Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook review: An more affordable 2-in-1 for school or work

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An very perfect Chromebook value if you occur to’ll be in a build to glimpse past some display and speaker points.



Jared Newman / IDG

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  • Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook 82B80006UX

Originally converse, the Lenovo Flex 5 seems discover it irresistible can even peaceable value great extra than it does (at the 2nd $478 on Amazon). This 13-go convertible computer has a 1080p display, a rapid keyboard, and a 10th-technology Intel Core i3 processor, plus it weighs much less than three pounds.

There might perchance be repeatedly a employ, even supposing, and in this case, it be the demonstrate. Though it looks fascinating sufficient and gives handsome viewing angles, the amount of gentle bleed around the perimeters of the demonstrate carry out for an gruesome multimedia trip, namely when mixed with anemic stereo audio system.

The is a computer that you potentially would no longer deserve to use for media playback. However if you occur to can even very neatly be simply trying to safe a reasonable, browser-first computer for productivity or schoolwork, the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook is a mighty value.

This review is portion of our ongoing roundup of the final note laptops. Trudge there for info on competing products and the diagram we examined them. 

Tech specs

The Lenovo Flex 5 comes in lots of variations, but the $410 model we reviewed has the next specs:

  • 13-go, 1080p IPS touchscreen with 360-stage hinge
  • Intel Core i3-1011U processor
  • 64GB of eMMC flash storage
  • 4GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 720p webcam
  • Left facet: USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, headphone jack, MicroSD card slot
  • Top possible facet: USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, Kensington Lock
  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.97 pounds (3.6 pounds with energy brick)
Jared Newman / IDG

You might perchance well perchance perchance possibly also price the Lenovo Flex 5 thru the USB-C ports on eithre facet.

These are somewhat great the categorical tech specs for a Chromebook. Whereas Lenovo does offer configurations with a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, that’s potentially going to be overkill unless it is possible you’ll perchance perchance perchance also very neatly be a energy user running some traumatic Linux purposes. Even with an Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM, you potentially will no longer converse any slowdowns while bouncing among browser tabs, nor can even peaceable you bear got any bother with Android apps love Microsoft Discover. The port possibility is solid as neatly, assorted than the shortage of an HDMI port for connecting an exterior demonstrate.

Develop and demonstrate

Lenovo made an unprecedented resolution with the accomplish gives for the Flex 5. Whereas the head cloak is made of aluminum, the underside part uses ABS plastic. You might perchance well perchance perchance possibly also actually feel and converse the variation in gives, with aluminum being extra reflective and cooler to the touch. Clashing textures aside, the Flex 5 is somewhat honest for a cheap computer, with fascinating facet edges and an angular entrance lip such as Lenovo’s pricier C740 and C940 Yoga vary.

Jared Newman / IDG

It’s miles not repeatedly noticeable, but the Flex 5’s aggregate of steel and plastic can clash in constructive lighting fixtures.

The demonstrate feels plenty more affordable, even supposing. Whereas the 13-go touchscreen can flip around 360 degrees into tablet mode, brightness maxes out at 250 nits, which shouldn’t be any longer ultimate to be used out of doorways or in deliver sunlight.

The demonstrate panel also has gentle bleed points, showing up as blotches of intellectual gentle around the perimeters of the display. You will not converse it great on gentle backgrounds, but it absolutely turns into evident in darkish scenes correct thru video playback.

Jared Newman / IDG

This image, taken of a dark background at hour of darkness, helps illustrate the gentle bleed on the Flex 5, namely in the head-upright corner of the display.

And while the Flex 5 technically helps stylus input, Lenovo does not embody one in the box, nor does the computer provide a convenient build to position it.

Jared Newman / IDG

The Flex 5 can fold into a tablet, but you are going to deserve to provide your dangle stylus for drawing.

Keyboard and trackpad

In case you love a serene keyboard, it is possible you’ll perchance perchance perchance also very neatly be going to adore the one on the Flex 5. The backlit keys barely carry out a sound if you depress them (even supposing the build bar’s somewhat louder than the leisure), and so that they offer a good diminutive bump as you press down. Unlike Lenovo’s pricier laptops, the Flex 5’s keycaps carry out no longer bear the rounded (or “scooped”) bottom edges which might perchance even very neatly be supposed to compare the form of your fingers, but that did no longer gradual down my typing in any noticeable means.

Jared Newman / IDG

The Lenovo Flex 5 has a mighty keyboard and a appropriate trackpad.

