It’s easy to forget the Chromebook was initially successful because of the price. Although you can now get Chromebooks that cost a lot more than £200, which usually come with better specs. You can still get a Chromebook for under £200. That’s pretty amazing, a laptop for under £200, which is capable of doing what most of us need from a laptop.
When I first had a look I was assuming there would not be much of a choice. However, I was rather shocked with just how many Chromebooks you can buy at this price. These laptops are an excellent choice for anyone who wants to get their hands on a laptop without spending too much money. I’ve looked at the Chromebooks currently available at Argos and Curry’s PC world to compile this list.
All the prices stated were correct at the time of writing this article. To check current prices I’ve included links to retailers that stock these Chrome OS laptops. None of the links in this article is affiliated, which means I do not receive a commission should you purchase through links in this post.
ACER 311 11.6-inch MTK Chromebook – £199.99 RRP
I love this Chromebook from Acer. It not only looks great, but the fact it comes with an impact resistant body makes it perfect. A great choice for anyone who needs a laptop to travel with and an excellent choice for school children. Knowing this Chromebook can take a few knocks along the way is something you shouldn’t underestimate. The rugged textured lid looks nice and is a good reminder that this laptop is super strong.
It’s a laptop only device, which means you cannot use it as a tablet. This isn’t anything to be too concerned about considering the price. I’m personally not a huge fan of Hybrid Chromebooks, but having the functionality is a good option on more expensive devices. By concentrating on offering a laptop only device. Acer has been able to offer a nice compact laptop at an extremely affordable price. Weighing in at just 1.17 kg means this laptop is perfect to use for travelling and for education. The 15-hour battery life means you’ll be able to use this all day on a single charge.
The processor is a MediaTek octa-core that offers a clock speed of 2.2 GHz, which is fine for the tasks you’ll be carrying out on this Chromebook. It also comes with 4 GB of RAM, which is absolutely fine for now and in the future. Find out more about how much RAM you need for your Chromebook. The storage at 32 GB is perfectly acceptable considering the price. This amount of storage means you’ll easily be able to install a few Android Apps without running out of space. You’ll not be able to install hundreds of apps, but there is enough storage to install your favourites.
This particular model does not offer a touchscreen, so this is something to consider if you like using apps that work better with touchscreen capability. The 11.6-inch display offers an SD resolution of 1,366 by 768. Perfectly acceptable considering the size of the display and the price of this laptop. You’ll find both the older USB Type-A port and newer USB Type-C ports are available. However, it lacks a Micro SD slot, which means adding further storage would need to be done using a USB dongle.
Asus C223 11.6-inch Chromebook – £199.99 RRP
The Asus C223 Chromebook has been around for a few years. Asus has given it a new look with the bright red chassis. It’s a little lighter than the Acer 311 at just under 1kg, but only slightly. It offers the same display size of 11.6-inches, which again makes this the perfect laptop to use on the move. The resolution provided is a standard resolution of 1,366 by 768, which is just what you’d expect to see for the price and size of the display.
It’s a laptop only device, so you cannot use this as a Chrome OS tablet. This is perfectly fine, as you can still use Android apps, but the lack of a touchscreen might make some apps difficult to use. That being said, you can still use Android Apps without a touchscreen, and most of the productivity apps available should work just fine. The processor used is an Intel Celeron with a base speed of 1.1 GHz, which can increase to 2.4 GHz when that extra power is needed.
Similar to the Acer 311 the Asus C223 comes with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. This amount of RAM and storage at a laptop in this price range is perfectly fine. When you consider you should only be using your local storage for Android Apps. You’ll still be able to install a few without any issues. For regularly files it’s a much better idea to store these in the cloud. Find out more about why a Chromebook is a cloud computer and the benefits this offers.
It comes with two USB type-C ports and one older USB Type A port. Unlike the Acer 311 the Asus C223 comes with a Micro SD slot, which means you can easily add further storage at a later date.
