Laptops can be pricey and bulky, but they certainly don’t have to be as this outrageously cheap Chromebook shows.
The best laptops for students, for example, are usually much more lightweight machines. Laptops don’t get much more lightweight than Chromebooks, too, which run Chrome OS. Even better, they don’t need powerful components to get the most out of them, meaning they can be more affordable than standard computers.
None are more affordable than this HP Chromebook, which is down to $79 in Walmart’s early Black Friday deals – and it’s proving popular already, with over 1000 sold in the last 24 hours.
For that staggeringly low price, you get an 11.6-inch, 1366x768 monitor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of onboard storage. As we mentioned earlier, there’s plenty you can do with such modest specs, especially using Chrome OS.
Chrome OS is Google’s own operating system, and will be instantly familiar to anyone that’s used Google Drive or any of the company’s other applications. If you spend any time in Docs, Sheets, or even just Gmail, you’ll find plenty of familiar elements here.
There’s even the Play Store, so you can add more apps and games to the device with a quick search. Speaking of search, Chrome OS is built for finding things quickly and getting things done, and being efficient – there are ten hours of battery life.
Sure, it’s not the best-looking laptop, with fairly chunky bezels around the screen and a measly two cores, but for this price it offers plenty of functionality at under $80.
User reviews on Walmart’s own site are mainly positive, with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars. Many noted the speed of the Chromebook for basic tasks, notably for school work, while others have noted certain basic features are missing – including a Caps Lock key.
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Lloyd Coombes freelance tech and fitness writer for Live Science. He's an expert in all things Apple as well as in computer and gaming tech, with previous works published on TopTenReviews, Space.com, Dexerto and TechRadar. You'll find him regularly testing the latest MacBook or iPhone, but he spends most of his time writing about video games as Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com. He also covers board games and virtual reality, just to round out the nerdy pursuits.