Best Chromebooks for Linux

For Linux users (or readers who want to start using Linux), this is my round up of some of the most popular Chromebooks that support Linux.

Linux is an amazing operating system and I think it’s unfair that we consumers are forced to buy Windows licensed laptops when all we need on them is Linux. Chromebooks are excellent well designed laptops that can be turned into Linux ultrabooks without having to pay for Windows licenses.

I first became aware of them a couple of years ago when I read the headline Chromebook’s biggest fan: Linus Torvalds (Linus is the creator of the Linux kernel). I thought if ol’ Linus thinks they’re good, well it’s an opinion worth considering.

When I did need to buy a laptop, after a bit of research I realised how right he was and ended up buying the Toshiba Chromebook 2. I realised that Chromebooks come with excellent hardware, are very reasonable priced, and have a sleek ultrabook look.

Yes, I could have brought a normal laptop but would have ended up paying twice the price for a bulky laptop with the same spec. Linux isn’t as resource hungry as Windows so the battery focused specs of Chromebooks work really well.

I’ve put together this list to help those of you who want a Chromebook to dual boot Chrome OS and Linux OR run Linux on its own natively. All models on this list have variants that usually physically look the same but differ in terms of their processor, RAM and hard drive capacities.

The ones featured in this post are those which I think are models that have the right specs to be an effective Linux ultrabook.

Is modifying the BIOS difficult and can I replace the SSD?

Chromebooks are designed for cloud storage and so the internal drives tend to be only 16GB or 32GB. You can easily replace these because most new Chromebooks (except the Acer Chromebook 14) use M.2 NGFF SSD’s that can be purchased relatively cheaply. I have included links to compatible SSD’s for each model featured in this post.

Replacing the drive does require opening the Chromebook up but it’s a fairly simple process of removing the screws from the underside (including any under rubber feet or warranty stickers). You can see how I opened my Toshiba Chromebook 2 in the video in this post and my guide to dual booting Linux and Chrome OS in this post.

Toshiba Chromebook 2

 

Processor 2.1 GHz Intel Core i3-5015U Dual Core (Broadwell)
Memory (RAM) 4GB DDR3L RAM
Storage 16GB (replace with 128GB or 256GB SSD)
Display 13.3” IPS screen (1920×1080)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 5500
Connections 1 HDMI, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0 and SD card reader
Extra and Features HD webcam and built-in mic
Bluetooth and WIFI
Backlit keyboard
Battery life About 8 hours battery life
Weight 2.97 lbs (1.3kg)
Buy

The stand out feature of this Chromebook is the IPS HD 13.3” screen – it’s a high end screen at a low end price. Viewing angles and colours are nice although the screen is quite reflective especially outdoors.

I have the 2014 HD version and would have loved to get this new 2015 version because it has a speedy i3 processor and a backlit keyboard. This version never made it to the UK and it seems never will. According to a recent announcement, Toshiba is pulling out of making consumer laptops in favour of the business laptops market. Inevitably as stocks runout, these laptops will become harder to buy – so grab one while you can!

At only 2.97 lbs and a screen size of 13.3” this is an ideal portable ultrabox that is slim and sleek. Yes it doesn’t have an aluminium or magnesium alloy casing but it has the best display out of all the current Chromebooks on the market at the moment.

Linux users who want more storage without replacing the SSD will like that an SD card can be inserted fully into the card reader so that the card becomes barely noticeable.  I recommend installing Linux on the internal drive and using the SD card as storage though. Even ultra-fast SD cards have slower read and write speeds so installing Linux on them will slow things down.

With a powerful i3 processor the 8 hours battery life is expected but a bit disappointing at this price point. Although there is a cheaper version of this Chromebook with a Celeron processor, I think as a Linux ultrabook it’s worth paying a bit extra for the more powerful processor.

Other great features are the chiclet keyboard, multi gesture touchpad and the Skull Candy sound. In fact it’s surprising the depth of sound you get from such a slim laptop.

For some, the higher end price may be something that stops them buying but the snappy processer and gorgeous screen in my opinion, makes this Chromebook well worth the money. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is currently selling for: Out of stock.

