A couple weeks ago, we talked about the surprising fact that Target has a whole collection of manufacturer refurbished Chromebooks on their website. How long this has been a thing and how many they actually sell through this channel is a bit of a mystery, but the deals that can be had are pretty great if you don’t mind going with a refurbished (likely just a returned, open box) device.
As I said in that original post, there are a few caveats when you consider a manufacturer refurbished Chromebook. The main thing to think about is the warranty. Where most Chromebooks come with at least a full year, these refurb units only get 90 days of coverage from the manufacturer. When you’re saving this kind of money, you have to decide if rolling those dice is worth it to you. For me personally, it is, but your experience may vary.
$299 for the Acer 516 GE is ridiculous
Now, if that’s not a stumbling block for you, you can start to consider getting one of the best overall Chromebooks for just $299 right now. And if you need a reminder of what makes this Chromebook so good, we simply need to bring up the 16-inch 350+ nit 120Hz 16:10 QHD screen. That factor alone changes the game with this device, but there’s so much more.
The entire chassis is firm and still wildly light for its size: just 3.75 pounds for a 16-inch Chromebook. The upward facing speakers are loud and full, the Ocean Glass trackpad is massive and ultra-smooth, the RGB backlit keyboard is a pleasure to type on and a treat for the eyes, and the internals are blazing fast with a 12th-gen Core i5-1240P, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of NVMe storage. And with all the I/O you could want, you won’t need a dongle, either.
Really, the only thing anyone can knock on this Chromebook is the lack of touch input, but I’d be lying if I said that has ever been a huge deal when using it. With a trackpad this good and a screen this gorgeous, I generally forget that I can’t reach up and tap on things.
And that’s why this Chromebook is special to me. I can take it on the road and have ample space to really stretch out without feeling the need of a second monitor, it doesn’t weigh me down, it feels well made, and it is crazy fast all the time. There’s so much to like, and if you can get that all for $299, there’s little reason not to do it.