If you don’t already have a Chromebook, it’s time to change that. Black Friday brings a bunch of great discounts to products that you’ve probably had your eye on during the year. There are a bunch of Chromebook options available, so you’re going to want to know what you’re looking for from a Chromebook so you can help yourself buy the right one. Whether you need a new laptop for work or want to try out a Chromebook before you get one for your kids, here are the Chromebooks you can grab on sale right now!
Best Black Friday Chromebook deals
- HP Chromebook x360 14-da0011dx ($350 at Best Buy)
- Lenovo Chromebook C330 ($247 at Amazon)
- HP Chromebook 14-db0050nr ($209 at Amazon)
- Acer Chromebook 11 N7 ($150 at Amazon)
- Acer Chromebook 14 ($159 at Walmart)
HP Chromebook x360 14-da0011dx
This 14-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook is almost half off and ready for long days of work and relaxing evenings with some videos and games. With a Core i3, 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, this is not a budget Chromebook by any means and should be able to handle any Android app or Linux app you can throw at it with ease.
HP Chromebook x360 14-da0011dx
$350 at Best Buy
With a long support life, powerful processor and plenty of RAM, this Chromebook is ready to work and play all day with over 12 hours of battery life on a single charge. It also comes in two colors: gold and blue.
Lenovo Chromebook C330
This was our Best Chromebook for most of 2019 and has finally been replaced by the Lenovo Chromebook C340-11, so last year’s model is primed for closeout. This is a touchscreen Chromebook with 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and six years of support ahead of it and USB-C charging that you can grab for $250, a price I fully expect to drop to $220 or less between now and Monday. The 32GB version was down to $180 at Best Buy, but it sold out rather quickly — and honestly, I recommend grabbing the 64GB version so you have more room for Android apps.
Lenovo Chromebook C330
$247 from Amazon
This zippy little Chromebook can last 10 hours and won’t weigh down your backpack during an all-day excursion. The Blizzard White stands out of the boring black crowd and is ready to work wherever life takes you.
HP Chromebook 14-db0050nr
Now at its lowest price in history, the HP Chromebook 14-db0050nr is equipped with a dual-core AMD A4-9120 processor, 4GB RAM, and a flexible hinge that allows for up to 180-degree rotation. With an AUE date of June 2026, this Chromebook could last your seventh grader until they graduate high school, just make sure you’re okay skipping the touchscreen experience. There’s some Black Friday bundles being offered for the HP Chromebook 14 that include a sleeve and a wireless mouse, but you could buy a cuter sleeve and mouse for less than the $60 it adds to the price.
HP Chromebook 14-db0050nr
$209 at Amazon
This 14-inch Chromebook is great for split-screening homework and that Twitch stream — I mean research and notes! This Chromebook should last you a good while and uses USB-C charging.
Acer Chromebook 11 N7
The Auto Update Expiration date on the N7 is only June 2022, but for a $150 Chromebook, that’s more than enough time to get your money’s worth and decide if Chromebooks are for you and your family. This model lacks USB-C, but it does have an HDMI port and a full-size SD card slot, along with all-day battery life and a compact form factor.
Acer Chromebook 11 N7
$150 at Amazon
With mil-spec durability, a spill-resistant keyboard, and 12-hour battery life, this is a Chromebook is ready for clumsy kids and long days of email, movies, and social media.
Acer Chromebook 14
The Acer Chromebook 14 features 32GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, a 14-inch display, and up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge. This Chromebook will get updates until June 2022, so you could buy this for your middle schooler and have it last till their freshmen year of high school. The purchase also includes a free protective sleeve so that it doesn’t get scratched up in their backpack. Just keep in mind this Chromebook doesn’t have USB-C ports; it uses a proprietary charger, so make sure you don’t lose it.
Acer Chromebook 14
$159 at Walmart
This is the current lowest price you can find for this model, and Walmart is even tossing in a free protective sleeve with the purchase.
What is a Chromebook?
Chromebooks are laptops that run Chrome OS, an operating system designed and managed by Google. It’s the more polished and stable version of the open-source Chromium Project, which Google also develops and maintains. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding Chrome OS because it began as a web-centric client that couldn’t do much when outside of a Wi-Fi network, but this doesn’t hold true anymore. These days, Chrome OS can run both Android apps and Linux apps, allowing it to do most if not all of the tasks you’d need to do on a laptop day-to-day.
What makes Chromebooks especially enticing is that Chrome OS is optimized to run well even on lower-spec’d machines, meaning that while most Windows laptops under $400 will feel and perform like pudding after six months, even $250 Chromebooks like the Lenovo C330 still run just as well as they did fresh out of the box. This also means that when you put Chrome OS on a more powerful Chromebook like the Intel M3-powered Asus C434 or the i5-powered Pixelbook, you get a lightning-fast computer that can handle all the Chrome tabs and Android apps you could throw at it.
