Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i: Affordable and convertible Chromebook is now purchasable for US$329.99
Lenovo has announced a new convertible Chromebook. Confusingly marketed as the IdeaPad Flex 3i and Chromebook Flex 3i by Lenovo, the device costs US$329.99 for the 32 GB model and an additional US$10 for the 64 GB version. Both versions should eventually be available in grey and what Lenovo calls Almond, although only the latter colour can currently be ordered. Both models are shipping now, though. The Flex 3i includes the following hardware:
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i|
|Display||11.6-inch IPS1,366 x 768 pixels250 nits|
|Processor||Intel Celeron N4020 (Gemini Lake Refresh)|
|RAM||4 GB LPDDR4-2400 (soldered)|
|Storage||32 GB or 64 GB (eMMC)|
|Connectivity||WiFi 5Bluetooth 4.2720p webcam|
|Ports||2x USB Type-C ports2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A portsmicroSD card reader3.5 mm headphone jackKensington lock slot|
|Misc||2x 2W speakers3-cell 42 Wh battery|
|Dimensions||0.7 x 11.41 x 8.18-inches / 17.8 x 290 x 207.8 mm|
The Flex 3i also has a 360-degree hinge, allowing it to be used as a tablet, a conventional laptop or in tent mode. The power and volume buttons should remain accessible regardless of the way in which you are using the device, too. The 768p display is a bit of a letdown though, especially as Lenovo has brought a higher resolution to other recent ChromeOS devices like the IdeaPad Duet. The latter is cheaper than the Flex 3i and includes a keyboard case in the box, for reference.
Nonetheless, a dual-core Gemini Lake Refresh processor and 4 GB of RAM should be powerful enough to run ChromeOS. There should be no problems with installing Android apps either. The Flex 3i will support Linux apps too, but your mileage with these may vary considering that the Flex 3i is not that powerful.