New 11.6-inch Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 with MediaTek inside debuts at $319.99

Earlier this week I spotted updated 14-inch Lenovo Chromebooks that swap out the Intel CPUs from last year’s model. Today I see there’s a smaller sibling that you can buy directly from Lenovo. The new 11.6-inch Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 with MediaTek inside debuts at $319.99.

Interestingly, just today The Verge reviewed the Flex 3i with a Celeron N4020.

They noted that the screen was a bit weak given the 250 nits of brightness and 720p resolution. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much improvement with regard to the screen of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3, priced $10 less than the Intel version.

You still end up fitting the same 1366 x 768 resolution panel in the nearly identical chassis, which is a bit cramped. And yes that bottom chin bezel needs a drastic shave!

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 front right

Just like with the 14-inch model with MediaTek MT8183, you don’t get as many ports, (nor as new) with this processor.

The left side of the chassis has One Type-C and one Type-A, both using older standards. That’s all, folks!

As far as the rest of the hardware, it’s about what you’d expect for a new Chromebook costing just over $300 these days:

CPUMediaTek MT8183 octo-core processor (4 x A73 @ 2 GHz / 4 x A53 @ 2 GHz)
GPUARM Mali G72 GPU
Display11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) glossy IPS panel with
up to 250 nits brightness, touch support,
and 170-degree viewing angle
Memory4 GB LPDDR4 1866MHz
Storage32 or 64 GB eMMC 5.1, microSD card slot
Connectivity802.11 ac Wi-Fi (2 x 2),
Bluetooth 4.2
InputNon-backlit keyboard, Buttonless Mylar surface multi-touch touchpad, 720p webcam and privacy shutter
Ports1 USB Type-C 2.0 (with PD 2.0 and DP 1.1a),
1 USB Type-A 2.0,
headphone / microphone combination jack,
lock slot, 2 x 2W speakers
Battery42 WHr, expected run time up to 16 hours,
45W USB-C charger, supports Rapid Charge (80% in one hour)
Weight2.65 pounds
SoftwareChrome OS automatic update expiration: June 2028
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 tent mode

On the plus side, if this configuration can get you or your kids through the day, you won’t likely need to plug it in until bedtime. The MediaTek MT8183 is a decent little chipset that sips electricity.

And you do get the versatility of a 360-degree hinge for tent mode or content consumption. Plus you get that sliding privacy shutter for the webcam; I’m a fan of that.

Any potential takers here for school, the kids or a knock-around browser for the couch?

5 thoughts on “New 11.6-inch Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 with MediaTek inside debuts at $319.99

  • April 25, 2021 at 1:42 pm
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    I’ve never understood why so many reviewers are concerned about the bezel. Whether there is a large bezel or whatever view you have behind your laptop, the screen is the screen. I prefer the contrast of a black around my screen much more than random and usually visually distracting backgrounds in the room/ on the wall. I’d like to know why the big thing over bezels.

    I read that Verge review and was surprised at all the criticisms, as if the reviewer had no prior experience with Chromebooks. The resolution for that 11 inch screen is not only the Chromebook standard, but pretty common on many PC’s as well on up to 13 or 14 inch screen. Maybe we’ve become too spoiled by our phones and iPads… I forget the other criticisms on the Verge article, but as a person who has had (and/or still have) 4 Chromebooks (1-10inch convertible, 2-11inch, one non-touch, one a touch flexer, and 1-14inch non-touch) I’ve found all to be great and similar. For context, I also have an iPad, MacBook and a couple PC’s, my daily driver being a 14 inch HP-360.

    I think that what people should be complaining more loudly about (not even mentioned in your article?) is that not only are Chromebooks (all low and many mid-range) still coming with 4GB of RAM (which is like the ridiculous standard of 8GB in PC’s) but the models you’ve reviewed don’t even offer an 8GB upgrade, while they do offer an upgraded SSD. Heck, I’d lower my 64GB SSD to 16GB in exchange for 16 GB or RAM! 🙂 Really, if anybody needs to store files on their Chromebook, amazingly, most come with a card slot! Gotta love Chromebooks for doing basic so well…

    Reply
  • April 25, 2021 at 2:31 pm
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    The bezel size is a consequence of the size of the keyboard and trackpad.

    If you look at an Acer R11, its case is about the same size. Its display is lower in the case so the width between image area and top case edge is narrower, while the bottom width is wider.

    Reply
  • April 25, 2021 at 2:39 pm
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    The bezel size is a consequence of the size of the keyboard and trackpad.

    If you look at an Acer R11, its case is about the same size. Its display is lower in the case so the width between image area and top case edge is wider, while the bottom width is narrower.

    As far as RAM amount goes, Windows 10 takes 3-4GB to load without any open programs. ChromeOS takes about half that, and the primary app, the Chrome browser, without extensions, is included in that.

    Reply
  • April 25, 2021 at 8:25 pm
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    All that you’ve explained is well within my more basic knowledge, and consistent with my comment. I’m not sure what you thought I was saying. Regarding bezel, I wasn’t questioning why it is as it is, but rather (as you can read) that a large bezel is not a drawback, and thus an odd criticism.

    And regarding RAM, my point is that, in use, the typical amount of RAM given, for anybody going beyond basic usage, is very limited. For this reason pricier computers usually double the RAM, hence Chromebooks with 8 GB and PC’s with 16GB.

    Reply
  • April 25, 2021 at 8:31 pm
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    What you say is certainly quite correct, as I’ve already affirmed in my comment! Well aware of why these things are as they are, if you reread what I wrote, you’ll see that I was making specific comments about how they are, not asking why.

    Bottom line:
    * I see no problem with large bezels when the design of the device leaves space for them, and
    * I think that lower (and mid-range) computers, both Chromebooks and PC’s should offer upgrades with double the RAM than the popular amounts you’ve reinterated from my comment.

    Reply

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