Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook review: More Chromebook for now and later

Lenovo released one of these Best Chromebook of 2020 with this IdeaPad Duet Two-in-One, A 10-inch Chrome os Tablet with a detachable keyboard and touchpad. However, while its small size and performance are great for mobility, they are limiting it if you need hours to use it for work. For that, Lenovo’s 13.3-inch IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is a better bet. It is also a two-in-one, but it is more of a laptop than a tablet. With the Flex 5, you’re getting a bigger display with a 10th-gen Core i3 processor, a full-size backlit keyboard, and better everyday performance.

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Josh Goldman / CNet


  • Excellent performance and battery life for its price
  • USB-C port for charging on both sides
  • USI Pen-Enabled Display

Do not like it

  • Memory cannot be upgraded
  • Display too dim for outdoor work

However, just like many Chromebooks, the IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (also sold Lenovo Chromebook flex 5) Is in short supply. It was originally priced at $ 410, but is currently Bouncing between $ 480 and $ 490. Still, even at that high price, the Flex 5 is a good deal for what you’re getting. In Britain, the configuration is better and more expensive at £ 530. Lenovo does not currently offer the IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook in Australia, but the price of my system converts to AU $ 578.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook

Price according to review$ 410
Display Size / Resolution13.3 inch 1,920×1,080-pixel touch display
The processor2.1GHz Intel Core i3-10110U
Memory4GB DDR4-2666 (solder)
The graphicsIntegrated Intel UHD Graphics
Storage64GB eMMC
Ports2x USB-C (3.1 Gen 1), 1x USB-A, audio / mic jack, microSD card slot
Networking802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0
Operating SystemChrome os
Weight3 pounds (1.3 kg)
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It is slightly larger to use as a handheld tablet, but on a desk, it is fine. Josh Goldman / CNet

Better than your average budget Chromebook

Most Chromebooks that are less expensive than the Flex 5 typically have smaller displays, all plastic bodies, and slower processors. It is worth it to spend a little more for this Lenovo as it is simply better. The body is only slightly larger than the 11.6-inch model commonly used by school districts. However, there is a big difference here when scrolling across learning sites with a 13.3-inch display or just whenever you need more of your work on screen.

While the color and contrast of the display is fine, the screen is slightly dim. I found myself regularly trying to extend it beyond its maximum setting. This was mostly when I was using it in a bright room near or outside a window. Otherwise, the performance was quite good, and it is USI (Universal Stylus Initiative) pen-enabled and will work with Lenovo’s USI Pen.

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The two-in-one design is good for watching videos, casual gaming, and presentations. Josh Goldman / CNet

Above the display is a serviceable 720p webcam. The quality of the mic is also fine, so you should have no trouble seeing and listening on your next Google meat. Virtually no Chromebooks, Windows laptops, or MacBooks have good full-HD or better webcams, which is now a shame to prevent everyone’s non-use.

To the right is a volume rocker and power button with a USB-C port, which can be accessed in all tablet modes. But watch carefully, because the power button is easy to press when you accidentally press the laptop to plug something into a port on the left side. It is no big deal to ask Chrome what you want to do – power off, sign out or lock – before you do anything; It’s just anger. Lenovo has USB-C ports on both sides, and you can charge either device.

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It is easy to read with or without a backlight on the keyboard. Josh Goldman / CNet

Get to play through work

The rest of the Flex 5 is only good in size. The keyboard is comfortable with a pleasing flutter in it. Also, it is backlit, which is something you will not find on cheap models. The touchpad is nothing special, but the work is done with minimal lag and is still quite large.

Given the system’s 4GB of memory, overall performance is better than I expected. I did not experience any lethargy while working in Google Docs and Sheets, streaming video or music, and basic photo editing. Then again, I keep my number of open chrome tabs under 20. The biggest problem is that you can’t add more memory after soldering to 4GB later. Battery life is very good, too, coming in 11 hours and 22 minutes on our streaming video test. For more specific work usage, I expect around 7 to 8 hours of usage.

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Flex 5 Chromebook. Josh Goldman / CNet

I played some Android games from the Google Play store and did not experience any slowdown. And if you want to take advantage of Google’s streaming game service, The stadium, or Nvidia’s GeForce Now Service, You will appreciate Flex 5’s faster Wi-Fi 6 support (though) You will need a new router To take advantage of it).

If you need a Chromebook as the primary device, then the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 ($ 488 at Walmart) An excellent option, especially if or when the price drops back to its regular $ 410. A cheap Chromebook can definitely help you get your work done right now. The features and performance of the Flex 5 should last you longer, however, and for a bit more money.

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