[DEAD] 13.3″ ASUS Chromebook C300SA for $150

Oy! I jinxed it. As of late night on 6/27/17, they got sold out. Someone probably post them on a big deal website or something…

[Read more…]

Chromebooks instant savings end 12/31/16

IF you need a Chromebook right away, and don’t want to wait for the newer CES 2017 models that may have support for the “Chrome Droid” (Android app support), there is an instant savings promotion running that can get you up to $50 off select models by ASUS, Acer and HP through amazon.com.

If you are not sure which existing models support (or will support) “Chrome Droid”, check (and bookmark) this support page at the Chromium project.

TIPS: even though ChromeOS is a lightweight OS, the web itself is getting more and more bloated, which increases the minimum specs necessary for a lower-frustration web browsing experience. As such, I would recommend avoiding 2GB RAM models unless you plan to use them in a uni-tasking type of fashion. Touchscreen still adds significantly to the price, but if you are not interested in running Android apps, the lack of a touchscreen opens the door to even lower prices.

11.6″ Samsung Chromebook 3 (4GB RAM) for $180 [limit 3]

If you are not interesting in having a touchscreen on your Chromebook (eg when the Android apps arrive), the 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook 3, with 4GB RAM [a must have these days with Chromebooks because the web is more bloated than ever] is on sale for $180 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon actual. Limit three of these per customer during this sale. It is powered by the Celeron N3050 1.6 GHz processor, which currently ranks #1663 at cpubenchmark.net.

The usual assortment of features for this price-range come with it, 16GB on-board storage, integrated graphics, SD and USB and HDMI ports, etc.

All the options together average 4.2 out of 5 based on 152 customer reviews and has about the same number of questions answered over there.

Pre-order new convertible Acer Chromebook R11 for $300

Chromebooks continue to grow in the market, and with the upcoming Google Play app support on ChromeOS, this is a good time to consider getting a new model or your first model. The feature is just launching, so it’s a good idea to buy a model with 4GB RAM and a touch-screen since Google Play apps are touch-optimized. There are a handful of compatible models already, but if you prefer a “latest model”, there will be a few coming out in the run-up to the 2016 holiday shopping season.

Which brings us to the brand new Acer Chromebook R11 with a pre-order price of $300 at amazon.com. The release date is not yet known. It has 4GB RAM, an 11.6-inch touch-screen but unfortunately with a 1366×768 resolution, and it is powered by Celery 🙂 Okay, the Celeron N3150 quad-core processor which currently ranks #1249 at cpubenchmark.net.

Acer wisely resisted the temptation to just stick a USB-C port. Instead you get one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 full size ports, along with HDMI output. Storage is 32GB on-board, along with an SD card reader (and of course the two USB ports and anything else you can connect via Wifi or Bluetooth or Ethernet-over-USB).

But that’s not all, part of the reason for the $300 starting price is that this is a convertible. The screen has a 360-degree rotation, so you can do the classic “tent” and “netflix and chill” angles, or fold the keyboard under the screen and turn it into a big tablet. Which would be even more handy when the Google Play apps come in!

Another Chromedroid option now: Acer R11 Chromebook

If you want to test Google Play apps on a Chromebook RIGHT NOW, and you can’t wait for new models coming in the fall, and you are cool with playing with the development channel builds, a second existing Chromebook has joined the ASUS Flip. It is the 11.6-inch Acer R11, also a convertible with a touchscreen, but unlike the 10-inch ASUS, this one has a larger screen.

The prices are close enough at the moment, the Acer R11 is on sale for $259 with free shipping, with a limit of three units per customer at Amazon.com.

Unfortunately this is only available with 2GB RAM, so that’s something to consider depending on how much you multi-task and what type of websites you visit (or if you use Chrome extensions that kill off most of the CPU waste (Flash, Annoying Ads, pointless widgets, etc)).

Other than that, it is powered by the Celeron N3150 (ranks in the 1200s at cpubenchmark.net), unlike the Rockchip of the ASUS. However, the ASUS has 4GB RAM. Other specs include a couple of USB ports (one is 3.0), HDMI, SD card, Bluetooth, etc. The screen is an IPS 1366 x 768 touchscreen. Touchscreen being the critical part since most Android apps are optimized for the touch user interface.

