“The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is the very best Chromebook you should purchase beneath $500.”

  • Responsive keyboard
  • Spectacular efficiency
  • Nice worth
  • Below three kilos
  • Dangerous touchpad
  • Mediocre show

Chromebooks develop dearer yearly. Additionally they develop in high quality. Show, efficiency, and design all enhance. They’re a far cry from a budget Chromebooks of yesteryear.

The Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook tries to be the very best of each worlds. At $410, it captures the unique spirit of extremely reasonably priced laptops, whereas nonetheless providing an Intel Core processor, a 1080p display screen, and a stable appear and feel.

Lenovo has struck the steadiness delicately, however not with out a few hiccups alongside the best way.

Design

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I’m not on the lookout for something fancy in a sub-$500 laptop computer. I would like fashionable. I would like skinny and lightweight. I would like stable construct high quality. And bonus factors if it’s not gaudy or plastic-looking.

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 does all that higher than most Chromebooks at this value. The “Graphite Gray” coloration is delicate, first off. Regardless of being made out of plastic, each floor feels agency and effectively constructed. The hinge is tight, resisting being wobbly, even whenever you faucet and swipe on the contact display screen.

I do have a few small complaints. The bezels are large — particularly the chin. The 360-degree hinge provides additional area under the display screen. On a laptop computer this small, it’s onerous to overlook. Premium Chromebooks just like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook or Asus Chromebook Flip C436 function these skinny bezels we see on Home windows laptops, however they’re round twice the worth. It’s an issue the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 solves through the use of a barely taller display screen 16:10 facet ratio.

Regardless of the bezels, the Chromebook Flex 5 is available in a conveyable package deal. It’s beneath Three kilos and 0.7-inches thick, only a bit larger than a MacBook Air. Choices just like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook or Google Pixelbook Go are far smaller — however they’re value tags aren’t.

Most Chromebooks beneath $500 are cumbersome 15-inch laptops, which is a disgrace. The Chromebook Flex 5 fills that void.

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The Chromebook Flex 5 options a typical number of ports, no less than for a contemporary Chromebook. On the correct facet, you’ve got a USB-C 3.1, USB-A 3.1, headphone jack, and microSD card slot. The opposite facet consists of one other USB-C port and a Kensington lock. Solely the correct facet can be utilized for charging the system, sadly.

As a result of it’s a 2-in-1, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 features a quantity rocker and energy button subsequent to the ports. The amount rocker is squishy and onerous to differentiate, which is a bit irritating. You’ll use the quantity management on the keyboard way more, however that’s no excuse for awful buttons.

Show and audio system

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The Flex 5 Chromebook doesn’t have the best show on the earth. It’s a 13.3-inch IPS LED show with a typical 1,920 x 1,080 decision. It has a slight inexperienced tint to it, which makes pale pores and skin tones look downright sickly.

It solely brightens as much as 250 nits. That’s shiny sufficient for dwelling use, however in case you’re beneath heavy workplace lights or sitting subsequent to a window, the shiny display screen would possibly trigger heavy reflections. A matte display screen might have made the display screen look low cost, however would have averted this downside.

I’ve seen far worse on Chromebooks, however choices just like the Google Pixelbook Go or the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook fare significantly better. The software program on my colorimeter doesn’t work in Chrome OS to measure coloration precision, however the Flex 5 Chromebook isn’t doubtless correct sufficient for artistic professionals. For what a $410 Chromebook is made for, although, the display screen does the trick.

The Flex 5 Chromebook has a set of upward-firing audio system, flanking the keyboard on both facet. The location is sweet, however they’re as tinny as laptop computer audio system get. The Pixelbook Go is way superior on this class.

Keyboard and touchpad

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The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 presents a nice typing expertise. It’s the standard Chrome OS structure, outdoors of the oddly shortened left and proper arrow keys. However the keycaps are massive, the journey is lots lengthy, they usually keypresses are responsive. Lenovo even included backlighting with 5 ranges of brightness management. I felt proper at dwelling.

