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Best Black Friday Chromebook deals

Monday November 20, 2023. 08:56 PM , from PC World
The Black Friday deals on Chromebooks have begun, and we’re on the hunt on Amazon, Best Buy, and other sites to find the best prices on Chromebooks for you to buy.

Our picks for the best Chromebook deals are below, followed by an explanation of why we picked them. If you’re looking for more context, scroll down to the FAQ: We’ll tell you what prices to look for on Chromebooks this Black Friday, the specs we prefer, and more. We’ve separated them out into budget picks (where price matters most), midrange choices (what we’d choose, ourselves) and premium offerings (just the best).

If you’re looking for other great tech deals, check out PCWorld’s complete Black Friday/Cyber Monday coverage.

Best Black Friday budget Chromebook deals

Lenovo Slim 3 (MediaTek Kompanio 520/4GB RAM/64GB SSD, 14-inch 1080p display), $149.00 (53% off at Best Buy)

Acer Chromebook 315 (Celeron N4500/4GB RAM/64GB SSD, 15.5-inch 1080p display), $179.00 (21% off at Walmart)

Acer 2022 Chromebook 315 (Celeron N4020/4GB RAM/64GB SSD, 15.6-inch 1080p display), $228.99 (62% off at Amazon)

Lenovo 2023 Slim 3 (MediaTek Kompanio 520/4GB RAM/64GB SSD, 14-inch 1080p display), $197.48 (34% off at Amazon)

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c/4GB RAM/64GB SSD, 13.3-inch 1080p display), $219.63 (23% off at Amazon)

Samsung Chromebook 4 (Celeron N4020/4GB RAM/64GB SSD, 11.6-inch 768p display), $129.00 (18% off at Walmart)

Samsung Chromebook 4 (Celeron N4020/4GB RAM/32GB SSD, 11.6-inch 768p display), $79.99 (68% off at Target)

I’m very pleased with the top picks, which are ranked in order of preference: The Lenovo Slim 3 and Chromebook 315 are preferred, though the top four are all fine choices. All have roomy 1080p screens and plenty of storage. I would like to see all of these budget Black Friday Chromebook deals at about $150 or so, but we’ll see how things play out.

The Celeron N4500 is the faster chip, helping the Acer Chromebook 315 rise near the top of our recommended deals. (The Snapdragon 7c, especially, is a solid CPU, and the Kompanio is right behind it.)

Note that we’re seeing nearly identical Chromebooks at various vendors (the Acer 315s and the two Lenovos), except in price. There’s a third Acer Chromebook 315, at Best Buy, for an awesome $139 price. But it has a 15.6-inch screen and a lower 768p resolution, so I’m officially passing it by — it seems too grainy. Target is also carrying the killer Lenovo Slim 3 deal, for $1 more at $149.99.

Just remember that budget Chromebooks make sacrifices: 4GB of RAM, typically, which can somewhat limit performance and the number of available browser tabs. Because some buyers want low, low prices, I’ve added the two Samsung Chromebook 4s. That Target deal is really iffy, because of the absolute rock-bottom specs, but the price is fantastic.

Best Black Friday midrange Chromebook deals

Lenovo Flex 3 (Pentium Silver N6000/8GB RAM/15.6-inch 1080p display), $249.00 (48% off at Best Buy)

Acer Chromebook 315 (Celeron N5100/8GB RAM/64GB SSD, 15.6-inch 1080p display), $269.99 (29% off at Amazon)

Acer Chromebook 514 (Kompanio 828/8GB RAM/14-inch 1080p display), $329.99 (28% off at Amazon)

HP 15.6-inch Chromebook (Intel Core i3-N305/8GB RAM/128GB SSD, 15.6-inch 1080p display) $349.99 (30% off at Best Buy)

Asus Chromebook Flip C433 (Core m3-8100Y/8GB RAM/64GB SSD, 14-inch 1080p display), $319.99 (20% off at Amazon)

If I was buying a Chromebook for a family member, I’d choose one of these, especially one from the top four. I’ve added and bumped up the Lenovo Flex 3 to the top spot on our list because of the solid price and specs; customers love it, as did our review of the related Lenovo Flex 5. Note that Amazon does not list the Acer 315 as a discount, but it’s 29 percent off of the Acer list price. I don’t have anything really positive or negative to say about the Asus Flip C433; it’s a very good Chromebook, but the discount isn’t much.

Of the top four, the HP’s Core i3 is the fastest processor, followed by the Kompanio 828, a much faster variant of the Kompanio 520 in the budget Chromebook deals. Processor speed isn’t as important as it is in a Windows machine.

I’ve added the HP 14-inch Chromebook as a premium model.