Dell Chromebook 13

 

Processor 1.7 GHz Intel Celeron 3215U Dual Core (Broadwell)
Memory (RAM) 4GB DDR3L RAM
Storage 16GB (replace with 128GB or 256GB SSD)
Display 13.3” IPS screen (1920×1080)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics
Connections 1 HDMI, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0 and MicroSD card reader
Extra and Features 720p HD webcam and built-in mic
Bluetooth and WIFI
Backlit keyboard
Glass touchpad with integrated button
Battery life About 12 hours battery life
Weight 3.23 lbs (1.47kg)
Buy

Dell have improved on their previous 11” version with this new 13” version. It’s got a premium look and feel but is slightly heavy for a 13” Chromebook, in fact it weighs about the same as the bigger Acer Chromebook 14.

The casing is made of durable magnesium alloy rather than plastic and along with the nice grip casing it’s a beautifully designed high quality build. There’s also the convenient front battery indicator light and glass trackpad that make this an elegant machine.

With quality comes cost and compared to similar Chromebooks it’s priced higher. If I were buying it I would justify the extra spend by telling myself that I was still saving money by not buying a Windows licensed laptop 🙂

Hardware wise it’s got similar internals as other 13” Chromebooks like a Broadwell Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM. I should mention there is also an i3 version but in my opinion the price is too high to justify buying as an affordable Linux ultrabook.

The glass trackpad is large and responsive and the backlit keyboard is pleasant to use. The full HD IPS screen may not be as good as the Toshiba Chromebook 2 but it comes close. It’s also an anti glare display which reduces reflections particularly useful outside.

The 720p webcam is ok but nothing special and the sound from the speakers is average. It has a MicroSD card reader so if you plan on using your existing SD card you’ll need a USB card reader instead.

The stand out features of this Chromebook are it’s design and battery life coming in at around 12 hours. Although it’s on the high price end it’s a popular choice if you want a 13” premium solid durable laptop. The Dell Chromebook 13 is currently selling for $289.99.

Acer C740 Chromebook

 

Processor 1.5 GHz Intel Celeron 3205U Dual Core (Broadwell)
Memory (RAM) 4GB DDR3L RAM
Storage 16GB (replace with 128GB or 256GB SSD)
Display 11.6” LCD screen (1366 x 768)
Graphics Intel integrated HD Graphics
Connections 1 HDMI, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0 and SD card reader
Extra and Features HD webcam and built-in mic
Bluetooth and WIFI
Battery life About 8 hours battery life
Weight 2.87 lbs (1.3kg)
Buy

The C740 looks the same as the earlier C720 model and is another good Chromebook from Acer. For Linux the 4GB RAM one is recommended.

It uses the newish Broadwell processor, is lightweight at 2.87 lbs and is thin and portable. This well-built durable design has a nice matte finish with strong hinges that will please those who what a minimal plain look.

The screen is a slight let down compared to the other Chromebooks in this post since it’s not full HD at 1366 x 768 and viewing angles are not as good as an IPS display. The trackpad and keyboard are nice overall but the keys feel a bit small.

Some Linux users that use an SD card for extra storage will find it annoying that the card sticks out of the side considerably but overall this is an impressive ultrabook.

If you’re looking for a smaller more portable solid Chromebook, this 11.6” screen laptop is a great choice. It retails at an affordable price and has a good battery life and works really well as a Linux machine. The Acer C740 Chromebook is currently selling for Check on Amazon.

Acer Chromebook 14

 

Processor 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron Quad Core N3160 (Braswell)
Memory (RAM) 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
Storage 32GB eMMC (internal drive is NOT replaceable)
Display 13.3” IPS screen (1920×1080)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 400
Connections 1 HDMI and 2x USB 3.0
Extra and Features 720p HD webcam and built in mic
Bluetooth and WIFI
Aluminium alloy casing
Battery life About 12 hours battery life
Weight 3.42 lb (1.54kg)
Buy

At first glance this Chromebook looks like it should be double the price because of the amazing aluminium casing. It oozes style and it’s premium look and feel will be a major selling point for some.

It comes with the newer Braswell processor with 4 cores which is great for multitasking and is a powerful processor for your Linux ultabook. Combined with the 4GBs of RAM and a 32GB internal drive, it’s a powerful laptop.

