Cyber Monday's best kept secret is this Chromebook deal that exceeds expectations against all Windows laptops under $500

Why am I, an editor on a website focused on Microsoft and Windows, endorsing a Chromebook deal for Cyber Monday? It's simple. For the majority of laptop buyers, I think the discounted Acer Chromebook 516 GE is the top choice for a laptop priced under $500 at the moment. Sure, it runs on Chrome OS instead of Windows 11, but honestly, I have a strong feeling you're going to love it.

Acer Chromebook 516 GE | $649.99 now $449 at Best Buy

Acer Chromebook 516 GE | was $649.99 now $449 at Best Buy

While it doesn't run Windows 11, and it doesn't have dedicated graphics, this is one of the best truly budget laptops for gamers you can get right now with this discount. It packs a 12th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, but the real beauty is the 2560 x 1600 resolution, 120 Hz display. While Steam gaming is unlikely to push 120 FPS, you can do so with GeForce Now cloud gaming, and you'll get a three-month trial of that included to put it through its paces. 

Perfect for: Those who want a high-quality, high-refresh rate display on a budget, gamers who are keen on the cloud, and those who want to do lighter computing that can be done with web apps, Android and Linux.

❌Avoid if: You want dedicated graphics or would prefer to play local games over those streamed from the cloud.

💰Price check: $623.99 at Newegg

🔍Review: Acer Chromebook 516 GE (Android Central)

As this is a Best Buy deal as well, you may also be interested in the My Best Buy membership. Depending on the tier, you can enjoy additional perks which include VIP support, an extended 60-day return window and free 2-day shipping. Read our full explainer on My Best Buy memberships for all the details. 

More great Cyber Monday deals

A classy looking laptop with a 120Hz display

One of the best looking laptops you'll get at this price. (Image credit: Android Central)

I recently spent some time with looking at whether a gaming Chromebook is a viable alternative to a Windows laptop and came away pleased and a little surprised. The one I have isn't the Acer deal featured here, it's actually a less-powerful laptop that currently costs more. This one has a 12-core, 16 thread Intel Core i5 at its heart with Intel Xe graphics. Our pals over at Android Central have reviewed the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, though, and gave it a healthy 4.5/5. 

If you’re looking solely for a gaming Chromebook, it’s tough to argue with what Acer has brought to the market with this one. The Chromebook 516 GE packs a powerful punch and has all of the ports that you could want (save for Thunderbolt), and you’ll probably have a tough time going back to a 60Hz refresh rate after spending any time with the 120Hz panel here.

Andrew Myrick - Android Central

For under $450, the fact you're getting a 120Hz 2560 x 1600 resolution display alone is reason to run to your nearest Best Buy and get one. Whatever device you're using, once you make that jump from 60Hz, there really is no going back. 

While this is technically a Chromebook aimed at gamers, aside from an RGB keyboard, there's nothing else that screams the fact. It's a subtle, classy design, and haters of number pads will love the fact that the keyboard doesn't have one. It's centered, like it should be!

For gaming, the key play is the cloud, and one of the perks currently available is a three-month free trial to NVIDIA GeForce Now Ultimate and its gaming at up to 120 FPS. So you can put that display to work. You can install Steam, too, but with Intel Xe graphics you will be limited. But hey, it's $450!

An easy transition from Windows for Microsoft users

Even heavy Microsoft users will feel at home.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

Alongside Windows 11 (of course) I currently use a Chromebook most days. It's a very fast, aesthetically pleasing OS, and like Windows is able to use both Linux and Android apps. You can't use Windows applications, of course, but for those embedded into Microsoft's ecosystem you're still well taken care of. 

Microsoft is actually working with Google to make the seamless setup of Microsoft 365 on Chromebooks better, and you can already integrate OneDrive with the Chrome OS Files app with relative ease. Microsoft 365 on Chromebooks relies on web apps, but they're really good, and most people would be hard pushed to tell the difference. 

Xbox Cloud Gaming is a joy using the browser, too, you can hook up your wireless Xbox controller, hell, if you'd rather not use Google Chrome, you can even install Microsoft Edge on a Chromebook, too! 

There are plenty of Chromebook deals on Cyber Monday, but the combination of the price, design, and the hardware you're getting make this is the absolute best one. And even if you're more used to Windows, or you want to do a little gaming, for under $500 you can't beat this. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at