The trackpad, in the interim, is as mighty as what you are going to safe on Lenovo’s extra costly Yoga, but sadly it be no longer somewhat as tender. Discover too great stress, and your finger will skip across the trackpad as you try and transfer the cursor around. Delight in lots of assorted PCs, the click mechanism might perchance be on the stiff facet, and it gets stiffer the farther your finger moves up the trackpad. It’s a tolerable trackpad trip total, but no longer a mighty one.

Webcam and sound

The Flex 5 Chromebook’s multimedia parts are about as reasonable as you are going to seek info from of for this tag vary. The 720p webcam produces bland and grainy movies, so you are going to glimpse no better than the overwhelming majority of somewhat tons of of us video-chatting from their laptops. The camera does, nonetheless, embody a physical privateness shutter that you are going to be in a build to poke over the lens.

Sadly, there shouldn’t be any microphone shutoff key for speedily disabling the Chromebook’s Google Assistant points. To pause Assistant from listening, it is possible you’ll perchance perchance perchance possibly bear to dig into the Flex 5’s settings menu.

Jared Newman / IDG

Delight in lots of assorted Lenovo laptops, the Flex 5 has a privateness shutter for the webcam.

Talking of audio, the speaker grilles on both facet of the Flex 5 keyboard glimpse love they’d pack a punch, but actually the 2W audio system bear virtually no bass and carry out no longer ranking very loud. They carry out at the least offer some decent stereo separation.

Efficiency

To reiterate, this shouldn’t be any longer a high-efficiency Chromebook. Its 10th-technology Intel Core i3-10110U processor is, nonetheless, a in the reduction of above the Pentium- and Celeron-powered machines that promote in the $200 to $300 vary. Our benchmark trying out turned up some surprisingly solid outcomes even when put next with some Core i5-based mostly mostly models.

First up is CrXPRT 2, a favorite efficiency check that simulates a gamut of initiatives akin to portray enhancing, demonstrate-taking, exhibiting webpages, and rendering 3D graphics. The Lenovo Flex 5 did advance in in the help of somewhat tons of Chromebooks with faster chips and extra RAM, akin to Asus’ Chromebook Flip C436, but no longer by great.

Melissa Riofrio / IDG

Lower-raze tech specs did not pause the Flex 5 from doing neatly in CrXPRT 2.

The Flex 5 fared even better in the Speedometer 2 benchmark, edging out the aforementioned Chromebook Flip. This check measures responsiveness in web apps by adding, eliminating, and checking off objects in a to-carry out listing. Anecdotally, I ran into no frustrations the use of web apps in real use, and the benchmark check validates that trip.

Melissa Riofrio / IDG

The usage of web apps love Gmail or Google Scientific doctors can even peaceable pose no concerns for the Flex 5. In Speedometer it holds up even subsequent to increased-raze machines.

Basemark Net 3.0 became extra of a peril for the Flex 5, which shouldn’t be any longer a massive shock as it assessments graphically-intense purposes alongside JavaScript calculations. It’s peaceable in the raze a low-efficiency machine geared toward favorite productivity initiatives.

Melissa Riofrio / IDG

Annoying graphics are no longer going to be a powerful suit for the Lenovo Flex 5.

Battery existence is somewhat of a letdown as neatly, lasting 8 hours and 47 minutes in CrXPRT 2’s battery rundown check. That is on the lower raze for a midpriced Chromebook, even supposing no longer horrible total. It wants with the plot to closing thru a college day’s worth of some distance away discovering out without area.

Melissa Riofrio / IDG

The Flex 5’s battery existence shouldn’t be any longer sinister, but assorted Chromebooks can closing plenty longer.

The Lenovo Flex 5 is a appropriate example of a Chromebook that is conscious of what it be for. The display’s gentle bleed points and audio quality are downers, but they’re no longer going to ranking in the project of labor or college. The aggregate of a 13-go beefy HD display, 10th-technology Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM is merely sufficient to take care of favorite productivity workloads while staying will below the $500 trace.

Chromebooks in favorite are no longer easy to safe at their real retail prices upright now, but the Lenovo Flex 5 is one that justifies even a somewhat inflated asking tag.

Reward: If you take care of discontinuance one thing after clicking hyperlinks in our articles, we would also develop a little commission. Read our affiliate link coverage for additional little print.

  • Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook 82B80006UX

    The Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook is an very perfect value if you occur to’ll be in a build to glimpse past some display and speaker points.

    Experts

    • 1080p display with broad viewing angles
    • Aloof, rapid keyboard
    • Solid efficiency for the worth

    Cons

    • Show has gentle bleed around the perimeters
    • Speakers are serene and missing in bass
    • Battery existence might perchance well perchance be better

Jared Newman covers non-public technology from his some distance away Cincinnati outpost. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech advice and Wire Cutter Weekly for relieve with ditching cable or satellite TV.

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