Best Inexpensive Chromebook for 2022

Best Inexpensive Chromebook for 2022

“I wonder what my kids are going to tell their kids: ‘…It was so rough back in my day. I didn’t get a phone ’til fourth grade, and sometimes the WiFi didn’t always work upstairs!…And back then, a computer cost more than a thousand dollars!’”

I can visualize those kids of the future, slack-jawed at the thought of having to pay that much money for a computer. Unthinkable, right? Do you recall how much your first computer cost?

Over the years, I have owned no fewer than 10 computers — mostly because I just beat them to death but also because I’ve convinced myself that as a writer, I need to be on the cutting edge of technology.

My first computer was the biggest, the heaviest, the slowest and the most expensive of the bunch. With each upgrade, I welcomed a lighter, sleeker, faster and better machine. But here’s the surprising thing: Each new computer would cost less than the one it replaced. Technology is wonderful in that way.

Speaking of wonderful, there really is no other way to describe what is happening in the world of Chromebook.

Chromebook is not a brand name but rather a type of laptop computer or notebook that runs Chrome OS as its operating system. It is designed to be used while connected to the Internet. This is not a problem as Wi-Fi is expected as part of today’s everyday life and is readily available just about everywhere!

There are many brands of Chromebooks. However, all Chromebooks have this one thing in common: They run on countless Google apps (software), and those apps are all free.

Why a Chromebook?

* Great for students. Because Chromebooks tend to be compact and lightweight, they’re easily mobile and fit well into backpacks and bags.

* Web browsing

* Instead of Windows, macOS, or Linux, a Chromebook uses mostly web-based software, apps and services, all of which are free.

* Long battery life. The longest possible battery life is essential with any laptop device, and Chromebooks tend to have a longer battery life than similarly priced Windows laptops.

* Excellent backup option. If you already have a PC or other laptop, a Chromebook makes an excellent and affordable secondary device to back up the files, music and photos.

A Chromebook laptop is ideal for anyone who wants to be able to write papers, surf the Internet, communicate by email, stream movies and videos, manage lots of photos and collect tons of music, relying on cloud storage (as opposed to hard drive storage) of documents and files.

Sales of Chromebooks are through the roof and have become so popular, they now outsell Apple’s range of Macs.

For excellent performance at an affordable price, a great keyboard and a compact lightweight body, the Lenovo Flex 5 13-inch Chromebook is my pick for the best inexpensive Chromebook to buy.

This awesome Lenovo is faster than other Chromebooks priced below $500. Most lower-priced Chromebooks are sluggish when there are just a few tabs open, but this Lenovo can handle everyday workloads with ease.

Lenovo also sells a cheaper version with a Celeron processor and half the local disk space, but most people are better off spending a little more and getting twice the storage.

Keep this in mind: A Chromebook is not a Windows or a Mac computer. In many situations, Chromebook is much better (and so much cheaper) because it operates using Chrome OS, which is secure, fast and super simple.

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Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. For questions and comments contact her at, “Ask Mary.”