Chromebooks have gained a lot of traction as viable alternatives to Windows and Mac laptops. What has always made them particularly attractive is their low price points.
Considering their spec requirements are in the low-to-mid-end range, it is no surprise that most people can at least afford to buy one.
In recent times, they’ve become even more robust with specifications and features that enable them to handle even higher duty tasks, such as graphic design and digital drawing.
We’re even coming to the point when gaming may slowly become a thing we can do on a Chromebook.
So, how much is a Chromebook these days?
Three Price Tiers
Like with other laptops, Chromebooks can be categorized by price. However, what distinguishes them isn’t necessarily specs but features. Going for the most expensive Chrome OS-equipped laptop won’t net you a powerhouse gaming rig.
Instead, it will get you luxury features such as a bigger screen, touch capabilities, high-quality speakers, and other amenities.
Going for the low end of the spectrum feels quite similar to buying a basic Windows laptop. You’ll get a machine that can manage most office work. The only difference is that you’ll primarily be relying on cloud-based tools as your hard drive capacity will be quite slim.
Here’s a breakdown of the features you can expect by tier.
Cheapest Chromebooks (< $200)
- A small screen at roughly 11”
- 2-4 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of different SSD storage variants
- Standard set of USB ports and headphone jack with some devices even sporting an HDMI port and an SD card slot
Mid-ranged Chromebooks ($200-$500)
- A large screen going up to even 17”
- Touchscreen support on smaller screens
- Up to 8 GB of RAM
- Higher price points have 128 GB SSD capacity
- Most devices in this category have almost every port under the sun
High-end Chromebooks ($500+)
- A large screen going up to 17” (bezel-less in a lot of cases)
- Most have touchscreen and stylus capabilities
- Up to 16 GB of RAM
- Beefy SSDs with up to 512 GB of capacity
- Core i3-i5 or equivalent AMD Quad-core CPUs
- A lot of 2-in-1 models in this category that can be flipped into tablets
How Much is a Chromebook in Each Budget Category?
Best Cheap Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 311
At prices ranging from $209 to $249, this device goes slightly beyond this category’s price point. However, for what it offers, it’s a steal. For starters, it’s one of the few low-end Chromebooks which is 2-in-1, meaning it also has a touchscreen and can be flipped into a tablet.
Furthermore, it comes with a 64 GB eMMC drive which places it well above its peers in terms of storage. Finally, it boasts several USB 3.1 and USB-C ports, as well as an SD card slot to expand your hard drive space.
Don’t expect its Celeron N4000 CPU to manage more than the fundamental office work, internet browsing, and Netflix viewing, but it’ll get the job done well for its price.
Best Mid-Range Chromebook: ASUS Chromebook Flip C434
The Flip C434 from Asus is just $100 below the max price range for this tier, but it packs many features. Like the Spin 311, it’s a 2-in-1 flippable Chromebook that can be used in various configurations, including Tablet and Tent mode.
It’s got a bezel-less 14” touchscreen with a bright backlit panel. The device’s chassis is made entirely of metal, making it a durable device to carry around.
At 64 GB of eMMC storage, it falls halfway short of the maximum 128 GB that can be found in some of its peers. However, its Core M processor is some of the best you can get at this price point.
Best High-End Chromebook: Google Pixelbook Go
Since Google designed Chrome OS from the ground up, it should be no surprise that Google provides the best Chromebook available. After all, Google knows better than anybody else what type of platform Chrome OS requires.
With its long battery life, you can spend a whole day at work or school without needing to plug into a power source. This is one of its most essential characteristics. Furthermore, the Pixelbook Go’s battery life is so impressive that you won’t have to worry about forgetting about it for days on end.
Depending on the configuration, you can get a pretty beefy device with some of the best specs a Chromebook can have. On top of that, the Pixelbook sports the proprietary Hush keyboard, which is an absolute dream to type on.