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These models boast big screens and cost between $269 and $699.

Matt Elliott Aug. 9, 2021 11:30 a.m. PT
  • FHD display on the cheap Asus C523NA Chromebook Jump to details $269 at Amazon
  • A tablet, too Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 Jump to details $347 at Amazon
  • Core i3 power Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 Jump to details $320 at Amazon
  • Big screen powered by Core i3 Lenovo Chromebook C340 Jump to details $369 at Amazon
  • Core i3 and ample RAM HP Chromebook x360 Jump to details $429 at Best Buy
  • A bit of gaming, too Asus Chromebook Flip CM5 Jump to details $500 at Newegg
  • Premium style and performance Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 Jump to details $699 at Best Buy
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Schools are returning to in-person learning, but that doesn't mean your kids will stop doing much of their school work on a laptop. Many districts supply students with Chromebooks, but they're usually underpowered, undersize models, so you may want to invest in a larger, more powerful laptop for the upcoming school year if you can afford it.

The most affordable option is a Chromebook, which costs less than a traditional Windows laptop or a MacBook. It's also easier to use, thanks to the streamlined Chrome OS software. And you can find Chromebook models with displays larger than the tiny, 11.6-inch Chromebooks that school districts typically issue. The picks here all have larger, 13.3- to 15.6-inch displays.

Chromebooks range in price from under $100 to over $1,000, but you don't need to spend much to get up and running for distance learning: Our favorite Chromebooks fall mostly in the $400 to $700 range. If those don't suit you, here are seven budget Chromebook models that are currently priced as low as $269. We took into account factors and features like cloud storage, the quality of the keyboard, battery life, web browsing ease and the inclusion of a headphone jack. If you're looking to find the best Chromebook for students, this list (which we update periodically) should help.

Read more: Back to school 2021

FHD display on the cheap

Asus C523NA Chromebook

Asus

This Asus model is on sale for only $269 right now and features a 15.6-inch display powered by an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM. Those are average components for a budget Chromebook, but it adds a bit more storage than usual with 64GB of onboard storage and a 32GB SD card. It features a full-HD 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution display for a sharper picture and more work space than you'd get with the 1,366x768-pixel resolution found on other low-end Chromebooks.

$269 at Amazon

A tablet, too

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

Sarah Tew/CNET

This Samsung Chromebook has a smaller display than the above model at 12.2 inches, but the touchscreen display can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode so you can play Android games -- once homework is done, of course. The display boasts a sharp 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution and pen support for the included stylus. Inside, the system features an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Read our Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 review.

 

$347 at Amazon

Core i3 power

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Josh Goldman/CNET

The highlight of this Lenovo two-in-one Chromebook is its 10th-gen Intel Core i3 CPU, which is common to many budget Windows laptops and has more than enough oomph to power the lightweight Chrome OS. The Flex 5 features a 13.3-inch touchscreen display with a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. It offers pen support but you'll need to buy a stylus separately.

Read our Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 review.

 

$320 at Amazon

Big screen powered by Core i3

Lenovo Chromebook C340

Lenovo

This convertible Chromebook features a 15.6-inch touchscreen that can rotate into tablet mode, and is powered by an eighth-gen Intel Core i3 CPU. It's an older Core i3 part than you get in the above Lenovo model, but more powerful than Intel Pentium and Celeron chips commonly found in Chromebooks. The C340 also offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage, both average for the price.

$369 at Amazon

Core i3 and ample RAM

HP Chromebook x360

Josh Goldman/CNET

This two-in-one Chromebook from HP is currently $200 off at Best Buy. It not only boasts a Core i3 CPU but also supplies a generous 8GB of RAM, which should result in peppy ChromeOS performance. The 14-inch touchscreen features full HD resolution and can rotate into tablet mode.

$429 at Best Buy

A bit of gaming, too

Asus Chromebook Flip CM5

Josh Goldman/CNET

This AMD-based Chromebook won't be confused with a gaming laptop -- no Chromebook would be -- but its AMD Ryzen 3 CPU and integrated Radeon graphics will be able to handle Android mobile games and Linux games and should let you dabble with cloud gaming services such as Stadia, GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass. The 15.6-inch touch display offers full HD resolution and can rotate into tablet mode.

Read our Asus Chromebook Flip CM5 review.

 

$500 at Newegg

Premium style and performance

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Josh Goldman/CNET

This Samsung two-in-one Chromebook features an all-metal chassis, which is a step up in both looks and durability from the usual plastic Chromebook fare. It's based on a 13.3-inch QLED touch display with a full HD resolution powered by a 10th-gen Core i3 CPU and 8GB of RAM. It also supplies a roomy 128GB of solid-state storage. It was on sale for $549 last month at Best Buy, so you might wait to see if its sale price returns before school starts.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 review.

 

$699 at Best Buy CNET Now

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See also
  • Best laptop for 2021
  • The best cheap laptops you don't have to wait a month for
  • Best Chromebook for 2021
  • These are the best 2-in-1s that are more than just a laptop or a tablet
 



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