Take your pick from 4 capable Chromebooks priced from $155 to $220

Those on the fence about the Chromebook will find that budget-friendly models make it easy to give them a try. Here are four impressive models that don't cost an arm and a leg.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
Chromebooks are capable laptops running the Chrome OS from Google that can meet a lot of people's needs. This even applies to some professionals who spend most of their work day in the browser. Chromebooks are basically the Chrome browser on steroids, complete with file and task managers like laptops from the big shops.

Those who have Chromebooks understand how useful they are, but those on the fence need an incentive to give them a try. Low prices are just the ticket for the undecided.

See related: Chromebooks: Debunking the misconceptions | The misunderstood Chromebook: Why few get it

Looking through the virtual shelves of Amazon finds some good deals for decent Chromebooks. The deals listed below are priced to make them affordable for most wanting to give Google's OS a try. They only include models that I've used and tested for ZDNet, and are listed here in no particular order.

Due to its dominance in the Chromebook space, Acer produced most of the laptops in this collection. Acer has a large line of Chromebooks, and the build quality is quite good.

The featured budget-friendly Chromebooks here have similar configurations except where noted. This includes 11.6-inch displays, Intel Celeron processors, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage.
Acer Chromebook 11

Acer Chromebook 11

This Chromebook has an 11.6-inch display in a highly portable form. The display has the standard resolution of 1366 x 768 but lacks a touch screen. The Intel Celeron processor is light on the battery (8.5 hours), and is a good performer with Chrome OS.

Amazon has the Acer Chromebook 11 on sale for $154.99, a great deal for those wanting to try the Chromebook.
Dell 3120 Chromebook

Dell CRM 3120

Dell has been making laptops for a very long time and that experience shows in the 3120. As if the standard Celeron, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB storage were not enough, Dell has thrown mil-spec ruggedization into this Chromebook for less than $200.

The 11.6-inch display has a resolution of 1366 x 768, like most Chromebooks of this size. It is a little heavy at 2.74lbs but that's a small inconvenience for the rugged construction. It gets eight hours on a single battery charge.

Get the Dell 3120 at Amazon for $179.
Acer C720P

Acer C720P with touch screen

Those wanting a touch screen on a Chromebook will find that option will drive up the cost. This Chromebook has touch operation that is precise. It features an 11.6-inch touch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. There is 2GB of system memory onboard accompanied by 32GB of internal storage. Battery life is 7.5 hours.

The Acer C720P Chromebook is $199.99 on Amazon, making it one of the lowest priced models with a touch screen and 32GB of storage.

See the review on ZDNet.

Acer Chromebook 13

Acer Chromebook 13

Those looking for a bigger Chromebook may find this one to be a reasonable choice. It has a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768. There is a version of the Chromebook 13 with a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080.

See CNET's Acer Chromebook 13 review.

What sets the Acer Chromebook 13 apart from the crowd is the Nvidia Tegra processor. This processor offers fast performance while providing an 11 hour battery life. It is so good that I bought the HD version.

The Acer Chromebook 13 is priced at $219.99 for the lower resolution model and $254.99 for the HD version. Both have 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

Additional ZDNet coverage of Chromebook 13: Acer Chromebook 13: Changing the game with the Nvidia Tegra | Chromebook Pixel vs. Acer Chromebook 13: Why I bought the Acer

Also see: Top four Chromebooks by screen size

Top four Chromebooks by screen size

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