The LPDDR3 RAM and internal eMMC drive are designed to use less power and so help conserve battery life. Unfortunately, eMMC drives cannot be swapped our for higher capacity drives which could be a problem for some under Linux. There is also no SD card reader so the only option is a for boosting storage space.

Luckily this Chromebook has 2 USB 3.0 ports but it’s weird that Acer hasn’t included a MicroSD or SD slot. No backlit keyboard I can understand but those slots are really useful not only for Chrome OS users but for Linux users as well.

If you don’t need an SD card reader and a 13” Chromebook is a bit small for you, the Acer Chromebook 14 has some other useful features like a 14” full HD IPS display, a 720p webcam and 12 hrs battery life. The bigger size means that it’s a bit heavier than some of the other Chromebooks on this list but it’s still portable and lighter compared to other normal laptops close to this price range.

On the point of price I think combined with it’s amazing aluminium casing and 14” IPS screen, this Chromebook makes a very affordable Linux ultrabook. The Acer Chromebook 14 is currently selling for $268.88.

Acer C720P Chromebook (Touchscreen)

 

Processor 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U Dual Core (Haswell)
Memory (RAM) 4GB DDR3L RAM
Storage 32GB (replace with 128GB or 256GB SSD)
Display 11.6” LCD screen (1366 x 768)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics
Connections 1 HDMI, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0 and SD card reader
Extra and Features Touchscreen
HD webcam and built-in mic
Bluetooth and WIFI
Battery life 8.5 hours battery life
Weight 2.98 lb (1.4kg)
Buy

Acer’s 11” C720 released in 2014 but is worth mentioning for those of you looking for an 11” laptop. Even though it’s an older model, sales are still going strong and I think it’s because it’s a solid touch screen Chromebook – not bad at this price point.

This is a popular choice for people wanting to install Linux on a Chromebook because it has the powerful Haswell processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB internal drive. Haswell processors tend to be less power efficient than newer processors but are as fast as the newer ones in some cases.

The touch screen is nice to use and is responsive. Touch screens have very good support under Linux with almost all gestures supported under the newest Linux kernel. I’ve found that the Gnome desktop environment works well using touch screens although touch to right click is always a problem.

At less than 3 lbs and 11” this Chromebook is portable too. If you really want a touch screen Linux ultrabook you can get this one for about the same price as some of the newer Chromebooks. The Acer C720P is currently selling for Out of stock.

 



46 Comments

  • Oh and I would also like to play a few games/stream videos as well. missed that in the previous post..

  • Hi Captain, I was looking to pick up a sub 200$ chrome book and was considering the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 4gb ram or else the Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6″, 4GB? I;m looking to get linux on it and use it to start learning code. Could you give me a heads up as to which one is better?

    1. Hi Abraham, both models are the same in terms of specs. I would recommend the Samsung because looks better built and more sleek.

  • Will there be a tutorial on how to partition a brand new SSD in an chromebook to dualboot from ssd ?

      1. After round about one week I got everything running.
        Now I’ve got a Toshiba Chromebook 2 2015 with Ubuntu, elementary os and kali linux running beside chrome os on a brand new ssd and was finally able to get everything working (backlit keyboard, Sound, shortcut keys etc.).
        If you are trying to partition the ssd be sure to use cgpt ?

  • Hi Captain, Purchased the 2015 version of the Toshiba chromebook 2. Bought off ebay from America. Added a 128Gb usb3 and dual booting between gallium and chrome os. As a developer this is a fantastic bit of kit and all for under £300.

  • Hi there!

    I’m in the market for a Chromebook and I came across the Acer Chromebook 14 Celeron version for quite a bit under $200, was just wondering if this was still a viable option for Linux (or even sticking with ChromeOS) while staying around that $200 price range?

    1. Hi Jonathan, the Acer Chromebook 14 is a very stylish Chromebook and will work under Linux but sound will may not work if you choose a distro other than GalliumOS. I would recommend the 4GB RAM version of the 2GB one. Price wise it’s great value for your money.

