The functionality and design of Chromebooks have significantly evolved over the past few years. These devices are now sleeker, faster, and more efficient. A blend of these stylish and modern features makes them ideal for use while on the go. Besides that, they are suitable for use throughout the day. But even though Chromebooks are generally cheaper and come in different price ranges, people are still keen on finding cheaper alternatives. So, what is the best Chromebooks under $300? Well, there is a wide range of cheaper and efficient Chromebook models. In this review, we highlight our top five best Chromebooks under $300.
What’s a Chromebook?
It’s a cheaper alternative to traditional laptops. Chromebooks come from Google, and so they run on Chrome operating system that has cloud storage. These new types of computers are generally designed to ensure that you do things faster. They come with multiple security layers and ready-to-use offline applications.
The Design of Chromebooks
They are available in a broad range of designs depending on the model. You can choose from a thin and light model that may resemble a tablet to a larger device that may be almost similar to Mac or Windows laptop. Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS. Well, this is a Chrome browser that’s dressed up to appear like a Windows desktop.
It should be noted that there is a search button that sits on the lower-left corner of the taskbar. It’s quite similar to the Windows Start button and has shortcuts for YouTube, Gmail, and Google Docs. There is also a status bar that’s found in the lower-right corner. It provides quick access to functionalities such as settings, volume, WiFi, and Bluetooth.
Chrome OS is extremely lightweight and is, therefore, easy to use compared to macOS and Windows. It’s also easy to maintain since it works with less effort. But unlike the other operating systems, Chrome OS in Chromebooks only uses web applications. So, they won’t let users download applications. Generally, this means that there is no Skype, Photoshop, and iTunes, among others.
How Do Chromebooks Work
If you have used a desktop and laptop to access the web, you can experience how a Chromebook works. But in a traditional sense, you don’t need to install any software while using these devices. This is because they come with web applications that you can bookmark on any website.
Chromebook’s OS is made using the open-source version of the Linux operating system. So, it’s capable of maintaining itself, downloading, and even installing the relevant updates automatically.
These web apps include Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and Google Docs, etc. It’s also worth noting that you can use these apps offline since most of them have offline modes. For extensive use, you can also applications found on Google Chrome Web Store.
It’s worth noting that these devices are compatible with Android’s Google Play Store. This means that you can run as many Android applications as you want in separate windows.
However, they come with their own smaller storage since they run on a smaller space than Windows laptops. But their small and lightweight nature also means that they are capable of booting up faster than laptops.
The small size means that they are only ideal for basic functions such as storing files like documents, pictures, videos, and music. Within the first two years, you can use the 100 GB free space and, after that, pay for the subscription.
There is no need to backup files stored on Cloud since they will be automatically synced. So, if you are switching your devices, you simply need to switch your user account and then access all the files you need.
In terms of battery life, you can use these devices for an extended period. If you’re a student, you can still use your Chromebook while you are on the move or in school without the need to constantly recharge it. However, the battery life is significantly smaller compared to Windows and Mac laptops.
The Specs I Need to Check in a Chromebook
Chromebooks are mainly designed for online use. So, their specifications aren’t as important as those for Windows laptops. But how much storage and power do you need for you to get the best Chromebooks under $300. Here is a quick guide to help you.
Generally, Chromebooks usually come with 2GB or 4GB. The latter is usually quite expensive, and for under $300, maybe you should consider the former. The difference between these two types of RAM determines the effectiveness of the device to handle multitasking.
If you are looking for a device that can simultaneously handle multiple tasks, you should consider a device with 4 GB RAM. This will ensure that your system operates under average speeds regardless of how many tasks you are handling.
This is the central processing unit, and it helps to ensure the device runs smoothly. CPU directly impacts performance, and that’s why you can open tabs and download several files without the device slowing down.
Many Chromebooks are made with Intel Celeron chips. They provide the standard acceptable speed. For under $300, you simply need a device with a modest CPU speed.
The Screen Size
Chromebooks have smaller screen sizes compared to laptops. However, it small matters for purposes of display. A good device should come with a bright and color-accurate display panel. For instance, Samsung Chromebook 4 is the best for reading and writing since it comes with 1366 x 768 pixels.
