Looking for a low-cost Chrome OS laptop? You can find models with prices as low as $149. Want a model with an IPS display with wide viewing angles? You typically have to pay a lot more.

But CTL has just introduced the first Chromebook with an IPS display and a starting price of less than $200.

ctl j4 plus_01

The CTL J4+ Chromebook for Education is basically a variation of the J4 Chromebook that launched earlier this year. The main difference is that the new model has a higher-quality display.

Other features are largely unchanged — including the $199 price tag… Although the version without the IPS screen should be getting a $10 price cut soon.

The laptop features a Rockchip RK3288 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display. It has 16GB of eMMC storage, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, stereo 1.5 watt speakers, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader, a headset jack, and an HDMI port and CTL says you should be able to get 9 hours of battery life from the laptop’s 3,400 mAh battery.

The CTL J4+ Chromebook for Education measures about 11.4″ x 8″ x 0.8″ and weighs just under 2.5 pounds.

As the name suggests, the laptop is aimed at education customers, but it’ll be available for anyone to purchase from the CTL website. It’s already available for pre-order, but the J4+ Chromebook won’t ship until October.

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26 replies on “$199 CTL J4+ is the most affordable Chromebook with an IPS display”

  1. Dont buy any chromebooks not running intel chips. All benchmarks have consistently shown that ARM based SoCs are donkey slow on chromebooks

    1. I don’t think this is true. I have used my Samsung Chromebook (the firs ARM chromebook) with Ubuntu for a while and the speed was acceptable. It is a bit worse than with ChromeOS but not much.

      Now, these newer ARM machines are WAY stronger than my venerable Sammy. This model has twice the RAM and 2-2.5 times the computing power ([email protected] vs [email protected] and the A17 has higher IPC) than my Sammy.

      It should run ChromeOS or any desktop Linux with a browser just fine.

      1. Suffice to say that someone who uses “donkey slow” in their “critique” is likely not to be well informed.

    2. This used to be true, but has gotten muddy. The RK3288 devices are awful fast for ARM, while the Atom-based Bay Trail stuff has gotten weaker. It’s a pretty close matchup for speed now.

    3. Who cares? Both camps field chips that are fast enough for the sort of work a Chromebook is suited to, even repurposed to a full Linux distro.

      No, what matters is if it is open enough TO repurpose. Some Intel chips have good free driver support, some don’t. Some ARM based SoC vendors supply fair support, most don’t and none support the video; advantage Intel. Battery life is still generally better, other specs held equal, on ARM though so if you are keeping ChromeOS on it advantage ARM.

  2. Nice. I’m considering buying this to replace my venerable HP Mini 100 as a “beater” laptop to carry everywhere. I know it’s easy to install a native Linux OS on several Chromebooks; does anyone know if that’s the case for this one?

    1. As specs are really similar to Asus c201, where debian or archlinux arm already works, I suppose that shouldn’t very q big problem.

  3. Good to see IPS screens on low cost laptops. Given the $10 price difference, its makes you scratch your head on the $100 price difference on other devices.

  4. Nothing to write home about, you can get the Nextbook flexx 11 with windows for $227 at any Walmart it has an IPS display with a quad core Intel bay trail processor a much better deal imo…

    1. That tablet only has 2GB of ram which isn’t that good if you like to keep a lot of tabs open at the same time. And some people just prefer chrome OS over windows :/

      1. I prefer Chrome OS or any Linux distro over Windows. The only thing worse than Windows is Mac. That’s the absoulte pits.

        1. What’s the problem with OSX? All OSX is UNIX with a very good desktop enviroment. You can use a terminal emulator and package manager just like in Linux.

          1. Most linux application doesn’t work or with lot of problems on osx. That’s really not a good choice on that point at least. The other bad thing is the one mouse button only that really limit ergonomy.

          2. my 2-button scroll-wheel mouse works just fine with any OSX machine. This whole thread makes me think I’m reading Slashdot from 2004…

          3. For me I was able to find that the majority of linux programs I use on OSX or just as good alternatives.

          4. I find the OSX desktop environment very limited and inefficient. It may be good for not-too IT savvy people but a well-configured Linux desktop in the hands of an IT professional eats it for dinner in most workflows (obviously not meaning stuff like audio editing, Photoshop and alike, for which Mac OS X is purposefully honed).

          5. A well configured Linux desktop like what? I feel OSX is better to use than most Linux desktop enviroments because of it’s great trackpad support and scaling. Its faster to do things with a trackpad than a mouse.


          6. That really depends on what you use it for, scaling and trackpad doesn’t do anything for programmers or scientific tools.

          7. Wow a touchpad, welcome to the 1990s. (Don’t know about Linux as such, but PCs happily support multitouch gestures, for some reason Apple users are convinced only Apple does.)

          8. And trackpad is really more clumpsy and really slower than keyboard shortcuts. Too clumpsy for drawing, graphic tablet is a far better choice, and too slow and clumpsy to change window, keyboard shortcut do this faster in 90% cases.

          9. One button trackpad or external mouse that is not really convenient on laps (that’s a laptop ?). And pay five time the price to a fewer working time… The unconvenient menues always at top of the screen, as in first popular (for richest) desktop, 25 years ago… Instead of that you have lot of really fast keyboard shortcuts and lot of 100% customizable convenient tools on linux based desktops.

          10. In the end, its all about being creatures of habit. If youve usef one, you will unlikely move on to another. But when I used OSX, I did have some gripes, not sure if they’re still true for all. The way I see it, OSX is about making things look pretty… but its not configurable or customizable. With Linux, you can configure the environment to look pretty or perform for speed. Installing packages aren’t as easy as apt-get. When I resorted to homebrew for some of the packages, it wad problematic, things would not install properly. The home and end keys jumping to the end or the top of documents pisses me off when I’m coding. In what world would you need to be able to quickly jump to the front or end of the document quickly? Jumping to the end or beginning of the line is frequently used… Not the document. A lot of things don’t make sense in both OSX or Linux, but at least Linux can be customized.

            Sorry replied to wrong person

    2. If people are going to spend more money to buy a windows machine it better have more ram and speed to match the applications that it can run, not browsers.

    3. At that end of the market, an almost 15% difference in the price makes a big difference to a lot of people, especially when you add in the psychological effect of breaking under the $200 barrier.

    4. If ChroneOS is capable of what you intend to do then it is vastly superior to Windows as an OS.

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