Debuted as part of Lenovo’s MWC 2023 announcements, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 wasn’t exactly a head-turner. While the upgrades over the older, affordable Lenovo Chromebook 3 (that device had the older Kompanio 500 processor from MediaTek inside) are nice to see, they are still firmly entry level and not wildly different than we see on quite a few Chromebooks these days.
However, just like we said about the similar IdeaPad Flex 3i we saw at CES 2023, the slight improvements are all in the right places this time around. Though I can’t remark on the rigidity of the frame, I’d wager a guess that this laptop is built in much the same way as the Flex 3i (they share some DNA), and that’s a good thing. The Flex 3i is surprisingly solid and even though it is all plastic, it does a good job of being affordable without feeling cheap.
With this new 14-inch IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook, you’re getting a 1080p screen that supports touch input and should hit a max brightness of 300 nits. That’s a big deal for an affordable device. Though Best Buy’s version gets 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, there should end up being options for 8GB of RAM and an upgraded 128GB of storage down the road.
Additionally, this $319 Chromebook gets updated connectivity options with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 to go along with the 1080p camera on the front. At 2.9 pounds, you’re also getting an expected battery life of over 13 hours, so that means this reasonably-light laptop can not just be easily transported; it can stay awake for a long time, too.
We’ve still been unable to fully test the new MediaTek Kompanio 520 that is inside this Chromebook, but our hands-on time with an ASUS model containing the same processor had us feeling pretty impressed by the performance, battery life and cost of Chromebooks with the Kompanio 520 inside. More testing is necessary, sure, but we’ll know soon enough about its general performance and I’m hopeful about it. There are a slew of these types of devices on the way, so I really want the Kompanio 520 to be a solid performer for the group of affordable Chromebooks we expect to see over the next few months.