The touchpad is one other story. It’s massive sufficient, nevertheless it’s subpar in high quality. The plastic, textured floor results in skipping and sloppy monitoring. Low-cost touchpads like these decelerate my workflow, making detailed duties like textual content choice cumbersome. The press mechanism can be fairly stiff and loud. As my each day driver, the touchpad was the one usability hurdle I tripped over constantly. I’m not shocked given the worth, however I hoped to be shocked. Switching again to a Google Pixelbook Go felt heavenly by comparability.

The Flex 5 Chromebook does embody 720p webcam above the display screen, which is serviceable for the occasional Zoom name.

Efficiency

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Many low cost Chromebooks use gradual MediaTek or Intel Celeron processors. Not the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5. It presents an Intel Core i3-10110U processor, from the newest technology of Intel chips. It is a full 15-watt processor, whereas many different Chromebooks use an 8-watt processor. Extra wattage means extra potential efficiency, and the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 delivers.

Different Chromebooks that use this 10th-gen Core i3 are usually far more costly, such because the $800 Asus Chromebook Flip C436. The Flex 5 matches that processor in multi-core scores in Geekbench 5, and it’s 18% sooner than the Google Pixelbook Go.

The 2 cores and 4 threads it presents may not sound spectacular, and neither will 4GB of RAM. However it does really feel quick. Chrome OS flies on this {hardware}, no matter what number of tabs you’ve got open. That’s measured finest in a take a look at like Speedometer 2.Zero that measures JavaScript efficiency. In net functions, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is as quick as a quad-core Core i5 Home windows 10 laptop computer. That’s essential, because it’s virtually completely what you’ll be utilizing this Chromebook for.

You’ll be able to, in fact, run Android apps on the Flex 5. 3D video games just like the cellular racer Asphalt 9 Legends performed easily. The built-in graphics can’t even boot up a match of PUBG Cell, although. As unusual because it sounds, your telephone will carry out higher. Many of those Android apps are nonetheless not well-optimized for the 16:9 facet ratio and a cursor. That’s an issue with Android app emulation in Chrome OS usually, although, not the fault of the Flex 5.

There’s a draw back to a higher-wattage processor. Warmth. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 isn’t a fanless system just like the Pixelbook Go. Open up a few YouTube movies, Slack, Spotify, and a dozen websites or so — that’s sufficient to listen to the followers spin up and the keyboard to get heat. I by no means felt that the followers spun up prematurely or too usually.

The laptop computer additionally comes with 64GB of eMMC storage. It’s not a ton of capability — neither is it as quick as a solid-state drive. Sadly, each have turn out to be the usual for Chromebooks. So long as you deal with most issues within the cloud, 64GB shouldn’t be too large of an issue.

Battery life

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The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 delivers respectable battery life. It’s at all times been a energy of Chromebooks, and a deficit of finances laptops. These two qualities meet within the Flex 5, a laptop computer will get higher battery life than most at this value.

On common, it lasted me round six to seven hours of my each day workload. Not fairly sufficient to get by way of a full workday, however shut.

It’s no Pixelbook Go — and even the current Lenovo Yoga C640 — nevertheless it ought to final you the vast majority of a workday. In our searching take a look at, I ran the battery to zero biking by way of a number of web sites. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 lasted slightly below eight hours. It lasted a few additional hours longer enjoying video, the place I looped a video clip till it died.

Our take

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is among the higher finances Chromebooks you should purchase. It stands out by providing wonderful efficiency, nice battery life, and stable construct high quality. The touchpad isn’t nice, neither is the display screen. It’s not a laptop computer with out compromises, however this $410 Chromebook continues to be among the finest laptops you should purchase beneath $500.

Are there any alternate options?

The 14-inch Asus Chromebook C425 is value consideration. It doesn’t have as highly effective of a processor, nevertheless it’s an impressive-looking design and prices simply $443. The Google Pixelbook Go prices a bit extra, nevertheless it stays my alternative for the very best Chromebook you should purchase.

Lastly, in case you’re on the lookout for a similarly-priced Home windows laptop computer, the Acer Swift Three is an effective alternative. The $399 mannequin comes with an Eighth-gen Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.

How lengthy will it final?

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 ought to final you 4 or 5 years. Google extends software program updates to older Chromebooks for a few years. The guarantee is a one-year restricted guarantee.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. In case you’re on the lookout for a laptop computer beneath $500, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is among the finest you should purchase.

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