8 Affordable Gifts For the Chromebook Lover In Your Life
Chromebook lovers are a different breed from your normal laptop lover. We don't need super high-powered battery packs like power-hungry Macs and gaming laptops, and since many Chromebooks are fanless, they don't need risers and cooling pads, either. So if that special someone on your list already has all the essential Chromebook accessories, here are a few outside-the-box gift suggestions for elevating their Chromebook experience.
Stylish and super-useful
Keep your screen clean and your mouse effective with this multi-function microfiber cloth. The bottom is anti-slip so the mat won't slide around as you use it as a mousepad or when covering your keyboard.
Show your colors!
Chromebook lids may be shiny and sleek, but they're kind of lacking in style. That's where stickers come in handy: make the Chromebook your own with some fitting quotes or colorful designs.
Charge it up
This duo charger is smaller than the in-box charger for just about every Chromebook, yet it can fast-charge both a Chromebook and a phone at top speed at the same time.
Look up, not down
If you spend hours and hours every day on a Chromebook, you're probably developing a crick in your neck (like me). Avoid that by elevating your Chromebook with this uniquely-shaped stand.
Skip lap desks with a phone slot and get one with a cupholder instead. Here's why: phone slots cover the bottom of the screen and limit navigation, cup holders let you reach the whole screen while still holding it stable.
Easy access sleeve
This is the backpack I carry my Chromebook because it's easy to slip it in and out of the padded laptop compartment. The big, four-zipper main compartment is also quite adaptable, and the colors are diverse.
Model-specific suggestions: keyboard covers and screen protectors
If you know what model Chromebook your Chromebook-lover has, there are two more items you might want to consider getting for them: a screen protector and/or a keyboard cover. Keyboard covers are more useful for younger users and those who are clumsy, as they can help prevent splashes or crumbs from penetrating the keyboard for those of us who do a lot of snacking while we write — hey, I gotta keep my blood sugar up or my writing suffers!
No matter the recipient's age, though, a screen protector is useful for every touchscreen Chromebook the same way a screen protector is useful for a phone: it helps guard against scratches, it preserves the oleophobic coating on the original screen, and they can make the screen easier to read in some conditions. If it's available for your Chromebook, a matte screen protector can cut down on glare and reflections when you're using your Chromebook outside or in brighter rooms, an especially handy feature for Chromebooks with dimmer screens to begin with.
Tempered glass screen protectors for Chromebooks are starting to become more widely available from trusted brands like Spigen (opens in new tab) and Supersheildz (opens in new tab). While I don't know if tempered glass is as necessary a precaution for Chromebooks as it is for phones, but the feel of glass beats the feel of plastic any day of the week.
Don't be afraid to have some fun with it!
The Chromebook-lover on your Christmas list likely already has a good Chromebook sleeve and a trusty USB-C hub for plugging in their peripherals, which is why I've shied away from more conventional accessories here. Christmas gifts don't always have to be function over fun, in fact, Christmas is a time when you can get a little more unorthodox in your quest to find something that actually speaks to your friend or family member.
That's why I kicked off this list with two items that are small but can show off some style. The Sense AGE Microfiber Mouse Pad (opens in new tab) comes in two dozen styles and serves three distinct purposes for the Chromebook lover in your life:
- The microfiber cloth acts as a buffer between the oily keyboard and the touchscreen. This can help the oleophobic coating on the screen last longer.
- You can use the microfiber cloth to clean the screen when it gets smudged or smeared.
- The non-slip texturing on the bottom helps the cloth lay flat and smooth as you use it with a mouse.
This cloth is 11.2 inches by 5.9 inches, meaning it fits from edge-to-edge on 11.6-inch Chromebooks and neatly covers the keyboard on 12-14-inch Chromebooks. The bottom is covered by a bumpy silicone texture like the shelf-liner you use in your kitchen cabinets and drawers, which helps the cloth from sliding around between your screen and keyboard like a normal microfiber cloth would.
If you want to help a friend really express their Chromebook love, consider grabbing them a sticker pack (opens in new tab). Yes, I'm serious! We plaster them all over our water bottles and coffee tumblers and it's common to see them all over MacBooks, so why not your lovely Chromebook. There are a variety of sticker styles to choose from, but the neon (opens in new tab) and the galaxy (opens in new tab) styles speak to me on a personal level. And of course, for the possessive Chromebook lover, there's always "DON'T TOUCH MY LAPTOP" (opens in new tab).
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.