you’ll have a lot of room for stacking windows side by side and multitasking. It’s a great way to have a portable office on the go!
Diving deeper into the specs, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4+ is powered by an Intel Celeron N4000 processor. As you’ll see throughout this guide, it’s hard to find the latest and greatest specs for $300. That’s why the most common CPU for this price will be the Intel Celeron lineup. It’s not a bad CPU either. While Android apps might not run the best, basics like web browsing and multitasking will work just fine. That’s because ChromeOS is a lightweight operating system and isn’t as heavy as Windows. For web browsing, you’ll be fine.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4+
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4+ strikes a good balance for a small price with a big display, good performance, and a decent keyboard
Best 14-inch: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go
Second on our list is a smaller Chromebook, the Galaxy Chromebook Go. This 14-inch Chromebook is one that’s really compact for its size. It also has a slighter newer Intel Celeron CPU and a great set of ports and storage expandability options. Let’s dive deeper into this Chromebook, shall we?
Starting first with the performance, the Intel Celeron N4500 CPU onboard this device is great for everyday tasks. To be more specific, it’s the Celeron N4500. This is one of the newest lower-end processors from Intel, which means it sports a higher turbo boost of 2.80 GHz. For opening lots of tabs in Chrome, and trying out Android apps, this should be alright. This CPU is also paired with 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. The storage is on the low end, so you might have to keep more of your files in the cloud. However, the optional micoSD card slot can serve as a space for extra storage. In other specs, Samsung is keen to highlight that this Chromebook is ready for Wi-Fi 6. If you have a compatible router, you’ll be able to get faster download and upload speeds. That’s on top of the really long 12-hour battery life.
Despite the big screen size, this is actually a really compact Chromebook. The dimensions come in at 12 x 8.28 x 0.63 inches and the weight is 3.20 pounds. Ports also come into this, and there is lots of room on the chassis for ports. It includes 2 USB Type-C, a traditional USB Type-A 3.2 port, and a MicroSD card slot and headphone jack. Samsung highlights how the USB-C port can be used for charging. Oh a Chromebook, we always appreciate USB-A, as well since it means you can use your USB drives without issue.
There’s a caveat for the price, though. While the screen is 14 inches, you’ll only be getting an HD panel that’s rated at 1336 x 768 resolution. It’s not the best when you compare it to our pick above. However, for the basics, it’s plenty good because of the bigger screen. Things won’t be crisp and clear, but there will be room for an extra window. The webcam also isn’t the best, either. It’s a 720 webcam, which is no longer good enough in 2022. Of course, for a budget device, you can’t expect a 1080p webcam. For that, you’ll likely need to spend more than $800, or just buy an external webcam and plug it into the USB-A port instead.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go
The Galaxy Chromebook Go is another great device for under $300
Best tablet: HP x2 11
You might think that for $300 you can’t find a good ChromeOS tablet. Well, you’d be wrong. It’s a new and growing space, especially since Google no longer makes its own first-party ChromeOS tablets. The best part is that most of these devices are priced at close to $300. Our top pick in the category? It’s the HP x2 11, one of the newest Chromebooks from HP, that’s typically on sale at Best Buy and other retailers for close to $300 (sometimes just over $400.)
The reason why we like the HP x2 11 so much has a lot to do with the design. It’s smaller than even a Windows 2-in-1 like a Surface Go. The dimensions come in at 9.94 x 6.96 x 0.3 inches. Then, even when you account for the keyboard, the weight is a mere 1.05 pounds. That’s so light that you can slide it into your bag and forget it was even there. The thing that makes this possible is the 11-inch form factor. This is one of the smallest Chromebooks on the market, though the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook has a 10-inch screen. We can’t suggest that device anymore, though, as it has been discontinued by Lenovo.
We recently reviewed the HP x2 11 and really loved it. When we attached the included detachable keyboard, we were able to write up long posts. The fact that it doubles as a way to protect the screen was another huge plus for us. And speaking of screen? The display on this tablet isn’t cheap at all. It’s a 2.1K resolution panel, similar to that of an iPad Air. That’s a lot of pixels on the screen, for drawing, opening webpages, and so much more.
Of course, as a tablet, you might end up just opening pit the kickstand and watching movies on the screen. For that, we love this device. It hits 400 nits of brightness, which is above even the 250-nit screens on most of the Chromebooks on our list. This is one great device for this price if you plan to watch movies or immerse yourself in multimedia.
