One of the annoying parts about shopping for Chromebooks is they have an inherent use by date. "Recently", this life time was upped to 6.5 years. Well, my 7 year old machine lost support 3 years ago. They don't die, the updates simply stop. What bothers me is the endless varieties and vendors, which when combined with Wal-Mart and Amazon marketplaces result in "New Chromebooks" actually being several years old. I won't share a link, but on Amazon, I can purchase a "New Acer C710-2487".
Uh, yeah. No thanks, unless I was going to hack it into something it isn't. I am not above that, but I need a workhorse, not a second gluehorse.
I need to do some comparison shopping. I have a heavy bias towards Acer and ASUS. Those are my last to laptops and they are still running. I see very little need to go over $400. It's a Chromebook, which exists by ubiquity and cheapness not price.
I like compact designs so I want to get between a 11 and 13 inch screen. This machine has 4Gb of memory and I can't see going less than that. I also don't want a wacked out system with 6Gb, so I guess I want 8 or more. One thing that I will not be able to have is the 320 Gb hard drive. A 320 Gb SSD drive would be awesome, but also out of my price point.
Dates under features are the Auto Update Policy dates provided by Google.
|Acer Chromebook 315
|Acer Chromebook 311
|Acer Chromebook R13
|Features: 15.6" screen, 4 Gb RAM,
32 Gb storage. Jun 2026
|Features: 11.6" screen, 4 Gb RAM,
32 Gb storage. Jun 2026
|Features: 13.3" screen, 4 Gb RAM,
32 Gb storage. Jun 2024
|ASUS Chromebook C423
|ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 PA
|ASUS Chromebook C425
|Features: 14" screen, 4 Gb RAM, 32 Gb Storage
Refurbished. Jun 2024
|Features: 10.1" rotating screen, 4 Gb RAM,
16 Gb Storage. Aug 2023
|Features: 14" screen, 4 Gb RAM, 64 Gb Storage.
Refurbished. Jun 2026
First things first. Zero of these Chromebooks have more storage than my phone. That is not a deal breaker, but I am gonna need an external drive. I have 2 2TB external drives from Amazon already, so I am good to go.
The other thing that stands out to me is that each and every one comes with 4 Gb of RAM. That is not to my liking as I run Linux all the time on my Chromebook. I'll need to bump that up at a cost of $50-100. This isn't a RAM review, so skip it.
Off the bat, I don't want a refurbished machine, so the ASUS C423 is out. The ASUS Flip is interesting at the right price point, but also looses support first. ASUS makes quality products, so I have no fear of the machine quitting on me. The flip screen is balanced by my desire for an external drive. Those two things don't go together. Of the 3 ASUS designs, the most expensive is the most appealing. And $399 isn't that much. However, while I was writing this post, all of the C425's sold out and only refurbished versions are available.
Surprisingly, the Acer models all spec out the same except for screen size. I already have a 11.6 screen and while I like it, perhaps I would like something bit larger. I think I would have to go with the 315, it's much larger than the 311 but has a later Auto Update policy date.
This contest should be between the Acer 315 and the ASUS C425, but that refurbished state on the C425 changes the dynamic. I am sure Amazon will end up with new ones at some point. If I was going to pull the trigger right now, I'd go with the Acer 315.
Perhaps some day in the future, I will discuss the merits of the that ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 PA. One good sale and it looks like a perfect Linux convertible. It totally defeats the purpose of a Chromebook. Having Chrome running Linux is like a toggle between Easy and God mode. God mode is nice, I am just not sure I need that on a tablet like machine all the time.