How to avoid a poor display when buying a budget Chromebook

There are lots of things you need to consider when buying a new budget Chromebook. This can mean that the display is often overlooked. However, the display is one of the most important factors.

You can get a laptop that is well built and performs as expected. This means nothing though if you end up being unhappy with the display quality.

This is something I see a lot in comments left for reviews for some budget Chromebooks. The problem with this is that it gives the Chromebook a bad name. If this was the first experience with a Chrome OS device. You could end up assuming all Chrome OS devices have poor displays.

The fact is this is a problem with all laptops. However, I accept it’s the budget Chromebook sector where these poor displays are an issue. So in this article, we’ll look at what makes a good display and what to avoid.


In the budget sector, you’ll find many different display sizes available ranging from 10-inches to 14-inches. This is pretty unusual because laptops with smaller displays used to be a lot more expensive.

However, this all changed when we saw the rise of netbooks. Netbooks were poorly performing low-spec laptops that usually came with Microsoft Windows. These netbooks were well known for having awful displays.

A general rule of thumb is that you should not expect much from a laptop display under 13-inches if it costs under $350/£350. We are not talking about tablets here, so don’t get the two confused. This is simply referring to laptop computers.

However, you could find a laptop costing the same price with a really decent 14-inch display. This is because small displays below 13-inches that offer quality cost a lot more to produce. So you’d expect to see that reflected in the price.

This does not mean you should avoid all laptops in this range. It just means you should not expect an amazing display. You’ve got to accept there will be compromises.


The resolution of a display will have an impact on how sharp the text and images appear on the screen. The higher the resolution the better, but that is usually reflected in the cost.

The larger the display the higher the resolution you’ll need. If you have a 14-inch display with 1,024 x 768. It will still look fine, but it would look much better on a smaller 11.6-inch display.

I am not saying to avoid 14-inch displays if they only offer 1,024 x 768. You just need to be aware that the images and text will not be as clear compared to full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080.

Finding a budget Chromebook with full HD is great if you’re intending on buying a 14-inch display. However, don’t expect to find a 12-inch display or below with HD resolution in the budget Chromebook category.


You’ll usually find it’s the display panel that is of lesser quality when buying a budget Chromebook. The number of customer reviews I read where they say things like “I couldn’t see the display unless looking straight at it.” or “Could not even use indoors if sunny.”.

These types of comments will always be linked to the display panel. Unfortunately, if you’re buying a budget Chromebook then you do have to make compromises. The display panel is going to be one of those.

However, if you do your homework and read some reviews before buying. Then you’ll know whether the display is any good or not. Budget 2-in-1 Chromebooks with decent displays.

You can find some budget Chromebooks with decent displays. They will generally sit at the higher end of the budget range. You’d expect to be paying at least $350/£350. The Acer Chromebook has an excellent display.

Decent display panels are usually reserved for mid-range and high-spec devices. If you were buying from these ranges I’d say always ensure it comes with an IPS panel or a panel offering the same experience.

To find out more about displays for all types of Chromebooks and not just from the budget range. Have a read of What display to look for when buying a Chromebook.