[Tech] Best Chromebook on a budget?

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#1
One of my grand sons needs a laptop for college work and interwebs.

No gaming required.

What's the current best Chromebook for the lad on a budget?
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#2
I tend to look at Laptops Direct as a first guage of price and spec. We've had Lenovo laptops for our cheap gear for a while, they seem to be perfectly serviceable. The latest ones actually came from PC World, the deal they were doing for the specific spec level was the best I could find.

Avoid the Windows netbook things. Despite what Intel and Microsoft might think, Chromebook spec is not enough to run Windows 10. The ones we had couldn't actually do a Windows update. Run better on a lightweight Linux, mind you.

Speaking of lightweight Linux distributions, if the grandson is of the computer geek persuasion, then he might be as excited as I am about a cheap ARM Linux laptop: https://www.pine64.org/pinebook-pro/
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#5
Thanks very much chaps I think I need to have a chat with him face-to-face before I go any further.
he's apple on his portable devices and has an Xbox I don't think he has any particular affection for Windows. Not sure I can justify a MacBook.
Edit: looks like they're not to dear actually..

@MartinP I want that Pinebook.. I assume that isn't an internal hard drive slot, rather one uses a large SD card to supplement the main memory. ?
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#6
FWIW Nathan (13) is using a Chromebook from HP that cost £170 As a refurb and is solid.

Make sure you get 4GB RAM and at least the full HD screen as the smaller screens are annoying.
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#9
I want that Pinebook.. I assume that isn't an internal hard drive slot, rather one uses a large SD card to supplement the main memory. ?
It's an eMMC, so effectively a soldered SD card (same as a lot of the Chromebook/netbook models). It has a PCIe x4 slot that can take an M2 NVMe drive with an appropriate adaptor, for faster/larger storage.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#10
Sadly the only review I can of it was of one was of an example that the factory in China made a dog's dinner of during lockdown. However it was so clearly a machine that shouldn't have left the factory I am not drawing too many conclusions.

More importantly there was a suggestion that the ARM64 compilations of Linux haven't been optimised enough yet.

Still.. not like the community won't fix that soon enough, the days of ARM64 are definitely upon us.
 
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