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Chromebooks have been going in and out of stock over the past few months, first because of the initial spike in working from home, and later due to the start of remote schooling. Thankfully, if you're still after a Chrome OS laptop, there are a few solid options in the $200-300 price range.
All of the models we've selected are fast enough to handle at least a few Chrome tabs and applications running at once, and when they're available, we try to include models with large screens. We have a dedicated guide for the best Chromebooks overall, but this list is solely focused on budget options that are actually in stock right now.
The bounty of budget Chromebooks continues to grow year by year, but most of them aren’t worth your time or money. Lenovo recently launched its C340 Chromebook, which shook up the budget segment by offering great specs at a low price. Now, Acer has a similar offering, the Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H-K5GD), offering decent hardware and incredible battery life for just $320. The mediocre touchpad and disappointing display keep me from whole-heartedly recommending this device for everyone, but in broad strokes, the Spin 311 is a fantastic value for students and basic personal use if you're not too picky.
With so many people working and learning from home these days, Chromebooks are a hot commodity. Acer's Chromebook Spin 713 would be a great choice even without being in our current predicament. It's a premium device with the hardware to match, but right now, Best Buy is offering it for a full $80 off, making this laptop a steal at $549.
Acer is among the better-known Chromebook producers, churning out good to great Chrome OS devices every other month, including the first Snapdragon 7c-powered laptop with Google's software. But the company also has great regular Intel Chromebooks to offer, such as the Chromebook 715 we've reviewed favorably. Its 128GB i3 variant is currently available for only $349 on Walmart, which is $150 off. We've already seen it for only $329, but that was a refurb of the much weaker Intel Pentium 64GB variant.
New technology is great and all, but it comes at a price for your bank account and the environment. This holiday season, eBay is teaming up with some top tech brands like Razer, Acer, and Lenovo to give customers more peace of mind when buying refurbished products — including perks like hassle-free returns and a full two years of warranty coverage.
Acer's products are undoubtedly among the better options when it comes to Chrome OS, as our own Ryan Whitwam would tell you in his Chromebook Spin 713 review. And as part of its annual GPC event, the company has announced a significant milestone for Chrome OS hardware, the Chromebook Spin 513. It's the first to be equipped with the Snapdragon 7c platform, allowing for a fanless design, extraordinary battery life, and optional 4G LTE connectivity. Acer has also unveiled the follow-up to its 2018 desktop Chrome OS machine, the Chromebox CXI4. Both will be available starting Q1 next year.
As part of its annual GPC event, Acer has announced a whole slew of new products, including laptops, desktops, beamers, displays, concept devices, and much more. The Chrome OS expert has also presented a new Chromebook and Chromebox, the Spin 513 and the CXI4. They're joined by a Google Assistant-equipped smart speaker with a low-res LED display and RGB lighting, making for some crazy Nest-Audio-meets-gamer-hardware aesthetics.
The fall semester's starting up, and with many schools opting for remote learning, Chromebooks are hotter than ever. Unfortunately, that means that most are out of stock. If you're fine with a refurbished unit, Woot is offering some higher-end Chromebooks right now for decent prices.
For the first few years, Chromebooks were only worth buying if they were cheap as dirt. As Chrome OS has improved, so has the hardware. While Chrome OS is still more limited than Windows or macOS, there's an argument to be made for a nicer piece of hardware running Google's software. Not too nice, though. Chromebooks like the Pixelbook or Galaxy Chromebook are too expensive to be genuinely competitive. The Spin 713, on the other hand, is priced just right.
Acer's Spin 713 is an excellent Chromebook; a device with specs like these would usually set you back more than the usual $629 asking price. Being such a new product, we assumed it'd be a while before we saw any reduction in cost, considering how reasonable it already is. But we were wrong: Best Buy is currently selling the Spin 713 for only $529, a whole $100 off.