If you’re looking for a cheap laptop then a Chromebook is a great choice. There are plenty of Chromebooks to choose from, and you’ll find lots of budget ChromeOS laptops to choose from in the UK.
Before you go and spend your money on a new laptop. Check out my findings for the best 14-inch budget Chromebook available in the UK. When it comes to buying a cheap laptop the Chromebook is the best choice. The reason for this is that ChromeOS just works, and it doesn’t matter too much about how powerful your laptop is.
I would definitely not recommend buying a cheap Windows laptop. Even expensive Windows laptops can perform less slowly over time. Trying to run Microsoft Windows on a cheap laptop is destined to fail. Personally speaking, I’d always buy a Chromebook over a Windows laptop no matter how much I was spending. However, when it comes to buying a cheap laptop, then the Chromebook is the only wise choice to make.
Full HD works better with a 14-inch display
Whenever you’re on the lookout for a new budget Chromebook. If you’re considering a display above 11.6-inches then you ideally want to ensure it offers a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. This display resolution is what you should be looking for to ensure the display is Full HD.
It can be confusing because some displays with a lower resolution can be marketed as having a Full HD display. However, this is not the case as Full HD is 1080i or 1080p, which means it needs a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080.
When it comes to a 14-inch laptop then it’s even more important to try and get Full HD. This is because larger displays look much better with more pixels. A resolution below Full HD on a 14-inch display isn’t going to look that great. The only time I would possibly recommend this is if you have poor eyesight and prefer much bigger text. For the majority of people, I’d recommend only buying a 14-inch Chromebook if it comes with Full HD. All the Chromebooks I mention in this article come with a Full HD display.
Processors found on budget Chromebooks
When it comes to the processor you may find different processor types depending on the laptop. Not all processors are equal, but cheap laptops will usually always come with a relatively basic processor.
This isn’t a major issue because ChromeOS works just fine with a budget processor. Unlike a traditional laptop that requires a lot of processing power. You can still get most things done on a cheap Chromebook.
For example, word processing, spreadsheets, watching YouTube or Netflix movies, social media, and most Android apps are all going to work fine with a budget processor. You may not get the fastest performance, but you’ll definitely not get a sluggish performance either. I’ve not considered the processor type because it’s not that important when looking at budget Chromebooks.
RAM & Storage
A budget Chromebook will work perfectly fine with 4GB of RAM. If you find a budget Chromebook with 8GB of RAM and all the other specs are decent. Then I’d definitely recommend 8GB over 4GB because it will offer better performance. However, most budget Chromebooks come with just 4GB of RAM, which is nothing to be concerned about.
You typically don’t need as much storage with a Chromebook compared to a Windows PC. This is because ChromeOS takes up a lot less space than Microsoft Windows. Also, Chromebooks are cloud computers, so you should be saving most of your files in the cloud. Therefore, most Chromebooks will come with a lot less storage than a typical laptop. Find out more about why a Chromebook is a cloud computer.
The majority of budget Chromebooks will come with either 32GB or 64GB of RAM. Although you would be surprised with how much you can install on a 32GB Chromebook. I would recommend at least 64GB if possible. This makes it more future-proof, and you shouldn’t need to worry about running out of storage at a later date.
The best 14-inch Budget Chromebooks to buy in the UK
There are a few Chromebooks to choose from, which offer all the specs I’ve recommended above. This means there is more than one laptop to consider, which is great news. Allowing you to take other things into consideration such as how the laptop looks and the connectivity options it provides.
I’ve not included any 14-inch budget Chromebooks in the list below if they don’t offer the specs I’ve recommended above. There are a few of these types of devices available, so it’s important you check before buying if what I’ve mentioned above is an important factor for you.
