The past few years have introduced new educational trends into our schools and homes, from remote learning to homeschooling. The one-laptop-one-child model has also gained a lot of popularity in schools that still hold in-person classes. Nowadays, it’s more typical for kids of all ages, even the youngest ones, to have their own device safely tucked away inside a backpack or bag.
This means that for the back-to-school season, parents must find an affordable laptop. A popular choice that was created with education in mind is the Chromebook.
We list the best affordable Chromebooks for back-to-school or distance learning, such as Lenovo Ideapad Duet Chromebook, Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, Asus Chromebook Flip C434…
For more specific information, keep reading.
The Best Affordable Chromebooks For Back-to-school Or Distance Learning
Lenovo Ideapad Duet Chromebook
- Peppy performance
- Handsome design sneaks under 3 pounds
- Responsive keyboard
- No HDMI port
- Slightly dim display
Like many Chromebooks, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 lacks an HDMI port, so connecting an external monitor requires fiddling with a USB-C adapter. Otherwise, it’s hard to find anything wrong with this $549.99 compact; in addition to being a 2-in-1 convertible with a 13.3-inch screen that can be folded and flipped between a laptop and a tablet mode, it also features an Intel Core i3 processor, a solid-state drive (instead of the more typical smaller, slower eMMC flash storage), lively performance, and limbos under the three-pound mark.
Students who write essays and other types of homework, occasionally sketch or write with a stylus (unfortunately not included), and occasionally tap and swipe to play Android games will value a convertible that isn’t much heavier than a tablet. A good illustration is the Flex 5.
So, it is one of the best affordable Chromebooks for back-to-school or distance learning on our list.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
- It comes with two USB Type-C ports
- SD card reader to help transfer your data
- Powerful processor, core i3 processor
- 360-degree convertible laptop with a digital pen
- Backlit keyboard with clicky feedback
- HD Webcam for zoom meetings and webcamming
- The Screen does not open with one hand
Consider the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 if you need a powerful yet affordable Chromebook for your studies and other tasks but cannot afford expensive Chromebooks.
It has a touchscreen display, touchscreen keyboard, HD Webcam, convertible 360-degree FHD display, and a powerful processor, which are all features you would expect from an expensive Chromebook.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 comes with a 13.3-inches FHD screen. You can use the screen to play Android games, take notes, binge watch movies, or perform other tasks because it is big enough and offers a good functional workspace.
Although the display is not bezeless, it has thin bezels, which makes it more comfortable for me to use a tablet.
This laptop is a go-to choice if you are a writer or a student who must type more than usual. It includes a keyboard that is incredibly quick and responsive, has quiet keys that are perfectly spaced, and has backlighting. You can tell when you type a letter thanks to the clicky feedback, which is not noisy.
You can change the brightness, and backlights turn on when your fingers approach the keyboard and turn off briefly if the touchscreen is not in use.
Asus Chromebook Flip C434
- Sleek, premium design
- Thin display bezels
- Vivid, 14-inch touchscreen
- Long battery life
- Finicky touchpad
- A tad pricey
Just recently, the beloved convertible Chromebook was improved. The excellent new Asus Chromebook Flip C434 ($569; reviewed) performs noticeably better than its predecessor, the Chromebook Flip C302CA, thanks to a bigger display, a longer battery life, and improved performance. A stylish aluminum body and a vivid, bright 14-inch display are additional features of the Chromebook Flip C434.
If you prefer a detachable keyboard and have some room in your budget, the HP Chromebook x2 is a good option. It is a 12.3-inch hybrid tablet with a bright display, a lengthy battery life, and a comfortable detachable keyboard. The Samsung Chromebook 3 may also be the best laptop for you if you want to save money. Despite having less performance than the Flip C434, the Chromebook 3’s $179 price tag is an absolute steal given its long battery life and bright display.
Overall, the Chromebook Flip C434 is a fantastic 2-in-1 laptop and the one I would advise to anyone switching to Chrome OS.
Acer Chromebook 314
- Good value for money
- Excellent for blogging and video
- Fantastic battery life
- Build quality could be better
- We’d prefer a better screen
When looking for a great student Chromebook, you should look for a machine that is reasonably priced, delivers dependable performance, has a chic design, and is robust. The Acer Chromebook 314 is the best platform for that combination.
This is partially attributed to the device’s Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, which gives Chrome OS a ton of speed (anything faster would be overkill), and 8GB of RAM, which can handle all the Chrome tabs you can throw at it.
