Almost every manufacturer can dish out a Chromebook with maxed-out specifications and a $700 price tag, but the real game-changer is doing the same thing but slapping on a price tag that the masses can afford. That is exactly what Lenovo, a Chinese PC manufacturer giant, has been up to in the Chrome OS space, giving us the Chromebook Duet and the Flex 5 to write home about.
Both of these devices pack terrific value for money and are one of the best Chromebooks you can get if you’re on a tight budget. Today, we thought it fit to take a look at the Lenovo Chromebook 3 to see if it makes the cut alongside its Lenovo counterparts or not.
In this article, therefore, we’ll be reviewing the Lenovo Chromebook 3 in detail so make sure you read it till the very end. We’ll make sure to discuss its major strengths and weaknesses so you can decide whether this extremely budget-friendly device is worth the time and money or something to be avoided entirely. Let’s dive in with the technical specifications.
Lenovo Chromebook 3 Specifications
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 Processor
- Display: 11.6″ 1366 x 768 TN IPS Display
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
- Hard Drive Size: 32 GB eMMC Flash Storage
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: 720p HD Webcam
- Ports: 2x Gen 1 USB 3.2 Type-C, 2x Gen 1 USB-A, 3.5 mm Headphone Jack, microSD Card Reader Slot
- Battery: 3-cell 42Wh Internal Battery
- Charging Time: 50% In 45 minutes
- Weight: 2.42 pounds
- Price: $169
Lenovo Chromebook 3 In-Depth Review
When you talk about Chromebooks that cost even lesser than $200, you cannot help but keep your expectations low in terms of everything. The Lenovo Chromebook 3, on the other hand, is a completely different story that reinvigorates the commonly understood concept of cheap products having substandard quality. This device has a fairly decent build that’s beautified with a two-tone color scheme.
The Onyx Black theme with the textured finish looks quite respectable for this sub $150 Chromebook. It is made out of plastic, however, but not the low-grade kind that makes you call out the cheapness. The Lenovo 3 is far from things like those and boasts a solid, compact build quality with an appearance that seems outright thoughtful. There’s no flex either, and the Chromebook just has that right amount of rigidity to its name.
In addition, this machine is no slouch either when it boils down to durability. It can survive its fair share of drops and rough use, but be careful not to push it over the edge – you’ve got to weigh in how much it costs, after all. Talking about weighing in stuff, this Chromebook weighs about 2.42 pounds, making it quite the lightweight beast you could pick up and use on the fly. A solid 9/10 nonetheless for its design and build quality.
Moving forward to the display and screen, most Chromebooks at this price point are downright horrible in that respect. The Lenovo Chromebook 3, fortunately, doesn’t fall in that usual category but isn’t too amazing with the display either, if we’re being honest. We’re talking about an 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) resolution with a TN panel that sports good viewing angles and fairly okay colors. The brightness maxes out at 250 nitts so this is going to be a tad bit bummer when you take this Chromebook outside on a sunny day.
For most of the time, however, the screen will do just fine. It’s a no-brainer that the device is going to have its reasonable amount of caveats due to its price tag, and it’s safe to say that the display is one of them. With that being said, the screen is still a lot better than the majority of other Chromebooks out there that cost somewhere around $250, so there’s that. Bear in mind that it does not have a convertible form factor, but it can still lay out on a table flat at 180°.
Coming down to the keyboard deck, Lenovo makes sure not to let us down and uphold its reputation. It’s just as we had expected – nice and firm with good clickiness and travel. It’s comfortable to type on and this is actually a big surprise considering its price tag. Again, it’s not something up to the standard of the Google Pixelbook Go, but it’s still better than a bevy of other Chromebooks that come under a budget. The keyboard isn’t LED-illuminated as well, so do keep that in mind while making the plunge and getting this device. The trackpad is on the same level, boasting a fluid and responsive experience that’s ought to get students fully satisfied and making assignments non-stop.
Another great benefit of buying this Chromebook is the generous port selection. We’re talking about two Gen 1 USB 3.2 Type-C ports, two Gen 1 USB-A ports for legacy peripherals, the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot. This is quite the I/O, to say the least for a device that’s this cheap. Apart from all the cloud storage solutions you get on Chrome OS, popping in that SD card always seems to expand the storage in a convenient way.
One more area which deserves due credit is the speakers of the Lenovo Chromebook 3. They are way too loud to be on a budget-friendly device like this. For folks that have to hop online on video conferences and meetings on a daily basis, this machine would actually perform exceptionally well.
The Lenovo Chromebook 3 has another ace up its mechanical sleeve that does nothing but makes us admire it right from the get-go – performance. It is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor with 4 GBs of RAM and 32 GB eMMC flash storage. Anyone regarding this device as another cheap knock-off that looks good but doesn’t perform up to speed, you’ve got another thing coming right back at you.
The Chromebook 3 is an insanely good performer, no matter if you’ve got a dozen Chrome tabs open or you’re playing games from the Google Play Store. Additionally, it’s capable enough to run Linux applications as well, making it a rock-solid recommendation to all students and office workers out there. The credit here goes to the Celeron line-up of Intel’s CPUs as they are, by far, more efficient than most of their ARM-based counterparts.
Lenovo doesn’t offer other configurations for the Chromebook 3, so you’re better off sticking with the 4 GB RAM/32 GB ROM model. We cannot stress how awesome this device is for the level of performance it offers, allowing itself to stand toe-to-toe with the likes of the HP Chromebook 14 and the Asus Chromebook C423.
3. Battery Life
The Lenovo Chromebook 3 is equipped with a 3-cell 42Wh internal battery. The battery life of this device is simply another reason to get it straight away. On a full charge, the Chromebook 3 will last you around 12 whopping hours. These are great figures for Chrome OS and you’re most likely to get a whole day out of this device comfortably.
Since it sports a USB-C port for charging, you can expect it to get all juiced up in around 2 hours. If you’ve rather charge it to 50%, a mere 45 minutes would be required at least.
4. Final Thoughts
Lenovo is absolutely ripping the area of budget-friendly Chromebooks, and this device is crystal-clear proof of just that. It has a sturdy build quality, a nice set of speakers, a high-quality keyboard, a convenient trackpad, amazing performance, and astounding battery life. Now imagine getting all of that at around $169 – it does seem outright fanatical, doesn’t it? Well, Lenovo is out here turning fantasies into realities as the Chromebook 3 is just the perfect workhorse for you to get under a strict budget. We highly recommend purchasing this device if you’re a student or an office person working 8-12 hours a day.