Thursday, February 29, 2024

Strong contenders for three benjamins


Asus Chromebook Flip C436 review right edge close upSometimes the absolute best version of a thing isn’t the best thing for you. While it’s easy to aspire to owning fancy stuff, that’s not a practical approach for most people. And even though Chromebooks often cost less than their Windows counterparts, some Chromebooks are near $1,000 — a dollar figure that’s simply too high for many buyers. That’s why we rounded up the best Chromebooks under $300, so you can sit back with a decent machine and a decent price and keep more of your Benjamins in the bank. 

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

These span several sizes, including those with 11.6-, 14-, and 15.6-inch displays, and also several form factors, including standard clamshells and spinning convertibles. This should help everyone find their match. Here are our recommendations. 

Best Chromebooks under $300

  1. Samsung Chromebook 4+ (15-in.)
  2. Asus Chromebook C523
  3. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
  4. Acer Spin 11 (2020)
  5. HP Chromebook X360 11 (11.6-in.)
  6. Lenovo Chromebook C340 (11-inch)

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Chromebooks under $300 regularly as new devices launch.

1. Samsung Chromebook 4+

samsung chromebook 4 plus

First in our best Chromebooks under $300 roundup is this classy piece of hardware, which should serve those who want a general computing machine with a large screen. It offers a 15.6-inch LCD display with Full HD resolution. The 1,920 by 1,080 pixels ensure you have lots of room for multiple apps or windows. The machine is powered by an Intel Celeron N3000 or N4000 processor with a reasonable 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. A 720p HD webcam means you can have Duo or Zoom chats with friends and family. 

Other features include WiFi 5, a smattering of USB-A and USB-C ports, a slot for microSD cards, and of course a headphone jack. The lithium-ion battery is rated for 12.5 hours, which should push nearly everyone through a too-long work or school day.

Samsung Chromebook 4+ specs:

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4000
  • Display: 15.6-in, 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Wireless: WiFi 5
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Ports: 1 USB-A, 2 USB-C
  • Battery: lithium-ion
  • Weight: 1.7kg (3.75lbs)

2. Asus Chromebook C523

Asus C523a

The Asus Chromebook C523 is another productivity powerhouse. It sports a 15.6-inch display that’s available in 1,366 by 768 HD and 1,920 by 1,080 Full HD options. Asus kept the bezels in check for an 80% screen-to-body ratio. The larger screen permits for a full-sized keyboard and a generous trackpad. A dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 provides the processing power and it is paired with speedy 4GB LPDDR4 of RAM and 32GB of storage. It also has a webcam for video conferencing. 

Along the side edges you’ll find two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, a headphone/mic jack, a microSD slot, and a Kensington lock. The 38Wh battery is rated for about 10 hours. It is rather heavy at 3.2 pounds, but is one of the more affordable options on this list.

Asus Chromebook C523 specs

  • Processor: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core
  • Display: 15.6-in LCD, 1,366 x 768 HD
  • Memory: 4GB 2,400MHz LPDDR4
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Wireless: WiFi 5
  • Webcam: Yes
  • Ports: 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, headphone, microSD
  • Battery: 38Wh lithium-ion
  • Weight: 1.45kg/3.2lbs

3. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

lenovo chromebook duet

At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the ultra-portable Lenovo Chromebook Duet for a journal. It’s wrapped in a soft fabric, but you’ll find a sharp Full HD screen inside when you open the type cover. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet screen is just 10.1-inches across, but it’s a perfect pick for on the go.

