One of the greatest strengths of Chromebooks lies in their affordability. ChromeOS is an utterly minimalistic operating system that prioritizes speed, security, and simplicity above everything else, giving schools many compelling reasons to use Chromebooks instead of laptops.
If you’re a parent looking to get their little one a back-to-school Chromebook after the summer break, you make the right decisions. This guide will encompass 5 of the best affordable Chromebooks for returning to school in 2022, so you can know the most terrific options present on the market today.
Let’s dive right into the guide with no further ado.
- Recommended read from Chrome Ready: The 5 best 2-in-1 Chromebooks in 2022 for work, school, and play.
5 of the best affordable Chromebooks for back-to-school in 2022
The following is our cherry-picked selection of the best affordable Chromebooks back-to-school students will love having by their side in 2022.
1. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5
From the design perspective, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is pretty reminiscent of its earlier-arriving sibling, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. That is to say, both devices boast the same form factor and just the right amount of versatility in braving the struggles of everyday life.
However, the Duet 5 sports a better semblance of quality; picking it up, one can quickly see how. Specks of premium-grade material are dispersed all over the chassis of the Chromebook.
Coming equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is a solid performer. It handles Google Play Store apps truly well, and you can also engage in multitasking using different windows on the fly. Middle schoolers will have a great time getting their assignments while using this fine specimen.
Moreover, the device seems to be optimized quite well. Since 2-in-1 convertible Chromebooks also pack an added tablet experience, they have to hit the mark near-perfectly to offer stable performance when used as a proper clamshell Chromebook and a tablet.
Fortunately for the Duet 5, it handles itself genuinely well and lives up to the core ChromeOS experience. As for the battery life, the machine is out here dishing out 10-12 hours of battery runtime on a single full charge, allowing users to juice the machine up once and forget about charging it again for the whole day.
It’s safe to assume that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is one of them, packing several exciting features, commendable performance, and a bright screen that will keep you hooked for days. It’s hard not to recommend a device of this stature, especially when it falls in the mid-range price bracket of $350.
2. Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3
The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 fluently shows you the grace of ChromeOS with a high-quality 2-in-1 convertible design and a docked stylus. The added functionality can enable your middle school child to learn cursive writing early on, providing them with another way of navigating through the interface.
The quality of this pen-like component puts the CM3 among the best Chromebooks with a built-in stylus, and there’s no wonder why. As for other factors like battery life and the quality of the display, we’re happy to report that the CM3 excels in both of the latter.
It dishes out a whopping 14-hour battery runtime, allowing you to last a day of work and play and then even save a bit of juice for some laid-back Netflix streaming. As for the screen, the CM3 employs a gorgeous 10.5-inch WUXGA HD (1920 x 1200) with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The colors look bright, and the viewing angles are excellent.
In addition, most Chromebooks below the mid-range price bracket are plagued with the notorious issue of low brightness that peaks at around 250 nits. The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 is exempt from that scenario and boasts a 320-nit screen brightness to make sure sunny picnic days outdoors spent with the device turn out to be quite enjoyable.
3. Acer Chromebook 514
The Acer Chromebook 514 is a sleek, slim device far above the average-looking Chromebook. It’s a 14-inch machine, so the footprint is pretty sizable. We must admit the Pure Silver color scheme of 514 looks dashing on it and makes you appreciate the device when you look at it from afar.
The aluminum-grade top cover of the Chromebook manages to dish out high levels of durability, but the rest of the Chromebook has hints of strength blissfully apparent. For instance, the trackpad of the Acer Chromebook 514 is enwreathed with Corning Gorilla Glass, so the machine’s endurance can stay consistent.
Regarding the CPU, the 514 is the world’s first-ever Chromebook to house a MediaTek Companio 828 processor. This aligns with the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor. The device in question dishes out high-performance levels daily, especially when considering browser-based tasks and web computing.
If you’re after a competent Chromebook for your middle school child that will take care of their regular browsing tasks and even heavy-duty software from time to time, feel free to confide in the Acer Chromebook 514. It’s priced quite competitively for its worth, about $400, and there are many configurations to choose from.
4. Lenovo Chromebook 3
Dropping what is easily one of the most affordable Chromebooks in the industry, Lenovo is a real charmer for making high-quality devices and slapping price tags on them that the masses can afford. A glaring example of this prospect is the Lenovo Chromebook 3, which comes at around $189 but still manages to pack quite the ChromeOS experience.
However, it’s relatively lightweight, so if you’re a parent looking to buy a device for your little one, this is just it. It’s got decent build quality, an almost nano-edge-like screen design, and a consistent, enjoyable keyboard that all come together to deliver nicely. As for the trackpad, it’s plastic but doesn’t feel cheaply made at all.
As for its chassis, the exterior is decorated with textured engraving on one side that sets it completely apart from the other. This strikes a remarkable contrast and ends up turning the heads of everyone in the room. The design scores excellent numbers bar none.
Sporting an Intel Celeron N4020 processor with 4 GBs of RAM and 32 GBs of flash drive storage, performance levels will be commendable on the Lenovo Chromebook 3 for middle schoolers.
It’s also worth noting that this is an ARM Chromebook compared to others that are mostly Intel- or x86-based. If you’re unaware of the major differences between the two, know that the former is preferred for Android apps and has low power consumption. At the same time, the latter is more suitable for programmers with heavy workloads.
5. HP Chromebook 14 (14a-na0)
The HP Chromebook 14 is one of the perfect picks for a student. It’s rugged, stylish, and packs enough horsepower for students to utilize it effectively daily. In addition, it costs somewhere around $260 if you purchase it directly from Amazon, which is a reasonably budget-range price for an impressively designed Chromebook.
The 14″ HD (1366 x 720p) display dons a nano-edge style with minimal bezels. This makes the HP 14 sport a well-established modern look that’s no less than head-turning when you put it on your workstation for others to see.
Another highly admired benefit of the HP Chromebook 14 is its battery life, which reliably spans 12 to 13 hours without charging it again. These are impressive figures for ChromeOS, and the cherry on top is the quick charging time, which is about 45 minutes for a rapid 50% charge.
Say goodbye to charging during the day when you’ve got this machine available at your disposal. As for its performance, the HP 14 uses an Intel Celeron processor like most budget-range Chromebooks and can run Linux programs and Google Play Store apps quickly.
Just be sure not to go too overboard and test the device for unrealistic results. It is a cheap machine worth quite the bang for your buck in terms of back-to-school middle school children.
Chromebooks are the people’s favorite regarding educational potential and having a handy device by a middle schooler’s side. Not only do they boast automatic updates that happen on the fly, but ChromeOS is known for keeping things simple and flat-out effective.
If you’re out in the market trying to purchase a brand-new back-to-school Chromebook for your child, let this guide allow you to make the right decision. We’ve talked about some of the best and most affordable devices you can buy in 2022, so here’s hoping you’ll find the helpful listicle for your cause.
Chrome Ready wishes you good luck!