The new school term is almost here, and with it, a deluge of Chromebooks at a rock-bottom price, courtesy of Amazon.
The shopping giant lists as many as 17 Chromebooks on sale, with most reduced by around $20. This is impressive, considering some Chromebooks can be bought for less than $200 at full price.
ChromeOS is fast becoming the darling of the classroom, as schools take advantage of the low hardware costs, and the ease in which devices running the operating system can be maintained and managed.
There is a wealth of applications for ChromeOS, meaning Laptops running ChromeOS can do almost anything a Windows computer or Mac can do, with the exception of running some specialized software, and switching to a Chromebook is insanely easy. And did I mention Chromebooks can run Linux? For casual computing, they’re unrivaled.
The Amazon Back-To-School Promotion takes place over the next few weeks and there’s a great opportunity to find a great deal on a new computer. Here are some of the best.
There’s a tendency for Chromebooks to be on the… Well? The diminutive size. Some of the best sellers by Acer, HP and Samsung are a measly 11.6 inches. This is fine, but what if you need more screen real estate?
Thankfully, ASUS has you covered. The snappily named C300MA-DB01 comes with a 13.3 inch screen which is powered by a dual-core Bay Train CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of pure, solid-state storage. Battery life is likewise impressive. It can run for 10 hours without needing to be plugged in.
If you’re looking for a fast laptop that doesn’t compromise on size, this is one for you.
The Acer C720 is a fast, beautiful and sturdy beast, capable of lasting all day, and taking any abuse you throw at it. How do I know? I own this model myself, having dragged it through airports and cities alike. It’s an incredible travel laptop, and I adore it.
The model on sale is the 32GB version. It comes with an Intel Celeron CPU, 2GB of RAM and a beautiful 11.6 inch screen, with support for HDMI out. Battery life is pretty impressive too, and you can get 8.5 hours out of a single charge. Its chicklet keyboard is similarly sturdy, and can withstand a heavy battering, as you type out an essay or a blog post.
The HP Chromebook wouldn’t look out of place in an elementary school, with its thick plastic shell, and bright contrasts between white and primary colors. It looks almost toy-like, and yet this facade betrays a phenomenally capable computer.
It runs a power-sipping Exynos CPU, clocked at 1.7Ghz, backed up with an ARM Mali GPUm and 2GB of RAM. Battery life isn’t great, at only six hours. However, its battery can be charged with a normal MicroUSB charger. This allows you to throw away that irritating, proprietary charger for good. Not sure if it’s for you? You might want to check out this in-depth HP Chromebook 11 review.
The Lenovo Ideapad N20P is a bit more expensive than the other laptops we’ve discussed so far. Although, make no mistake, this is a premium product.
Specs are good, but not outstanding. You’ve got 2GB of RAM, a Celeron CPU, a 11.6 inch screen and a battery life that goes up to eight hours. And then you’ve got a few other extras that make this device stand out from the crowd.
It comes with a touch-screen, allowing you to pinch, flick and tap your way through the Internet. You can put the screen at a 300 degree angle, allowing you to ditch the mouse and keyboard altogether. Is an additional form-factor worth an extra $100? That’s up to you.
Okay, I’m cheating a bit here. The HP ChromeBox isn’t a laptop. This tiny, hockey-puck shaped box doesn’t look like much, but inside packs the innards of the laptops we discussed earlier.
It comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an Intel Celeron 2955U CPU clocked at 1.4GHZ. But why would you want a desktop computer that runs ChromeOS?
Well, simply put, it’s an affordable way to bring the Internet to the big screen. Want to browse the web from your TV, or watch Netflix without locking yourself into the AppleTV walled garden? The HP Chromebox makes this a reality. And if you just want a desktop computer for casual web browsing that won’t cost the earth, it does that too.
Which One Will You Get?
Four laptops. One Desktop. One question: Will you be getting one? Have you already got one of the Chromebook models on sale? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments box below.