Chromebooks can be a good deal for people looking for a highly portable, yet affordable laptop to work on the go. They are a great choice for kids and students, and for anyone who mainly needs a laptop for browsing the web. All Chromebooks come with at least 100GB of cloud storage, as well as a built in drive. But because Chromebooks are budget oriented, most of them come with 32GB or 64GB eMMC storage, which may not be enough for some people. Luckily, most Chromebooks do have an SD card slot, or a micro SD slot, which can be very useful if you run out of space, and if you’re not a very big fun of cloud storage.
In this article, we will list some of the best Chromebooks with SD Card readers available right now. Most Chromebooks nowadays have a micro SD slot, but some of them come with a full size SD card reader. For those in a hurry, you will find the complete list first, and individual reviews further below. There is also a short FAQ section to answer some of the questions some of you might have about SD cards and Chromebooks in general.
Quick list: Best Chromebooks with SD card Slots in 2022
Why do you need an SD card with a Chromebook?
As mentioned before, Chromebooks have limited internal storage, since they meant to be connected to the internet all the time and run apps on the cloud. But if you like downloading videos, books, photos, or any other files you want to access offline, then adding an external storage is the best solution. For about 30$, you can get a 128GB or 256GB micro SD card.
Most Chromebooks have a micro SD card reader, and even if your laptop doesn’t have one, you can use a USB hub to extend the amount of ports connect an external card reader. The Anker USB C hub is a good example, with 7 different ports, including a separate micro SD and full size SD card reader. If you’re looking for a Chromebook with a built in SD card reader, then you can simply find one on the list below.
Once the SD card is installed, your Chromebook will usually recognize it automatically. But you will need to enable saving files on the SD card, by to “Settings”, then “Storage Management”, and selecting the SD card from “External storage preferences”. If you use an app such as Netflix that needs a lot of space to download files, you can also give the app storage permissions. For that, you need to go to “Settings”, then “Apps”, then “Manage your apps”, and then you select the app you want to give access to the SD card, and change the download location for that app.
Detailed list : Best Chromebooks SD card slots (full size and micro SD)
If you need more information about the Chromebooks we listed above, you can find a short review of each one here.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 2 in 1
The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is a relatively affordable 2 in 1 laptop that comes in a 11,6 inch format. The touch screen has a 360° hinge, which is useful when using the Chromebook in tablet mode. This Chromebook also has a full size SD card reader.
In terms of specs, this Chromebook is equipped with a MediaTek MT8183 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB eMMC storage.The display has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which is in enough for a 11 inch screen.
The Lenovo Flex 3 also has a USB-C port, a USB 3.1 Type A port, an SD card reader, and it’s also one of the most affordable Chromebooks with HDMI port available right now.
|➕ Relatively Affordable
➕ Good number of ports
➕ Good battery life
|➖ SD card sticks out when installed
➖ Average performance
ASUS Chromebook CX1500CKA-DH44F
The Asus CX1 is an affordable 15,6 inch Chromebook that offers great value for your money. While it’s not a performance beast, it has everything you’ll need for your daily tasks, such as browsing the web, email, or typing texts. There an Intel Celeron N4500 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 64MMC and of course you can expand that by adding a microSD card.
The design is also very well done, and the Asus CX1 looks way more expensive and premium than it actually is. There is a huge 15,6 full HD display, plenty of ports, and if you’re looking for a Chromebook with a full size keyboard, then the CX1 has one!
In terms of ports, there are 2 USB-C ports, 2 USB type A ports, and of course a microSD slot.
|➕ Relatively Affordable
➕ Good build quality
|➖ Average performance|
Lenovo Flex 5i 13 Chromebook
The Lenovo Flex 5i is definitely one of the best chromebooks you can get right now. It’s lightweight, well built and can meet the needs of a wide variety of users. The Flex 5i 13 features an intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage. At this price point, the Flex 5i is actually pretty good!
The 13,3 Full HD screen has minimal bezels, which helps keep the overall measurements of the laptop low. The Flex 5i is easy to carry around, and is perfect for working on the go, or college students for example. The screen can rotate 360° degrees, and you can turn this chromebook into a tablet.
