Lenovo would perchance perchance also no longer possess the biggest tune file with its Dwelling windows-basically basically based laptops, however the firm’s Chromebooks possess every so frequently been radiant. The Lenovo C330 from 2018 used to be our high pick for a budget Chromebook, and extra only in the near past, we gave the Lenovo Chromebook Duet an 8/10.
This time around, we’re taking a watch on the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, a budget 13-prance Chromebook that ranges in tag from $360-410. There may perchance be a lot to esteem about the Flex 5, however one or two flaws attend me from total-hardheartedly recommending it to every person.
Technology News Invent and hardware
I haven’t had the correct experiences with Lenovo’s hardware in the past, however the Flex 5 appears very smartly-designed. It has an aluminum assemble that provides it very exiguous flex (ironic, given the title), which provides to the pc’s top class feel. No plastic to be considered.
The left facet of the Chromebook has a USB Form-C port, an older USB Form-A connector, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack, and a microSD card slot. Although the PC industry is sharp a long way from USB Form-A, I composed need laptops to embody no lower than one port — you by no manner know would perchance perchance possess to it is probably you’ll perchance must drag in an older accessory. On the particular facet, you secure an affect button, quantity controls, one more Form-C port, and a Kensington lock. You may perchance well use either Form-C connector for charging the Chromebook.
The Lenovo Flex 5 has two parts which would perchance be uncommon on Chromebooks, particularly objects in this tag vary. First, the audio system are located on every facet of the keyboard (esteem on MacBooks), as an quite loads of of beneath the frame. The audio quality is no longer mind-blowing, however the audio system sound extra sure than the bottom-firing audio system on most Chromebooks and other laptops.
The opposite keen characteristic is the bodily webcam privateness shutter, which blocks secure right of entry to to the entrance-facing digicam. Chrome (and by extension, Chrome OS) already tells you which ones internet apps and tabs are the utilization of your webcam/microphone with with out teach-considered indicators, so a privateness shutter is no longer as critical right here because it would perchance perchance be on a Dwelling windows pc, however I composed worship Lenovo along with it to the Flex 5.
Talking of the webcam, it has an f/2.0 lens with a maximum resolution of right 1280×720. The standard is handsome commonplace for pc webcams — it is no longer huge, however it no doubt’s adequate for calls on Duo or Zoom. In case you ever need something better, Chrome OS works with most PC webcams with none extra setup.
Light bleed on the present. That is at beefy brightness in a absolutely darkish room.
Tantalizing onto the Flex 5’s existing, the IPS 1080p panel every so frequently appears right, with crisp textual jabber material (with the exception of with Android apps, which appears to be a Chrome OS discipline) and brilliant colours. Then again, light bleed on the corners is simply considered would perchance perchance possess to it is probably you’ll perchance very smartly be staring at darkish jabber material. There also would now not appear like an oleophobic coating on the brilliant display disguise, so it is miles a fingerprint/smudge magnet.
Since right here’s a convertible pc, it is probably you’ll perchance flip all the way in which by the display disguise and use the Chromebook esteem a massive tablet. The hinge feels sturdy adequate, however the corners of the present are unbiased a exiguous bright, so keeping it in tablet mode is reasonably unhappy. The existing also supports stylus input, however annoyingly, Lenovo would now not embody a pen in the sphere.
Technology News Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on the Flex 5 is huge, and I even need it to the keyboard on the fresh $800 Asus Chromebook Flip C436. The keys are clicky, with a hump distance of 1.4mm. There may perchance be also a backlight, even supposing that is reasonably total on Chromebooks in this tag vary.
I haven’t got any solid emotions about the touchpad. Or no longer it is enormous adequate for gestures to work smartly, and although clicks feel a exiguous bit shallow, I attach no longer judge any person would possess a motive to whinge about it.
Technology News Performance and battery existence
While the exterior secure of the Flex 5 would perchance perchance also give the impression right here is an $800 pc, the hardware interior does the other. I reviewed the very best-conclude configuration, which has an Intel Core i3-10110U processor. Although it is right a reasonably-sophisticated model of the 14nm Skylake mobile chips that Intel has been producing for the past 5 years, performance is composed extra than adequate for Chrome OS.
