The holiday shopping spree is creeping up once again, and it all starts with Amazon Prime Big Deal Days, AKA the deal event formerly known as Prime Early Access Sale. This official-unofficial kickoff to the early Black Friday season — yes, Black Friday is no longer a day; it's an entire godforsaken season — will bring deals on anything and everything under the sun, including some of our favorite Chromebooks. Most deals are still a ways off, but there are a few early sales we've spotted, and our eyes are peeled for plenty more with price histories perfectly memorized.
Before we get started, though, always remember the golden rule of Chromebook hunting: check the AUE! You can look up the Auto Update Expiration date for any Chromebook on Google's support site, using the name and model number in order to gauge how much longer a Chromebook will get system and security updates (and how much use you will be able to get out of it).
Best early Chromebook deals
HP Chromebook x360 14C
This is the 2021 model of the X360 14c — there are two of them that Best Buy still stocks and frequently discounts — but it's still got all the get-up-and-go you'll need for your work or play. We've seen it drop to $400 before, so seeing it all the way down to $300 is quite a sight indeed.
ASUS Chromebook CM3401
Powered by Ryzen, this Chromebook is more affordable than its Intel brethren at regular price, and it's a downright steal when on sale like this. 8GB of RAM gives you plenty of RAM for multitasking during video meetings and 128GB ample for any Linux apps or downloaded movies.
HP Chromebook x360 14c
The 2022 version of the x360 14c is upgraded with a 12th gen Intel Core i3 and a 16:10 aspect ratio to give you a bit more vertical space — and make split-screening apps a bit easier. $250 off is a great discount for a Chromebook that can last you through to 2032, but next to the $299 2021 model, the choice can be a bit more tricky.
Acer Chromebooks are among the most popular and reliable on the market, with many different configurations and designs at competitive prices. Now, October tends to be when many year-or-two-old Chromebooks start going into clearance and then eventually out of stock altogether, and this is especially true for Acer laptops, but here are the models we're watching heading into Prime Big Deal Days.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 314 is a relatively new device with an Auto Update Expiration date of June 2030. Its Intel Pentium Silver won't match the Acer Spin 714's 13th Gen Intel Core hardware, but it's still a standout convertible Chromebook with a 14-inch touchscreen and 128GB of storage space for those who don't need as much power. Some Spin 514 and 513 models can also be compelling if the deal is right, but try to aim for 8GB RAM models.
Moving from the Spin to the clamshell line, the Acer Chromebook 317 is a big-screen Chromebook on a budget that can be competitive at times, and the Acer Chromebook 514 and certain Acer Chromebook 314 models will get Chrome OS updates a full 10 years out to 2033, if you want a Chromebook that will last quite a long time.
The best Lenovo Chromebooks represent some of the best hardware on the market today, with the Lenovo Flex 5i 13" (2022) and the new Flex 3i (Gen 8) sitting near the top of the pile. The 12.2-inch Flex 3i isn't that powerful, but as a backup Chromebook or a casual "I just want to check emails on trips without worrying about it breaking" travel laptop, it can be a price performer, especially if we see it at $250 or below during Prime Big Deal Days or upcoming Black Friday sales.
The 2022 model of the Flex 5i, on the other hand, is now a year old but still one of the best overall Chromebooks you can buy and positively primed for a killer price cut come October 10-11. There's also the Lenovo Duet series, with both the Duet 3 and Duet 5 now seeing regular sales as they are now one and two years old, respectively. I almost cried when I had to send my Duet 5 off after reviewing it; it was so perfect for casual Android games on the weekend and bingeing YouTube in bed (while paired to my Bluetooth speakers for proper stereo sound).
The IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook is also seeing frequent deals already at Best Buy while carrying a June 2033 AUE date if you want a Chromebook that will give you the longest support life for the least money. It should be a great choice for light productivity use and streaming, thanks to its 14-inch FHD display.
HP doesn't do itself any favors when it comes to Chromebook sales because you can't just rely on model names like you would with Lenovo (and, to a degree, Acer) because HP has largely used the same model names for half a decade. There are over half a dozen generations of most HP models, from the HP Chromebook 11, 14, 15, x360 11, and x360 14. Among this alphabet soup, a few to watch are the x360 14c, which has frequently been $200-$300 off, the HP Chromebook 11a-ne0, which is two years old but still a solid compact Chromebook, and the HP Chromebook 14a-nd0, which will see updates through June 2031 and routinely under $400.
If you want to see out premium Chromebooks, however, HP's Dragonfly series is worth a watch, though you'll only see them truly discounted on HP's website, not on Amazon. The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is my daily driver Chromebook, but it's nearly impossible to recommend unless it drops to $1,000 or below. The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, on the other hand, is normally $1,000 but hardly ever sees deals, so it needs watching like a hawk.
Many great cheap Chromebooks will provide you with a smooth ChromeOS experience and the means to handle productivity work and homework. However, you'll often have to compromise on the display resolution and overall features.
It can be particularly tough to weed out the good deals on Chromebooks that are already affordable, as there's much less pricing space to play around with. So, we're keeping a close eye on all Chromebooks, budget or not, to let you know about deals worth your time. Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung all have some fantastic and affordable laptops — and each manufacturer is promoting some sales to make them even cheaper.
Will there be a second Prime Day in 2023?
Amazon Prime Big Deal Days is the second Prime-branded sales event of the year. It's a much longer name than the July event, but both bring tens of thousands of deals to users, among which will be thousands of smart home deals in all of our favorite categories.
This is the third year that Amazon has done a secondary Prime event in October, after having the main Prime Day event delayed to October in 2020 during the pandemic. In previous years, it was called Amazon Prime Early Access Sale. PEAS was a better acronym, but the name sparked some confusion that the event might not really be a deals event but rather a preview sale where you could buy new products early. Thus, this year, Amazon has changed it to unequivocally show that this is a deal event.
Prime Big Deal Days vs. Prime Day: What’s the difference?
Basically, nothing. Okay, there's no free concert, but both are two-day deal events with tens of thousands of deals in over two dozen countries. The time of year is the only real difference, but October 10-11 is a unique time of the year due to where it falls in the yearly release cycle. See, the fourth quarter of the year — October to December — is the busiest of the year because not only does it have the holiday shopping season, but it's when many industries release new products that they hope to sell in large quantities while everyone's buying their Christmas and eight nights of Hanukkah presents.
This is especially true of the technology sector. October is the busiest month of the year for game releases; it's the end of the yearly Android phone release window, and for Chromebooks, it's the period where older models are starting to sell out after being replaced this summer by new versions. This is a bit of a double-edged sword for Chromebooks, as popular models can sell out entirely ahead of Black Friday, but Prime Big Deal Days should still see many of them in-stock and heavily discounted.
Do you need to be a Prime member to save on Prime Big Deals Day?
Yes, you need to be an Amazon Prime member to enjoy an Amazon Prime event; Prime is right there in the name for a reason, after all. Whether you're new to Amazon or have been shopping there for years, our guide with 10 Amazon shopping tips can help you get the most for your money. And if you're on the fence about buying a new laptop on sale, check out our guide on whether or not you should buy a Chromebook on Prime Big Deal Days.
Amazon Prime Big Deal Days may be a unique event for Chromebook lovers, but if it saves you hundreds on your next laptop with a free 30-day trial, what's not to like about an Amazon Prime membership?