Two weeks ago, I reported that the 11th-gen Core i3 Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook with 8GB of RAM debuted at $549.99. That’s a Costco deal and a step up from the base model. You can still purchase that configuration from Costco, but if you can get by with less memory and system storage, you can get the base model for $424.99 directly from Lenovo.
On the one hand, that’s a $115 savings from the $539.99 suggested retail price. On the other hand, you’re dropping down to 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of slower eMMC storage. The higher-priced configuration provides 128 GB of faster NVMe local storage.
Here’s a refresh of the full specs on this updated 11th-gen Core i3 Lenovo Flex 5i, which is very similar to last year’s model that I really liked as a mid-range choice.
|CPU||Dual-core Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor|
|GPU||Intel Integrated UHD Graphics|
|Display||13.3-inch IPS 1920 x 1080 touchscreen,|
16:9 aspect ratio, 250 nits brightness
|Memory||4 GB DDR4x-3733MHz memory|
|Storage||64 GB eMMC storage|
microSD card slot for expansion
|Connectivity||WiFi6 (802.11ax, 2×2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5.0|
|Input||Spill-resistant backlit keyboard, USI stylus (optional) support,|
720p webcam with physical privacy shutter
|Ports||1 USB Type-A (3.2), 2 USB Type-C (3.2),|
headphone/microphone combo jack
|Battery||51 WHr, expected run-time up to 10 hours|
|Software||Chrome OS automatic updates through June 2029|
All in all, this discounted price isn’t a bad deal. The newest 11th-gen Core i3 in the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook from packs a decent performance punch. A full HD display is nice even if it’s not the brightest in the world. The real choice becomes: can you live with 4GB of memory since you can’t upgrade that on your own? To a lesser extent, there is slower storage with less capacity too, but my primary concern would be the memory.
For everyday browsing with a reasonable amount of tabs open — say 10 or less — at a time, I don’t think the memory limitation will ever rear its ugly head. Once you add more browser tabs, Android and/or Linux apps is when you’ll wish for more memory. If that’s not the way you work, it’s a pretty good deal that should meet your needs!
Keep in mind that you can often get the 4 GB version of last year’s model with 10th-gen Core i3 for even less than both of the deals. Most recently, I saw that one cost $342. Something to consider…