When you think of a laptop, your mind probably turns to a shiny new MacBook Pro, or perhaps one of the nicer PC models that are growing in both power and size. These computers are doubtlessly awesome, and pack a serious punch that makes it easier than ever for creative professionals to craft everything from professional-level movies to chart-topping pop hits in the comfort of their own living room.
The reality, however, is that most of us simply don’t need that much processing power to get through the day, and we’re dishing out way more money than we should be on admittedly awesome-looking products that do far more than we need. For the average person who uses their laptop to surf the Web, send emails, and watch the occasional Netflix show, there are far more affordable laptop computers that can handle these tasks perfectly well. These machines are called Chromebooks, and they’re upending the personal computer market in new and exciting ways. You can think of these tiny-yet-mighty laptops as being little more than a powerful web browser with a trackpad and a keyboard—or perhaps a large-screen extension of your smartphone.
Perfectly suitable for almost all of the day-to-day tasks that we demand from the Internet, these laptops are an ideal choice when it comes to getting work done on a commute, on vacation, or even in the office whenever you require a little less firepower to get the job done. Of course not all Chromebooks are created equal, and several prominent companies have scrambled to create their own version of Google Chrome’s famed infrastructure. So before you go and select that good-looking Chromebook you’ve been eyeing online, check out our list of the best Chromebooks that you can buy for less than $400.