Lenovo Ideapad 3 11.6-inch Chromebook – £184.99 RRP
The Lenovo Ideapad 3 Chromebook offers an 11.6-inch display, which is the same as the others in this list. Slightly heavier than the Asus C233, but slightly lighter than the Acer 311 at 1.12 kg. Again, the weight difference between all of these Chromebooks is marginal, and will likely be unnoticeable. It uses an Intel Celeron dual-core processor with a 1.1 GHz base speed and a turbo speed of 2.8 GHz.
Just like the previous two Chromebooks in this list, it comes with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. Find out more about how much storage you need for your Chromebook. The display offers a standard definition with a resolution of 1,366 by 768, which will look fine considering the display size. None of the Chromebooks in this list come with Full HD. This is absolutely fine when you consider the 11.6-inch display and the price of these laptops.
When it comes to connectivity you get a few extra ports with the Lenovo Ideapad 3. Two USB Type-A ports and two USB Type-C ports, so you should never run out of ports to connect USB devices. All of these Chromebooks offer both types of USB ports, which is good to see. This means you’ll easily be able to use older hardware or newer hardware without having to worry about compatibility issues. Just like the Asus C223 the Lenovo also comes with a Micro SD slot. This means the only Chromebook in this list that does not offer a Micro SD slot is the Acer 311.
HP 11a 11.6-inch Chromebook £199.00 RRP
The HP 11a Chromebook is available in white or black. It’s a good looking laptop, which is just what you’d expect to see from HP. HP sells more Chromebooks than any other manufacturer, so they are a popular choice. It comes with an 11.6-inch display, which is the same display size as all the other Chromebooks on this list. Again, the Standard Definition resolution is used of 1,366 by 768, which is fine for the price.
As with all the other laptops in this list. It does not come with a touchscreen and it is a laptop only device. This means you’ll not be able to use this laptop as a tablet, which isn’t a major issue. Not having a touchscreen does mean you may be limited on the type of Android apps you can use. Considering all these laptops come without a touchscreen, suggests this was to keep the price of these laptops below the £200 mark.
The processor used is a MediaTek with a clock speed of 2.0 GHz. The RAM and storage used is the same as all the other laptops on this list. 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. Perfectly acceptable for a laptop at this price. A Micro SD card is available, so you can easily add further storage, and you’ll find one USB Type-A port and the newer USB Type-C port. It weighs in at just 1.07 kg, which means it weighs roughly the same as all the other Chromebooks on this list.
WHICH CHROMEBOOK IS BEST
None of the Chromebooks in this list stand out more than the Acer 311. This is because it’s the only Chromebook that comes with a military standard certification for being tough. This is a really good advantage and makes this an ideal choice for anyone who is buying a Chromebook for their children. Knowing the Acer 311 can take a few knocks and still work fine. Is going to offer peace of mind that none of the other Chromebooks on this list can offer. However, it’s also the only Chromebook on this list that does not come with a Micro SD slot, so you’ll need to consider this.
When it comes to the actual specs. There isn’t much difference between all of these laptops. They all use budget processors, which are more than capable of dealing with the tasks these Chrome OS laptops were made for. Whether that is surfing the internet, social media, streaming movies, using productivity software such as word processing and spreadsheets. They are all capable of Android Apps as well, which means considering the price. they are excellent value for money.
It’s the same with the display. They all offer an 11.6-inch display and none of these laptops come with an IPS panel or touchscreen. This is something I’d expect to see on most Chromebooks. That being said, when you consider all of these Chromebooks can be bought for £200 or less. Then there isn’t really anything you can fault. The best thing is. Even though they all use budget processors. The benefit of Chrome OS and Chromebooks is that they don’t need much processing power to perform.
If you’re after a laptop for under £200. Then you really can’t go wrong with any of these Chromebooks. The fact you can get your hands on a laptop for under £200 in 2021 is pretty remarkable. When it comes to choosing between the four on this list. It’s a pretty difficult decision because they are all very similar. Apart from the Acer, which provides military standard protection from knocks. I guess it may simply come down to the laptop that best suits you when it comes to looks.