Essentially, when you’re considering the best 14-inch Budget Chromebook. What really separates the best from the not-so-best is the display. Apart from how the Chromebook looks, this is certainly what I’d always be looking at. The processor to a lesser extent is something to consider, but this is less important with budget laptops, as most budget processors offer similar performance.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Chromebook (82KN0005UK)
This is the cheapest Chromebook that made the list. Considering you get a Full HD display for just £149.99 is pretty impressive. This is what’s great about Lenovo. Since they started making Chromebooks a few years ago they’ve been extremely competitive when it comes to pricing.
Being able to get a 14-inch Chromebook with a Full HD display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for just £149.99 is an excellent deal. When you consider most things have gone up in price due to the cost of living crisis. It’s amazing to find a Chromebook with these specs at such a low price.
I’ve not been able to find anything to suggest that this laptop comes with an IPS panel. Considering an IPS is a good selling point it’s unlikely a manufacturer would not promote this. Therefore, I can only assume the panel that comes with the 82KN0005UK model is a TN panel. Only one Chromebook in this list appears to come with an IPS panel, and that is the IdeaPad 3 model number 82KN002AUK.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Chromebook (82KN002AUK)
It can be difficult to know what you’re buying when manufacturers release different versions of the same Chromebook. Don’t get me wrong it’s great you have a chance of buying a laptop with different configurations. However, it does mean you need to do a little homework to make sure you don’t end up buying the wrong one.
The IdeaPad 3 with model number 82KN002AUK looks almost identical to the Chromebook with model number 82KN0005UK. The only difference, which is worth noting is the display panel. Instead of a TN panel, you’re getting an IPS panel.
The Full HD display has an IPS panel, which is really important if you want the best visuals. An IPS panel is a far superior display panel compared to a TN panel, which can be found on some cheaper laptops. An IPS panel offers better viewing angles and the colours are more vivid making images on the display look more true to life. Have a look at a video on my YouTube channel showing the difference between a TN and an IPS panel.
Asus C424 Chromebook
The Asus C424 looks like a great Chromebook, but I have one issue that I could not resolve. It comes with a Full HD display, but I could not find anything to suggest the type of display panel used. Therefore, I can’t say for certain whether the Asus C424 display panel is IPS. If you’ve watched the video above and you’re not too bothered about having an IPS panel, then this may be the perfect Chromebook for you.
I personally would be dubious about buying this Chromebook before knowing whether the display panel was IPS. TN panels aren’t necessarily bad, but I would not be happy using a TN panel on a daily basis.
The fact that Asus appears to have not mentioned an IPS panel. Gives me the impression it could be a TN panel. The only place IPS is mentioned is in a footnote on the Asus website. However, this footnote doesn’t confirm that the Asus C424 has an IPS panel. It simply explains what an IPS panel is. Therefore, this is something you need to consider if you are thinking about buying the Asus C424 Chromebook.
Acer 314 14-inch Chromebook
The Acer 314 Chromebook normally retails at the highest price point for this list at £249. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB, which is what all of these laptops offer.
Unlike a MediaTek processor, which has been used on both Lenovo Chromebooks. The Acer 314 uses an Intel Celeron processor.
I’ve had the same issue when it comes to finding what display panel is used on this Chromebook. However, the fact an IPS panel isn’t mentioned suggests it’s most likely a TN panel. You still get a Full HD display like all of the other Chromebooks on this list.
Best budget 14-inch Chromebook under £250
All of the Chromebooks on this list will offer similar performance. When it comes to the RAM and storage you get the same. Therefore, the only thing that separates these Chromebooks is that one of them comes with an IPS panel.
If you’re not bothered about having an IPS panel then any of these Chromebooks is something I’d consider. If an IPS panel is important, then the only Chromebook I would recommend is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 with model number 82KN002AUK.
This usually retails at £249, but it’s currently on offer at Argos for the same price as model number 82KN0005UK. This means both are currently available for £149.
If I was buying a 14-inch budget Chromebook then the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 82KN002AUK is the one I would choose. It’s all about that IPS panel, which is really important if you want a decent display.