There are also versatile Chromebooks that can be bent and used as tablets. Such devices usually have an IPS touchscreen display. You can also consider the detachable screen design to remove the keyboard and remain with a screen for a standalone tablet.
Chromebooks are smaller and lightweight alternatives for laptops. This means that they don’t have much storage. In most cases, they come with 32 GB of storage. Well, this is a sufficient amount of space that you need to handle your daily tasks.
Besides that, Google will give you up to 100 GB of space of free Google Drive storage. However, you can only use this for two years. After that, you will go back to the standard 15 GB free space.
Top Best Chromebook Under $300 in 2021
Looking for the best Chromebooks under $300 in 2021 isn’t an easy feat. There are many brands with different models. These devices also come with different features and in various price ranges. However, there are still good models under $300 that can offer you value for money. Our top 5 picks include:
Samsung Chromebook 4: Best Chromebook Overall
This Samsung laptop tops as the best Chromebooks under $300. It perfectly caters to what certainly needs to be done. It has more space for what matters, and this includes 200 GB Google One cloud storage for 12 months. So, you will enjoy plenty of space as you store your files, videos, and photos, among others.
It’s slim, compact, and basically, all that you need. Weighing less than 3 pounds with a military-grade level of durability, this is the perfect device to handle your day-to-day activities. It can effectively handle all drops and bumps that come with the chaos of life. Besides that, it also comes with a well-designed keyboard as well as a trackpad.
Everything about Samsung Chromebook is built on efficiency. Its connectivity is quite fast thanks to the super-fast Gigabit WiFi connection. You can use this device to quickly stream or download large files rapidly.
With enough power to cater to your day, you can take it anywhere you need. This device has a long-lasting battery life of 12.5 hours. Besides that, you can quickly recharge it with its USB-C charger.
For lasting use, this Chromebook is protected inside and out. Internally, it has multiple layers of in-built anti-virus protection. Externally, it can withstand pressure without crumbling or breaking down.
- 4 GB RAM and 1.1. GHz processor speed
- Google Chrome OS
- Weight 2.6 lbs.
- Bluetooth, 802.11 ac wireless networking
- 11.6” HD LED Display, Anti-reflective
- 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB-C
- MicroSD multimedia card reader, headphone/mic combo
- Lasting battery life
- Cheap and compact
- Ergonomic keyboard
- Only one USB-C and USB-A ports
- Dull display
Acer Chromebook C732: Best Chromebook for Kids
Take your access to the next level with this Chromebook designed with powerful classroom-level technology. Its powerful processors, as well as the long-lasting battery life, are what you need as s student for your daily life.
Acer C732 comes with military-grade durability. With its impact resistant-body, it can take the constant knocks that most students experience. Its tamper-proof keyboard with recessed keys helps to prevent picky fingers from digging up.
Get your work done on time and access the internet for faster downloads. This is because the device comes with an optional 4G LTE2 that allows you to access all your cloud data conveniently. You don’t even need a WiFi signal to do this.
This device’s performance is perfectly polished to create optimal performance. With the Chrome OS, this Chromebook is streamlined to offer faster operation, improved security, plus intuitive use in addition to long-lasting battery life.
Your school day productivity is a guarantee with a battery life of up to 12 hours. This means that you can carry and use your device throughout the day without constantly recharge.
- 11.6” HD screen display
- GHz Intel Celeron N3350 4G RAM
- Google Chrome OS
- 12 hours battery life
- Rock-solid performance
- Rugged and durable build
- Slow performance
Dell Chromebook 11: Best Chromebook for Everyday Use
This Dell device is specifically designed to last. If you are looking for the best Chromebook for day-to-day activities, then this is one of the best alternatives to go for. It has been rigorously tested to ensure that it endures the whole day without the need to constantly charge it.
As a student, you can use it uninterruptedly thanks to its tamper and spill-resistant keyboards. According to the manufacturer, this laptop can withstand up to 5,000 free-fall micro-drops as well as 30” drops onto the steel.
Dell Chromebook offers powerful performance and power. This is catered to by the Intel Dual-Core Celeron processor. It’s quite robust and helps to boot the laptop in less than 10 seconds. This makes it ideal for use while on the go.