Its sharp, vivid, and bright images are produced by its screen, which has a resolution of 2256 x 1504. With a runtime of 11 hours and 54 minutes, it also passed our battery test that involved web browsing. The 314’s only real drawback is that its size makes it less portable than some alternatives. To be fair, that issue affects all 13-inch laptops.
Google Pixelbook Go
- Incredible battery life
- Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
- Rare 1080p webcam
- Excellent design
- No biometric login
- Iffy pricing at mid to high end
Given that it has fanless Intel CPUs, the Pixelbook Go is a Chromebook and shouldn’t be expected to perform particularly well. While we cannot speak to the performance of the Intel Core m3 in the entry-level model, we can say that the Core i5 Y-series is more than sufficient for routine tasks and even some light photo editing.
Additionally, the Pixelbook Go’s Geekbench 4 scores aren’t all that much worse than the most recent MacBook Air for its price, at least in the configurations we’ve tested. That’s a significant accomplishment for both the Chromebook and, ironically, the MacBook Air.
In other words, this Pixelbook Go is capable of handling any task we need to complete to fulfill our obligations here at TechRadar. We do, however, not speak for every user out there, as we do have a varied and intense workload spanning multiple browser tabs and Android apps at any given time.
We can sincerely state that the Pixelbook Go has the best balance of silence and feedback among the laptops we’ve used. We could genuinely use this laptop as our main computer because the keyboard is so comfortable.
Dell Chromebook 3100 Education
- Sturdy, kid-friendly design
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- Optional LTE
- Plenty of USB ports
- Reasonably priced accidental damage coverage
- Poor Wi-Fi signal reception
- Display limited to 1,366 by 768 resolution
- No SD card reader
- Clumsy touchpad
The Apple iPad is a fantastic tablet for the classroom, but since the Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) costs $239, good luck finding an iPad with a keyboard cover. For that matter, good luck finding an iPad that can withstand the abuse this sturdy 11.6-inch system can, thanks to a textured black plastic chassis with rubber bumpers and recessed ports rated to withstand a 30-inch drop onto a steel surface. Additionally, according to Dell, the keyboard can eject 12 ounces of spilled liquid.
Unquestionably, there are Chromebooks that are faster, fancier, and have better screens (the Dell’s 1,366 by 768-pixel resolution isn’t that great). But because of its robust design and affordable price, the 3100 makes a great first laptop for kids.
So, it is also one of the best affordable Chromebooks for back-to-school or distance learning in our list.
Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
- Two USB Type-C ports with charging support
- Micro SD Card reader support
- Great for kids due to its construction and durability
- Full HD touchscreen support
- HD Webcam for taking online classes
- Bulky Chromebook due to its bigger screen
The Samsung-designed Chromebook 4 is an additional affordable Chromebook for back-to-school or online learning.
It’s a great Chromebook, but don’t compare it to a $1,000 model because there are obvious performance and quality differences.
However, this Chromebook is perfect for the task at hand and can assist you with anything and everything, including Docs, streaming, surfing, binge-watching, taking notes, finishing assignments, and more.
The Samsung Chromebook 4 has a 15.6 inch Full HD touchscreen display, which is larger than the typical 13-inch Chromebook screen size.
However, due to its slim bezels and compact frame, it is just as compact and portable as a 13-inch laptop.
The Samsung Chromebook 4 is one of the best laptops for students and kids thanks to its durable design, strong metal case, and military-grade construction. We specifically need a laptop that can withstand bumps and drops for kids who are learning online.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Plus
- Ultra HD 4K display with Touchscreen and digital Pen support
- Two USB Type-C ports
- SD Card reader 512GB SSD support
- 8GB RAM Chromebook
- It can transform into a tablet, provides an amazing binge-watching experience
- Backlit Tactile Feedback keyboard Chromebook
- Added Fingerprint Scanner to help gets instant logging in
- Side speakers
- Gets hot
This Samsung Chromebook fulfills all the criteria for a fantastic Chromebook. It is a Chromebook with a backlit keyboard, and the keys’ colors and brightness can be adjusted. It has a fantastic keyboard with incredible clicky feedback.
One of the top advantages of buying the Samsung Chromebook Plus is its 13.3 inches 4K AMOLED touchscreen. I’ve heard a lot of people say that Chromebooks aren’t really good for binge-watching; perhaps they haven’t used any good Chromebooks like the Samsung Chromebook Plus.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus has a touchscreen and a digital pen. Drawing or taking notes on the screen is made much easier with the digital Pen support, which is just as good as the Apple generation 1 pencil.
