7 Best Chromebooks for students on a budget in 2019

School is back in session, and now is the time where students are looking to get the best bang for their buck when it comes to laptops. However, students might want to try a different type of laptop this year–the Chromebook. It’s battery life, portability and performance are unmatched in a small, yet affordable package.

ProductBrandNamePrice
ASUSASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-inch Touchscreen Convertible ChromebookBuy on Amazon|$459.99(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:31 ET)
SamsungSamsung Chromebook 3Buy on Amazon|$118.55(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:30 ET)
AcerAcer Flagship CB3-532 15.6 inchBuy on Amazon|$119.99(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:32 ET)
AcerAcer Chromebook R 11 ConvertibleBuy on Amazon|$263.25(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:32 ET)
ASUSASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6 inchBuy on Amazon|$218(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:32 ET)

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The only drawback is that Chromebooks require an Internet connection to operate. But, with the Internet so prevalent these days, especially in schools, that shouldn’t be a problem. After all, there are still options for downloading papers and assignment instructions for offline viewing. Even papers can be written without an Internet connection.

Follow along below, and we’ll point you in the right direction for picking up a powerful Chromebook that won’t blow your budget.

Samsung Chromebook 3

Students on a budget will love the Samsung Chromebook 3. There aren’t too many bells and whistles here, as this really is a budget laptop; however, don’t let that scare you away. It still sports some decent hardware–you get a Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of memory and a 16GB SSD for storage. Of course, you don’t get all 16GB of that space, as some is reserved for the operating system (OS), though the OS doesn’t take much space, as it’s extremely lightweight. I will note here that, since it is an SSD (flash storage) boot up is insanely fast.

It has a 11.6-inch high-definition anti-reflective display. Given this, the display does feel like plastic, and can make the laptop feel cheap, but it’s still sturdy. It really is a very practical choice, and as such, won’t break the bank.

Buy it now: Amazon

Acer CB3-532

If you’re looking for even more value out of a laptop, the Acer CB3-532 is an excellent option. When it comes to hardware, you get a lot of the same in the Samsung Chromebook 3–a Intel Celeron N3060 processor, a smaller 2GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD. Once again, bootup times are insanely fast, and general use, going from app-to-app is fast as well.

The distinct difference here that students will love is the larger screen. You get a large 15.6-inch high-definition anti-glare screen. Due to that anti-glare feature, there is a plastic layer over the display, which–similar to the Samsung Chromebook 3–makes things feel cheap. Still, Acer is offering these models as Certified Refurbished (with an extra 90-day warranty), allowing you to get bargain basement prices on this model.

Buy it now: Amazon

Google Pixelbook

We’re now on the Google Pixelbook 2, but the original Pixelbook is still a formidable device, and a budget-option since it’s “last year’s hardware.” This laptop comes in a variety of hardware options, such as Intel Core’s i5 or i7. You can get it with 8 or 16GB of RAM, and it comes equipped with a 12.3-inch Quad HD 2,400 x 1,600 touchscreen display. You can actually get a ton of storage with this Chromebook — all the way up to 512GB if you so choose.

Google’s Pixelbook is fast and efficient. It’ll run all Android and Chrome OS applications without a hitch, giving you a variety of software application to meet your needs.

Buy it now: Amazon

Acer Chromebook R11 Convertible

The Acer Chromebook R11 Convertible is about $100 more than the Samsung Chromebook 3, but comes with some powerful differences. Hardware-wise, you get a Intel Celeron N3150 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD (double of what the previous options have had). You also get a small 11.6-inch high-definition display, but it’s clarity is one of the best on the market. In addition, it doubles as a touchscreen, which can make the Chromebook easier to use during normal laptop use. Or, you can flip it into tablet mode while chilling out on the couch.

The neat thing about this Chromebook is that Acer in partnership with Google has made it compatible with the Google Play Store. In other words, not only do you have access to the Chrome Web Store, but you have access to the hundreds of thousands of Android apps found on the Google Play Store as well. This gives you a whole lot more possibilities for tools and apps that’ll help you with school.

Buy it now: Amazon

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 might not have any neat bells and whistles like touchscreen capabilities, but it’s a rugged Chromebook that allows you to take it anywhere without worry of breaking it. Reinforced rubber wrapped frames keep the Chromebook protected and even absorb shock in the event of a drop.

In addition, it has a spill-proof keyboard, so if you spill any sort of fluid on it, you don’t have to worry about destroying your Chromebook. All of this together makes this Chromebook the most ideal candidate for working on essays outside, taking to coffee shops for study, etc.

Hardware-wise, you get a Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD and a 11-6-inch HD anti-glare display. Android apps through the Google Play Store are available on the Chrome OS beta channel, and will become a fully-fledged public feature. You can pick up the Chromebook on Amazon for $220.

Buy it now: Amazon

HP Chromebook 14

Next up, we’re looking at the HP Chromebook 14. It’s packed with some more mid-range hardware, allowing you to choose different configurations with the Intel Celeron N2840 or N2940. It has Intel HD Graphics, between 2 and 4GB of RAM and up to 32GB of flash storage.

The better part about the HP Chromebook 14 is that it has a larger screen — a 14-inch High Definition BrightView display. It’s not the flashiest or highest-end display, but you still get plenty more real estate than most. This really is another excellent one for those on a budget.

Buy it now: Amazon

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 has a lot of great features with it. Not only does it have a 360-degree flexible 12.5-inch HD touchscreen, but it’s also one of the few Chromebooks that can install Android apps through the Google Play Store as on official–not beta–feature.

There’s a lot of hardware packed into this Chromebook as well. It has an Intel Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a large by Chromebook standards 64GB SSD. It’s fast and will do anything you need it to do.

Buy it now: Amazon

Verdict

So, which one do you buy? Obviously it all depends on your budget, but if you’re looking to get a bare-bones Chromebook on the cheap, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is something you can rely on, especially with a well-known brand backing it.

If you have the money to spend, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 is a great investment, as it’ll last you for years to come–well past graduation, even. If you don’t have the money to spend on that, a good middle-ground would be the Acer Chromebook R11, which still gives you a touchscreen and access to Android apps.

When it comes down to it, no matter what you pick off this list, you’re not going to regret the purchase.

ProductBrandNamePrice
ASUSASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-inch Touchscreen Convertible ChromebookBuy on Amazon|$459.99(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:31 ET)
SamsungSamsung Chromebook 3Buy on Amazon|$118.55(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:30 ET)
AcerAcer Flagship CB3-532 15.6 inchBuy on Amazon|$119.99(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:32 ET)
AcerAcer Chromebook R 11 ConvertibleBuy on Amazon|$263.25(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:32 ET)
ASUSASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6 inchBuy on Amazon|$218(Price as of 09/16/2019 21:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.