Best Chromebooks Under $300

Need an extra computer at home? These inexpensive models from Asus, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung will get the job done.

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Consumers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new laptop may want to consider a Chromebook.

While a Mac or Windows laptop can easily cost more than $1,000, a well-made Chromebook—one that can handle everyday tasks, such as browsing the web, editing office documents, and conducting video calls—can often be purchased for as little as $300.

Compared with those pricier counterparts, a Chromebook may have a slower processor and a smaller hard drive, but that’s okay because it relies on cloud-based apps (think Gmail and Google Docs) that aren’t too demanding.

If you’ve never used a Chromebook before, there may be a slight learning curve, but it’s relatively easy to adjust, especially if you have any experience with the Google Chrome web browser. That’s because Chrome OS, the operating system that powers Chromebooks, greatly resembles Google’s well-known browser.

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Chrome OS relies heavily on web apps like Google Docs but has also in recent years gained the ability to run Android apps, opening the door to software like Adobe Lightroom (for editing photos) and games for kids. Those can be downloaded from the Google Play app store, like you’d do on an Android smartphone.

Our Chromebook tests are similar to our tests of Windows and Mac laptops.

We look at how well they perform while running different apps, how comfortable the keyboard is to type on, and how long the battery lasts, among other considerations. We also take display quality into account, evaluating how accurately the screen represents colors and how wide the viewing angle is. The goal is give you an accurate, easy-to-understand idea of what it would be like to own the device.

Right now there are 17 Chromebooks in our ratings, all of which are made by well-known companies such as Acer, Asus, and HP.

The following list features some of the best low-cost options, ranked in order of Overall Score.

HP 14A-NA0023CL

This 14-inch notebook ranks among the better scoring Chromebooks in our ratings. It features an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 64GB of basic flash storage, and will receive new software updates until June 2026. The device will continue to work past that date but might not receive patches that protect you from the latest security threats. Google explains its update policy in-depth here.

Our testers were impressed with the model’s light weight and 14-hour battery life for routine tasks. That dips just below 6 hours for more demanding jobs, like screening high-res video, but it’s not bad for an inexpensive Chromebook. The same can be said for the display and built-in webcam: fine but not remarkable.

Our testers also appreciate the port selection, including a built-in memory card reader (for, say, viewing archived photos and videos) and three USB ports.

Asus Chromebook CX22NA-BCLN4

This 11.6-inch Chromebook may be a good choice if you want something that’s easy to use on the go. It has an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 16GB of flash storage. That’s not a lot of room to store photos, videos, and other large files, so you’ll have to rely heavily on cloud services. You can expect software updates until at least June 2024.

This Chromebook performed fairly well in our tests, delivering portability (2.2 pounds) and decent battery life (12 hours of web browsing, 6 hours for more demanding tasks). Our testers, however, gave the display only a Fair score, lamenting the color accuracy, so this will not be an ideal choice for streaming video.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11

This is an 11.6-inch, 2-in-1 convertible, which means the keyboard can be fully bent behind the display via a 360-degree hinge, allowing you to use the device somewhat like a tablet or prop it up on a table in “tent mode” to more easily share your screen with others. The model will receive software updates until at least June 2025.

The specs are modest: a MediaTek processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 32GB of flash storage. MediaTek specializes in inexpensive processors, but our testers found performance here to be somewhat slow, even with relatively simple tasks, such as editing text and browsing the web. The battery life isn’t too shabby, though, at 12 hours for web browsing and 10 hours for watching high-res video.

Samsung Chromebook 4

At 15.6 inches, this is the largest Chromebook in the roundup. It has an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 32GB of flash storage. It will receive software updates until at least June 2026.

The battery life is average (about 5 to 10 hours, depending on the task), the display produces somewhat pale colors, and the model weighs 3.7 pounds, about what you’d expect from a notebook this size.

Headshot image of Electronics editor Nicholas Deleon

Nicholas De Leon

I've been covering consumer electronics for more than 10 years for publications like TechCrunch, The Daily (R.I.P.), and Motherboard. When I'm not researching or writing about laptops or headphones I can likely be found obsessively consuming news about FC Barcelona, replaying old Super Nintendo games for the hundredth time, or chasing my pet corgi Winston to put his harness on so we can go for a walk. Follow me on Twitter (@nicholasadeleon).