A few days ago a reader reached out to me for a budget Chromebook purchase recommendation. The main requirements were a cost between $250 and $400, 11- to 14-inch display, HD if possible, and both a touchscreen and backlit keyboard would be nice.
There are plenty of Chromebooks to choose from in this category, with most in the $250 to $350 range. They’ll likely have a 720p display in the desired size range, may not have either a touchscreen or backlit keyboard (or both) and are probably performance constrained by 4 GB of memory and, at best, a Pentium processor.
So I didn’t recommend any of those. The Best Buy sale of the very capable mid-range HP Chromebook X360 is back at $399.99, fitting in just one penny under the budget.
Yes, a buyer could save $100 to $150 and go for a true entry-level Chromebook. But I think the extra value by spending the additional money is well worth it, mainly because there are no compromises in the requirements at all and in many cases, this 2-in-1 exceeds them.
The only “downside”, if you will, is that the white & slate model isn’t on sale; this deal is on the white & gold option.
That aside, at this moment, I think the best “entry-level” priced Chromebook is a mid-range device based on this configuration at $399.99, which is $200 off of the MSRP:
|CPU||Dual-core Intel Core i3-8130U |
clocked at 2.2 GHz with 3.4 GHz boost
|GPU||Intel UHD 620 Graphics|
|Memory||8 GB DDR4, 2133 MHz|
|Storage||64 GB eMMC, microSD card expansion|
|Display||14-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS touchscreen|
|Connectivity||Intel Wireless-AC 7265 802.11ac (2×2) Wi-Fi|
and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo
|Ports||Two USB Type-C (3.1), one USB Type-A (3.1),|
|Input||Backlit keyboard, multi-touch trackpad|
|Audio||B&O stereo speakers|
|Battery||60 WHr, up to 14 hours claimed run time|
|Software support||Automatic Chrome OS updates through|
It is a valid point that the HP Chromebook X360 isn’t included in the new Chrome OS software update policy of 8 years, announced earlier this week. However, this device did get a bit of a support extension late last year, so there’s still 5.5 years of updates to be had.
This sale has been on all week so I anticipate it will disappear by this weekend. And if it does, I’d definitely recommend another option that’s more in line with the entry-level Chromebook experience. Right now though? I’d take this deal over any of those options in a heartbeat.