Notebookcheck

Lenovo N20 Chromebook Review Update

Sascha Mölck, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 01/28/2015

Chromebook with Intel Inside. Boot up, log in and start working - the Chromebook makes life easy. Lenovo offers an Intel-based 11.6-inch Chromebook. This small, mobile device has a matte panel and long battery life.

For the original German review, see here.

The Lenovo N20 Chromebook is already familiar to us. We tested the "Dual Mode" version, the Lenovo N20p, which allows the display to be opened wider and allows the touchscreen to be used in various ways. The Lenovo N20 is the "normal" version of the Chromebook without a touchscreen. Find out in our review the qualities of our test model. 

The competition of the Lenovo Chromebook includes the Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-111 and the Asus C200MA-KX003.

The Lenovo N20 and the N20p are identical in build, and as such, we will not discuss the case, the connectivity, the input devices and the speakers. For more information about these, please take a look at the review of the Lenovo N20p.

Case & Connectivity

The N20 Chromebook and the N20p Chromebook are almost identical. The only differences are: the display cover of the N20p is thicker due to its touchscreen and it can be opened to a much wider angle than our test model.

The Lenovo N20 Chromebook. (Image: Lenovo)
The Lenovo N20 Chromebook. (Image: Lenovo)
The display cover is silver-gray. (Image: Lenovo)
The display cover is silver-gray. (Image: Lenovo)
Input devices of the N20 (Image: Lenovo)
Input devices of the N20 (Image: Lenovo)
Left side: power outlet, USB 3.0, Mini HDMI, audio-combo jack (Image: Lenovo)
Left side: power outlet, USB 3.0, Mini HDMI, audio-combo jack (Image: Lenovo)
Right side: card reader, power button, USB 2.0 (Image: Lenovo)
Right side: card reader, power button, USB 2.0 (Image: Lenovo)

Display

The Chromebook is equipped with a matte 11.6-inch panel, which has a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. It offers a brightness of 269.2 cd/m² - an average value. The display of a small device should offer high brightness as the user should be able to use it in various scenarios. The contrast (565:1) and black value (0.48 cd/m²) of the screen are decent.

267
cd/m²
266
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 281 cd/m² Average: 269.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 271 cd/m²
Contrast: 565:1 (Black: 0.48 cd/m²)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo N20p-59426642 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HP Chromebook 11
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB SSD
Acer C720-2800 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB SSD
Screen
-15%
-7%
12%
36%
-10%
-26%
2%
-18%
Brightness middle
271
227.5
-16%
208
-23%
250
-8%
289.8
7%
252
-7%
214.9
-21%
321.1
18%
233.8
-14%
Brightness
269
218
-19%
198
-26%
243
-10%
278
3%
242
-10%
213
-21%
300
12%
228
-15%
Brightness Distribution
92
90
-2%
87
-5%
90
-2%
88
-4%
91
-1%
87
-5%
86
-7%
95
3%
Black Level *
0.48
0.538
-12%
0.38
21%
0.31
35%
0.23
52%
0.55
-15%
0.668
-39%
0.556
-16%
0.624
-30%
Contrast
565
423
-25%
547
-3%
806
43%
1260
123%
458
-19%
322
-43%
578
2%
375
-34%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.3
5.46
9.48
6.15
9.97
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.18
5.73
9.31
6.26
10.66
Gamma
2.37 93%
2.4 92%
2.26 97%
2.41 91%
2.34 94%
CCT
12578 52%
7269 89%
10638 61%
6868 95%
12855 51%

* ... smaller is better

The Lenovo N20 outdoors.
The Lenovo N20 outdoors.

The Lenovo N20 uses a TN panel. As such, the panel offers limited viewing angles. Outdoors use is possible thanks to the matte panel and decent brightness.

Performance

The Lenovo N20 offers sufficient performance for office and Internet use. Our test model is available for 230 Euros (~$259). An alternative would be the N20p with a touchscreen. The price of that model is 270 Euros (~$304).

Processor

The Chromebook uses a dual-core Intel Celeron N2830 (Bay Trail). The processor runs at 2.16 GHz and can be boosted to 2.416 GHz using Turbo mode. The TDP value of the CPU is 7.5 W.

System Performance

The system starts fast and runs well. The results of our various browser benchmarks are appropriate for a Celeron CPU. A different Chromebook, like the Asus C200MA, which is equipped with the same processor, offers the same performance. This is true for Windows netbooks as well, like the Lenovo S20-30, when using the Chrome browser. However, the S20 falls behind the Chromebook competition in two tests. We believe this happened due to the Celeron processor not utilizing its Turbo boost.

Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
548.2 ms * ∼6%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
564.1 ms * ∼6% -3%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
337.3 ms * ∼4% +38%
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
535 ms * ∼6% +2%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
522 ms * ∼6% +5%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
491 ms * ∼5% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
632.2 ms * ∼7% -15%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
634.6 ms * ∼7% -16%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
736.8 ms * ∼8% -34%
HP Chromebook 11
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB SSD
704 ms * ∼8% -28%
Acer C720-2800 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB SSD
345.1 ms * ∼4% +37%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7397 Points ∼15%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
7261 Points ∼15% -2%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
4542 Points ∼9% -39%
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
7486 Points ∼15% +1%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7321 Points ∼15% -1%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7161 Points ∼14% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7334 Points ∼15% -1%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
6843 Points ∼14% -7%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4943 Points ∼10% -33%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4233.5 ms * ∼7%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
6995.9 ms * ∼12% -65%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
4867 ms * ∼8% -15%
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
4115 ms * ∼7% +3%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4482 ms * ∼8% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4663.9 ms * ∼8% -10%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4696.6 ms * ∼8% -11%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5476 ms * ∼9% -29%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1593 Points ∼26%
Lenovo N20p-59426642 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1402 Points ∼23% -12%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
1345 Points ∼22% -16%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
834 Points ∼13% -48%
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
1637 Points ∼26% +3%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1501 Points ∼24% -6%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1399 Points ∼23% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1292 Points ∼21% -19%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1255 Points ∼20% -21%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1005 Points ∼16% -37%
HP Chromebook 11
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB SSD
1069 Points ∼17% -33%
Acer C720-2800 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB SSD
2871 Points ∼46% +80%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
642 Points ∼28%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
286 Points ∼13% -55%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
528 Points ∼23% -18%
Browsermark - 2.1 (sort by value)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2245 points ∼7%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1988 points ∼6% -11%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2119 points ∼7% -6%

* ... smaller is better

Storage Device

The Lenovo N20 is equipped with an eMMC memory module, which has a capacity of 16 GB. Of the total 16 GB, 9 GB is free. The Chromebook is also equipped with an SD-card reader. This is not entirely suited for permanent storage, as the SD cards jut out almost halfway out of the case. External storage devices like USB hard drives and USB sticks can also be used with the Chromebook.

Other USB devices like printers or multi-function devices cannot be used. If you want to print, you can use Google "Cloud Print" to print via multiple printers. For further information, you can visit the Google homepage or Wikihow.

Graphics Card

The graphics chip of the Chromebook is from Intel: the HD Graphics IGP. This GPU supports DirectX 11 and operates at speeds up to 750 MHz. Apparently, the driver support of the core from Google is not optimal as the playback of YouTube videos in a Full HD resolution can cause stutters. This does not happen on a Windows device like the Lenovo S20-30.

Emissions & Energy Management

System Noise

The hardware of the N20 is passively cooled, which means the laptop runs silently.

Temperature

The Lenovo N20 barely heats up: the temperatures stay below 30 °C at all times. Even simultaneously running the Google Octane V2 benchmark (in a loop) and playing an FHD video cannot raise the temperatures past this mark.

Max. Load
 26.3 °C
79 F
26.5 °C
80 F
24.2 °C
76 F
 
 25.1 °C
77 F
26.2 °C
79 F
23.4 °C
74 F
 
 23.4 °C
74 F
23.1 °C
74 F
23.1 °C
74 F
 
Maximum: 26.5 °C = 80 F
Average: 24.6 °C = 76 F
24.2 °C
76 F
26.9 °C
80 F
28 °C
82 F
23 °C
73 F
25.6 °C
78 F
26.8 °C
80 F
23.1 °C
74 F
24.1 °C
75 F
26.3 °C
79 F
Maximum: 28 °C = 82 F
Average: 25.3 °C = 78 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.7 °C = 85 F | Room Temperature 21.1 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 24.6 °C / 76 F, compared to the average of 29.8 °C / 86 F for the devices in the class Netbook.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 26.5 °C / 80 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F, ranging from 21.6 to 53.2 °C for the class Netbook.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 28 °C / 82 F, compared to the average of 36.6 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 29.8 °C / 86 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 23.6 °C / 74.5 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.3 °C / 84.7 F (+5.7 °C / 10.2 F).
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo N20p-59426642 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HP Chromebook 11
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB SSD
Acer C720-2800 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB SSD
Heat
-57%
-15%
-18%
-32%
-13%
-24%
-61%
-35%
Maximum Upper Side *
26.5
43
-62%
32.7
-23%
36.1
-36%
36.2
-37%
31.5
-19%
37.4
-41%
45.6
-72%
36.4
-37%
Maximum Bottom *
28
42.6
-52%
32.6
-16%
34.3
-23%
37
-32%
35
-25%
40
-43%
48.8
-74%
47
-68%
Idle Upper Side *
25.3
28.5
-13%
28.1
-11%
33.4
-32%
26
-3%
26.6
-5%
38
-50%
29
-15%
Idle Bottom *
26.3
28.7
-9%
26.2
-0%
33.4
-27%
27
-3%
27.6
-5%
38.4
-46%
31.8
-21%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption

While idle, the N20 is conservative. The power consumption is lower than 5 watts. At load, the power consumption rises slightly. We measure 7.6 W at load (simultaneously running Octane V2 and playing an FHD video).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.3 / 4.1 / 4.4 Watt
Load midlight 6.6 / 7.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
-35%
-25%
13%
Idle Minimum *
1.3
2.1
-62%
2.2
-69%
1
23%
Idle Average *
4.1
4.3
-5%
3.6
12%
2.9
29%
Idle Maximum *
4.4
6.8
-55%
3.9
11%
Load Average *
6.6
8.6
-30%
6.4
3%
Load Maximum *
7.6
9.4
-24%
9
-18%
7.6
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

In the practical WLAN test, our script, which loads a website every 40 seconds, was run with the power-saver mode on and brightness set to around 150 cd/m². The Lenovo N20 reaches a run time of 8:52 h which is very good. However, it places slightly behind its sister model, the N20p.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
8h 52min
Battery Runtime - WiFi (sort by value)
Lenovo N20 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
532 min ∼87%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
240 min ∼39%
HP Chromebook 11
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB SSD
308 min ∼50%
Lenovo S20-30
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
328 min ∼54%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
389 min ∼64%
Acer C720-2800 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB SSD
544 min ∼89%
Acer CB3-111
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840
568 min ∼93%
Lenovo N20p-59426642 Chromebook
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 16 GB eMMC Flash
577 min ∼94%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
604 min ∼99%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
612 min ∼100%

Verdict

The Lenovo N20 Chromebook is a simple laptop, suited for surfing and typing, thanks to its long battery life. It offers good input devices and decent workmanship. The matte display has good values (for its price), but more brightness and a higher contrast would have been appreciated. If you are interested in Chromebooks then the Lenovo N20 is a viable candidate.

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In review: Lenovo N20 Chromebook (59423486). Test model provided by notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Lenovo N20 Chromebook (59423486). Test model provided by notebooksbilliger.de

Specifications

Lenovo N20 Chromebook (N20 Chromebook Series)
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDr3L
Display
11.6 inch 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel, TN LED, glossy: no
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 9 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Valleyview SoC - HD Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Audio combo jack, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18 x 295 x 212 ( = 0.71 x 11.61 x 8.35 in)
Battery
35 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Google Chrome OS
Camera
Webcam: HD Webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.2 kg ( = 42.33 oz / 2.65 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
229 Euro

 

Similar Devices

Lenovo S20-30 Netbook Review
HD Graphics (Bay Trail)

Similar devices from a different Manufacturer

Asus X200MA Netbook Review
HD Graphics (Bay Trail)

Devices from a different Manufacturer and/or with a different CPU

Lenovo Ideapad 100S Notebook Review
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Atom Z3735F
Dell Chromebook 11 (3120) Review
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Celeron N2840
Acer TravelMate B115-MP-C2TQ Netbook Review Update
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Celeron N2930
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A Netbook Review
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Celeron N2840

Links

  • Tips for buying a notebook - notebookCHECK Purchase Advisory

  • Find the right notebook - notebookCHECK Hardware Guide

  • Display resolution comparison - DPI (grain size) of displays

  • Our test criteria

Price Comparison

Pros

+Matte panel
+Barely heats up
+Good battery life
+Runs silently
 

Cons

-Only 12 months warranty
-Display cover should have been sturdier

Shortcut

What we like

The good battery life.

What we miss

A sturdy panel cover.

What surprises us

The speakers produce decent sound.

The competition

Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-111, Asus C200MA-KX003, Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e, Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2, Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102, Samsung XE303C12-A01US, HP Chromebook 11, Acer C720-2800.

Rating

Lenovo N20 Chromebook - 01/20/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
62 / 98 → 63%
Keyboard
71%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
47 / 80 → 59%
Weight
73 / 35-78 → 88%
Battery
91%
Display
82%
Games Performance
40 / 68 → 59%
Application Performance
58 / 87 → 67%
Temperature
96 / 91 → 100%
Noise
100%
Audio
70 / 91 → 77%
Camera
56 / 85 → 66%
Average
71%
80%
Netbook - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Lenovo N20 Chromebook Review Update
Sascha Mölck, 2015-01-28 (Update: 2018-05-15)