Best Prime Day Chromebook Deals 2020

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

As millions of us continue to work and learn from home, Prime Day deals will make a great time to replacing your aging desktop or add another Chromebook to your family’s collection. The best Chromebooks have been hard to come by for the last several months, and while the selection is still smaller than in Prime Day events from the past, there are still a few deals worth watching!

Part of why Chromebooks have always had great deals on Prime Day is that modestly-spec’d budget Chromebooks perform more consistently than cheap Windows laptops. Google also has durability and usability standards — because many Chromebooks are designed for chaotic classrooms — that make Chromebooks ideal for younger and less tech-savvy users. All this adds up to Chromebooks being great investments for families looking for a computer that won’t break the bank and won’t die the second you breathe on it wrong.

Here are some of the best Chromebook deals we’ve found so far.

Best Prime Day Chromebook Deals for Work

Chromebooks are excellent for getting things done — I’ve worked full-time from one for four years — and when you want to really get down to business, you’ll want some extra power and a little extra style to help your Chromebook fit in with all the Macbooks and ultrabooks. I recommend going with an Intel M3 or higher, at least 64GB of internal storage for accomodating lots of Android apps or Linux apps, and while 4GB will be perfectly okay for most of us, if you tend to keep dozens and dozens of tabs open at a time while video conferencing.

There are several higher-end Chromebooks that might see significant price cuts on Prime Day — the ASUS Chromebook 436 and Pixelbook Go chief among them — but right now your best Chromebook deal for business is the ASUS Chromebook C434, which is a year and a half old but it still the best blend of power and value while still offering you a beautiful 14-inch touchscreen.

As a small note, while there’s a 32GB model listed, skip it and get a 64GB model. You’ll want the extra storage space for apps and for offline content.

ASUS’s convertible Chromebook is perfectly sized for split-screening, late-night typing, and long days of video calls and PowerPoints. It also has an 8GB option for those needing extra RAM for all their concurrent tabs.

From $540 at Amazon

Best Compact Prime Day Chromebook Deals

As someone who fully embraces the #HaveChromebookWillTravel lifestyle, compact Chromebooks are my favorites to use on the couch and around the country. 11.6-inch Chromebooks make up a significant portion of the Chromebook market, and for good reason: they’re the ideal size for students and for on-the-go users.

Unfortunately, the compact Chromebook market is fraught with older, outdated models, especially on Amazon where sellers tend to call everything the “latest” “2020” model even if the Chromebook in question is actually two years old. Only worthy deals get to grace this page, and like the Flex 5 listed at the top of this roundup, the Lenovo Chromebook C340-11 is an excellent deal when Amazon can actually keep it in stock.

It has ample ports — two USB-A and two USB-C — and while Celeron doesn’t sound as sexy as the Core series, it can get the job done for my work and probably for yours, too. And unlike most Chromebooks that only come in basic black, the C340-11 comes in Platinum Grey and Sand Pink, and on Amazon, the Sand Pink is usually the one to go for as it’s usually the 64GB model being sold.

Skip the kidproofing and the ugly black bumpers with Lenovo’s savvy little workhorse. The C340-11 has all the ports you need,

$320 at Amazon

Best Prime Day Chromebook Deals for Students

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: education-oriented Chromebooks are going to be scarce for months. School districts are going to be waiting on bulk orders through at least the fall semester and probably part of the spring. This means that the best Prime Day deals on student Chromebooks are going to be finding good models in-stock and not price gouged the way they have been for the last six months as resellers try to profit on scrambling parents trying to get their kids back to class online.

The Best Chromebook for Students is the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 for three reasons: it’s durable while still looking somewhat pretty (for rubberized plastic standards, the build quality and performance are both excellent, and it has an EMR stylus model available. A stylus isn’t a requirement, but it does make sketching easier I also like it because I can use it to interact with the screen while my fingers are greasy or covered in Cheeto dust.

What? Snacks are important for keeping your mind alert.

ASUS’s education Chromebook knocks it out of the park again and again, offering consistent performance even under strenuous conditions and tolerating drops and drips better than most. Get the stylus model if you can!

