For most people, Chromebooks are only cheaper alternative to traditional laptops. But with the market growing year after year, more and more people are starting to use Chromebooks as their main computer.

And while a Chromebook can not replace a traditional Windows, Mac , or Linux computer; the truth is there are a lot of reasons why you could consider buying one. Chromebooks are actually a great alternative for those who mainly use their laptop to browse the internet, watch movies and do simple office work such as typing. And that’s why they are very popular as a device for kids, students, senior users, and even writers.

However, since Chromebooks are priced on the lower end of the spectrum, their build quality is usually modest. But it doesn’t mean that more premium models don’t exist.

For those of you who really like the idea behind the Chrome OS, but want to spend a little more money and get more features and a superior build quality; the good news is that a lot of manufacturers are taking Chromebooks seriously. A few years ago, the Google Pixelbook was the only high end Chromebook available; but in my opinion, at 1000$ it’s quite expensive for what it has to offer. There are more budget friendly alternatives , and that’s why I compiled a list of some of the best Chromebooks under 500$ available right now.

But before we proceed to the list, let’s have a look at some of the things to consider when buying a Chromebook.

Things to Consider when buying a Chromebook:

  1. You will need a Google account: A simple gmail address is a gateway to use Chromebooks. The one advantage of using your google account is that it will synchronize all the chrome settings with other computers that are running with windows, MAC or Linux Operating Systems.
  2. Know about the things that Chromebooks can’t perform: A Chromebook cannot perform hardcore media editing such as, video editing or image editing. The soft-core or basic image editing works like resizing or changing the image formats can be done through Chromebooks. For example, if you are a professional photographer and need to deal with RAW files in Photoshop, then a Chromebook is definitely not for you!
  3. Printer’s compatibility with Chromebooks: Most of these devices do not support older printers; they need to have a printer that supports the google cloud print technology. Make sure that your printer is compatible with the Chromebook that you are buying. Else, you will have to buy a new printer that supports your Chromebook.

Advantages of using a Chromebook:

  1. Inexpensive: When you are in the browser, you almost forget that you are using a 300$ machine instead of 1300$ one, and that is what makes the Chromebooks look more appealing! There are many decent Chromebooks available for 100-200$.
  2. Highly portable: They are extremely light and be carried to any places such as airports, business trips, and so on.
  3. High battery life: You can work on your Chromebooks for hours together, without worrying of plugging it to a power source the whole day!
  4. Secured Operative System: Security has become more important today! Each day, many accounts are getting hacked and the data is stolen. These viruses can steal our data and can put lives in threat. Chromebooks are less vulnerable to viruses or malware when compared to windows.
  5. Many interesting apps and extensions: The chrome app store is filled with tons of apps and extensions that are designed to make your Chromebooks to look more engaging. Google play store is also added to Chromebooks that has millions of different apps that you can look in. They are very tightly connected to Google’s ecosystem and, improve the functionality of Chromebooks immensely.

 

Best Chromebooks under $500:

Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip

 

The Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook is  a 2 in 1 that comes in a sleek and lightweight all aluminum chassis and can easily fit in a briefcase. In terms of hardware, the Asus C302CA-DHM4 has an Intel Core M processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB flash storage, which is more than sufficient for running the Chrome OS and third party applications available on the Google store. The Asus C302 is also capable of running Android apps right out of the box. Also, the machine is capable of starting up in as less as 3.5 seconds.

Thanks to the 360° hinge,  you can use the device in a variety of ways like tablet mode, tent mode, stand or laptop mode. This Chromebook is great whether you use it as a tablet for taking notes, or in tent mode for watching a movie on the bed.

The full-size, one-piece chiclet keyboard provides a very comfortable typing experience, and this laptop is actually getting lots of praise for its keyboard.The Asus C302 also one of the few Chromebooks with a backlit keyboard.

