If you're in the market for a cheap laptop, there's officially a new contender in town: the Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible ($269.99 on sale at Amazon). This is an upgraded version of the wickedly popular Acer Chromebook R 11 that adds a 2-in-1 convertible hinge, touchscreen, and ups the RAM to a total of 4GB, which is excellent for a Chromebook.
Chromebooks have torn it up in the past two years with faster chips, an improved Chrome OS, and the realization by most buyers that a Chromebook can accomplish nearly everything we use our computers for, such as browsing the web, watching Netflix, checking e-mail, and writing papers and spreadsheets with services like Google Docs.
Google's Chrome OS is perfectly designed to handle those tasks with ease, meaning you aren't overpaying for processing power you don't truly need. It's ideal for students, but anyone on a budget should seriously consider a Chromebook.
The sub-$200 Acer Chromebook R 11 was already one of the most popular Chromebooks around, with a rock-solid 4.2-star rating on Amazon. This improved model costs a bit more even with this sale, but it's fully loaded.
It has 32GB of storage, support for SD cards if you want to add more, a USB 3.0 port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an 11.6-inch touchscreen, and the convertible hinge. It is even gaining the ability to run Android apps, which is a bit janky right now but adds millions of new programs to the Chrome ecosystem. Its original price was $299 on Amazon, but it's on sale here for just $269.
It's already shot up the sales charts, and it's currently the best-selling 2-in-1 laptop on Amazon. Given that almost all of the most popular laptops these days are 2-in-1 models, that's incredible. Obviously being affordable helps it there, but it's notable nonetheless.
If you need a cheap laptop and don't want to sacrifice on options, this is a great chance to see if a Chromebook is right for you.