Buying a Black Friday Chromebook? Read this first

CNET | 11/21/2018 | Joshua Goldman
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Samsung's Chromebook Plus V2 is a favorite especially with $150 off.

Every Black Friday you'll find good discounts on laptops, but some of the best deals are on Chromebooks. Running on Google's web-based Chrome OS, they're typically cheap to begin with, starting around $200, so you can find some amazing prices this time of year.

Chrome - Lot - Power - Tasks - Specs

Chrome doesn't require a lot of processing power for basic tasks, so you shouldn't compare their specs against a Windows 10 PC. But that doesn't mean you should let a low price alone rope you into a Black Friday buy. If you keep just a few Chromebook shopping basics in mind when you're shopping, you can make sure you what you get does what you want.

Before you go any further, know that Chromebooks are not compatible with Windows or Mac software. They primarily use web apps that are available through Google's Chrome Web Store. Newer models can also be used with Android apps, which can definitely fill in some blanks, like if you need Microsoft Office access. But if there's no Android or web app to meet your needs, don't get a Chromebook.

Chromebooks - Start - Windows - Mac - Hardware

I've been reviewing Chromebooks from the start. As I said up top, compared to a Windows or Mac laptop you can get by with lower-end hardware in a Chromebook. However, here's what I recommend people look for when they ask what specs to get.

Intel Celeron or Pentium, Core m- or Core i-series processor

Storage

32GB of storage

There is flexibility with these recommendations. You can get a 1,366x768-resolution display, for example, but the cheap ones used in low-end Chromebooks look particularly soft next to full-HD models. And you can get by with 16GB of onboard storage as long as there's a microSD card slot to supplement it.

Spec

However, the one spec...
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