The selling point of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex is its 10th-generation...

The selling point of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex is its 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor. Credit: CBS Interactive

Chromebooks have become standard equipment in most schools, with many districts now providing them to students. But the district-provided Chromebooks are usually smaller, underpowered models with limited utility. There's only so much you can do on an 11.6-inch display powered by an outdated CPU.

As the start of the 2022-23 school year approaches, here is a list of the best deals on Chromebooks, with prices starting right around $300. Many factors were considered in the compilation of this list, such as cloud storage, battery life, display size, keyboard quality, ease of web browsing, and whether it includes a headphone jack for music or lecture listening and classroom participation.

WHAT Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

THE COST $349.99

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: CNET contributor Matt Elliott, senior editor Josh Goldman and copy editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit cnet.com.

AVAILABLE FROM amazon.com

The highlight of this Lenovo two-in-one Chromebook is its 10th-generation Intel Core i3 CPU, which is common to many budget Windows laptops and has more than enough oomph to power the lightweight Chrome OS.

The Flex 5 also features a 14-inch touchscreen with a 1,920- x 1,080-pixel resolution. It offers pen support but you need to buy a stylus separately.

WHAT Samsung Chromebook Plus V2

THE COST $549.99

AVAILABLE FROM samsung.com

This Samsung Chromebook has a smaller display at 12.2 inches than the other models here, but the touchscreen can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode so you can play Android games — once homework is done, of course.

The display boasts a sharp 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution and pen support for the included stylus. Inside, the system features an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of storage.

WHAT Acer Chromebook Spin 514

THE COST $799.99

AVAILABLE FROM store.acer.com

Acer's midrange convertible Chromebook, the 14-inch Spin 514, boasts a slim and durable all-metal body and features an AMD Ryzen 3 processor. It's a good middle ground between smaller, 11.6-inch models that might cramp your computing style and larger, 15.6-inch models that you might not want to lug across campus each day.

This AMD-based model is on sale right now, but you should know that an Intel model is expected soon that will feature the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, better videoconferencing capabilities and a more compact enclosure.

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