Why am I, an editor on a site specializing in the Microsoft and Windows ecosystem, recommending a Chromebook a Black Friday offer? Listen to me. For most people, I think the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is THE laptop to buy now for less than $500. Sure, it runs on Chrome OS and not Windows 11, but honestly, I think you’ll love it.
More interesting offers at the start of Black Friday
A sleek-looking laptop with a 120Hz display
I recently spent some time considering whether a gaming Chromebook was a viable alternative to a Windows laptop and came away satisfied and a little surprised. The one I have isn’t the Acer offering shown here, it’s actually a less powerful laptop that currently costs more. This one features a 12-core, 16-thread Intel Core i5 processor with Intel Xe graphics. Our friends at Android Central, however, reviewed the Acer Chromebook 516 GE and gave it a solid 4.5/5.
For $450, the fact that you get a 120Hz 2560 x 1600 resolution screen alone is reason to run down to your nearest Best Buy and get one. No matter what device you use, once you make that 60Hz jump, there’s really no going back.
While this is technically a Chromebook aimed at gamers, aside from an RGB keyboard, there’s nothing else to prove it. It’s a subtle, elegant design, and numpad haters will love the fact that the keyboard doesn’t have one. It’s centered, as it should be!
For gaming, the key game is the cloud, and one of the benefits currently available is a three-month free trial of NVIDIA GeForce Now Ultimate and its games up to 120 FPS. So you can operate this screen. You can also install Steam, but with Intel Xe graphics you will be limited. But hey, it’s $450!
An easy transition from Windows for Microsoft users
Along with Windows 11 (of course), I currently use a Chromebook most of the time. It is a very fast and beautiful operating system and, like Windows, it is capable of using both Linux and Android applications. You can’t use Windows apps of course, but for those integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem, you’re still well taken care of.
Microsoft is currently working with Google to improve the seamless setup of Microsoft 365 on Chromebooks, and you can already integrate OneDrive with the Chrome OS Files app with relative ease. Microsoft 365 on Chromebooks relies on web apps, but they’re really good and most people would have a hard time telling the difference.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is also a pleasure to use the browser, you can connect your Xbox controller wirelessly, heck, if you’d rather not use Google Chrome you can even install Microsoft Edge on a Chromebook too!
There are plenty of Chromebook deals on Black Friday, but the combination of price, design, and hardware you get is the best. And even if you’re more accustomed to Windows or want to play a little, for less than $500 you can’t beat this.