There are 2 USB-C ports and 2 USB type A ports (2 on each side), and the Flex 5i Chromebooks also has an SD card slot.
➕ Good performance
|➖ OK battery life|
ASUS Chromebook C523NA-IH44F
The ASUS C523NA-IH44F is a 15,6 inch Chromebook that comes with an Intel Celeron N3350 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB eMMC storage.
In terms of ports, there are 2 USB 3.2 type A, 1 USB-C, and a micro SD card reader. Build quality is good, and the display has minimal bezels. The screen can rotate up to 180°, but it’s not touch enabled. On the plus side, the screen is full HD.
|➕ Large display
➕ Good build quality
|➖ No Touch screen|
ASUS Chromebook 17 CX1700
The ASUS CX1700 is a 17,3 inch Chromebook that offers good value for its price. In terms of specs, the CX1700 is equipped with an Intel Celeron N4500 processor, 4GB RAM, and a 32GB eMMC drive. If you’re after a Chromebook with a large display, then the ASUS CX1700 is as big as it gets, with its 17,3 inch Full HD screen.
In terms of ports, the CX1700 has 2 x USB-C 3.2 ports; 2 x USB-A 3.2 ports, and a Micro SD card reader. The CX1700 is also one of the first Chromebooks to support Wifi 6.
|➕ Large IPS display
➕ Good Keyboard and separate number pad
|➖ Average build Quality|
Acer Chromebook 314, CB314-1H-C884
The Acer Chromebook 314 is is a 14 inch Chromebook that comes with an Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB of RAM, 64Gb of eMMC storage, and up to 12 hours of battery life.
In terms of ports, other than the micro SD card reader, there are 2 USB 3.2 ports and 2 USB-C ports.
|➕ Build quality
➕ Good battery life
|➖ No touchscreen|
HP Chromebook X360 12b-ca00
The HP X360 12b-ca00 is a stylish 2 in 1 Chromebook that comes with an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64 GB eMMC storage.
The HP X360 Chromebook is neither too small, nor too big. With its 12 inch HD+ touch display, this Chromebook is one of the best convertibles out there. The screen also has a 3:2 aspect ratio.
In terms of I/O, there are 2 USB 3.1 Type-C ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-A , and a micro SD card slot.
|➕ 3:2 aspect ratio display
➕ Good battery life
|➖ Display resolution|
HP Chromebook 14C-CA0053DX
The HP 14C-CA0053DX is a Chromebook that ticks many boxes. It comes with an intel i3-10110U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 64GB of eMMC storage, and a 14 inch full HD display.
The microSD card reader makes it easy to add extra storage, and there is a good number of ports too. Including 2 USB-C ports, and 1 USB type 1 port. There is also a fingerprint reader, and the keyboard is backlit.
|➕ Good performance
➕ Fingerprint scanner
|➖ display Viewing angles|
Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook
The Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook has plenty to offer for its price. This Chromebook is equipped with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.
The Flex 5i can also be used in tablet mode, and the touch screen is stylus compatible. The display on this Chromebook is a 13,3 inch IPS panel, with a resolution of 1920X1080. As for ports, there are 2 USB-C ports, 1 USB 3.2 type A, ans a micro SD card slot.
The Webcam also has a built in privacy shutter, and the keyboard is backlit.
|➕ Good performance
➕ Plenty of storage space
|➖ Average speakers|
ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5500FDA-DN344T
The ASUS Flip CM5500FDA-DN344T is a professional looking Chromebook that offers good value for money. In terms of specs, this Chromebook is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 3 3250C processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB eMMC storage.
This Chromebook was designed for those who need to type documents on the go. The keyboard has a 1.4mm key travel, and the keys are also backlit.
The Asus Chromebook Flip CM5 also has a 15,6 inch touch display, which can flip up to 360°. There is also a good amount of ports, including 2 USB-C ports, 1 USB 3.2 type A port, HDMI, and a micro SD card reader.
|➕ Good build quality
➕ Good keyboard with dedicated number pad
|➖ A bit heavy|
How to choose the best SD card for your Chromebook?
