Lenovo is one of the world’s most well-established tech giants that has been made famous through an abundance supply of quality devices. Whether it’s a full-fledged Windows PC, a gaming laptop, or a glaring proponent of our beloved Chrome OS, this Chinese manufacturer has a knack for riling up the competition with its talent, skill, and determination. It is these qualities that have allowed Lenovo to become a front-running Chromebook maker, quickly earning a spot on our list of the best Chromebook manufacturers and giving consumers a different touch of class to invest their time and money in.
Apart from the modus operandi of Lenovo’s all-aluminum, top-of-the-line Chromebooks like the Yoga Chromebook C630, some strong contenders exist in the budget-friendly and mid-range category of Chrome OS laptops as well of this company. While this insinuates the Lenovo Chromebook Duet directly, we have another machine on our radar that’s seemingly making rounds on the internet for its quality. Still, we’ll be the judge of how far that indeed stretches.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the Lenovo 500e Chromebook that’s advertised to come with a garaged stylus, which, in all honesty, could never be a bad thing, and average technical specifications. Unfortunately, it’s also priced somewhere around $350, so it’s a bit more expensive than the Duet, which is now our measurement scale for pocket-friendly Chromebooks. So without any further ado, let’s jump right into this review article with the 500e’s technical specifications.
Lenovo 500e Chromebook specifications
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4100
- Display: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) touch-enabled IPS glossy display with integrated camera
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500
- Hard Drive Size: 32 GB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: 720p HD front-facing webcam, 5 MP world-facing camera
- Ports: x2 USB-C, x2 USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack, microSD card reader slot
- Battery Type: Li-ion polymer 3-cell 42Wh battery, 11-12 hours battery runtime
- Charging Speed: 50% in 60 minutes
- Weight: 4.10 lbs
- Price: $369
Lenovo 500e Chromebook in-depth review
The Lenovo 500e is one rugged piece of tech that’s best suited to hardworking students and office personnel. It came out in 2018, so it doesn’t have the most ultra-modern design out of the Chromebooks we have today. However, it still measures up as one of the best Chromebooks with a built-in stylus that you can purchase through Amazon today. In addition, it comes with Google’s suite of productivity applications pre-loaded, not to mention the availability of the Google Play Store that lets you work with as many Android applications as you want on Chrome OS.
The Chromebook in question rocks a top-end build quality with rubberized bumpers to withstand shocks and drops from up to 29.5 inches. The keyboard is water-resistant and can tolerate liquid spills of even 12 ounces (330 ml). This device is made with children in mind, considering how rough they can get with electronic devices. So you can hand the Lenovo 500e to your little one with complete confidence, knowing that it won’t fail on you anytime soon.
Another commendable aspect of this Chromebook is port selection. It has two USB-C ports; one for fast charging and one for like-minded data transfers, two USB-A ports to handle your legacy peripherals, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot. Moreover, we have been spellbound by the quality of the garaged Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR) stylus that lets you create notes and write your heart out on the Lenovo 500e. It works just as intended and lets you operate the device efficiently with a digital pen.
Moreover, it is also pressure-sensitive and depends on the AI learning of Chrome OS to make accurate predictions regarding the travel of the stylus on the 500e’s screen. This does its best to provide an experience that strongly resembles the working of an actual pen. In addition to that, this gadget doesn’t even require pairing, so you can painlessly pass it around with your friends or colleagues and keep the flow going. It’s a welcome addition to this device that opens up another input method for the 500e.
As for the display of this Chromebook, we are looking at an 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) touch-enabled IPS glossy display coupled with a 720p HD webcam. The screen works well and responds fluidly to touches and taps of the EMR stylus, but it’s bang average to talk about the actual quality of the display. The colors are reasonably sharp but don’t expect the best level of brightness from the 500e. It will seem lackadaisical even when the brightness is maxed out, so do bear that in mind when taking this Chromebook outside on a sunny day.
Lastly, we weren’t expecting the quality of the keyboard and the trackpad to turn out this nice. However, typing feels nice and comfortable to a reasonable extent, and the trackpad is spacious and has a commendable click mechanism. Hence, both of these essential components are far from a disappointing let-down. The addition of two cameras instead of one is a nice touch that will bring together video conferencing much more conveniently.
The specifications that make up the performance of the Lenovo 500e Chromebook are nothing too jaw-dropping. The device uses a dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4100 CPU with 4 GBs of RAM, 32 GBs of eMMC hard drive storage, and Intel HD Graphics 500. While the manufacturer has discontinued this model now, you can still find the 500e on popular marketplaces like Amazon. That said, the base model of this Chromebook is relatively underpowered as it employs an Intel Celeron N3450U processor with 2 GBs of RAM and the same 32 GB hard drive storage and Intel HD Graphics 500.
If you happen to find that model, do give it a skip and opt for the 4 GB variant of the 500e. The price difference won’t be that significant, so it’s just flat-out brilliant choosing the more specced-out version. To shed some light on the performance of this Chromebook now, the Lenovo 500e gets the job done just fine. It dishes out consistent performance levels, so that’s a plus, but this doesn’t mean that you can run a dozen graphic-intensive Chrome tabs, along with several desktop-grade Linux applications, without breaking a sweat.
If you stay within the capacity of the Lenovo 500e, you’ll find it serving you loyally. Due to the processing power of the Intel Celeron N4100, you can effortlessly smoke daily computing tasks, download and play games, and conquer each school or office day with reliable performance.
3. Battery life
The battery of the Lenovo 500e Chromebook dishes out enough juice to last you a whole day, which is ideal for schoolwork. It quickly reaches up to 12 hours on a full charge and takes about 60 minutes to charge up to 100% and two hours to charge fully. If you’re looking for a device with battery timings similar to these figures, the 500e is the device for you.
Lenovo has managed to slap on an integrated Li-Polymer 3-cell (42Wh) battery on this Chromebook that offers you a terrific battery runtime.
4. Final thoughts
The Lenovo 500e Chromebook is a balanced, all-rounding Chromebook with a special garaged stylus and rugged build quality. It’s one of the cheaper Chromebooks that can be bought online in 2021 that attributes to a fine Chrome OS experience at the end of the day. People looking for versatile Chromebooks can show a tendency to gravitate towards the 500e because of its 2-in-1 convertible form factor that’s accompanied by a touchscreen and the aforementioned EMR stylus.
Sure, it’s not the best budget-friendly Chromebook out there. Still, given its durability, reasonably decent performance levels, and excellent battery timings, the Lenovo 500e is a solid choice for officegoers or parents looking to buy their children a reliable Chrome OS laptop. With that said, if you’d like a cheaper high-quality device, we urge you to look into the Lenovo Chromebook Duet.