Having said all that, if you are not in a hurry to try ChromeDroid apps right NOW, you are better off waiting to see what the Fall Laptop Season brings. Then you can either get newer/better models or you can find bigger discounts on the existing models.

10-inch ASUS Chromebook Flip (4GB RAM) for $265 [limit 3]

In a sea of Chromebooks, the ASUS Flip managed to climb to star status without actually doing anything. The reasons for its claim to fame are existential, it’s the only Chromebook at the moment that is capable to receive Google builds that allow it to officially run Google Play apps. Google is working to make this feature mainstream, and more new Chromebooks will come out in the next few months/years that are optimized for this.

But if you don’t want to wait until then, and you want to boldly try out Google Play on Chrome OS right now, the ASUS Flip is where it’s at. Which means sales are going to be harder to come by for it, and smaller discounts will be the norm until competing and better models are released.

To cut a long story short, the 4GB RAM with 16GB on-board storage model is currently going for $265 with a limit of three units per customer at Amazon by Amazon actual. This has a 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen, flipping all the way to touch the back of the keyboard to form a “thick tablet”. This has a Rockchip quad-core processor.

15.6-inch Acer Chromebook 15 for $230

Speaking of budget laptops, on the Chromebook side of things, if you are fond of the 15.6-inch form factor, there is a sale on the Acer Chromebook 15, model CB5-571-C1DZ, going for $230 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon actual. This comes with a nice 4GB RAM but only 16GB on-board storage which can however be augmented using the two USB ports, the memory card slot, and of course the cloud. The screen is a 1080p IPS, but not a touchscreen.

It is a Celeron powered model, it has the Dual-Core 3205U which currently ranks #1239 at cpubenchmark.net. The review average is 4.4 out of 5 based on almost 500 of them, but multiple variations are clustered together in a single review page. The options 2 or 4GB RAM and 16GB or 32GB SSD, and Accessory Bundles (mouse and bag).

11.6-inch HP Chromebook 11 G4 (4GB RAM) for $150

The Chrome OS is resisting temptations to bloat like a Windows balloon but unfortunately more and more websites continue to bloat as they add all kinds of direct and indirect advertising and advertorial and clickbait content (“You May Like This, If Your Cat Likes That!”). So that may be one of the reasons why your older Chromebook is starting to feel more and more sluggish. Regardless…

… this brings us a new sale at MacMall, they are offering the new condition HP Chromebook 11 G4 for $150 with free shipping. Despite the low price, this has 4GB of RAM, which it is starting to become almost a must-have if you are planning to use a Chromebook for more than unitasking and visit many commercial websites.

Other specs include the customary 16GB of on-board storage, the dual-core Intel Celery N2840 (which ranks #1526 at cpubenchmark.net), an
11.6-inch TN non-touchscreen with 1366 x 768 resolution, card reader, HDMI, USB ports (one 3.0, one 2.0), Bluetooth 4.0 (remembers way back when ChromeOS did not support Bluetooth Audio???), 802.11ac, and such.

11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook 3 (with 4GB RAM) for $200

The ChromeOS is a fairly lightweight operating system, but the same cannot be said for today’s web as websites get bigger and bloat-ier, especially the bigger page-view driven websites. So a Chromebook with better specs may be needed to keep up with the website growth (more than the ChromeOS bloat).

Which brings us to the 4GB version of the third generation Samsung Chromebook, model XE500C13-K02US, currently on sale for $200 with free shipping at Amazon.com. This is only $20 more than the 2GB model, and that $20 is definitely worth it if you are browsing more than one website at a time.

Other specs include 16GB of on-board storage (but cloud and USB ports can give you a lot more storage), the budget 11.6-inch 1366×768 screen resolution. It is eating celery, which is a roundabout way of saying it is powered by a Celeron processor, the N3050 which currently ranks #1595 at cpubenchmark.net.

Refurbished 15.6-inch Acer CB3-531-C4A5 for $115 [ChromeOS]

Many of the Chromebooks are on the smaller side of laptops, but not all of them. With prices dropping on computer screens, you don’t have to get a Windows machine if you prefer a budget 15.6-inch screen. You can get a Chromebook.