HP also includes a stylus in the box with this Chromebook. It’s like Apple’s newer Apple Pencil in that it charges by attaching to the side of the screen. You can use that pen to draw on the screen or even take notes. Since it attaches to the side of the screen, you need not worry about it getting lost.
Ending our dive into this tablet will be a note on specs. A lot of the Chromebooks we will mention in this list have either Intel or AMD CPUs. This one is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c SoC. That’s an ARM-based chip, similar to the ones in use on popular Android phones. This means that if you buy it, the tablet will have all-day battery life and really good performance for web browsing — just as we got in our review period.
HP Chromebook x2 11
The HP Chromebook x2 11 combines the power of Chrome OS with the portability of a traditional tablet. You can work anywhere thanks to the optional 4G LTE capability. This is the new top of the line Chrome OS tablet experience.
Best compact 2-in-1: Lenovo Chromebook 11.6
If you really want to enjoy ChromeOS when free of a keyboard or mouse, then you should try out a 2-in-1. This form factor lets you use a Chromebook in more than one way, like in a tent, stand, tablet, or traditional laptop mode. Typically, 2-in-1’s might be priced north of $300, but this Lenovo Chromebook 11.6 is priced just right at $200. Here’s more on why it’s a good choice.
First, we get into the specs of what’s under the hood. Coming with an ARM-based Soc, this Lenovo Chromebook has really long battery life of up to 10 hours. To be more specific, it’s the MediaTek Mt8183 SoC. Again, this isn’t a high-powered CPU, but for tasks like running Android apps, which you’ll want to do on a 2-in-1, it is great. That CPU is also paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, meaning that you’ll be able to speed through web browsing without issue.
Another thing we like is the display. Again, it’s not the best at 1366 x 768 resolution, for an 11-inch screen that this device has, you won’t need a lot of pixels anyway. This is a great resolution for browsing a single webpage or flipping the screen around and showing a colleague a webpage or an important file. The screen has multiple viewing angles, according to Lenovo, and sports IPS technology for crisper visuals.
The design is pretty neat, too. This 2-in-1 is colored in “Abyss Blue” which will help you stand out from the crowd at a coffee shop or in class. Lenovo includes a speaker bar above the keyboard, so videos sound louder, especially when you rotate the screen to face you. Other than that, it’s one of the most compact 2-in-1s on our list. Measuring 11 x 8 x 1 inch, you can shove this in a standard sleeve and carry it around and still have room for a notebook and other items. Even the weight is impressive at 3 pounds. Again, this helps with portability.
Even for a small device, Lenovo is pretty kind with ports, too. There’s 1 USB A 2.0, 1x USB-C 2.0, x microSD card reader, and a headphone/microphone combo jack (3.5mm). You’ll be able to connect whatever you own to this device, though a dongle will be needed for a display.
Lenovo Chromebook 11.6
The Lenovo Chromebook 11.6 is one of the most compact 2-in-1,s and it has really great battery life, too.
Best for education: Acer Chromebook 512 Laptop
The cheapest Chromebook on our list is the Acer Chromebook 512 laptop. That makes it great for education. Plus, it is sometimes available for $150 at most places like Amazon which is perfect for buying in bulk. It also performs decently and is a great way to jump into a newer Chromebook model once you get used to ChromeOS.
On the inside of this Chromebook is the Intel Celeron N4020 CPU. You also can add a total of 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage. In education, these specs are fine enough for web browsing and using authorized Android apps. Remember, in education, Chromebooks are cloud-based and web-based machines. Instead of saving on the device and computing on the device, apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are used. These are all web pages, and we think all of them will work fine on his device. We do think the battery life will be great, too. It is rated for 12 hours, which is great for a low-powered CPU.
The other thing that is important for an education Chromebook is that it has to be durable. Students will put their devices through the greatest tests. Well, you should be happy to know that this one is MIL-STD 810G complaint. If you don’t know, then it means the laptop can stand drops up to 122 cm, from a surface like a table. Adding to that durability is the spill-proof keyboard which won’t get damaged if water falls on it.