- 4 GB RAM
- 1.65 GHz Intel Celeron N3060 Processor
- 2 X USB 3.0 Type-A, 1X HDMI, SD card reader, and audio jack
- 3.09 lbs. weight
- Rugged and durable design
- Lasting battery life
- Offers immaculate workmanship
- Not ideal for multitasking
- Low screen resolution
Asus Chromebook C223NA: Best Budget Chromebook
C223 allows you to travel lighter and also work faster. It provides one of the most ideal ways to remain productive while you are on the go or outside having fun. You can use it all day anywhere.
The lightweight and compact device is made with an 11.6” screen display in addition to a powerful dual-core Intel processor. This offers a combination of speedy performance alongside convenient features that make it for students and professionals.
ASUS combines the effectiveness of the end-user benefits in addition to the business capabilities of Chrome OS. As a result, it’s an empowering solution that offers simplicity in use. Note that it’s made with intelligent and secure hardware solutions.
If you are working remotely, you can rely on this Chromebook’s efficiency. It gets started immediately, and its extra-slim bezels help to minimize all types of visual distracts. For online meetings, you can rely on its HD front camera to offer crispy clear images.
- 11.6” LCD screen display
- GHz Intel Celeron N3350 processor
- Bluetooth 4.9, 802.11 ac wireless connectivity
- 2.2. lbs. weight
- 1 X USB 3.0 Type-A , 2X USB 3.0 Type-C, Headphone/Microphone jack, MicroSD card slot
- Very cheap
- Lightweight and stylish
- Not ideal for intense use
- The TN panel has terrible viewing angles
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11’: Best Chromebook for Students
Lenovo Flex 3 11’ is the best Chromebook under $300 for students. It facilitates more productivity with less complexity. Besides that, it’s stylish and ideal for use while on the go. That’s why you can use it in different settings, including while traveling or hanging out outdoors with friends.
With its lightweight nature and 360-degree design, you have power in your hands. Note that it’s got power that matches its Intel processor. Furthermore, it comes with an eMMC Flash storage that provides a faster system response.
Flexi 3i will quickly get addicted to this masterpiece with a modern menu. It features a USB-C port for faster data transfer, battery charging, and multimedia streaming. Besides that, this device is made with an in-built 802.11 AC WiFi connection protocol. For more stable connections, the laptop has Bluetooth 4.2
As a student, you will definitely stay productive due to its powerful collaboration tools. Accomplish your academic work sufficiently using Google Sheets and Google Docs to work with colleagues, edit, and create content in real-time.
- Intel Celeron processors and eMMC flash storage
- 11-inch HD IPS touchscreen
- Super lightweight weighing 1.2 kg/ 2.64 lbs.
- Multiple modern ports including MicroSD card reader, USB-C, and mic/headphone combo
- Lightweight and portable
- USB-C charging
- Features a lackluster 11” screen
Which One Should You Buy?
The -best Chromebook to buy is the one that suits your budget and user preferences. Besides that, professional reviewers indicate that lasting battery life is a crucial tiebreaker to determine the best Chromebooks under $300 that suit your needs. Even though the under $300 may be on the cheap end, you need something that offers value for money. So, when you are analyzing different models, put your needs first.
Where to Buy Chromebooks
There are many places where you can buy such a device, including a brick-and-mortar store. Many brands have offices or agencies in big cities where you can conveniently make your purchases. However, the best place to buy a Chromebook is usually online, right from the creator’s official website.
How Chromebooks Are Progressing
With technology advancing, Chromebooks are also evolving. The current ones don’t have the rudimentary systems of the previous devices running on Chrome OS. They have rich functionalities that make them efficient.
Besides that, they are also more durable. While these devices may be lightweight in nature, they are made with solid materials such as carbon fiber and magnesium alloy for the chassis and frame. The plastic exterior covering can also withstand friction.
The delivery of these laptops has improved. You now get to view sharper images at great viewing angles. Even better is that you can now access a few elite models that have 128 GB SSD rather than the standard eMMC storage.
The Bottom Line
Chromebooks provide a convenient and efficient way to access the web and store files. They are smaller, lightweight, and affordable than most laptops. That’s why they are increasingly popular since they are ideal for use while you are on the move and still ensure that you maintain your productivity. The above-reviewed devices are among the best on the market. They are not only cheaper but also efficient and have long-lasting battery life.