And if you are comfortable with manufacturer-refurbished, at Groupon Goods you can get the 15.6-inch Acer CB3-531-C4A5 for $115 with free shipping, and free returns, and a 90 day warranty from Acer.

This obviously has basic specs, 2GB RAM (ChromeOS is not as demanding as Windows, but websites continue to get bloated and fill up with all kinds of widgets and scripts, so keep that in mind), 16GB on-board SSD storage, only a 1366×768 resolution (despite the 15.6″ size), and it eats Celery. And by that I mean it is powered by the Celeron N2830 processor which currently ranks #1556 at cpubenchmark.net.

Pre-order new semi-premium 14″ Acer Chromebook for $300

Chromebooks have certainly come a long way since the early days when Samsung’s goofy model (with the ports on the back) became the first “blockbuster” Chromebook, topping the best selling charts at Amazon for a long time. Since then, many and more models and manufacturers jumped right in, trying all kinds of different things to differentiate themselves.

Which brings us to today, Acer has a new semi-luxury 14-inch Chromebook, the awkwardly named CB3-431-C5XK, with an aluminum chassis, a 1080p display and 4GB of RAM (the web is getting more and more bloated, my 2GB Chromebook sometimes has a hard time keeping up with some of the bloated big media websites). It has 32GB on-board storage, and loves to eat celery (aka a Celeron processor, the N3060 which is apparently new enough that is not listed yet at cpubenchmark.net).

It also has two USB 3.1 ports and the latest Bluetooth (4.2 or so). However, some compromises had to be made: no touchscreen!

It is now available for pre-order for $300 at Amazon.com (no date provided yet).

Refurbished 13.3″ Toshiba CB30-A3120 Chromie for $140

Chromebooks are great if you are a big fan of the Google ecosystem and bargain laptops with SSD drives without bloated OS hogs. If so, you can get the 13.3-inch Toshiba CB30-A3120 Chromebook for $140 with free shipping from VooduBlu via Rakuten’s.

This Chromie eats celery. And by that I mean it is running on an Intel Celeron processor (2955U). It has the expected specs, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 1366×768 on a 13.3″ screen, card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, Bluetooth, etc. You also get the 100GB of Google Drive bonus.

PS: once upon a time, Bluetooth Audio wasn’t even working on Chromebooks. They’ve come a long way since 🙂

Now shipping: 10-inch ASUS Flip Touchscreen Chromebook for $260

Do you flip for Chromebooks? *insert canned laughter here* If so, the brand new 10-inch ASUS Flip Chromebook, model C100PA-DB02, is now in-stock and ready to ship to your door for $260 with free shipping at Amazon.com by Amazon actual.

This is ChromeOS’s answer to tablets and Windows 2-in-1s. It has a touchscreen and the screen flips but does not detaches. It is a 10-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display. The screen has the usual modes of this design, the conventional laptop, the screen-front (aka Stand mode), the Tent mode (no juvenile jokes please!), and the tablet mode where the keyboard folds under the display making it a think faux-tablet.

Other specs include 4GB of RAM, quad-core processor, 16GB on-board, two USB 2.0 ports, microSD, microHDMI, with up to 9 hours of battery life.

Refurbished 11.6″ Acer CB3-111-C8UB for $150 [ChromeOS]

But Chromebooks are not standing still, they are “countering” that at the eBay deals, with Acer’s Outlet Store on eBay offering the manufacturer refurbished 11.6″ Chromebook CB3-111-C8UB for $150 with free shipping, with a limit of five per buyer, and a 90 day warranty from Acer.

It has 2GB RAM, 16GB on-board, and it is powered by a dual-core Celeron processor, with the usual 1366 x 768 resolution, and 2.7 lbs weight.

11.6″ Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111-C670) for $174 [limit 3]

Choices aplenty today if you are interested in an 11-inch Chromebook. Among them, the 11.6″ Acer Chromebook 11, model CB3-111-C670, with 2GB RAM and 16GB on-board storage is on sale for $174 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon actual with a limit of three per customer. This has a non-touchscreen 1366×768 display with the Celeron N2830 processor, and two USB ports (one of each).

It averages 4.4 out of 5 based on 347 customer reviews and has over 220 questions answered.