Remember when Chromebooks first launched with the pitch that they’d be low cost and all they’d have to run was an internet browser, so you did not have to fret about specs? Yeah. Well, they mostly lived up to a budget half, however the specs … these are hit and miss. To handle this, Google just lately rolled out a big upgrade called Chromebook Plus, an umbrella class for a brand new class of gadgets from varied producers.
The “Plus” stands for higher efficiency—sooner processors, extra reminiscence, extra storage, and higher video cameras. The suprising factor is that the costs … are nonetheless low cost. Even extra superb than the already low costs (most of them are below $400) is the truth that this week, Best Buy is running a sale on a few of these Chromebook Plus fashions, together with two we have examined positively.
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This is the fastest Chromebook we’ve tested. It incorporates 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 additionally get a microSD card slot for increasing the storage functionality, making this a good selection for many who do not need to maintain every thing within the cloud. The 14-inch touchscreen makes use of a 2-in-1 design, making it best for media streaming. As on most Chromebooks, the display screen is not the very best, with mid-level brightness and a regular 1,920 x 1,080-pixel display screen decision.
Acer’s 15-inch Chromebook Plus (8/10, WIRED Recommends) comes with a Twelfth-generation 3.85-GHz Intel Core i3-1215U processor with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash storage. One of the great issues about these new Plus fashions is that the groan-inducing slowness that after bothered low cost Chromebooks is nowhere to be discovered. Even this base mannequin is loads quick, and battery life is a strong 8.5 hours of full-screen video playback time.
This Acer presents 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 discovered within the Lenovo above, making this one a better option if you happen to continuously want to present displays or in any other case use the HDMI port. The solely factor to notice right here is that this isn’t a touchscreen.
We haven’t but had an opportunity to check Asus’ Chromebook Plus, however among the finest benchmarks we have ever recorded in a Chromebook got here from fashions utilizing AMD Ryzen 3 chips. Given that the Ryzen 3 is the centerpiece right here, I’ve no drawback recommending it. You additionally get the usual 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD.
Like the Lenovo, this can be a 2-in-1 flip (convertible) Chromebook, with a touchscreen. The display screen is on the brighter facet for a Chromebook at 300 nits (in comparison with 250 for many of the others). Also notice that whereas this mannequin helps a stylus, it doesn’t embody one.