Best Black Friday premium and Chromebook Plus deals

HP 2-in-1 Chromebook Plus (14c-cd0053dx) (Core 13-1215U/8GB RAM/256GB SSD, 14-inch 1200p display, $379.00 (45% off at Best Buy)

HP 14-inch Chromebook (Core i3-1115G4/8GB RAM/128GB SSD, 14-inch 1200p display), $448.99 (36% off at Best Buy)

Google believes that you’ll want to buy a Chromebook Plus laptop to achieve the very best Chromebook experience, and HP’s 2-in-1 is essentially Windows-class specs at a Chromebook price. Note the higher-quality 1920×1200 displays, which will be even nicer than the traditional 1080p.

Do you need a Chromebook Plus Chromebook? The experience is undoubtedly smoother and more powerful, without the caveats that can accompany cheaper hardware.

If you’ve decided that a Chromebook isn’t for you and you’d prefer a laptop instead, check out our Black Friday laptop deals or our Black Friday deals shopping page.

FAQ
1.
When is Black Friday?

Officially, Black Friday takes place on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. Cyber Monday is the following Monday, or Nov 27, 2023. Note that, at least for Amazon, “Black Friday” sales have already begun.

2.
When do Black Friday Chromebook deals begin?

Early Black Friday sales have already begun at several retailers, though sales should ramp up as Black Friday nears. Again, at Amazon “Black Friday” has already begun! Retailers haven’t been shy about adding early sales to unload inventory, but it’s Black Week” where sales usually crescendo.

3.
What should you pay for a Black Friday Chromebook deal?

Chromebook deals haven’t been as great as we’d like, but the early Black Friday sales aren’t bad.

We’re expecting the type of Chromebooks we recommend (see below for more detail on that) to be priced at about $250 to $350 in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. Prices should drop a bit more as Black Friday approaches. Budget Chromebooks could be about $150 or so, perhaps less — but that can mean compromising on some of the features we think you’ll like. We try to include some of these models, though, because people still look for the lowest prices. (Refurbished models can cost even less, but we usually avoid those.)

Good mainstream Chromebooks now cost about $250 to $350, as noted above — that’s the floor for a Chromebook we’d recommend. A Black Friday steal could push prices down even further.

In general, we put our top picks at the top of our lists.

4.
What features should I look for in a Black Friday Chromebook?

We still prioritize three things when looking for a Chromebook deal: memory, the size and resolution of the screen, and the CPU. There’s also one big wrinkle for this Black Friday: the Chromebook support window.

You will still find retailers trying to unload Chromebooks with 4GB of RAM, a 768p screen, and an ancient processor. We will still list products with those specs, if justified, as budget Chromebooks. But we really feel that you deserve a Chromebook with 8GB of RAM, a 1080p screen or better (with screen sizes above 13 inches, if possible), and a relatively modern CPU. (These are usually out mainstream picks.) We don’t put a lot of weight on the CPU, if only because a Chromebook doesn’t need a lot of horsepower behind it.

Be aware that “HD” does not mean 1080p! It basically means 768p, which is going to be a bit hard on your eyes. “Full HD” or “FHD” equates to the 1080p display you’re used to.

Our recommended CPUs include Intel Celerons, Intel Pentiums, Intel’s Core chips, AMD’s Ryzen processors, and Arm chips from Mediatek or Qualcomm. All of those have their pros and cons, though the performance differences probably won’t matter as much as additional memory.

More memory (that is, 8GB rather 4GB of RAM) will allow for more browser tabs and a smoother browser experience. A 1080p screen will offer a comfortable laptop-like viewing experience. Onboard storage really doesn’t matter all that much, though an SSD of at least 32GB is preferable for storing apps, screenshots, and the like.

If you’re familiar with our lengthy laptops versus Chromebooks explainer, you know that one of the potential gotchas is buying a Chromebook whose support window expires soon. Google now supports new Chromebooks for up to 10 years, so this is less of a concern. We think this might push prices down, but for very old hardware. We’re trying to watch this.

Beware of deals like this: a $41 Lenovo Chromebook on Walmart. Support for this Chromebook ended in 2021, which means that it’s not protected while surfing the web. Too good to be true, indeed! Walmart does offer some cheap, good Chromebooks, but they’re notorious in my book for squeezing a lot of junk in, too. Target’s often a home for cheap, refurbished Chromebooks — we prefer new.

5.
Which Chromebooks does PCWorld rate highest?

Our editors regularly review Chromebooks, so make sure to check our rankings of the best Chromebooks of 2023. We recommend a wide range of price points, and the article offers a great primer on Chromebook shopping. What’s more, some of our top picks will likely go on sale before or during Black Friday.

We’ve updated our picks and recommendations on Nov. 20, 2023 at 11:13 AM, carrying over from our early Black Friday laptop deals.

Chromebooks
https://www.pcworld.com/article/1383937/black-friday-chromebook-deals-2023-2.html
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