While the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, Asus Chromebook Flip C436, and Lenovo Chromebook Duet stole the show at CES in January, I reminded everyone that month about the upcoming Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 as well: An entry-level to mid-range 2-in-1 Chromebook, depending on the configuration.
Lenovo hasn’t yet announced availability for the Flex 5 but two online retailers are already showing the price or taking orders.
Amazon, for example, will let you purchase the Core i3 model of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 with 4 GB of memory, 64 GB of internal storage and the full-HD 13.3-inch touch display for $409.99.
I put one in my cart and the soonest delivery date was June 2, so if you choose this device now, you’ll have to wait a little bit before the order is fulfilled.
On paper, you’re getting some good hardware for the price, particularly since that Core i3 processor is a 10th-generation U-Series chipset. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the 4 GB of memory, but my Chrome OS computing needs are higher than most users.
B&H Photo Video is currently showing a lower-specified model as “coming soon” for 379.99. Everything about this version of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is identical to the higher-priced model that Amazon is selling, save for the processor.
You’ll save $30 with this configuration and drop your Intel chipset to a 1.9 GHz Intel Celeron 5205U Dual-Core. If you want to save an additional $20, you can get the Celeron version with 32 GB of internal storage for $359.99.
Having not tested any device with this new dual-thread Celeron, I can’t yet speak to the performance difference between it and the Intel Core i3-10110U: The latter has a higher base frequency of 2.1 GHz and four threads so I’d guess around a 15 percent performance boost with the i3 model.
Both options share a 13.3-inch 1080p touch display, with 16:9 aspect ratio, one USB Type-A port, two USB Type-C ports, 4 GB of memory, 64 GB of storage, microSD card slot, have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 on-board, and just under three pounds.
These 2-in-1 Chromebooks are also expected to get 10 hours of run-time on a charge, although real-world usage will skew that down a little. I can’t confirm a backlit keyboard on the Celeron model, but Amazon says the Core i3 unit does have a backlit keyboard.
I know the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 was overshadowed by other devices at CES, but many readers have been waiting for new options in the $350 to $450 price range. Your wait is almost over!