Well, I wouldn’t say that these are exceptional for professional digital artists, but they go above and beyond for drawing enthusiasts or newcomers.
This Chromebook has more to offer than just a sleek design and thin build; it has the capability to support you in managing your tasks.
So, it is also one of the best affordable Chromebooks for back-to-school or distance learning on our list.
Benefits Of The Chromebook
Your school might insist that you rent or buy a laptop through them if you don’t get to choose it for your child. Chromebooks are popular in schools, though, as a result of their low cost. Administrators can do so with less hassle than other options, and they can buy and deploy them widely.
If you are free to choose a laptop or notebook for your kid, you’ll be pleased to know there are benefits to the Chromebook family:
- Chromebooks are tough, with sturdy bodies and screens designed to withstand the daily abuse of an average student.
- The operating system integrates with programs that your student probably already uses, including Gmail, Google Classrooms, YouTube, and well-known Android apps. It is built on the same platform as the Chrome browser.
- You won’t have to pay too much for unused RAM, processing power, or storage because the hardware is optimized to perform more tasks in the cloud.
- The school day can be completed using their hours of battery life.
Over time, Chromebooks have changed to focus more on performance. There are plenty of inexpensive devices for online learning, but Chromebooks are also available for business people, artists, and people who require more powerful computing.
The name “Chromebook” is no longer associated with just students or kids. In fact, business Chromebooks offer enterprise-level specifications and are a developing technology category.
What Is The Best Affordable Chromebook For Distance Learning Or Back To School?
Although a Chromebook can be purchased for under $100, it is recommended that you spend at least $400 to get a smooth and error-free performance for handling documents, running Android apps, and playing games.
You can easily find the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 for the price mentioned, as well as other affordable Chromebooks, in our comprehensive buying guide.
Which Chromebook Is Best For Seniors?
Seniors primarily use FaceTime, webcams, and zooming on their Chromebooks. Consider this feature in particular if you plan to purchase a Chromebook for an elderly person.
Additionally, it’s obvious that they enjoy binge-watching Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services, so the Chromebooks’ displays ought to be of a high standard.
How Much RAM Should A Chromebook Have?
For a good Chromebook, 4GB RAM is sufficient if you use it at home for browsing, zooming, and other similar tasks. However, if you prefer to complete several tasks at once, you should choose an 8GB RAM Chromebook.
Since Chromebooks ship with a lightweight version of ChromeOS, their performance doesn’t depend on having a lot of RAM.
Are Facetime And Zooming Compatible With Chromebooks?
Yes, as you may already be aware, Covid was the main reason Chromebook sales soared in 2020. They were used by people for Facetime, business meetings, online classes, and a variety of other tasks.
In COVID-19, more people bought Chromebooks than laptops because they have many advantages over conventional Windows or laptops without Windows.
Which Chromebooks Are Best For Students?
The Chromebook with the best battery life is the best choice for students. It ought to be portable, have a good HD webcam, and not be too heavy or bulky.
You don’t need as much hardware for Chromebooks as you would for a typical laptop. It handles apps and programs here more quickly and efficiently thanks to ChromeOS.
Do Professionals Have Access To Chromebooks?
If you don’t use your Chromebooks to run resource-intensive Windows apps and programs, then yes. You should use a Chromebook because you can install any Android app or game on them.
Professionals don’t have any major problems using their laptops for tasks like browsing, handling documents, taking notes, and many others.
Chromebooks are fantastic; they can easily handle a variety of tasks for both professionals and everyday users.
Do I Need To Purchase A Convertible Chromebook?
You must choose a convertible Chromebook if you need to use your laptop for note-taking, binge-watching, reading e-books, blogs, or documents.
Choose a Chromebook that can be used as both a tablet and a regular notebook by choosing one that has a 2-in-1 design.
Additional Tips For Picking The Right Chromebook
The Chromebook line can help you get by even on a tight budget because more families now need a device for every adult and child. There is a price point that is best for every need, so you are no longer required to choose who receives a device.
You can feel good about their back-to-school list because there are more affordable options for younger children. Even the enterprise models are considerably cheaper than other business-class laptops with comparable features.
The fact that Chromebooks include everything you need to get your student started on the right path is one of the best things about buying one for school. Additionally, you can upgrade many models before making your purchase if you have a specific tech requirement, such as more RAM or touch screen capabilities. Just look for the “customize” option when shopping, and pick your tech specs for the learning experience that’s right for your family.
If you make the right decision, you should be able to extend the useful life of your student Chromebook beyond distance learning and school, using it for many wonderful years.
I appreciate you reading, a lot.