The choices can be overwhelming but if you’re looking for affordability coupled with great features look no further than a Chromebook. They come with a minimum of 2GB RAM, and usually 4GB, so they are a powerful replacement or starter computer. They are also easy to set-up so you won’t spend all day on the phone with tech support. Best of all, they won’t break the bank.

What to look for in a Chromebook

Chromebooks should have a good balance of price against features. That might be ultra-portable size, super-long battery life, or a touch screen. Here are the main things to consider.


The cheapest Chromebooks on the market start as not much more than $100; on the upper end, you can spend well over $500. Obviously, each price point comes with its own set of technical parameters; you can get a fully featured, high quality Chromebook for under $300.

Ruggedness and Spill Protection

Just because you can easily replace a Chromebook doesn’t mean you necessarily want to. This is a good thing to consider for messy kids or careless teenagers. Rugged casings, keyboards, and touchpads will cost you a bit more. I recommend the Dell 11” Chromebook, which is the one I use right now.

App Store Compatibility

Google has brought the Android App Store to devices running Chrome OS.  This exponentially increases the number of apps available for each device, making Chromebook devotees even happier.


Some devices weigh as little as two pounds or less. A heavier laptop may be a concern for younger children, since it’s more likely to get dropped.

Battery Life

It doesn’t matter how portable the device is if you’re constantly hunting an open plug to charge it. Chromebooks generally run off a single Li-ion battery, and have excellent battery life, but there’s still a wide range from 8 hours at the bottom to more than 14 hours for top-shelf devices.

Screen Size

Chromebooks have screen sizes ranging from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches. The smaller devices are perfect for quick internet access and tossing in a bag. For serious movie watching, a larger screen is going to be more satisfying.