We can’t forget the 3:2 aspect ratio either. Compared to other Chromebooks, there will be more vertical space to read documents and scroll web pages. It’s 18% more vertical height, according to Acer. The 12-inch screen comes in at a weird 1255 x 912 resolution screen, you might not multitask much, but seeing as though this is an education device, for reading single web pages, you’d be just fine.
On ports and webcams, the left side has a USB-C port, a USB-A port, and a microSD card expansion. The right side has USB-A and USB-C. Compared to other products on our list, the webcam is also great, as it’s 1080p, which helps avoid you from looking like you smeared Vaseline all over your camera lens.
Acer Chromebook 512 Laptop
The Acer Chromebook 512 is great for education
Best for a bit over $350: Acer Chromebook 317 Laptop
You’d think that a 17-inch screen would cost you a ton of money, but you’re wrong again! There are a lot of great 17-inch Chromebooks on the market, and one of those is the Acer Chromebook 317 laptop, it’s usually available for just a bit over $300.
An Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor power this Chromebook, which is again a lower-end CPU, but it’s better than the Celeron CPUs you might find in the Chromebooks above our list. That’s because the CPU is quad-core, so you’ll still be able to multitask and get a lot of work done similar to a higher-end Chromebook. This is also thanks to the 8GB of RAM and the 64GB of eMMC storage. Again, 8GB is the basis for getting good performance and multitasking, and the eMMC storage isn’t too much of a worry. As we say time and time again, Chromebooks are mainly cloud-based devices, and the OS is optimized for speed already so boot times and data transfer times are not all too important.
Going back to the keyboard, it is full-sized and backlit. The number pad on the right is the other huge benefit, too, as you can crunch numbers in spreadsheets more easily without using the shift key. Both of these are hard to find on a Chromebook of this price.
Generally speaking, this isn’t too much of a heavy device for a 17-inch Chromebook either. Your typical 17-inch Windows laptop might come in closer to 6 pounds due to having GPUs, but this one is just under 5 pounds at 4.85 pounds. It’s also not that thick, at about 0.89 inches, making it portable for the right person.
Other than the keyboard and CPU, we also want to highlight the display. It’s 17.3 inches and comes in at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Such a big screen gives you a lot of room to stack windows side by side, and multitask. Note that the screen is touch, too, which helps in moving things around when you might not want to touch your mouse.
We do like the port selection here, too, though the absence of HDMI means you’ll need a dongle. A 17.3-inch design gives Acer a lot of room for ports, and they did deliver. On the left side are a USB Type-C, USB-A, microSD, and a headphone jack. The right side has another USB-A port and USB-C. Both USB-A ports are USB 3.0, so you get a little extra speed.
Acer Chromebook 317
With a backlit keyboard and full size numberpad, the Acer Chromebook 317 is a great value for this price
Best for kids: Asus Flip C214
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is built to deliver an innovative and inspirational learning experience and is great for kids. As well as a versatile touchscreen display and a built-in stylus, there’s also a 360-degree hinge and a world-facing camera. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 has kid-ready durability to reassure parents, with an all-around rubber bumper, spill-resistant keyboard, and ultra-tough hinge. With its school day-long battery life and time-saving, easy-to-service modular construction, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is ready for anything a kid might throw at it.
This laptop isn’t really about the internal specs, though, but you get an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB eMMc storage inside. However, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 includes a special world-facing camera, so kids can explore and learn in totally new ways. This allows them to capture photos and videos in tablet mode. There are also plans for the world-facing camera to support versatile apps, giving both students and teachers an exciting new learning aid.
Accidents happen when you have kids, and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 is ready for them. It’s built to withstand everyday classroom knocks, bumps, drops, and spills without any damage. Built to surpass demanding military-grade MIL-STD-810G durability standards, it’s also torture-tested to pass stringent ASUS quality tests. It can withstand occasional drops of up to 120cm — more than standard desk height — and the hinge and I/O ports are fully tested to endure the stresses and strains of everyday use.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C214
ASUS has quite a few solid options for students. This particular model is perfect for younger kids as it has a ruggedized design that’s spill and drop resistant. The affordable price and convertible form-factor also make it an appealing option for college students as well.
So there you have it! Those are our picks for Chromebooks under $300. We did our best to include the best possible devices, but sometimes, these might go on sale for less, or end up priced for more. That’s how the market for Chromebooks is these days, but you always can find the best Chromebooks from Dell and others at your local retailer like Best Buy.