One of the first Chromebooks we’ve had the opportunity to check out here in Las Vegas at CES 2023 is the brand-new Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i that was announced a few weeks back. If you recall, this Chromebook brings a lot to the table for an affordable device and could greatly change the landscape of low-priced, consumer-facing Chromebooks over the course of the next year.
Starting at $349, the Flex 3i gets a whole lot of the Chromebook equation right, arriving with a 12.2-inch 16:10 300 nit IPS display, a speedy Intel N100 or N200 processor, and options for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. With a convertible form factor, plenty of ports, and a sturdy build quality, I could see the IdeaPad Flex 3i becoming the absolute go-to affordable Chromebook in 2023.
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i Chromebook Key Specs
- Intel N100/N200 processor
- 4GB/8GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB storage
- 12.2-inch 1920×1200 IPS 16:10 display @ 300 nits
- 2.76 lbs.
- 11.18″ x 8.27″ x 0.72″
- 12 hour battery life
- Up to 1080p camera
- microSD card slot
- 1X USB 3.2 Type C
- 2X USB 3.2 Type A
- Headphone/mic jack
- HDMI 1.4 port
- Wi-Fi 6E
- Bluetooth 5.2
With that sort of spec sheet and a $349 starting price, I was already pretty excited about this Chromebook and what it could mean for the lower end of the Chromebook market. After getting hands on it here at CES 2023, I can confirm that this device will be important in 2023. We’ll likely see deals on it after it rolls out later in May of 2023 and that means we can expect to see a device with tons of upside hit the market that delivers a great ChromeOS experience on a budget.
We tested the Flex 3i and I can tell you that this is by far the fastest small-core Intel Chromebook we’ve ever seen. With Octane scores over 45,000 (take that with a grain of salt until it releases), there’s no doubt the N100 is legit and the N200 should be even more so. I can’t say for sure how fast the N200 and 8GB of RAM will be, but I’d imagine the performance bump will be noticeable. But even with the lowest configuration, this Chromebook moves around with ease.
Take that perfromance and combine it with what Lenovo claims as 12 hours of battery life and you get an affordable Chromebook that doesn’t force you to use a terrible, small, grainy display and feels a whole lot more like using a Chromebook that costs $100’s more. There’s no doubt in my mind that this will be a dominant seller for Lenovo this year, and I’m very hopeful that – like the Chromebook Duet from a few years back – this affordable Chromebook sets a trend for other manufacturers going forward.