  • Capt! Got any updates for good media on the go laptops? I have the Dell Chromebook 13 Celeron but it’s not really fast enough for most things, if you need to plug in a display it stutters on video etc etc.

    Let me know if you have any updated recommendations there’s always a chance I missed some i3/i5/i7 chromebooks out there!

    1. Hi Joshua, I will update this list at some point but the info I have about what newer models work fully with Linux is a bit sketchy I’m afraid. There are i3/i5/i7 Chromebooks out there but the price gets into the $400-$500 price range and it’s gets a bit hard to justify that price over just getting a standard laptop.

      As a media laptop the Asus Zenbook range as caught my eye more that once and might be a better alternative depending on how much you want to spend. You won’t have to mod the BIOS and you’ll get a much better specs than a Chromebook.

  • Dear Captain. I live in India. I have been using Ubuntu for the past 7 odd years. I want to buy a budget chromebook and install ubuntu on it. But the models you have suggested are not available with Amazon India. Can you suggest some other models?

    1. Hello from London! I had a quick look and it looks like Chromebooks haven’t really taken off in India like in other countries. It might be better just getting a netbook type laptop instead and installing Ubuntu on it (the specs will probably be better as well).

      I know that there are smaller companies like Micromax making ultrabook type laptops and this may be your best bet for finding something that meets your budget (I brought a Micromax smartphone about 2 years ago during my trip to India and saved myself a couple of hundred pounds compared to buying a 4G phone in the UK).

      Let me know what you end up buying and thanks visiting my site.

  • Captain,
    Ignore price. What I want is a dual boot Chromebook OS and Linux. Last time I installed Linux much less used it was 1996. Yea, showing my age. Anyway, I know Chromebooks don’t have docking station, but there are ways to setup with dual, to three monitors like any Windows docking station setup. Not so concerned about the Chromebook monitor, keyboard as I will be using it 90% of the time chained to a desk. I want as much RAM, HD space (don’t want to run Linux on SD drive), and hardware flexibility. I’ve used Redhat and SUSE. My company is FINALLY moving to Linux and app servers will be running Redhat. But I will need to bone up on my command like skills.

    Dual desktop monitors. Don’t care about staring at a tiny laptop screen. Old eyes and all. Your pick here too, please.
    Will use external Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
    WiFi connection.
    As scalable as possible. I want this to be my last “work” computer.

    If this was your spec and your build and no worry about budget, what would it be. I have no loyalty to any hardware brand, so what does the Capt say?

    1. Hi Rick,
      Money no object huh? I’ll just call you moneybags Rick shall I? 😉
      I’m not sure you really need a dual boot setup (unless there’s a reason you want ChromeOS?)

      Chromebooks are light portable devices more designed for on the go rather than being a desktop replacement.
      If I’ve understood your requirements correctly, I think what you really need is a solid Linux box (Chromebooks don’t really have great graphics so driving 2/3 monitors will be taxing on the CPU).

      I’ve recently been researching hardware for running Linux on and have opted for the Intel NUC.
      It’s small, very versatile and likely to meet your requirements. There are more USB ports, there is a HDMI port as well as mini display port as well (you could easily drive 2 monitors), WIFI and Bluetooth are also included. Here’s the link all you need to do is add RAM (up to 32GB) and a hard drive (this takes a M2 drive as well). Let me know if you need help with choosing the RAM and drive.

      There are many different variants of the Intel NUC and you’ll find I’m recommending the 2nd to latest model. Why? I think Linux will be better supported on this model. Redhat (or CentOS or Fedora), Suse should work fine.

      I will be buying a lower spec NUC soon (I’m finally going to be doing more Linux distro reviews soon) and so will be doing lots of testing.

      Hope this helps.
      Captain.

      1. >>Money no object huh? I’ll just call you moneybags Rick shall I? 😉
        Should have stated it differently. I see a lot of young adults with limited funds. I don’t have that problem, but not driving down the street throw greenbacks into the wind.

        I need to bone up on my UNIX (Linux) for “extra duties” that are now on my plate at work. It has been 20 yrs. since I even touch the UNIX command line. Since Chromebooks are just a skinned down Linux kernel, I figured I could dual boot, best fit to do Linux learning and build an entertainment center to boot. I also figured if it came from Google, there would be oodles of support for perifreals, apps, etc. But then, after sending the e-mail to you, I had a duh moment. Any rich distro of Linux probably has everything I need and more.

