4 Best Deals on Chromebook Plus Laptops at Best Buy

3 min read

Remember when Chromebooks first launched with the pitch that they’d be cheap and all they’d need to run was a web browser, so you didn’t have to worry about specs? Yeah. Well, they mostly lived up to the cheap part, but the specs … those are hit or miss. To address this, Google recently rolled out a big upgrade called Chromebook Plusan umbrella category for a new class of devices from various manufacturers.

The “Plus” stands for better performance—faster processors, more memory, more storage, and better video cameras. The suprising thing is that the prices… are still cheap. Even more amazing than the already low prices (most of them are under $400) is the fact that this week, Best Buy is running a sale on some of these Chromebook Plus models, including two we’ve tested positively.

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Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus

Photographer: Lenovo

This is the fastest Chromebook we’ve tested. It features a 3.75-GHz Intel Core i3-1315U CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of flash storage. The Flex 5i has two USB-C ports (one is used for charging) plus one USB-A port. You also get a microSD card slot for expanding the storage capability, making this a good choice for those who don’t want to keep everything in the cloud. The 14-inch touchscreen uses a 2-in-1 design, making it ideal for media streaming. As on most Chromebooks, the screen isn’t the best, with mid-level brightness and a standard 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen resolution.

Acer Chromebook Plus 515

Photographer: Best Buy

Acer’s 15-inch Chromebook Plus (8/10, WIRED Recommends) comes with a 12th-generation 3.85-GHz Intel Core i3-1215U processor with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash storage. One of the nice things about these new Plus models is that the great-inducing slowness that once afflicted cheap Chromebooks is nowhere to be found. Even this base model is plenty fast, and battery life is a solid 8.5 hours of full-screen video playback time.

This Acer offers two USB-C ports (with DisplayPort supported), one USB-A port, and an HDMI 1.4 output jack. The latter takes the place of the microSD card found in the Lenovo above, making this one a better choice if you frequently need to give presentations or otherwise use the HDMI port. The only thing to note here is that this is not a touchscreen.

Asus 2-in-1 Chromebook Plus

Photographer: Asus

We have not yet had a chance to test Asus’ Chromebook Plus, but some of the best benchmarks we’ve ever recorded in a Chromebook came from models using AMD Ryzen 3 chips. Given that the Ryzen 3 is the centerpiece here, I have no problem recommending it. You also get the standard 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.

Like the Lenovo, this is a 2-in-1 flip (convertible) Chromebook, with a touchscreen. The screen is on the brighter side for a Chromebook at 300 nits (compared to 250 for most of the others). Also note that while this model supports a stylus, it does not include one.

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