The Lenovo Chromebook 500e is a great educational device. It's cheap and offers robust software experiences and access to school services. It's easy to manage and use, versatile and attractive and comes with a stylus for taking notes. It's the best of all worlds for a student.

Our pick

Lenovo Chromebook 500e

The Chromebook 500e is designed for educational use but still has the options we want to see in our best pick. It's exactly what a busy student needs.

Who should buy this Chromebook?

This Chromebook was built squarely with students in mind: it's rugged enough to stand up to crumbs and cluttered desks, the sturdy hinges are ready for a long day of switching between modes and packing up to move between class periods, and it has enough battery to last your child through the day and then some.

Lenovo also knows that for students who don't receive a Chromebook through their schools, pricing is important to parents, and for $320, the Lenovo Chromebook 500e offers great performance and great hardware at a reasonable price.

Is it a good time to buy this Chromebook?

The Lenovo Chromebook 550e has been out for nine months, and I don't see it being replaced in the immediate future. It's solid, sturdy, and it will see consistent system updates until Nov 2023, so the only thing waiting to buy does is give you less time with this Chromebook before it reaches end-of-life support.

Winter is the perfect time to buy a Chromebook, because the first half of the year is when we tend to see a large number of Chromebooks announced for summer releases — when many school districts will be looking to replace the Chromebooks a graduating class of seniors took with them or early-era Chromebooks that are beginning to near their support end-date — so current models will start seeing more sales as we sneak closer to the summer.

Reasons to buy

  • Fantastic build quality
  • 360-degree hinge
  • Included pen
  • Great battery life
  • Powerful processor
  • Lots of storage

Reasons not to buy

  • Trackpad isn't great
  • A bit heavy

Rugged, reliable, and ready to learn

The Chromebook 500e was built for students to carry back and forth to class without worry because of its rugged build. Features like a 360-degree hinge and excellent pen support make it the best Chromebook for any student. Lenovo's long history of making excellent laptops shines through with the keyboard and trackpad and the display is specially bonded to work excellent with the built-in Wacom EMR pen.

Inside, you have plenty of power to get things done with an Intel processor and ample 64GB or storage. And Android app support is an added bonus that means a student will be able to find the app they need to be productive in class.

There are plenty of great alternatives for students

The Lenovo Chromebook 500e is an amazing Chromebook, but there are plenty of other options, especially if you're looking for something a bit smaller or thinner.

For younger students

Acer Chromebook Tab

The Chromebook Tab is light and easy to hold, is great for more interaction with learning materials, and helps young students learn spelling and grammar by being more hands-on.

Not quite a Chromebook, not quite an Android tablet, the Chromebook Tab is great for youngsters who need to learn by touching and doing.

Ultra-portable

ASUS Chromebook Flip

The ASUS Chromebook Flip line has been the go-to when you need a Chromebook that's small, light, and capable.

The ASUS Flip C101 offers plenty of power and long battery life in a small and light 10-inch package. It's perfect for bustling between classes when you don't want anything heavy slowing you down.

Our budget pick

2018 Acer Chromebook 11

Acer's newest Chromebook 11 is an affordable and dependable Chromebook that has no aspirations to be anything else.

The Acer Chromebook 11 is a throwback to the days when a Chromebook was just a great, inexpensive laptop. The beautiful blue body doesn't flip over into a tablet, there is no touch display or pen input — it's a Chromebook. And we think it offers the best value of any you'll find.

Bottom line

Students have some incredible options these days when shopping for a Chromebook. They can go the traditional route by getting something like the Acer Chromebook 11, or go in the complete opposite direction and buy a Chrome tablet that is super portable.

But we think the Lenovo Chromebook 500e is a student's best bet right now.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation's Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently, he is using Google's Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You'll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.