See also: Lenovo Chromebook Duet review

You might be disappointed if you’re looking for a 2-in-1 with plenty of ports, but the Chromebook Duet packs the internals to make up for it. Lenovo has managed to fit an octa-core MediaTek Helios P60T processor and ARM G72 MP3 graphics into the slim device. The standard configuration is also equipped with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of eMCP storage. Lenovo boasts up to 10 hours of battery life on the Chromebook Duet, and two Dolby Audio speakers tie the package together.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet specs

  • Processor: MediaTek Helios P60T Octa-core
  • Display: 10.1-inch, IPS, 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD
  • Memory: 4G LPDDR4
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Wireless: 802.11ac WiFi
  • Webcam: 2MP Fixed-focus
  • Ports: 1 USB-C (Gen 2)
  • Battery: 7,000mAh
  • Weight: 0.92kg/2.03lbs. for tablet and keyboard


4. Acer Spin 11

Acer Spin 11Amazon

The Acer Spin 11 primarily targets the education market. It’s a rugged, mil-spec rated convertible that lets students use it as a laptop or a tablet. The Acer Spin features a spill-resistant keyboard and Gorilla Glass for durability. It has a smaller, 11.6-inch display that’s got 1,366 by 768 pixels, making for HD resolution. This Chromebook is powered by a dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and it features a 720p webcam that’s perfect for distance learning.

Ports and such are fairly robust. The Chromebook has two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, as well as a headphone/mic jack, and a slot for microSD memory cards. It’s one of the lighter offerings on deck at just 3.09 pounds. The battery is rated for “more than six hours” of uptime. It’s available at Amazon for $299.99. 

Acer Spin 11 specs:

  • Processor: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350
  • Display: 11.6-in, IPS 1,366 x 768 HD
  • Memory: 4G LPDDR3
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Wireless: 802.11ac WiFi
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Ports: 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, headphone, microSD
  • Battery: 3,490mAh lithium-ion
  • Weight: 1.4kg/3.09lbs

5. HP Chromebook X360 11 (11.6-in)

HP Chromebook 11a G8

The HP Chromebook X360 11 is another small convertible that’s aimed at education. The display rotates 360 degrees so the device can act as a laptop or a tablet. The 11.6-inch touch display has modest 1,366 by 768 resolution. It has wide, 178-degree viewing angles. The X360 11 is powered by a dual-core 1.8GHz AMD A6-9220C processor with a generous 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Should you need more storage space, the Chromebook supports microSD cards. Other features include a 720p webcam for video classrooms, and the best battery life on this list at 13.75 hours. 

Connectivity runs the gamut. In addition to WiFi 5 and Bluetooth, you’ll find two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. Rounding out the features, it has stereo speakers, dual integrated mics, and a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack. It’s available at BHPhoto for $298.95.

HP Chromebook X360 11 specs

  • Processor: 1.8GHz AMD A6-9220C Dual-Core
  • Display: 11.6-in, IPS 1,366 x 768 HD
  • Memory: 8GB 1,866MHz LPDDR4
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Wireless: WiFi 5
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Ports: 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, headphone, microSD
  • Battery: 47.36Wh lithium-polymer
  • Weight: 1.37kg/3.02lbs

6. Lenovo Chromebook C340 (11-inch)

Lenovo C340 review front view open with phone

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Here’s another compact option. The Lenovo Chromebook C340 is one of the newer machines from the company. It comes in 11.6- and 15.6-inch sizes and we prefer the smaller, more portable one. This Chromebook is available in either gray or, believe it or not, pink. It’s got a wedge-like shape and comes across as rather chunky, and yet it is the lightest option in our best Chromebooks under $300 roundup. 

Only a single processor option is available to the C340, and that’s an Intel Celeron N4000 clocked at 1.1GHz with a 4MB cache and burst speed of up to 2.6GHz. Other specs that play a role in performance include the Intel UHD Graphics 600 and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM at 2.4GHz. Two storage variants are available: 32GB and 64GB, with only $20 separating the two. You’ve got USB-C and USB-A ports, as well as a headphone jack.

Lenovo Chromebook C340 (11-inch) specs

  • Processor: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4000
  • Display: 11.6-in, 1,366 x 768 HD
  • Memory: 4GB 2,400MHz LPDDR4
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Wireless: WiFi 5
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Ports: 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, headphone, microSD
  • Battery: lithium-ion
  • Weight: 1.2kg/2.65lbs

That’s it for our look at the best Chromebooks under $300. For even more Chromebook buyer’s guides and how tos, check out the links below.

Best Chromebooks

Chromebooks guides

More posts about Chromebooks

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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