If you’re new to Chromebooks you may want to find out more about how they work before buying one. The great thing about the Chromebook is you can get your hands on one without spending too much money. Lenovo has only been making Chrome OS laptops for a couple of years, but they’ve already proven they can make some seriously good laptops.
This Chromebook specification review will help you decide whether the IdeaPad Flex 3 is the right laptop for you. It’s a budget range laptop, which is why you can get your hands on one for a decent price. That doesn’t mean this laptop is not going to offer everything you need. It all depends on what you need a laptop for. By the time you’ve read this spec review, you’ll know everything you need to know and whether this Chromebook is the one for you.
IdeaPad Flex 3 Build Quality
The first thing to note about the IdeaPad Flex 3 is that it’s a 2-in-1 Hybrid Chromebook. This means the lid rotates 360-degrees. Chrome OS the operating system the Chromebook uses is capable of being used in both laptop and tablet mode. This means you’re getting your hands on a laptop that can be used as a tablet as well. Great value for money when you consider just how cheap this 2-in-1 laptop is.
It has a pretty compact body, which is thanks to the 11.6-inch display used. This makes it perfect if you want a laptop to take out and about with you. Another thing that makes it perfect for travelling is the weight. At just 2.64lbs / 1.2kg this is a really lightweight laptop. Something you can throw in your bag and forget about.
The borders around the display are a little on the large side. I prefer a laptop with smaller borders because they look much better. That being said, you’ve got to consider it’s very difficult to offer small borders with an 11.6-inch display. This is because you’ve still got to offer a decent size keyboard that you can type on. Large borders or a decent size keyboard? I’d choose a decently sized keyboard any day.
IdeaPad Flex 3 Performance
The great thing about the Chromebook is that it performs without having to have expensive interiors. All budget Chromebooks come with lower-performing processors compared to the medium-range and high-spec range of Chrome OS devices. Although this means they perform slower, they can still carry out most tasks without any issues. This is because Chrome OS is lightweight enough to work well even with a lower spec processor.
The Intel Celeron processor that comes with the Lenovo Flex 3 is what you’d find in most budget laptops. It’s perfectly capable of handling tasks such as internet surfing, word processing and just about anything else you can do online. When you consider most people buy a laptop to use the internet. A Chromebook is a great choice because the budget range can be bought at such a cheap price.
The good news is it comes with 4 GB of RAM. This is more than enough RAM for a Chromebook with an Intel Celeron processor. Sure, this laptop isn’t going to perform at amazing speed, but it isn’t going to be slow when doing what most of us do, which is internet surfing.
|Ideapad Flex 3
|Intel Celeron N4020
1.1 GHz / 2.8 GHz turbo
Storage options for the Ideapad Flex 3
There are two different options to choose from when it comes to storage. You can buy the cheaper one with 32 GB or spend a little more and get 64 GB of storage. The one that is right for you will depend on what you’ll be doing with your Chromebook.
For tasks such as internet surfing, word processing, spreadsheets, social media and streaming videos. You don’t need to be concerned about the amount of storage available. The Chromebook is a cloud computer, so you can get away without having too much storage. You need to have a Google Account to use a Chromebook. This account comes with 15 GB of cloud storage to use for free. This means you can save important files you want to keep in the cloud. Doing this will reduce the amount of local storage you use.
What does take up your local storage space is Android Apps. If you’re buying a Chromebook to use Android apps. Then the storage option you choose is important. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 with its 2-in-1 capability and touchscreen makes it perfect for Android App use. The 32 GB of storage option should let you easily install about 20 to 30 apps without any issues. If you’ll want to install more than this then the 64 GB storage option will be a better option.
|Storage Option 1
|32 GB (eMMC)
|Storage Option 2
|64 GB (eMMC)
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 display quality
The IdeaPad Flex 3 is perfect for anyone who wants a laptop that doesn’t take up too much room. The 11.6-inch display is compact enough to take it out and about without it causing you too many issues. I own a budget 11.6-inch Chromebook just for that use, as it’s much easier to carry around compared to a 14-inch model.
Because it has 2-in-1 capabilities, which mean you can use it as a laptop or tablet. This means it also comes with a touchscreen display. This makes it perfect for anyone who also wants to use Android Apps. It also makes it perfect for children who may need to use Android Apps at school. Also, for when they want to have some downtime and have a little fun with all the gaming apps available for Android.
It comes with a Standard Definition resolution of 1,366 by 768. This is the type of resolution you’d expect from a laptop at this price. In fact, you should not expect to get Full HD from an 11.6-inch display. You’d have to spend three times the amount. Although Full HD is great. Standard Definition works perfectly well on a display of this size.
What I’m really impressed to see is that it comes with an IPS panel. It’s really unusual to see a laptop at this price with IPS. Most budget laptops come with a cheaper TN panel. The IPS panel offers much better viewing angles and colours are more vivid and true to life.
|1,366 x 768 (SD)
IdeaPad Flex 3 Connectivity
Making sure your new laptop has all the connectivity you’ll need is often overlooked. However, it’s really important to make sure it has everything you need now and in the future. I’m really impressed with the connectivity options provided by the IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook.
Firstly, you get two older type USB-A ports. These ports are ideal if you have older hardware such as a mouse or external hard disk that uses the older USB Type-A connectivity. It’s also perfect when we consider the future. Newer laptops use Type-C USB ports, which offer more flexibility and it’s what most external hardware will use in the future. Having both types of USB ports means the Ideapad Flex 3 is very flexible indeed.
USB Type-C can also be used to charge your laptop or connect an external display. I like the fact Lenovo has put some thought and consideration into where these ports are located. Instead of them all being on one side of the laptop. You get both a USB A and C port on either side. This is really important because it means you don’t need to worry about the location of things you need to connect to your laptop.
The Micro SD slot available means you can add further storage at a later date. Adding further storage using an SD card is pretty cheap as well, so it’s great to see you have the option. A Headphone/Microphone jack is also provided.
|Micro SD slot
Automatic Update Expiry (AUE) date
All ChromeOS computers receive updates on a monthly basis. These updates bring new functionality to your Chromebook or Chromebox. Apart from offering some great new features with every update; these updates also ensure you’re safe when surfing online.
This is one of the reasons why ChromeOS computers are much safer than computers running on a different operating system. To continually improve ChromeOS and take advantage of the new technology found in the latest Chromebooks; all ChromeOS computers come with an AUE date. Once this date is reached your Chromebook will no longer receive automatic updates. Find out more about the AUE date and check the AUE date for any ChromeOS computer.
Is this Chromebook right for you
If you want a cheap laptop that offers 2-in-1 capability. Then you can’t really go wrong with the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3. What I like is that it’s available with two storage options, which makes it much easier choosing the right storage option to suit your needs.
The thing I’m most impressed about is that it comes with an IPS panel. An IPS panel offers a much better display than a TN panel, which is what you usually find on budget laptops. You’ll definitely notice the difference because it offers much better viewing angles and colours are more rich and vivid.
It’s a perfect laptop to use on the move. The added advantage of its 2-in-1 capabilities is the need for a touchscreen. Having a touchscreen means you’ll be able to use all of the Android Apps in the play store without any issues. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 is a great little Chromebook.
Where to buy
Below is a list of some of the retailers who sell Chromebooks:
Chromebook retailers (UK)
Chromebook retailers (USA)
Chromebook retailers (Canada)
Chromebook retailers (Australia)