        So, Chromebooks are really just a cheap(er) way to jump on the internet and complete minor tasks and NOT for heavy lifting, like a complete entertainment center? If taxing the CPU just to run 2-3 monitors, this certainly won’t work for my needs. Ahhhh … I guess it’s time I play engineer one more time and build a new toy.

        In 1996-ish, I installed Red Hat and SUSE. Which distro would you use for what I need? Versatile with many activities, but no DB stuff and THE EASIEST to install from scratch. Installing Linux 20+ years ago was an exercise in futility. I don’t care to Nerd out like that anymore.

        Your input is appreciated and I’ll let you know how it turns out …
        Thanks,

        1. Linux desktop distros have matured a lot since 1996 and they are just point and click in general and very simple to install.

          Recommendations wise, if you are wanting more a work type distro, go with Fedora or OpenSuse. They are pretty solid daily drivers and I personally use Fedora 25.

          For using as a media player as well Linux Mint will be the best out of the box experience for you and I think this is probably the best choice for you.

          Did you check out the Intel NUC? The link was for the i7 version but you could opt for the i5 or i3 version and still create a entertainment center as well, in fact NUC’s are perfect as media PC’s because they are silent and include an IR receiver built in for using remote controls.

          I look forward to find hearing what you end up with.

  • I’m looking at pre ordering the Samsung Chromebook Plus Touch-Screen Laptop XE513C24-K01US. Does anyone know if this would handle linux well?

    I’m looking to order quite a few for a dev laptop.

  • Hey captain! I found out about you recently and I am truly amazed! I am thinking about buying an chromebook for linux (I work in academia and I could use something that could support simulations in Python and\or-if need be- Matlab). I cannot find the toshiba chromebook-2 available in a reasonable price and I have found instead a used chromebook pixel 64 LTE on ebay. I see that you don’t mention at all this option here, could you please tell me what you think on the matter?

    Thank you and keep up the good job!!

    1. Hi Chris, appreciate the kind words.
      I missed out the pixels because they were too pricey and it just makes sense to get a normal laptop instead of modding a Chromebook. If you can get one at a good price and it’s an i5, well that’s a different story! From a quick Google search it’s fully supported in GalliumOS (make sure it’s the 2015 version not the 2013 one) (model: SAMUS) but some reviews say the battery life is only about 5 hours, also it’s not got any USB 3.0 ports.
      If you do buy, use Mr Chromebox’s mod and let me know how you get on 🙂

  • Thanks for that listing 🙂
    I´m thinking about getting a Acer 14 chromebook using Linux on it since similar well built windows notebooks are twice as much.

    What is the touchscreen like when putting Linux on it?
    Does 2 finger scrolling and stuff still work as well as on Chrome OS?

    1. Hi Daniel, there are issues with sound on this CB and your best bet would be to try Fedora or GalliumOS.

      GalliumOS should support all features except sound according to their website, although touchscreens have always been a bit hit and miss under Linux.

      Fedora uses Gnome 3 by default and it has the best out of the box touchscreen support in my experience.

      This is a great value Chromebook and would make a even better Linux laptop.

      1. Hi FC,

        I was commenting earlier about a CB purchase for dual-booting with linux. I use currently an old laptop with xubuntu so i’m use to this but having a dual boot would help to use others software and apps.
        Also i’m not at ease with install for dual boot and correctly making the partition, if you have any links or advices or article I havent seen ?

        My main question now : I found a Toshiba CB30-B-104 for a good deal. Would this be suitable for dual booting and have no problems with sound or whatsoever with “crouton” (I suppose I’ll have to “use” crouton for install ) ? Again, i don’t know much, just searching before to be in front of the “issues” and avoid it as much as possible. I need that affordable dual-boot solution cause i will be travelling soon.Thanks a lot for your answers and help.

        1. Hello again Bastien, the Toshiba CB30-B-104 is an excellent choice and is the one I have and use in my videos and posts. There are issues with sound (and the mic has never worked) however with newer versions of Ubuntu. As long as you stick with Xubuntu 16.04 everything will work as I show in this step by step guide.

