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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook Review: Affordable 2-in-1

Lenovo’s 2-in-1 Chromebook may have a retro vibe, yet it promises durability, lasting power, and good value.

ProsCons
Excellent valueLooks ancient
Solid build qualityNot compact
Not compactWeak performance
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook Review: Affordable 2-in-1

Reviewing

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook reveals its affordability as a major selling point. Despite its low price, certain drawbacks are hard to overlook. The most glaring is its small 11-inch screen, encased in chunky bezels that give it an outdated appearance. Additionally, its overall design feels reminiscent of older laptops, though the 360-degree hinge stands out as a well-executed feature. The device boasts solid build quality and generous connectivity options, with USB-C and USB-A ports on both sides, alongside a microSD card reader and headphone jack. However, the location of the power button could be more convenient, as it’s prone to accidental presses. In terms of performance, the Intel Celeron N4020 processor and limited storage may raise concerns, but within the Chrome OS environment, these limitations are less critical. The device feels responsive for everyday tasks like web browsing and document editing, with smooth touchscreen functionality in tablet mode. Notably, its battery life exceeds 16 hours of video playback. While the Flex 3 may not offer high-end performance, its combination of affordability and functionality makes it a compelling choice among Chromebooks.

Specifications
CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4020 (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 2.8GHz Burst)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Screen: 11-inch IPS touchscreen, 1,366 x 768 pixels
Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD
Ports: 2x USB-C with charging, 2x USB-A 3.1 Gen1, microSD
Connectivity: 802.11AC (2 x 2) WiFi, Bluetooth® 4.2
Camera: 720p webcam
Weight: 2.64 pounds (1.2kg)
Size: 0.7 x 11.41 x 8.18 inches (17.8 x 290 x 207.8mm; H x W x D)

Price-wise

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook, at $339 (£299, AU$499), offers great value. It competes well against pricier options like Google’s Pixelbook, showcasing a full-function 2-in-1 design with an 11-inch IPS display. However, it falls in line with other budget-friendly 2-in-1 Chromebooks, featuring low-power processing and limited storage. Nevertheless, its solid build quality and features like dual USB-C ports distinguish it, setting it apart in its niche.

Specifications
Price: $339 (£299, AU$499)
Display: 11-inch IPS
Build Quality: Excellent
Features: Dual USB-C ports
Design and features Of Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook

Design and features Of Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook

It offers standard wireless connectivity with WiFi 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 4.2. While it may not boast cutting-edge technology, it covers all the essential functions.

Out of the box, the first thing you notice is the substantial bezels surrounding the 11-inch touchscreen display. Particularly, the lower bezel is noticeably large. This results in a device that feels larger than it should, almost akin to a 13-inch laptop, which might not be ideal for a tablet.

Visually, the Flex 3 appears somewhat dated, accentuated by its modest 1,366 by 768 screen resolution and overall design aesthetic. However, it doesn’t feel cheap. The chassis is sturdy, and the 360-degree hinge facilitates seamless transformation into a tablet. The keyboard also impresses with its solid build and comfortable keystrokes, a feature often lacking in more expensive laptops.

Surprisingly, the Flex 3 includes dual USB-C ports for charging and peripheral connectivity, a feature uncommon in budget devices. Having ports on both sides of the chassis offers convenient flexibility. However, the placement of the power button on the side can be a nuisance during transitions between laptop and tablet modes.

Considering its price point, it’s essential to manage expectations regarding specifications. The device runs on a Celeron chip with Intel’s Atom-derived cores, along with 4GB of RAM and a modest 64GB of storage. But for a budget 2-in-1, it delivers functionality that aligns with its price.

Performance

BenchmarkScore
Mozilla Kraken2,109ms
Octane17,669pts
JetStream59.311pts
Battery Life16 hours, 20 mins

In the realm of Windows machines, the Intel Celeron chip and 4GB RAM might cause concern. But in a Chromebook, they perform surprisingly well. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook handles Chrome OS and G Suite apps effectively. Its Intel chip excels in video decoding, ensuring smooth playback. However, scrolling through apps and web pages may experience occasional stuttering, but it’s manageable. More demanding tasks, like Google Drive, might encounter slight lag, but it’s not debilitating.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook Review

Battery Life:

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook surprises with over 16 hours of video playback, thanks to its Intel Celeron N4020 CPU. This exceptional battery life is unmatched in budget systems with more powerful processors. Sometimes, less truly is more.

Consider buying if you seek exceptional value and all-day battery life. The Flex 3’s versatility, with its touchscreen and tablet capability, makes it suitable for various tasks. However, if sleek design, strong CPU performance, and a vibrant display are priorities, look elsewhere.

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