Last month, Lenovo quietly rolled out refreshed versions of the 11.6″ and 14″ Chromebook 3 powered by MediaTek’s MT8183 ARM processor. The 11.6″ Flex model showed up on Lenovo’s website last month for $319. This week, Best Buy has listed two configurations of the 14″ model and they are available for purchase should you find yourself interested in the Arctic Grey 180-degree clamshell.
Powered by the same MediaTek SoC found in the Duet Chromebook, don’t expect this Chromebook to be a workhorse but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering if you just need a device for casual use. The Lenovo Chromebook 3(14) has a starting price of $269 and that gets you a Full HD non-touch display with a meh 220 nits of brightness. Lenovo generally uses decent panels in its budget devices so it shouldn’t be a bad display to look at but you aren’t going to get a great experience in brightly lit areas. The better model comes with a 300 nit anti-glare touch display and whether you want a touchscreen or not, I think it will be worth the $30 upgrade just to get the brighter display.
Apart from the display, the devices are identical. You get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage to go with the MediaTek processor. Ports are minimal but still enough to be a productive Chromebook. The 14″ Chromebook 3 comes with 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, a MicroSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. If you dock your devices as we do to an external monitor, the USB-C port will do the charging and extend the display all at the same time. The Lenovo Chromebook 3(14) has upward-firing speakers on either side of the keys (which aren’t backlit in case you were wondering) but we’ll have to get one in before we can pass judgment on the audio quality. I’m not holding my breath that it will sound great but it should have enough volume and clarity to take some meetings or watch a YouTube video. You can find both models at the link below and we’ll get one in-house ASAP and let you know if this is a budget-friendly Chromebook worth your time.