  • Wondering if you have any feedback on using the Samsung Chromebook 3, XE500C13-K02US, for Linux. This model is plenty fast for ChromeOS, but I would like a native install for Ubuntu or Mint. I’m experiencing some failures during the install, including non-responsive keyboard and mouse. Wondering if anyone has accomplished a successful install on this platform yet.

  • Hi Captain,
    I use linux since I saved my files and old laptop from garbage, but it’s time for me to get a dual-system operating machine, really portable and affordable.

    I have looked at the Toshiba chromebook but have difficulties choosing for the screen solely when others are cheaper and offer 4gb ram… Maybe you know where to get a better deal ?
    I would like to hear your opinions, advices… Asus seems better perf with 4gb but lack the quality screen of toshiba ?

    I found these also : both at 169eur : which would you choose between these 2 ? And why ?

    – ASUS C201PA-DS02 11.6 inch Chromebook (1.8GHz Quad-Core, 4GB LPDDR3, 16GB SSD), Navy Blue
    or
    – ASUS Chromebook C300SA-DH02-LB 13.3-Inch Traditional Laptop

    Your answer will be much appreciated, thanks in advance for your time.

    bastien

    1. Hi Bastien,

      Since Toshiba aren’t going to be making or selling the CB2, it’s really difficult to find them at a good price 🙁

      The ASUS C201PA-DS02 has a Rockchip processor and so cannot be turned into a Linux laptop.
      The ASUS C300SA-DH02-LB is the better choice out of the two since it’s a bigger 13″ screen but I don’t really like it’s plastic calmshell design. The screen is average but be aware that sound will not currently work under Linux and the internal drive is not upgradable.

      In the 4GB RAM range you’ll need to look at spending a little more the Acer chromebook 14 is around the $300 mark depending on which country you’re from (audio won’t work as well though).

      Alternatively have a look at this value for money laptop, it’s not a Chromebook so you won’t need to do anything special to install Linux.

      1. Thanks,
        I did look around after your advices. I’m still unsure ..Maybe the AsusC300 or something else..
        Though, I have been reading people have succes with ubuntu on the C201. using crouton and developper mode. I’m not as knowledgeable as you but from a rapid tutorial/blog article lecture it doesn’t seems impossible => how-to-install-ubuntu-linux-on-your-chromebook-with-crouton/ on “howtogeek”

        Do you think there will really problem with sounds, etc..?
        Cause if i’m sure performance and that it will run ok with the basics I’m fine ! I’m not going to play games, etc…
        Simple bureautic, web, apps, … + videos, music..

        thanks for clearing my vision, i’ll still dig though..

        1. This post focusses on natively installing Linux on a Chromebook. The crouton method installs Linux inside of the ChromeOS and so most Chromebooks will work just fine.

          I have an ultimate guide to installing Linux on a Chromebook planned (which will include a guide on crouton as well) so that may help you as well.

          1. Sounds good, I found a few articles really on point for my interest on your blog, thanks !

            Now I see where my confusion was ! Do you think this a good offer on the Asus C201 ?

            I already have a laptop natively on ubuntu (at that time I had no much choices) and I wanted to push myself toward linux. So now I was thinking it could be good to have the choices ..
            Do you think having dual boot on a chrome isn’t as good as having native linux ? Why would it be better or not ? I understand the partition “part problem” with the disk size, but we can still use external drive ?
            Sure I’ll need some help, is it much harder to set it with crouton then native ? Can a newbie do it easily without too much trouble ?

            Thanks so much for your answers, I was pretty sold on that Asus because of the price.

          2. I agree the ASUS C201 looks like a great buy but the main issue is that Rockchip is an ARM processor, which limits how you can install Linux on Chromebooks.

            To clarify further and answer some of your questions, the method of installing Linux on a CB is more a personal choice whether that’s a native install or dual boot. Dual is only needed if you still want to use ChromeOS, if not wipe the drive and replace it with Linux. Performance wise Linux works equally as well using the dual or native method.

            This is only possible with John’s and Mr Chromebox’s BIOS mods which do not support ARM processors.