What is no longer adequate is the 4GB RAM that Lenovo comprises on all configurations of the Flex 5. Chrome itself is memory-hungry adequate on its possess, however would perchance perchance possess to you combine that with an continuously-working container for Android functions (and a Linux container, if you could use that), the Flex 5 rapid runs out of RAM and has to dig into the disk’s swap put apart. When I handed 5 tabs, the Chromebook visibly started to slack down.
I also ran a few benchmarks on the Core i3 Flex 5. Geekbench 5 gave the Chromebook a single-core secure of 973 and a multi-core rating of 1662 (beefy outcomes). The older Geekbench 4 take a look at supplied a single-core secure of 4459 and 7095 for multi-core performance (beefy outcomes). Finally, the score-basically basically based Speedometer 2.0 take a look at ended with a secure of 105.
From left to right: Geekbench 5, Geekbench 4, Speedometer 2.0. Click on to expand.
Each and each of the decrease-tier objects use an Intel Celeron 5205U processor, which is much just like the Core i3 on paper, however with out hyper-threading — finest supplying you with two threads of CPU performance. I’m capable of no longer remark to staunch-world performance on those objects, since Lenovo finest sent me the Core i3 mannequin.
Lenovo claims the Flex 5 has a 10-hour battery existence, however right esteem with most pc battery existence estimates, that is wildly optimistic. In my extraordinary workload of 5-10 Chrome tabs and a few Android functions, I every so frequently reached 0% after about six hours of use. Battery existence is extremely reckoning on how it is probably you’ll perchance very smartly be the utilization of the Chromebook, so it is probably you’ll perchance secure a lot of outcomes.
Technology News Instrument
The Chrome OS trip rarely differs from mannequin to mannequin, so if it is probably you’ll perchance even possess outdated model any Chromebook in the past few years, it is probably you’ll perchance feel right at house on the Flex 5. You secure the beefy desktop Chrome browser, the Google Play Retailer for placing in Android apps (even in the event that they attach no longer work smartly on Chrome OS), and Linux utility attend.
There would perchance be GPU acceleration for Linux apps, however as I highlighted in my review of the Asus Chromebook Flip C436, that is composed no longer adequate to play most Linux-like minded games. Productiveness functions esteem LibreOffice and GIMP rush beautiful, even supposing.
This would perchance be among the many foremost Chromebooks to receive eight years of utility updates, so its attend would perchance perchance also no longer rush out except June 2028. I composed attach no longer esteem that Chrome OS ties utility attend at once to the hardware platform, however with finest 4GB RAM, the Flex 5 is no longer vastly future-proof initially.
Technology News Ought to composed you purchase it?
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (Core i3)
Presumably. If the IdeaPad Flex 5 used to be available in the market in a configuration with the Core i3 CPU and 8GB RAM, I would don’t possess any hesitation recommending it as the 13-prance Chromebook most folks would perchance perchance also composed purchase. The Flex 5 is constructed very smartly, and even doubtlessly the most costly Core i3 mannequin is half of the value of the Asus Chromebook Flip C436 and $240 beneath the corrupt mannequin Pixelbook Dash.
Then again, 4GB RAM is clearly the performance bottleneck (no lower than on the Core i3 mannequin), and it becomes glaring if you open extra than a handful of tabs. Or no longer it is miles a shame that Lenovo handicapped the Flex 5 by no longer offering adequate memory for an actual Chrome OS trip, even supposing in equity, there attach no longer appear like any Chromebooks with a linked processor and 8GB RAM anyplace near this tag vary. Lenovo’s possess Chromebook 14e prices $356 and has 8GB RAM, however it no doubt uses a low-strength AMD A4 CPU.
The much less-extraordinary objects of the Flex 5 look esteem better deals on paper, particularly the 32GB mannequin for $359.99. 4GB RAM is composed going to be a sore point, however no lower than it would perchance perchance also no longer be as much of a bottleneck on arrangement performance, and also it is probably you’ll perchance set some money. Then again, Lenovo did now not ship me those objects, so I’m capable of no longer boom for definite in the event that they’re value shopping.
Safe it if:
- You wish to possess a smartly-constructed Chromebook.
- You may perchance well’t use an extra $100 or $200 — if that is the case, there are alternate solutions with extra RAM.
Don’t purchase it if:
- You wish a Chromebook that would perchance perchance address intensive productiveness work.
- You may perchance well very smartly be choosy about display disguise quality.