Goodness, aren’t phones expensive? Yes they are. And progressively more so. Not all of them—there’s a constant bleed of fresh brands from China that seem to be pushing the boundaries without pushing their luck on your wallet—but, in general, phones are far more expensive than they should be because they’re status objects first and functional second. We’re almost not angry about it, either; that cash fuels a drive for innovation that is pushing technology forward.
The real contenders here are the other pair, and we need to make a judgment call. Tablets can be had very, very cheap, but Chromebooks come in at astonishing prices, given that they’re essentially proper computers, at least if you ignore the hamstrung OS. Those devices that do hit that bottom line aren’t always the best, but as we’d be far more likely to recommend an 11-inch Chromebook over a rickety 8-inch Android tablet, there’s only one sensible choice. Do note, though, that shopping around at the right time can bag you full-bore Windows laptops for the same price as a low-end Chromebook—and that’s a license to do more.