$450 at Amazon (Stylus)

These are the Prime Day Chromebook Deals I’m most looking forward to

There are many great Chromebooks out there, including a lot of good Chromebooks that have come out in the first half of this year and haven’t seen much if any discounting so far, and I’m hoping to see that change during Prime Day. In particular, it’d be absolutely wonderful to see the Lenovo Chromebook C340-11 back on sale again after six months of spotty supply and staggering price gouging from third-party sellers. The C340-11 used to regularly go on sale for $250-$275, and while I don’t expect the C340 to go down to $180 — what its predecessor the C330 sold at around Prime Day last summer — I’m hopeful that we can see it $25-$50 below list price rather than $100 or more over list price.

I have similar hopes for the Lenovo Flex 5, ASUS C214, and the Acer Spin 713, which have been flitting in and out of stock for the last several weeks, but should be available in better quantities around Prime Day. Again, the biggest factor in what Chromebook deals we see this year isn’t about how deeply Chromebooks are discounted, it’s about which Chromebooks will be readily available to purchase.

Best Prime Day Chromebook Deals from 2019

Prime Day 2019 saw deals on a couple of Chromebooks, but the one that stood out — and the one that was repeated at Black Friday — was the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434, which was down to about $500 on Prime Day and about $470 on Cyber Monday. Considering the C434’s successor came out this year, I expect to see the model discounted again either to last year’s level or even deeper.

ASUS’s convertible Chromebook is perfectly sized for split-screening, late-night typing, and long days of video calls and PowerPoints. It also has an 8GB option for those needing extra RAM for all their concurrent tabs.

From $540 at Amazon

If you don’t want to wait, buying now might be best

From the latest Chromebooks like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and the Lenovo Flex 5 to older, trusted models like the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 and the Google Pixelbook Go, stock has been spotty and prices even more so. We saw this back in March, and even now, most Chromebook stocks still haven’t been properly replenished, like the ASUS C214, which has seen impressive price gouging this summer as parents hunted for a durable Chromebook for their kids.

Supply for other education Chromebooks is similarly backlogged; the Dell 3100 2-in-1 is back-ordered until March and both HP and Lenovo’s websites are completely sold out of education Chromebooks. Manufacturers are working to replenish supply as fast as they can, but right now that’s coming in small spurts and brief batches.

This means that instead of waiting for Prime Day when the masses will come running expecting deals, you should be hunting right now.

Case in point: I checked our best Chromebooks page three times today. In the morning, the Lenovo Flex 5 had just been restocked. By lunch, the Flex 5 was out of stock again, but Best Buy had restocked the i3 variant of the Lenovo C340-15. A few hours later, Amazon got in a batch of ASUS Chromebook Flip 214 — the stylus model, which has been even more of a unicorn to find.

So while most of the good Chromebooks may be showing as back-ordered or out-of-stock at any given time, if you keep checking back, you can jump on it once it’s available again. You might have to check for several days — weeks, even, for more newer models like the Acer Spin 713 and the Lenovo Flex 5 — but by looking now, you’re competing with fewer buyers than Prime Day when tens of thousands of people will be looking to replace their aging computers.

What you need to look for when buying a Prime Day Chromebook deals

There’s always a ton of specs and features you typically need to juggle when shopping for a laptop, but for Chromebooks, the buyer’s guide can be summed up pretty well into four points:

  1. Get a touchscreen. — Unless you’re anti-fun, there’s no reason not to get a touchscreen model; they do no cost that much more and it’s always worth it. Touchscreens make it easier to interact with Android apps as well as making it easier to do things like sign documents or zoom in precisely.
  2. Pick your screen size first. Decide right now if you want something compact (11.6-inches), mid-size (12.5-13.5-inches) or large (14-15.6-inches). Processors and storage are pretty standard across each size category, so size is one of the defining features you’ll want to sort out early.
  3. 4GB of RAM is good, 8GB is better. — Most Chromebooks sold today come with 4GB of RAM, and 4GB is perfectly fine for running a video call plus a dozen or so tabs in Chrome. More RAM is always better, but 4GB is fine. If it says it has 2GB of RAM — or 16GB of internal storage — close the tab and walk away.
  4. Check the expiration date!!! — Yes, Chromebooks come with expiration dates, after which they are no longer guaranteed to receive Chrome OS updates. It’s called the AUE date, and they’re listed for every single Chromebook model on Google’s support page, so before you move that Lightning Deal Chromebook from your cart to the checkout, take ten seconds and look it up on this page. The shorter a time before a Chromebook’s AUE date, the less time you have to enjoy the full benefits of your Chromebook — and it also means your Chromebook is a couple years old, as most Chromebooks launched last year have 6 years of support and most 2020 models have 8 years of support ahead of them.

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