Chromebooks are becoming more and more popular in schools and businesses because of how well Chrome OS runs on value machines, as well as how stable and secure Chrome OS is. Google hosts a bounty program that pays developers when they discover and submit vulnerabilities to be patched, including a $150,000 standing bounty for a vulnerability that can compromise a Chromebook while in Guest Mode. Chromebooks also get updated every few weeks directly from Google, meaning that no matter which brand Chromebook you buy, they’ll all look, act, and get updates the same way.
Who should buy a Chromebook?
For people who mainly use a laptop to read emails, check social media, pay your bills, write the ocassional screenplay in Google Docs, and blow time watching videos, a Chromebook is absolutely perfect. Chromebooks are great for work or play so long as your services either have a website or an Android app, which in 2019 is pretty standard. I’ve been working full-time on a Chromebook for two years and the only thing I ever miss is full Photoshop for batch photo editing my review photos.
What I honestly love best about my Chromebook is that it’s a “it just works” computer with absolutely zero maitenance. Updates are downloaded and installed automatically in the background while you work and app updates are handled by Google Play. The Files app ties directly into Google Drive, you can keep everything synced and work out of the cloud, but you can still keep your files offline in Downloads for when you need to finish that book report on the bus to school.
Chromebooks are especially great for younger users for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Because of the way Chrome OS is designed, it’s much harder to corrupt or break the system compared to Windows.
- Most Chromebooks are designed to pass Google’s Chromebooks in Education durability standards, meaning that most can withstand drops, have re-inforced ports, and either a spill-resistant or pick-resistant keyboard.
- The lower case letters on Chromebook keyboards are easier to use for kids who are just learning to read and write.
- Touchscreen Chromebooks allow kids to interact with educational sites through touch while still giving them an attached keyboard to type out notes and homework quickly.
- Most Chromebooks last over 8 hours on a single charge, long enough to get through the school day.
What about Android apps on a Chromebook?
Chromebooks can’t install traditional programs to the core system — like you would on a Mac or Windows PC — but they can install Android apps via the Google Play Store. While not every single app on Google Play is compatible with Chromebooks, there are millions of apps you can install, from productivity apps like Microsoft Office and Google Keep to entertainment apps like Netflix and Disney+ to millions of gaming apps.
Chromebooks are actually the easiest laptops to download videos for offline playback for services like Disney+ and Google Play Movies that don’t have desktop apps for Mac or Windows but do have Android apps. The Android apps allow you to download videos just like you would on your phone, but enjoy them on a larger screen without killing your phone’s battery on that cross-country flight.
Can you play games on a Chromebook?
Most games available on Android are available on Chromebook, so you’ll be able to enjoy most casual gaming on your Chromebook with ease. In fact, if you’re coming from a Windows computer, you’ll even be able to keep your favorite game: Microsoft Solitaire Collection works great on Chromebooks and helps me get a quick fix when my Pyramids addiction flares up.
What about Fortnite? Steam games? PC games? Chromebooks can’t install Windows or MacOS programs, and the ability to instll Linux apps like Steam isn’t available for every Chromebook — nor are Linux apps on Chromebooks as user-friendly as Android apps. Gaming options on a Chromebook are getting better, but it’s not what you’re going to want to get a hardcore gamer.
Chromebook Buyer’s Checklist
There are five things you need to consider any time you’re looking to buy a Chromebook and there are two features you especially need to pay attention to during Black Friday when Chromebooks of every size, shape, and age are on sale.
Get a touchscreen — Chrome OS’s touch optimization is getting better every month, and since most of the Android apps Chromebooks can install via Google Play are optimized for touch, make sure you get a touchscreen model. Touchscreen models are not much more expensive in 2019 and they are 110% worth it.
Pick your size — In general, the bigger the size of your Chromebook, the more you can potentially fit on the screen, but it will also be less portable and shorter in battery life. Smaller, more portable models can suffer from lower resolution screens, though Chrome OS’s display zoom and font adjustments somewhat offset it.
What features matter to you? — Chrome OS has the same features, UI, and functions on basically all models which means that you’ll need to focus on specific hardware features to help you narrow down your search. Do you prefer a 2-in-1 or a classic clamshell? Do you want a big, bright screen for movies or do you need a battery that will go all day? Families with younger kids — or travelers that are prone to slips, spills, and accidents — might want to look to the growing number of Chromebooks with military-grade MIL-STD 810G durability or spill-resistant keyboards.
Memory and storage — While “more memory is always better” holds as true for Chromebooks as it does for any laptop, 4GB of RAM is fine for a Chromebook in 2019. 8 GB is better, but 4GB is fine. As far as storage goes, 32 GB of storage is workable, but I’d recommend going with a model with at least 64 GB of storage.
Always check the expiration date! — Chrome OS is updated by Google for all Chromebooks, but Google doesn’t want to be stuck supporting every random budget chipset and driver set forever, so each Chromebook has a shelf life and an expiration date, just like the milk in your fridge! This is the Auto Update Expiration date, and it can be found for every single model on this handy dandy support page, which you should check for every Chromebook you look at.