Specs to look for when buying a Budget Chromebook in 2021

By - Dan Millward

Published -

In the last few years, we’ve seen a huge range of Chrome OS devices available to buy. A lot of these devices now offer excellent performance and a huge amount of RAM and storage. These computers are the new medium-spec Chromebooks we’ve seen become extremely popular in the last few years.

Luckily, this has not stopped manufacturers release new budget Chromebooks, and there is still a huge range of budget Chrome OS computers to buy in 2021. This means there is a Chromebook for everyone. If you’re looking to buy a budget Chromebook do you know what to look for and what to expect? It’s important to know what you should be looking for as an absolute minimum when buying a new laptop.

If you’re buying a budget laptop in 2021 you’ll notice a lot of Chrome OS laptops offer different specs. This could be the processor used, amount of RAM, storage and the display that comes with the laptop. All of these are important things to think about when spending your money on a new laptop. So let’s take a look at what you should be looking for when buying a new budget Chromebook in 2021.

Build Quality

The build quality of budget Chromebooks available in 2021 can vary. However, most of these laptops offer similar build quality. The first thing you’ll notice is that most of these computers are plastic. Plastic is used on the outer casing and this is the same when opening up the laptop. This is perfectly acceptable when buying a budget device, so you shouldn’t be too concerned if the device you’re interested in is plastic.

When it comes to the style. A lot of the budget laptops are laptops only. This means you can only use them as a laptop. However, if you spend a little more you’ll also be able to get your hands on a Hybrid Chromebook. A Hybrid can be used as both a laptop and tablet. The good thing about this is that it also means it will come with a touchscreen display, which is preferred if you’re considering using a varied number of Android Apps. That being said, you may still find laptop only devices that offer a touchscreen, but most of the cheaper laptop only devices will not.

Processor used for a Budget Chromebook

Most budget Chromebooks will use a low powered processor. There are a few budget processors available such as the Intel Celeron or MediaTek. These processors are one of the main reasons why the manufacturer can offer a laptop at such a cheap price. The good news is Chrome OS is extremely lightweight, so you can still use a Chromebook for most tasks even with a low powered processor.

These processors are perfectly fine for carrying out tasks such as surfing the internet, word processing, social media and streaming movies. You’ll also be able to use most Android Apps with a budget processor, but they may take a little longer to run compared to a higher-powered processor.

RAM and Storage

Most budget Chromebooks today come with 4 GB of RAM. This is still a perfectly acceptable amount of RAM for a budget laptop. Even some medium-spec Chrome OS laptops still come with 4 GB of RAM. Unless you’re considering using Linux Apps you’ll find you can do most things with 4 GB of RAM.

If you’re unsure how much RAM you will need. Have a read of how much RAM should I be looking for when buying a Chromebook. When it comes to budget laptops 4GB is all you need and you should not expect to get a budget device offering more than this. I would stay clear of any laptop offering 2 GB, as this is simply not enough in 2021.

When it comes to storage you’ll find a lot of budget Chromebooks come with 32 GB. This is fine, but it will limit the number of Android Apps you can install. All your other files can be saved to the cloud, but Android Apps need to be stored locally. If you’re only expecting to install a few Android Apps then you should be fine. If you’ll be wanting to install a larger number of apps. Then you should look for 64 GB of storage. Find out more about the amount of storage you need for a Chromebook.

Display to look for when buying a budget Chromebook

The display is something you need to consider. A lot of budget Chrome OS laptops offer a display, which isn’t going to blow you away. Whether you’ll be fine with this is all down to what you want. Some people may be perfectly fine with a display offering a TN panel whilst others will be disappointed with this type of display.

If a good display is important to you then you should try to look for a laptop with an IPS panel. An IPS panel offers better viewing angles and the images and colours look much better. The resolution is something you also need to consider. If you’re buying a budget laptop with a display smaller than 13-inches. Then you’ll most likely find the resolution to be SD, which is 1,366 by 768. This is perfectly acceptable for a budget laptop with a display that is smaller than 13-inches.

If you’re buying a budget laptop with a display of 14-inches or more. Then I would avoid buying a Chromebook offering SD resolution. This is because SD resolution on a display of 14-inches isn’t going to look very good. You still find 14-inch budget Chromebooks that come with a standard resolution, so it’s important to watch out for this. If you’re looking for a 14-inch display then you ideally want to ensure it uses a Full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. Find out more about choosing the right display when buying a Chromebook.


Buying a budget Chromebook is a great choice for anyone who wants to buy a laptop without spending a fortune. The Chromebook offers the best performance from any budget laptop. This is because Chrome OS is lightweight, so even if you buy a budget laptop you can still get decent performance.

There are a huge number of budget Chromebooks available. They all offer something a little different. Providing you remember everything you’ve read in this post. You should hopefully be able to make the right choice when buying your new Chrome OS laptop.

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