I’m not kidding when I say that I’ve had more Chromebook buying advice requests in the past week than I’ve ever had in my life. Questions are coming in left and right both from reader emails and local friends/family, leaving me a bit bombarded with semi-frantic parents needing to find a device for their child. As the back-to-school season hits full stride, solid, concrete plans on what school will eventually look like in this fall semester are more up in the air than ever and parents are getting desperate to find a good Chromebook at a good price.
The problem comes down to supply and demand. Like we saw at the outset of the pandemic here in the States, consumers are on the prowl for lower-priced Chromebooks once again and demand is through the roof. With this happening just 4 months from the last surge, supplies haven’t had the chance to fully rebound and are sagging once again in the face of mass consumer buying. While this is great for the Chromebook ecosystem, it is a real aggravation if you are in the market for a Chromebook.
In that vein, we’re going to continue to scour the usual places in search of good, reasonably-priced devices you can buy for your students. Because of the nature of these availability sightings, we recommend you go and get the device right away if it is a good fit for you. I can’t stress how quickly stock changes from in-stock to out-of-stock these days, so timing is quite important.
Today, we’re seeing the Lenovo Chromebook Duet available again at the standard $299 MSRP from Best Buy, at a slightly elevated $349 from Walmart, and a handful of reasonable listings on Ebay as well. We’re also seeing continued reports of Walmart having the device in stock and on the shelf if you just walk in, so that’s worth trying as well if you have a Walmart nearby. For what it’s worth, the stock showing from Walmart is a delivery-only situation and it is for the 64GB model, not the 128GB version found at Best Buy. Both are identical otherwise. At this stage of the game, if you are really needing a solid student Chromebook, this is the device to go for and the fact that it is actually available for now means you should go for it right now if you have the means to do so.