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Some of us find buying a new laptop really exciting whilst others may find it a little overwhelming. I’ve always been one of those who find buying any type of technology exciting, but I totally understand that not everyone is like that.
If you know what you are looking for then it’s usually a fun thing to do. It starts to get a little stressful when you don’t know what you should be looking for. When it comes to buying a new Chromebook it’s a good idea to have some idea of what you’ll need. There is nothing worse than buying a laptop when you have not checked whether it will offer everything you need.
It doesn’t help if you visit your local high street either. Pushy salespeople have a tendency to sell you what they want or even worse what they’ll make the most commission on. So before you go out and buy a new Chromebook in 2020. Make sure you are fully prepared by reading this Chromebook 2020 specification guide.
WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET
One of the first things you’ll need to consider before buying a new Chromebook is your budget. If money is no issue then you have the freedom of choosing the best laptop you can buy. However, let’s face it not everyone is in that position.
Also, even if you do have an unlimited budget. It doesn’t really make any sense buying something you don’t need. Luckily, you can find a Chromebook to suit all budgets. This is a far cry from five years ago when most Chromebooks were cheap with just a handful of expensive models.
When buying a Chromebook in 2020 you have three categories to buy from. The budget range, medium range and high spec range. If you are looking for a decent laptop with good specs then a medium-range laptop is a good choice. This is the perfect mix of decent specs at an affordable price.
If you don’t have much money to spend. Then you’ll most likely be looking to buy a budget Chromebook. This is fine, but you must ensure the laptop has everything you’ll need. On the other hand, if you have a decent budget. Then you’ll have the luxury of choosing between a medium spec device or high spec one.
THE BUDGET CHROMEBOOK
The budget Chromebook is great if you’re on a tight budget. However, it’s also easy to end up buying a laptop with poor specifications in this category. It does not need to be that way though, as you can get some decent budget Chrome OS devices if you do your homework.
One of the worst things about a lot of budget Chromebooks is the display. Many of the budget laptops available, especially if the display is below 14-inches is the resolution. A lot of these laptops only offer 720p resolution. This may be fine for some people, but a 720p resolution should only be considered if you’re buying a laptop with a display size of 12-inches or below.
This is because 720p on a larger display than this will simply look poor. A laptop display looks much better when the display has Full HD, which is a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. This resolution size is capable of displaying more information on the screen, and the images and text are crisp. You’ll also be able to stream Full HD movies.
If you’re considering a budget Chromebook. Then I’d recommend the Acer 314 CB314 Chromebook if you’re considering a laptop with a 14-inch display. I recommend this budget laptop because it has Full HD and an IPS panel, so viewing angles are great. The Acer CB514-1HT is also great but is a little older now, so not as easy to get your hands on.
If you prefer a laptop with a display smaller than 12-inches. Then you’ll need to accept it’s not possible to get a budget laptop with a Full HD display. This is the only time I’d recommend buying a laptop with 720p resolution. You’ll only find Full HD on smaller displays when you spend a lot more money. A good budget laptop with a 12-inch display is the HP x360 12b Chromebook.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR AN IPS PANEL
Whether buying a budget or a high spec laptop. You should always be looking for a display with an IPS panel. An IPS panel provides excellent viewing angles and images and colours look more vivid because of this. A lot of budget Chromebooks don’t have an IPS panel, which is why a lot of these laptops have a poor display. Do not make this mistake because the display is one of the most important factors when buying a laptop.
Some of the more expensive laptops may use different technology to IPS. This is fine, but ensure you check the reviews to see how good the display is before making that all-important buying decision.
One of my biggest issues with budget laptops is the display quality. The most important factor when trying to avoid a poor display is making sure it comes with an IPS panel or an equivalent technology providing good viewing angles.
THE MID-RANGE CHROMEBOOK
If you have a slightly higher budget then you can opt for a mid-range Chromebook. In this category, you should only be looking for a display offering Full HD resolution. Any laptop not offering 1,920 by 1,080 should be avoided.
This is the same when it comes to the panel. Just like the budget Chromebook where you should be trying to avoid a laptop without an IPS panel. When spending more on a laptop by buying a mid-range device. You’d expect nothing else than an IPS panel.
You should expect to see a better processor used when buying a mid-range laptop. Look for an M3 processor as a minimum and avoid an Intel Celeron, which is usually used on budget devices. Find out more about the type of processor to look for when buying a Chromebook.
The same goes for the amount of RAM and storage. The minimum you should be looking for is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. However, when buying a mid-range laptop you ideally want to be looking for 8GB of RAM if possible.
THE HIGH-SPEC CHROMEBOOK
When buying a high spec Chromebook you would expect something more than your average laptop. Again, the display at a minimum should be Full HD. However, when spending a lot of money on a laptop I’d expect to see more than this. A good example of a high spec laptop offering amazing resolution is the Acer Spin 713 Chromebook.
A high spec laptop should also offer fantastic build quality without any compromise. The minimum amount of RAM should be 8GB and you should expect nothing less than 128GB of storage.
When it comes to the processor. The minimum should be an Intel i5 and many of them come with an Intel i7. In all fairness, either of these processors will offer incredibly fast speeds and good performance.
Have a look at the top ten Chromebooks in 2020 to get a better idea of what you should be considering when buying a Chromebook in 2020. This list includes Chromebooks from all three ranges.