The entire point of a Chromebook is to maximize efficiency without as much of the cost. Most of the hard work is done in the cloud, which means that manufacturers can skip most of the high-end hardware. As a result, there are some value picks available in Chromebooks for under $200, and here are the best options.
With value in mind, most of these models are neither brand-new nor particularly powerful. However, they should do the trick in keeping you afloat. Now then, on to our top picks.
Best Chromebooks under $200:
- HP Chromebook 11a
- Samsung Chromebook 11.6-inch (renewed)
- Acer Chromebook C720 (used)
- Asus Chromebook C300MA
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Chromebooks regularly as new ones launch.
1. HP Chromebook 11a
A rare brand-new option on this list, the HP Chromebook 11a presents great value for under $200, as long as it’s on sale. It’s not very large at just 11.6 inches, so even the littlest of learners can tote it around with ease. The 11a may be the most expensive machine on our list, but it’s worth the extra money.
If you pop open the durable plastic cover, you’ll be greeted by an octa-core 2GHz MediaTek MT8183 processor and 4GB of DDR4 RAM. You’ll also find 32GB of storage and integrated MediaTek graphics — not a bad setup right at two Benjamins. Beyond the basics, the HP 11a also relies on 802.11ac Wi-Fi for a stable connection. You’ll need a good wi-fi network set up to take full advantage of the cloud-based Chrome OS apps, after all.
Many modern laptops drop ports in favor of size, but you’ll be happy to hear that the HP Chromebook 11a isn’t one of them. It’s equipped with a microSD card slot, USB-A 2.0 and USB-C options, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for all of the remote learning you can handle. The 37Wh battery is rated for up to 15 hours, too.
2. Samsung Chromebook 11.6-inch (Renewed)
While budget-friendly Chromebooks might not be the first device that springs to mind when you think of Samsung, the Korean manufacturer offers a fairly wide range of options. This 11.6-inch model holds down the Chromebooks under $200 end of the spectrum, though it looks remarkably similar to the Chromebook 4. It’s a renewed option, though Amazon’s 90-day guarantee backs all models sold.
If you do choose to pick up this pint-sized option, you’ll open the lid to an 11.6-inch HD LED display — fairly standard for the price point. Powering that display is Samsung’s proprietary Exynos hardware. In this case, it’s a 5250 chipset. Along with that, Samsung opted for just 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It’s not much to go on, but most of your files and applications will run from the cloud, so it should be manageable.
Samsung managed to craft a rather thin body for its 11.6-inch Chromebook, and you might notice that there are no ports on the left or right sides of the machine. Fear not, as the designers moved the ports to the spine to better use the space. You can make the most of two USB-A options and an HDMI port for a good variety of peripherals.
3. Acer Chromebook C720 (Used)
You might be noticing a trend with these Chromebooks for under $200 — and that trend is some big, chunky bezels. It’s almost to be expected with the tiny 11.6-inch screen sizes, as a smaller bezel would ultimately mean less space for the keyboard. The Acer C720 is no exception to the rule, though it seems to manage a bit better than most.
The first thing you’ll see above is that the ports are back to where they normally reside on the sides of the device. You’ll find USB options on both sides as well as an HMDI port if you want to add a monitor. Acer managed to keep a solid selection of ports, though it slimmed much of the weight out of the keyboard itself to make the device easier to manage overall.
Under the hood, you’ll see that Acer opted for the Intel Celeron 2955U dual-core processor as the mitochondrion of its miniature Chromebook. It’s supported by 4GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD, an easier combination to recommend than that of the Samsung above.
4. Asus Chromebook C300MA
Today’s last option, the Asus C300MA, offers something that the last few Chromebooks under $200 couldn’t match — a 13.3-inch display. Your kids may not mind the difference, but it’s always nice to have the extra real estate when you’re working or streaming your favorite shows.
Unfortunately, the C300MA drops back down to just 2GB of RAM, but sometimes sacrifices are part of the low price. The brushed metal appearance is a nice touch, though the laptop itself is made of plastic. If you’re shopping for your kids, the Asus C300MA comes in red, yellow, and blue as well. You’ll have plenty of peripheral potential thanks to USB-A options on both sides and an HDMI port, just in case.
Rounding out the spec sheet, Asus chose an Intel Celeron processor for the C300MA as well as 16GB of storage. Weighing less than three pounds, it’s a great choice if you like to work on the go. The C300MA stacks up with 10-hours of battery life, and a trackpad that Asus boasts is among the largest on any Chromebook today.
The world of Chromebooks is so broad, and there’s a lot more to try if you’re willing to expanding your budget a little. The Google Pixelbook is one of my favorite laptops of all time, so if you’ve never tried one, I’d recommend giving it a shot. Also, check out some of the lists below for even more Chromebook buying advice.