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Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook 12th gen Intel

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook with 12th gen Intel inside “coming soon”

It looks like I’ll have to update my 12th gen Intel Chromebook guide by adding another model. The already-outstanding Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook is refreshed with the latest Intel Core i3 chip and listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website.

A reader reached out to me on Twitter to say that Amazon is already selling this model through a third party but I’m leery of that listing.

Most of the information there refers to 11th gen Intel chips; only the listing header says 12th gen. And the price is $408, which seems low for two reasons.

First, the least expensive 12th gen Intel Chromebook with Core i3 is $649 from Asus. Second? When I saw the Lenovo product page yesterday, it showed a price in the $600 range. The price has since been replaced by the “coming soon” label. We’ll have to wait for official pricing from Lenovo. I suspect that will be discounted at Best Buy.

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook front

Aside from upgrading the CPU and GPU with 12th gen Intel silicon, there doesn’t appear to be much difference between this year’s Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook and last year’s model. I think that’s a good thing.

You get a 1080p 14-inch touch display, up from 13.3-inches, that’s USI stylus compatible. The same 300 nits of brightness are there for the screen as well. So too are the memory options up to 8 GB and storage choices up to 512 GB of SSD. Wi-Fi 6E support is a boost while Bluetooth 5.0 remains. At least some configurations will have a fingerprint sensor based on photos.

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook keyboard

Three data ports come along for the ride with a pair of USB Type-C and one Type-A port. Lenovo is keeping the microSD card slot and headphone/microphone combination jack. The company did add a privacy shutter on the webcam, which is nice. Even nicer is a camera upgrade to a 1080p FHD sensor. The new Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook retains the same 51Wh battery, which should allow for all-day use in most cases.

For some reason, this year’s device is a bit heavier than the 2.97 pounds of the model it replaces. You’ll be toting around 3.57 pounds of ChromeOS with you.

All in all, Lenovo smartly kept many of the key features the same and added some nice upgrades to the processor and camera. If the retail price comes in with a starting number of “4”, it would be a hot seller. I suspect that won’t happen, at least not at launch, and you’ll be looking at around $529 to $549 for the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook. Even then, that’s a terrific value on a device that most users will be happy to use.

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Kevin C. Tofel

10 thoughts on “Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook with 12th gen Intel inside “coming soon”

  1. “You get a 1080p 14-inch touch display, up from 13.3-inches.”
    “For some reason, this year’s device is a bit heavier than the 2.97 pounds of the model it replaces. You’ll be toting around 3.57 pounds.”

    A larger display suggests a larger footprint. Might not that be the reason?

  2. I got an 11th gen 5i a while back for a $299 sale price, and it’s far and away the best Chromebook you can get, as a value proposition, and one of the best you can get period. The keyboard is exquisite. I have no beefs with the trackpad. The sound is way better than average. And I find the screen to be significantly better than the 10th gen model. Plus it has 8GB of RAM, not 4. I use it as my dedicated work machine (at work), but I often wish I had another strictly for home. Also, it’s a great color. What an awesome machine. I cannot wait to check out a 12th gen. Seriously.

  3. Odd, the description at lenovo.com says 1920 x 1080 display, but the images here sure look like something taller, either 16:10 or 3:2. For my part, I refuse to buy a laptop with a widescreen display, but it sure does make the shopping harder.

  4. Can’t wait for them to release down under, I am using the 10th Gen Flex 5i – and I love it!
    It is my daily driver and I am looking forward to being able to upgrade to and run Steam Borealis!
    I can ‘hand’ mine over to my wife – to justify the cost!

  5. Thanks for the update, Kevin. I went back to the Amazon listing and saw that it was in error. It looks like the 11th gen model and they messed up the headline. I knew it was too good to be true, lol. Can’t wait for the real thing!

  6. After messaging you on Twitter I went back to the Amazon web site and realized the same thing you did–the listing was wrong and contained errors. It should read “11th gen” in the title and looks to be the prior model (still a good deal IMHO). I don’t know what’s taking Lenovo so long, but I’m anxious to see what this laptop looks like “in the flesh”!

  7. Thanks Kevin, please ignore my 2nd comment which says much the same thing. I didn’t realize these were moderated, and thought my first one didn’t go through! 🙂

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