Not all SD or microSD cards are equal, and before installing one in your Chromebook, you should choose a card that offers good speeds, to keep your system running smoothly.
Most Chromebooks nowadays have microSD card slots, but some of them have full size SD cards Slots, which is not a problem, since all microSD cards come with an adapter. MicroSD cards can be used in many devices, such as smartphone, tablets, laptops, digital cameras…etc, and when buying a new microSD card, the storage capacity is not the only thing to take into consideration; the read/write speeds are also very important, since they will determine how fast you will be able to access and store data on the card.
Nowadays, microSD and SD cards have many symbols and ratings, but you can easily find out the speed of the card thanks to the table below.
There are three classes of microSD and SD cards: The C class (speed),the UHS speed Class, and the Video speed class. As you can see in the table below, a V90 card will be significantly faster than a class 10 card:
|C class||Speed Class||Minimum write speed|
|Class 0||No speed rating.|
|Class 2||2 MB/s|
|Class 4||4 MB/s|
|Class 6||6 MB/s|
|Class 10||10 MB/s|
|Video Class||V6||6 MB/s|
For Chromebooks, it is recommended to get at least a Class 10 microSD card.
What is the maximum SD card size you can use in a Chromebook?
Most Chromebook card readers use the SDXC standard, which support cards up to 2TB. However, it is not recommended to use such a large card in a Chromebook, unless you need to store a lot of files.
Are Class 10 sd cards the fastest?
Class 10 cards are indeed the fastest among their Class rating, however, they are not the fastest SD cards available right now. UHS-I and UHS-II cards are faster when it comes to write speed.
What are Chromebooks?
Chromebooks are laptops that run Google Chrome’s operating system, instead of Windows or something else. These laptops are mainly designed to work online. With that, most of your documents and applications are stored in the cloud.
Chromebooks tend to have a narrow price range and are very budget-friendly. This is because they often have smaller screen sizes, and less capacity as well. But make sure to keep reading, we will explain how to make some upgrades if needed, while still retaining that budget-friendly aspect of your Chromebook!
As we mentioned, Chromebooks run Google’s OS, and with that, they mostly feature Google’s applications. Also, most of the time, they require an internet connection to get the best out of the device. You should also have an existing Gmail account to log into your Chromebook for the best user experience.
However, as of recently, the Android apps are making their way to Chromebooks as well. The goal here is to be able to have as many different applications and games as possible.
Unfortunately, popular applications and programs such as Adobe’s Photoshop, or Microsoft Office packages aren’t currently available on Chromebooks. Instead, there is an Android version of Office that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Also, you can always use Microsoft Office Online from your Google Drive.
Chromebooks were primarily designed for online use, but there are over 200 applications that still support offline mode, and a lot of new Android applications can also work in offline mode.
When it comes to games, you will be able to play some of them, but the options aren’t so diverse. Apart from the Google Play Store, you can grab a few games specially designed for Google OS, and that’s pretty much it. However, Chromebooks with Android support get many more game titles. But these laptops also have quite limited graphic processing capabilities, so try to stick to less demanding games.
Chromebooks usually provide excellent battery life, and easily last more than 8 hours. However, some models have powerful processors, and are becoming more and more like traditional windows laptops. Battery life is sometimes relatively shorter on these models.
Now, let’s see some average configuration for Chromebooks, to help you get a clue at what you should be looking for if you decide to buy one:
- Screen size – most Chromebooks range from 11″ to 13″ display. However, some models go up to 15,6″, and recently ASUS and Acer even made a 17,3″ Chromebook. This is because most of the Chromebooks have quite limited graphics performance, and most of the time they have integrated graphics
- CPU – most mid-range Chromebooks have an Intel dual-core processor, but some newer models have an i5 or i7 if there is a need for better performance
- RAM – 4 GB is the usual memory, but in case of a faster processor, there can be 8 GB as well to compliment the CPU