            For your price range the C201 is a good buy but the only easy option you have for Linux is using crouton (BIOS mod isn’t supported). The install is fairly simple and the dev (dnschneid) of crouton not only has done an excellent job but also has some really good documentation. See https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton

            Trying to find laptops for Linux at your price point is a struggle. If anyone reading this has any recommendations, please let me know.
            Hope this helps 🙂

          3. Ok, thanks again, you did help of course.
            Sure if you or someone as any recommendations : I will appreciate.
            Unfortunately, the sale is over on the Asus..

  • I cannot afford the Toshiba 2 2015 version. Would you recommend getting the previous version with the Intel Celeron N2840 as the next best choice?

    1. Most definitely, that’s the one I have. You can’t replace the internal drive though but the full HD IPS screen is the best screen around.

  • Hello Captain! Thank you for the help! I decided to go with the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook and just put in the order. This week I will be installing Elementary OS on it and setting everything up for my business. Thank you so much! I will be showing off my new Linux OS to friends and slowly but surely convert them to the light side with us! You the man Captain! 🙂

  • Vinny posted in another post:

    Thank you Captain! I just read your affordable Chromebooks article and tried to find options that you posted in my price range but I have come up with a few that are remarkably similar to the ones you wrote down in your list. Would you be able to tell me what you believe out of my list of potential Chromebooks is the best bang for buck with full Elementary OS functionality?

    ASUS C300SA-DS02-LB
    Acer Aspire One Cloudbook
    HP Chromebook 11 G4
    Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ
    Acer Chromebook CB3-111-C670
    Acer C720 Chromebook

    ——————————————————

    As with all things in life, look is not the most important thing. That being aid I prefer the all white Acer Chromebooks and the Acer and HP MacBook Pro-esque looking ones.

    The first choice ASUS seems to me to have the best specs and the only Chromebook in my list that has 4GB RAM which is a plus but from what I have seen on YouTube, 2GB RAM seems to work just fine -yet I am looking for fastest functionality for efficient work on the go and at home as my main internet and website work laptop.

    I truly appreciate your help and will in turn spread the knowledge you give me to others ? Thanks, friend!

    1. Hi Vinny,

      That’s an interesting list, with something in the $200 budget the 2 that I would consider is the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ and the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook.

      The Acer CB3-131-C3SZ‘s internal hard drive is not replaceable so you’ll need to use a USB 3.0 or SD card for storage (Here’s the video).

      Ideally, you would want 4GB RAM but for general and website work 2GB should be fast enough. For the price all the other specs are pretty good.

      The Acer Aspire One Cloudbook is a curious find, it’s a normal laptop and not a Chromebook so you won’t need to modify the BIOS. Both the RAM and the internal drive are not upgradable but at least you get a 32GB internal drive.

      The processor is slightly better and more power efficient than the Acer. I would go for this one if your budget is one of your main pirorities.

      So why not the Asus C300? It’s a clunky design with a poor screen. For an 11″ laptop you want a confortable keyboard and touchpad experience and this laptop doesn’t have that. For the price, I don’t recommend it.

      Let me know which one you end up buying and go forth and spread the word, Linux is awesome!

  • Hey Captain,

    I have the Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35-B3340. I want to know what linux distribution you would recommend? I have been testing out some distributions so far and I really like the look and feel of Elementary OS and Xubuntu! But I cant commit until I hear an expert such as yourself. Thanks!

    1. Hi E.J,
      For now you might what to stick with Xubuntu, it’s fast, looks nice and gets the job done, particularly on Chromebooks. elementary has the newer version in Beta testing (Loki), once that’s out go for that because it will have newer software and security updates will be supported for longer. I’m currently testing 5 lightweight distros including these two and performance is pretty good across the board.

      Lastly, it’s a personal choice, although I like both Xubuntu and elementary, I always end up going back to a Gnome based distro because I personally like the clean look and feel of that desktop. It’s not as lightweight and is slightly slower on a Chromebook but hey that’s what I like using.

      1. Thank you for the advice! I tried out Xubuntu for a while, but Elementary OS Loki was so clean, simple, and polished! I made the move permanent for Loki and I am now eagerly waiting for the Stable version!. 🙂

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