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Schools are closed: These 6 Chromebook deals are perfect for distance learning

And they each cost less than $400.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Schools are closed around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic and moving to distance-learning models. For parents, this abrupt change means figuring out how to access a school's online resources so that their children can continue with their curriculum. The most affordable way to learn from home is with a Chromebook. Not only do they cost hundreds less than Windows laptops and MacBooks, but they're also much easier to use, thanks to the streamlined Chrome OS.

Read more: Online education classes for every age and grade

Chromebooks range in price, from less than $100 to more than $1,000. Our favorite Chromebooks fall mostly in the $400 to $600 range, but you don't need to spend that much to get up and running for distance learning. Here are six models that are currently priced under $400.

Asus

This basic Chromebook features an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of memory, 32GB of storage and an 11.6-inch screen. The screen is on the small size, but the 32GB of storage is double what other Chromebooks at this price provide. It also comes in red or gray.

This Acer Chromebook provides similar components to model above -- Intel Celeron CPU, 4GB of memory and 32GB of storage -- but adds a 15.6-inch display. If you are going to be stuck at home and not regularly lugging the Chromebook around, I recommend sizing up to a roomier screen.

Samsung

This small but mighty Samsung Chromebook features an 11.6-inch display powered by an Intel Celeron processor. This model comes equipped with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Amazon offers a handful of other configurations, too, including a model with a 15-inch display -- all of which are under $300. 

Acer

This Acer Chromebook is both a laptop and tablet. The 15.6-inch touchscreen boasts a full HD 1,920x1,080 resolution and can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode. Such versatility could be beneficial during a quarantine. Inside, it features an Intel Pentium CPU, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. 

Asus

This two-in-one convertible Chromebook features a 14-inch touch display powered by an Intel Core m3 CPU, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The Core m3 CPU is more advanced and efficient than the Celeron and Pentium chips in the cheaper models, and the 14-inch display sits in the sweet spot for a two-in-one convertible -- big enough to be productive in laptop mode but not so gigantic to make tablet mode feel awkward.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This two-in-one convertible Chromebook features an Intel Core i3, 8GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The Core i3 and 8GB of RAM combo powers many Windows-based laptops, so it's more than enough muscle to run the lightweight Chrome OS.