Chromebooks are still considered an emerging market. No, the idea of a laptop computer isn’t new, but having a laptop that runs Google’s Chrome OS still is for many. As the months wear on, we’re getting more inquiries than ever about future Chromebook purchases. We’ve done a whole video on educating yourself about making a Chromebook purchasing decision, but today we want to help you out with the second part of that choice: when to buy.
There’s no way to address every person in every situation, but there are some things worth noting that could help you feel good about pulling the trigger today or waiting a few weeks to get the Chromebook that is right for you or a loved one. Figuring out which Chromebook you want and/or the features you are after is one part of this equation, but there’s more to the decision than just the device. We generally see three main categories of buyers on a regular basis, and we’d like to offer up a bit of advice for each.
Time Sensitive Buyers
This individual is the type that comes to us and says, “I need a Chromebook for my graduate that is headed to college. They leave in two weeks.” It could be a birthday, a holiday, or some other time-sensitive event, but the end result is the same: they need a Chromebook on a timeline.
For those of you out there shopping with a limited time table, the advice becomes quite clear. Figure out what device fits your needs, research around for the best deal currently available, and buy your Chromebook. There’s little else to do and no real reason to think too much about devices that are coming soon, devices that are coming later in the year, or devices that may drastically drop in price. The fact is, if you are this type of buyer and you need a device now, the only advice we have is to search around and just pull the trigger.
If you are the type of individual who values getting a deal over the potential of getting the latest, greatest tech, you are a deal seeker. You’ll happily forego a fingerprint scanner, WiFi 6, or the latest chip set as long as it means you find a deal and get the absolute most bang for your buck. If this is you, Chromebooks are a pretty fun shopping experience.
We’ve come to find that there’s no real rhythm to sales on Chromebooks. You don’t have to wait for Black Friday or the next big holiday sale. Instead, Chromebooks go on sale almost constantly. As a matter of fact, $200+ fluctuations can happen with little to no warning, so it is always worth looking around for the device you want regardless of the time of year.
For buyers in this category, the advice is simple: find the device that does enough to take care of your needs, research around to see what sale prices have come and gone, and then keep an eye out for the device to return to that sale price. You can look in our Deals section here on the website or simply search by device name and get a pretty good feel of the price fluctuations on any given Chromebook.
As an example, the HP Chromebook x360 lists for $599, but it has dropped as low as $349 and regularly goes on sale for $399 – $449. Knowing this, if you go to purchase this Chromebook and only find it for $599, you can know to hold off for just a bit, look for the next sale, and then make your purchase at the opportune time with the right expectations.
If you are like me, those other categories don’t really apply. Instead, you like the newest thing that does whatever you need with the most capability. If you are this person, you love the idea of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook and its 10th-gen processor, fingerprint scanner, thin form factor, 4K AMOLED screen, 256GB NVMe drive, garaged stylus, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5. If you read that list and thought, “I want that” to yourself, you are probably a tech junkie.
There’s no shame in this, but the advice above doesn’t really work for you. New stuff costs money, so to get it while it is still new and novel, you are going to have to fork over a bit more money. You will also be in the camp of people that is constantly waiting for the next best thing to arrive, and frankly, it can be exhausting. But when you get that new device, it’s all worth it!
There are still some things to consider, however, and timing can still be tricky. Reference the example above as we await the release of the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. If you were in the market for the latest, greatest hardware and had your wallet out to make a purchase, anything you buy right now would be a mistake. With both the Galaxy Chromebook and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 just about a month away, you’d be completely let down if you bought anything currently available.
Just like the other buyers, you need to do your research and know the release cycles of upcoming devices. Check here at Chrome Unboxed in our Upcoming Devices section frequently so you know what’s in development, what’s in production, and when we think these devices will hit the market. Knowing these things will equip you to feel confident when making a purchase and will help you avoid making the mistake of buying something you’ll regret.
In a few months from now, when all the latest-gen Chromebooks are out and available, there won’t be too much thought to put in. But as 2020 closes up and we roll into 2021, new devices will be on the horizon again with new form factors and new features. If you know what those features are and know whether or not they are worth holding off for, you’ll be better equipped to decide when to buy and when to wait just a bit longer.
In the end, it comes down to research. Know what you are after and know the asking price. Know what’s coming. Knowledge is the key to making better purchases that you’ll be happy with for the months and years you’ll own a Chromebook. We put as much info out there as we can, but it is up to you to read and get informed. One of the best ways to do so is to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out on deals and the latest hardware news. Good luck out there, and if you have specific questions, feel free to reach out on social media and we’ll do our best to guide you in your purchase in whatever ways we can.