Despite the unfortunate demise of the cloud-gaming platform Stadia, Google is doubling down on its bet that Chromebooks can be a formidable competitor in the gaming space. With the recent debut of game-centric ChromeOS laptops and the news that Steam on ChromeOS has moved into beta testing, game-focused devices are now more mission-critical than ever before.
Last month, three new ChromeOS devices emerged that are designed specifically with the cloud gamer in mind. Offerings from ASUS, Acer, and Lenovo feature 11th and 12th Gen Intel internals, plenty of RAM and storage, and game-centric features such as anti-ghosting RGB keyboards and high refresh rate displays. While not wildly different from most flagship devices on the market, the new gaming Chromebooks offer up the features that gamers look for when they’re shopping for a new gaming laptop.
In our limited time with two of the aforementioned devices, it appears that the Acer Chromebook 516 GE stands head and shoulders above the crowd with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 256GB SSD, and a $649 price tag that’s notably less than most non-gaming flagships on the market. Lenovo’s rendition features the lesser 12th Gen Core i3 CPU from Intel which doesn’t have Iris Xe graphics and the storage is only 128GB of eMMC. Still, we know that this processor has more than enough power to handle a wide variety of game titles offered by the Steam library.
Originally announced at the retail price of $599, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is available exclusively at Walmart for the time being and was initially listed at the insanely low sale price of only $399. To know one’s surprise, it didn’t take long for the game-minded Chromebook to sell out. Even if you aren’t into gaming, the Lenovo is a formidable laptop with a ton of features that you won’t find on many devices at that low price. It didn’t take long for third-party resellers to list the Lenovo for $550 and honestly, that’s still a good price for what you get. However, Walmart appears to have replenished its inventory and you can once again pick it up for only $399. At that price, it is hands-down one of the best ChromeOS values around regardless of your use case.