This $99 Chromebook deal breaks all my Black Friday rules, but it's too good to miss

Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook on green background with screen open
(Image credit: Lenovo)

I've just found a Black Friday deal that goes against almost every laptop buying rule I have, with Best Buy selling the Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook for a ridiculous $99, a saving of $90 on the regular price of $189. (If you're not in the US, scroll down to see the best Chromebook deals where you are.)

What rules does it break? Well, usually I'd tell people to steer clear of a sub-$100 laptop, especially around Black Friday. You'll likely see lots of retailers selling super-cheap laptops in the next few days, but when it comes to laptops, there is such a thing as a price that's too low… usually.

A $99 (or cheaper) Windows laptop will likely be awful. To hit that low price, expect incredibly low or underpowered components, resulting in a horrible experience as the laptop struggles to run Windows 11 and the most basic apps.

However, this super-cheap Black Friday laptop deal is for a Chromebook. These run ChromeOS, an operating system that's a lot more lightweight than Windows, which means it can run on weaker (and cheaper) hardware with ease.

I shudder to think how Windows 11 would run on a laptop with an Intel Celeron CPU and just 4GB of RAM – but those specs are perfectly fine for ChromeOS, as long as you stick to relatively easy tasks such as browsing the internet and writing emails.

Another bonus is that their less-power-hungry components mean the battery lives of the best Chromebooks can easily outlast those of traditional laptops, and the Lenovo Flex 3 offers around 10 hours on a single charge.

The best cheap Black Friday laptop deal

Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook:$189$99 at Best Buy

Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook: $189 $99 at Best Buy
If you want a super-cheap 2-in-1 Chromebook this Black Friday, Best Buy has you covered. The Flex 3 won't be winning any beauty contests with its thick screen bezels, but it's an excellent choice of starter laptop for a younger child who needs a computer for homework and watching YouTube videos – and with this deal saving you $90 on the list price, it's an absolute steal.

ChromeOS is based on Google's Chrome web browser, and that means Chromebooks make use of a lot of cloud services such as Google Drive and Google Docs. This brings us to another of my rules that this device breaks. For Windows laptops, you should never get something with less than 256GB of storage; Windows itself takes up around 100GB, so you don't want to run out of space for installing apps or storing photos.

With Chromebooks, that's less of a concern. The Lenovo Flex 3 comes with just 64GB, but that's plenty for a Chromebook, especially if you use cloud storage.

Check out our round-up of the best Chromebook Black Friday deals for more great choices.

More US Black Friday deals

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.