Black Friday 2019: The best Chromebook deals

The best Chromebooks, as well as many others, are available for discounted prices.

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(Image: CNET)

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There are lots of Chromebooks on sale this Black Friday. But why should you settle for just a cheap Chromebook, when you can get a really good one for less money? Answer: You shouldn't. Here are some of the best deals out there on the best Chromebooks.

Before launching you into the list, there are a few things you should keep in mind for Chromebook buyers. First, unlike Windows PCs or Macs, you don't need pricey hardware to get a great laptop experience. The Linux-based Chrome OS runs well on relatively low-end hardware. But Chrome OS gives you far more than just a Chrome-view of the internet these days. All modern Chromebooks now run both Android apps and native Linux these days.  

Also: More Black Friday deals at CNET

If you want to make the most of Android, you'll need a touch-screen. For Linux, it's handy -- but not necessary -- to add more storage and RAM to your Chromebook. For any Chromebook, you'll also want an Intel processor. There are ARM-powered Chromebooks, but they tend to be under-powered. Now, that's not to say there are no great ARMed up Chromebooks out there...

Black Friday 2019: Best Chromebook deals

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Lenovo C330 Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook C330 for $179

The Lenovo Chromebook C330, with an 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768  display, is a two-in-one laptop/tablet powered by a four-core MediaTek processor. It works well for a pure Chrome OS experience. It comes with only 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, but that's enough for any school or lightweight office work. Better still, you can get this "put in your bag and go" Chromebook for a Best Buy Black Friday price of $179. That's a heck of a deal. 

For any Chromebook, you should look for at least 4GB of memory. More is better. Chrome OS, just like the Chrome browser; it loves to eat RAM. You should also look for 32GB of storage and a full HD (1,920x1,080 pixels) display. You can get by with a 1,366x768-resolution display if you're on a tight budget. And even 16GB of onboard storage is workable since you can always add on to if your Chromebook has a microSD card slot. Besides, any new Chromebook comes with 100GB of free Google Drive storage for a year.  

Let's move on to other great Chromebooks you can get this holiday-buying season.

Dell Chromebook 3100

Dell Chromebook 3100 2-in-1 for $349

The Dell Chromebook 3100 2-in-1 isn't pretty, but if you want a Chromebook for your kids, it's great. It's built like a little tank -- indeed, it meets the MIL-STD-810G specifications. With its black plastic exterior, it's not a looker, but it takes a beating and keeps on ticking. It's great for young ones or their klutzy (guilty) parents. 

With its 360-degree hinge, you can run it as a tablet or a laptop. And, under the hood, it comes with an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU. This is supported by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC solid-state storage (SSD). For a display, it has an 11.6-inch HD touch-screen with 1366 x 768 resolution. It also has a generous number of ports. The 3100 includes a pair of USB 3.1 ports, two USB Type C, and a MicroSD slot. 

Fancy, it's not. But, if you want a sturdy machine with excellent battery life -- almost 13-hours -- it's worth Dell's Black Friday of $349.

Acer Chromebook 514

Acer Chromebook 514 for $338

The Acer's Chromebook 514 has a lot going for it, starting with its looks. With its metallic chassis, backlit keyboard, and Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad, it's a remarkably attractive -- and yet inexpensive -- Chromebook that weighs in at 3.3 pounds.

The dual-core Intel Celeron 1.1GHz N3350 processor is slow and old, but again, with Chrome OS, it's fast enough. This CPU would be painfully slow for Windows. On a Chromebook, it's just fine. It's backed by Intel HD Graphics 500 chipset. This powers up a 14-inch 1,366-by-768-pixel display. 

It comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of SSD. If you need more storage, it comes with a MicroSD card slot. Another plus for this Chromebook is that it comes with a decent number of ports. This starts with USB Type-C port for power and data, another Type-C for data and DisplayPort graphics, and a pair of USB Type-A 3.1 ports. 

Finally, like most Chromebooks laptops, it has outstanding battery life. Indeed, with almost 14 hours of working battery at your beck and call, you may run out of power even if you're doing homework on a school trip to Europe. In short, the Acer Chromebook 514 is a nice machine. 

And at an Amazon Black Friday price of $338, it's affordable to boot.

Samsung Chromebook Plus v2

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 for $399

You know Samsung best for its smartphones. But, in 2011, Samsung was the first company to deliver a commercial Chromebook, the Series 5. These days, now that Android apps run on Chromebooks, Samsung still makes a great Chromebook: The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2.

This Samsung comes with an excellent 12.2-inch 12.2-inch, 1,920x1,200-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. With its 360-degree hinge, this Samsung Chromebook works well as an Android tablet or a Chrome OS laptop. 

It also comes with an Active Pen stylus for when you need on-screen fine control. Unlike may stylus-equipped laptops, it comes with a dedicated slot in the side of the base. Having lost more styli than I care to remember, this is one handy feature. 

With a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron 3965Y CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a healthy 32GB of RAM backed by an Intel HD Graphics 615 chipset, it works well with multiple tabs open while streaming HD video and running four Android applications all at once. I was impressed by how much I could do on this Chromebook.

The Plus also comes with a microSD card slot, two USB-C ports for power, data and driving a 4K-resolution display, and an old-style USB-A port. It also boasts 802.11ac Wi-Fi and 32GB of SSD storage. The battery life, at nine and a half hours, is excellent. In short, the Chromebook is a solid Chromebook with excellent Android compatibility.

If Android apps are essential to you, this is the Chromebook to buy. The best deal I know of this year is from Amazon, where you can buy the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 for $399.

Acer Chromebook 715

Acer Chromebook 715 for $299

It's no Google Pixelbook, but at a much lower price point even before Black Friday, the Acer Chromebook 715 has a lot to offer if you want a powerful, business Chromebook. 

This Acer Chromebook boasts an Intel Core i3-8130U. It has only 4GB of RAM, but it has a quite large 128GB SSD. 

For graphics, it uses Intel UHD Graphics 620. This backs up a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display.  It's not the brightest screen, but if you like big-screens that's a minor issue. For connectivity, the 715 uses two USB Type-C ports, one USB 3.0 port, and a microSD card slot. As is common these days, it supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi. 

This is all wrapped up in an attractive sturdy all-metal construction. It also has a generously sized Gorilla glass touchpad. The box also has a battery life of over 12 hours. What's different about this Chromebook though is it comes with both a fingerprint reader and a numeric keypad. This spells out that this is that rarest of things: A Chromebook first and foremost for business. 

And what would pay for the Acer Chromebook 715? Would you believe $299? Well, that's exactly what you can for in the days leading up to Black Friday at Walmart. 

That's it for my list, but keep your eyes open for more deals. It's common for last-minute Chromebook deals to pop up. Happy shopping!

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