Finding a Chromebook that’s easy on the wallet isn’t an easy task. Finding one that’s inexpensive and isn’t complete trash is even more difficult. When we discovered the dirt-cheap Lenovo Chromebook 3 at our local Walmart for only $169, it goes without saying that we were a little skeptical about how it would perform. Much to my surprise, I was floored by how well-built this little Chromebook is. The Intel N4020 processor runs like a champ and Lenovo did an awesome job making the Chromebook 3 look and feel like a device that cost twice as much.
Lenovo Chromebook 3 Review
The Lenovo Chromebook 3 could not have shown up at a better time. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic that left millions learning and working from home, a cost-effective and capable laptop is worth its weight in gold and then some. Sadly, the 4GB/32GB model of the Lenovo Chromebook 3 was and exclusive to Walmart and after quickly selling out, was relisted by third-party sellers for as much as $300. Bad form, indeed. A few weeks later, Lenovo finally released the 64GB variant of the Chromebook 3 on the company’s website for the reasonable price of $229. This model sold out just as fast, if not faster than the 32GB version, and stayed that way for weeks. Only recently did Lenovo replenish its inventory and you can once again pick up the 64GB version on the cheap. (Tip: you can save a little by using the promo code “extrafive” when you check out on Lenovo’s website. Thank me later.)
Either of these devices is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly device to handle middle-of-the-road tasks, video meetings, social networking, and such. However, it looks as though Lenovo is expanding this space with yet another version of the Chromebook 3. Our pal D.J. Lu sent us over a Best Buy listing that features a new Lenovo Chromebook 3 that’s powered by… AMD?
Before you get too excited, this is not the recently announced Ryzen AMD processor that will stand up to Intel’s Comet Lake CPUs. No, this is the AMD processor that has powered a handful of budget and EDU devices over the past couple of years. Think small core Gemini Lake similar to the Intel N4020 processor in the two Chromebook 3 models that we just talked about. Everything else about this new model appears to be identical to its Intel-powered siblings. It comes with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 1366×768 HD 11.6″ display. Performance should be comparable to the N4020 that I reviewed but the AMD A6 does trail slightly behind in CPU benchmarks. The margin is slim so I wouldn’t expect a noticeable difference between the two.
The best news about this new model is undoubtedly the price. You can’t get the $169 Intel version at the moment but the AMD version will retail for $199 when it is released. According to Best Buy’s listing, that will be on or around October 4th. If you’ve been hunting for a decent $200 device, you can wait a couple of weeks and pick this one up. It should serve you well. If you don’t mind spending thirty extra dollars, I’d recommend grabbing the Intel version from Lenovo. Apart from the marginal performance gains, you do get double the storage and that’s important if you’re using Android apps or have multiple users in your home.