Chromebooks 101: A Guide for Which Chromebook to buy?

Is your school looking at Chromebooks? Unsure which one to buy? Although there might seem like a lot to choose from, there are infinitely fewer than if you were looking to buy a new Windows laptop. This guide takes a quick tour of the current lineup and gives some pros and cons for each in order to help you decide which Chromebook to buy. Prices listed do not include the $30 management console fee, which is in addition to the retail price and is charged per device for schools who want to manage their Chromebooks from a secure online Dashboard.

Acer C7 – $199

Acer c7

Pros:

  • Price – $199
  • 320GB of local storage – plenty for all your offline docs
  • VGA and HDMI ports
  • 100Gb of Drive storage for free for 2 years
  • HD webcam
  • Ethernet port

Cons:

  • Intel Celeron Processor
  • HDD not SSD so slower boot times and resume
  • 4 hour battery life – the least of all Chromebooks and not enough for a school day
  • No Bluetooth

Samsung Chromebook – $249

Samsung Chromebook

Pros:

  • Price – $249
  • 0.7 inches thin and only 2.4 lbs
  • 16Gb Solid State Hard Drive for 10 second boot times
  • 6.5 hour battery life
  • 100Gb of Drive storage for free for 2 years
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Dual core ARM processor

Cons:

  • No VGA out
  • Perhaps not as durable as some others?
  • No Ethernet port
  • VGA Webcam

HP Pavillion Chromebook – $329

HP Pavillion Chromebook

Pros:

  • 14-inch screen – the largest of any Chromebook
  • HD webcam
  • 16Gb Solid State Hard Drive for 10 second boot times
  • Multi-format Card Reader
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Ethernet port
  • 100Gb of Drive storage for free for 2 years

Cons:

  • 4.25 hour battery life
  • No VGA out
  • Weight – 3.96lbs

Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook – $429

Pros:

  • Durable reinforced hinges and rubberized coating
  • 6.5 hour battery life
  • HD webcam
  • VGA and HDMI port
  • Exclusively available to the education market
  • Ethernet port
  • 16Gb Solid State Hard Drive for 10 second boot times

Cons:

  • Weight – 3.9 lbs
  • Price?

 

Samsung 550 Chromebook – $449

Pros:

  • Fast Intel Dual Core Processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 6 hours of battery life
  • 16Gb Solid State Hard Drive for 10 second boot times
  • HD Camera
  • Display port that supports VGA, HDMI and DVI via a dongle (not included)
  • 100Gb of Drive storage for free for 2 years

Cons:

  • Price?
  • Additional Dongle required for external displays

Chromebook Pixel – $1,299

Pixel

Pros:

  • 2,560 x 1,700 screen resolution
  • Multi-touch Gorilla Glass screen
  • 1TB of Drive storage free for 3 years (worth $1800 currently)
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Precision glass touchpad
  • Powerful, rich sounding speakers
  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • HD webcam
  • Multi-format card reader
  • Mini Display port ‘
  • 4GB RAM
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 5-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Price!
  • No Ethernet port
  • Additional Dongle required for external displays

So, there you have it. Every Chromebook with a list of my own personal pros and cons. If you want to pour over the stats in more detail, you can also check out Google’s side by side comparison chart of Chromebooks for Education. You will notice the Pixel is not included in this list, and neither is the HP, but neither of those devices have yet to be marketed towards the education sector, so this will likely explain their exclusion. Maybe this will change in time, but we will have to wait and see.

Oh, and if you happen to be on the Google Chromebook team, and you need an experienced educator who lives in the cloud to test out the latest Chromebook Pixel, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! 🙂

One Reply to “Chromebooks 101: A Guide for Which Chromebook to buy?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s