The 8 Best Gifts to Buy for Chromebook Users in 2017

Take the Chromebook experience to the next level

Logitech - M325c Wireless Optical Mouse - Teal Zigzag
Courtesy of Amazon.com

As Chromebooks continue to grow in popularity inside and outside the classroom, home and office, there’s an open market for adding functionality to these low-cost machines. Peripherals like an external mouse for better navigation or a memory card for increased storage all help give the Chromebook increased life and purpose. Help your friend or family member get the most out of their Chromebook with our list of the best gifts.

Available in a slew of color options, the Logitech M325c is a great choice for Chromebook fans looking for a wireless mouse for the desk or on the go. Weighing only 3.28 ounces, the M325c is easily placed into a backpack or laptop case and offers around 12 solid months of battery life (when used a few hours each day). The mouse is ambidextrous for both right and left-handed individuals and the right and left-click buttons are contoured to closely fit the shape of your fingertips. The scroll wheel adds the ability to tilt left or right to impersonate the navigation arrows in the browser as back and forward, respectively.

Even if Chromebooks are less expensive than most Windows and Mac computers, it's important to keep it protected. The Evecase laptop bag adds plenty of protection without feeling oversized or bulky. Made from a synthetic nylon material, the Evecase is more than ready to handle some light bumps, bruises and light rain, thanks to the water-resistant fabric. While the design might be protective, it’s also ideally suited for all sorts of use cases such as work, school, travel or a quick trip to the coffee shop. A foam bubble padded laptop compartment lined with water-resistant neoprene is built for 11.6 – 12.9-inch Chromebook machines, which encompass the bulk of the Chromebook’s lineup. Additionally, a front and back pocket allows you to store other accessories such as a mouse, charging cable or other small knick-knacks.

Generally speaking, the smaller the computer, the smaller the number of ports. And recent Chromebooks have been no exception. While computer manufacturers continue to move to a USB-C world, USB 3.0 is still the dominant port, so a handy USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter will help you utilize your external Chromebook peripherals like a mouse or other third-party accessories. Anker’s 3-port USB-C to USB 3.0 offers three compatible ports for accessing data transfer speeds up to 5Gbps. The Anker also adds a wired access point with an Ethernet port that can handle data transfer speeds up to 1 Gbps. At two ounces and .8 inches thin, the Anker Hub is easily stuffed into a pocket, carrying case or backpack where it’s ready for use on a moment’s notice.

One of the easiest ways to maintain Chromebook’s level of affordability is to keep the memory down. While memory cards provide a quick and easy way to double or triple the memory, an external hard drive can often provide ten times the level of storage space. Toshiba’s Canvio Basics 2TB portable hard drive is a standout USB 3.0-enabled add-on that provides a significant amount of extra storage at a minimal expense. With no software to install and plug-and-play operation, the Canvio allows Chromebook users to quickly and easily save files, video, music and more directly to the drive. Weighing 8.2 ounces and measuring only 4.7 x 3.1 x .08 inches, the Canvio is easy enough to stick in a carrying case and take with you on the go. With data transfer speeds up to 5Gbs, moving large files is a snap making any concerns over limited storage on a Chromebook a thing of the past.

While Chromebooks often come with the promise of extra Google Drive storage, sometimes you want something that lives right there on your computer. Enter the SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC memory card that will often double or triple the amount of internal memory that comes with a Chromebook. With transfer speeds of up to 100Mbps, it’s easy to move files and documents around, including 24 hours of 4K UHD or Full HD (that’s 1,280 minutes) of video or nearly 4,800 photos before running out of room. The card is highly portable and fits into the microSD slot. It is also shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof and x-ray-proof. The SanDisk Extreme also comes with a full-size SD card for use in older Chromebooks that still require the full-size memory card option.

Beautifully designed with a slim metallic frame, the Sceptre E E248W is ready to connect to any compatible Chromebook via HDMI for a complete mirror of your Chromebook experience. The Sceptre is wall-mount ready right out of the box if you’d prefer to skip the desktop option and go right to hanging it above your desk for easier viewing. Beyond mounting the Sceptre is designed to prevent eye fatigue, thanks to Sceptre’s proprietary blue light shift that reduces strain and irritation so you can surf, play and work longer each day. Available as a 24-inch monitor, the 1920 x 1080-pixel display offers a 16:9 ratio and weighs just five pounds. A five-millisecond response time makes watching YouTube clips or action movies even more enjoyable.

Once upon a time newer Chromebooks came with only 2GB of RAM to help keep overall costs down. While those days are mostly behind us, there are still plenty of Chromebook models that allow user-based upgrades, including adding more RAM for extra performance. If you’ve chosen a model that has a user-accessible memory module, be warned that there’s a risk you could void your warranty, however, the Patriot Signature 4GB DDR3 memory module is designed to maximize Chromebook performance. Designed for quick and easy installation, it’s usually as simple as popping out the existing RAM and adding the new module or adding the module to an empty RAM slot. Regardless of which path you take, the Patriot will help find better performance overall, specifically when it comes to the amount of Chrome browser tabs you can have open at a single time without impacting total Chromebook performance.

There’s no question that Chromebooks are well-regarded for their long battery life, but sometimes you need a little extra juice. Enter the Ravpower USB-C power bank with 26,800mAh of capacity capable of breathing new life into your Chromebook while you’re on the go. Rated for over 500 full charges over the course of its life, the battery is also capable of charging an iPhone 6s over 10 times before requiring a recharge, and it does so via iSmart 2.0 technology that detects the best charging current to maximize charging speed. The Ravpower can be charged from empty to full in just under five hours and has both 2A and 1A charging ports. The USB-C port is where Chromebook users will find real joy with 30 watts of output. That’s more than capable of handling a Chromebook’s empty battery without skipping a beat.

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