Chromebook buying advice

Hi guys, I’m looking at buying a new laptop/tablet and so I think a Chromebook will be a perfect fit for me (I’m also an Android guy). I really want something with a premium build quality and have recently had the opportunity to play with the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 core m7 version which was a stunner. The problem is, it seems you can get much better specced Windows laptops for less than the £650 this costs and a MacBook air is only £100 more.

Just a bit confused because in some ways this is an awesome machine, but seems overpriced really?

Anyone got any suggestions of comparable devices?

It returned this yesterday to Costco. Actually really liked it apart from the keyboard which I I just couldn’t get along with. Performance was great though and build quality wise it was mostly metal. Very nice machine for the price.

I really want a Chromebook too but I’m hesitant to buy one yet for the same reasons as you. 🤷

I love the build quality of some of the Asus ones. I don’t particularly want a plasticky laptop after having had Macbooks.

I’d rather not have a touch screen either, and could do without flipping the screen. This normally means a more wobbly hinge, which bugs me. And I’d rarely, if ever use it as a tablet or as a tented screen.

I basically want an aluminium body, good battery life, great keyboard, decent screen. Without a touch screen and without a flippable hinge. As long as the OS runs snappy I don’t really care about super amazing speeds either.

The majority of Chromebooks (I think all?) seem to have to have a touch screen and hinge though :pensive:

So a mac then :wink:

May as well wait n see if the much rumoured/cheaper air replacement appears, though granted it’ll be more then £249


Basically. But with Chrome and it doesn’t have to be particularly powerful. :grinning:

Maybe I’ll just get a second hand/refurbed one.

I personally wouldn’t spend more than £300 on a Chromebook unless it was a Pixelbook.

I think they really shine in that sub £300 area where Windows laptops fall down. I previously had a C720 for a couple of years and it was a fantastic machine to just throw in my bag and carry around to get the job done on the move.

You’re unlikely to get a metal body in that price range though.


I agree with @simonb. The key selling point of Chromebooks is what you’re getting bang-for-buck wise at the lower end of the scale. My own cost me £200* and I’m very happy with it. Sure, it’s a plastic body (I got used to it) with a touch screen (I just don’t use it) and a hinge that lets you fold it around to tablet format (I never do). But it does everything I want to do for a fraction of the price of a Mac option, so I’m happy with that.

Once you go above £300, you’re not paying for what you actually get any more, instead you’re essentially being taxed on purchasing a status symbol, as it where. And to be honest, if you’re really and absolutely dead-set on spending that amount of money, I think you’d be better off getting a Mac option instead. At that point, a Mac would be giving you more bang for your buck than a blinged-out Chromebook.

*It actually cost more than £200 at first, but went into a sale within days. After a brief period when I threw all my toys out of the pram and had a massive strop, I realised the retailer had a price promise that i (just) fell inside the window of, so I was able to have the difference refunded.

Out of interest, why don’t you want the touch screen? Even if it had one you could just not use it.

I got the ASUS C302 last week and love it! Really hoping that Linux support is brought to it soon as part of the linux support announcement earlier in the year!

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I have a CB3-431 and recommend it unreservedly. In value for money terms it is excellent.

I like the Chromebook concept but I agree I wouldn’t pay more than about £300 for one. Anything upwards of that you want to be getting quality products that most Chromebooks don’t have.

Personally I’m an Apple guy, but from my experience, Apple devices last longer, are a good quality build and remain updated for years and years.

Of course it depends on what you want your device to do. I personally only email, social media, and do presentations for work, and typing for university. I just recently got an iPad Pro 10.5 and a Smart Keyboard and I literally wish I had done this years ago. It’s completely replaced my laptop (still, at a price unless you get it through a phone company like I did).

During Prime Day Amazon had a Chromebook listed for under £100. Might pick one up for curiosity’s sake if they repeat the offer.

I don’t think I’d pay more than £150 for a Chromebook as you’re then in the price range of far more powerful refurbished ex-business machines (even at £100 you can find a lot of Thinkpad x220s).

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Probably no proper reason to be honest. I just imagine it adds cost and a worse hinge. 🤷

The hinge felt great on the Asus C302 that I mentioned before… But it comes at a price.

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Full disclosure, I currently have a Pixel Book, and I had an Acer C720.

First thing I would say is wait until Google’s Hardware Event on 9th Oct. The belief is that they will release two new Chromebook devices, but I don’t know the price range, but they could be going after the ‘lower’ end market. They have also been getting their cpu’s approved for running with Windows, so that’s also causing a lot of speculation on that front.

My Acer C720 is still the little laptop that could, and currently is with a mate of mine who used to write on a Kindle Fire Tablet in coffee shops! He uses the chromebook now. I did put a larger hard disk in it as I ran Linux on it for years, but for the last year I used it I was full ChromeOS.

I think they are great bits of kit, going from strength to strength. With the inclusion of Android Apps they became much more useful, and I run a few on my Pixel Book, but I mainly do everything browser based.

The current build is ChromeOS v68, and v69 is in the Beta Channel. The big thing with v69 is that it brings in the ability to install Linux Applications. I briefly jumped on the Beta channel to try it, and I successfully installed Sublime Text, and it ran great. I did find the menu items slightly too small, and I couldn’t increase the size of those, and that’s an issue I have with Android Apps. My eyesight is garbage though, and I usually run my web browser at 125% zoom. But the inclusion of Linux Apps will only make it more useful as a bit of kit. It is being sold directly to developers at the moment to sell it as a laptop that they can use to code on. I’m sure further versions will only make the Linux portion of it more accessible and user friendly (although the idea when you hit stable is that you can download a .deb file and run it by double-clicking, like you can an executable on Windows or iOS.)

On the windows side, the rumour is that they will be adding the functionality to dual boot Windows on a Chromebook device. That is rumour though, but things seem to be pointing in that direction. So today, right now, if you bought one you would get ChromeOS and Android Apps, but there is pretty exciting things coming to ChromeOS, and I am hoping to hear some of that from the Hardware Event in October.


I’d quite like a chromebook for just mucking about at home, so I’m keeping an eye on this list for something reasonably cheap with linux support.


It’s interesting how people don’t think they’re worth paying too much for.

I instinctively get why but then for me it depends what value you place on the OS. It seems like people are willing to spend more for Windows / OS X for the optionality of being able to do more.

No doubt some people couldn’t just get by on a Chromebook but I’d wager that many many people could. And in those cases Chrome OS could be a much better choice due to its simplicity and security.

For me. The decision would be more about the hardware I’m getting for the price than the fact that it ran Chrome OS as that’s what I’d be looking for.

I have an Asus C101P and I think it’s great. Thin, light, metal case, battery lasts for ages, can install Android apps, Linux subsystem support is on the way, USB-C for charging so I can share a charger with my phone, acceptable keyboard. I chuck it in my backpack and forget it’s there until I need it. Only downside is the slightly limited screen resolution, but given I mostly use it as an ssh client it’s perfectly adequate!

As a second machine its real value to me is it’s no loss if it gets dropped on gravel or something… it can be thrown in a bag, I can use it out and about… worst case I’m out £200 if something happens.

I’m not sure if I’d have a chromebook as my only workstation, even though 90% of the time it’d be fine. That 10% means for the money an OSX/Windows machine is better.

My iPad is my 90% machine and I’m eyeing a Pixelbook as my 10% machine.

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