For a budget-friendly computer, the Chromebook is right up there. They cover a range of laptops that run Chrome OS, which is based on the super-popular Chrome web browser, making it easy to pick up and use. Chromebooks include in-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for straightforward, wire-free connectivity, and touchscreens are the norm, even on budget-friendly models, to offer greater freedom of interaction and control.

Instead of installing and multitasking software as you would on a PC or Mac, a Chromebook lets you pop the lid and get going with the basics. If you need to perform a specific task, hit up Google Chrome’s Web Store to nab an app to get the job done. You can use some 200 apps offline, which is handy when there’s no web connection, but Chromebooks are built to shine online. And let’s face it, we live in an online world.

What about security?
Pretty much every Chromebook from the last couple of years comes with a Google-designed Titan C security chip. This hardware-driven security is built to secure devices, protect personal data, and maintain system integrity. Google provides rapid updates for discovered compromises, which is built to protect user passwords and other personal data, while simultaneously protecting against operating system and firmware tampering. This makes Chromebooks incredibly secure devices, without having to rely on user interaction.
For added peace of mind look for a Chromebook device launched in 2020 and onwards, as they receive eight years of automatic updates.

Check out STACK’s Budget Buster guide to tablets for less!

Lenovo Duet Chromebook ZA6F0017AU
This particular Chromebook comes with 128GB of speedy SSD storage for apps and files, 4GB of RAM to keep up with basic computing needs, and battery life of up to 10 hours. As a 2-in-1 device, the Full HD (1920×1080) touch display can easily detach to use as a 10.1-inch tablet, too.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 82B80006UX
Step up the budget a bit and This Chromebook has a speedier Intel Core i3 processor, 64GB of internal storage, and 4GB of RAM. The 13.3-inch Full HD touch-screen display is attached to a backlit keyboard, for easier low-light computing. There’s also 10 hours of battery life, as well as multiple USB ports and a microSD card reader (for even more storage) alongside Wi-Fi 6 for future-proofed wireless speeds.

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HP 12b-CA0011TU X360
If you fancy more battery life, the 14+ hours here may be more your speed, more so with fast charging that offers 50 per cent battery in just 45 minutes. This Chromebook has a compact HD (1366×912) display, which you can rotate all the way around for an impromptu tablet. Pair it with a stylus pen for digital handwriting or art. It also boasts an Intel processor, 64GB of internal storage and the 8GB of RAM makes for speedy multitasking.

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Get the best from your Chromebook:

  1. On a Chrome browser you can work with Gmail offline. Simply go to settings and check ‘Enable offline mail’. You will then be able to read, respond to, and search your existing Gmail messages when not connected to the internet. Your messages will be cached to send once you’re online again.
  2. Got files on your old PC you want to transfer across to your new Chromebook? Use Google Drive. The cloud storage is a perfect bridge for transferring files without the use of hard drive media .
  3. If your Chromebook is mainly for playing and bingeing, you can still get some decent work done on it by using Google Docs. In fact, you can save your work to Microsoft Word or PDF file format. And for spreadsheets, give Google Sheets a try.

Want more speed and power? Check out the Lenovo Legion 5i and 7i gaming laptops.