For writers and bloggers on the go, the Asus C302CA is a good deal. The touchpad is spacious and has a palm rejection feature that can differentiate between actual fingerprint and palm contact.

The Asus C302CA is also power-efficient and can last up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Here is a great video review of the Asus C302CA:

Processor Intel Core M Processor
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB, Flash Memory SSD
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 515
Screen 12,5 inch, 1920 x 1080
Connectivity and Ports 2- USB 3.1 Type C

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Battery up to 10 hours

 

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE520QAB-K02US

The Samsung Plus XE520QAB-K02 is a great 2 in 1 Chromebook that comes with a top notch display and an elegant design. In terms of specs, the Samsung Plus has an Intel Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB eMMC storage.

This Chromebook also weighs just under 3 pounds, and it can easily be folded into tablet mode for more comfortable viewing and browsing, or use as tablet mode. There is even an included pen for handwriting notes or doodling.

The keyboard is very comfortable to type on, and the trackpad is very responsive and consistent. The keyboard is not backlit however. In terms of ports, the Samsung Plus Chromebook comes with 2 USB type C and a standard USB 3.0 port.

Processor Intel Core m3 Processor 7Y30
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB, eMMC
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615
Screen 12,2 inch, 1920×1200
Connectivity and Ports 2- USB 3.1 Type C

1- USB 3.0

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Battery up to 10 hours

 

Dell Chromebook 11 3189 T8TJG

 

The Dell Chromebook 11 3189 T8TJG is great option if you’re looking for laptop for kids, or simply want a solid little computer. It comes with an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64 eMMC storage.

The build quality is very good, even if the chassis is mainly made of plastic. The edges of the device are rubberized which helps protect the Chromebooks if you happen to drop it by accident.

The battery life is also great, and should give you a solid 10 hours of use.

Processor Intel Core Celeron N3060
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB, eMMC
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 400
Screen 11,6 inch, 1366×768
Connectivity and Ports 2- USB 3.1

1- HDMI

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Battery up to 10 hours

 

Acer Chromebook 514, CB514-1H-C47X

The Acer Chromebook 514 is a newly released device that offers plenty of value for the money. This Chromebook comes with an Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core processor , 4GB of RAM, and a 32GB eMMC storage. In terms of performance, this Chromebook is very snappy and responsive, and does everything it’s supposed to do with no issues.

It also comes with a built-in anti-virus protection and boots up in seconds. This makes it a great choice for a Chromebook. It comes with a 14 inch Full HD IPS display and even if it’s a 14 inch device, the footprint remains contained thanks to narrow bezels around the screen.. The chassis is also made out of aluminum, which makes it all the more durable.

The backlit keyboard makes working easier in dim surroundings. The Gorilla touchpad makes tapping, swiping and scrolling just amazing. Also the feel of the touchpad is much slicker than the regular one’s making it a big hit among the users.

Processor Intel Celeron N3350
RAM 4GB
Storage 32GB, flash memory solid state drive
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 500
Screen 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS
Connectivity and Ports 2- USB 3.1 type C2- USB 3.0Card reader, Bluetooth 4.2
Battery up to 12 hours

 

Lenovo Chromebook 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

 

Weighing just 2,6 pounds, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a compact 2-in 1 device that you can slip easily into your bag.

At this price range, it’s hard to find another Chromebook that has the same features as the C330. It comes with a MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64 GB eMMC storage. This laptop sports a 11,6 inch display, at 1366X768 resolution. The C330 is definitely one the best Chromebooks under 300$ you can buy right now.

The build quality is also very good considering the price. The overall design is pleasing to the eye and even if this Chromebook is entirely made of plastic,  it appears sturdy and durable.

Processor MediaTek MT8173C Processor
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB, eMMC
Graphics Integrated, PowerVR SGX543
Screen 11,6 inch, 1366 x 768
Connectivity and Ports 1- USB 3.11- USB 3.1 Type C

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Battery up to 10 hours

 

 

 

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