The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 (82HG0006US) proves that for as long as you’re willing to overlook a small, dim display, you can have an excellent 2-in-1 convertible for some little money.
- Excellent value
- Solid build quality
- Great battery life
- Lackluster 11-inch screen
In practical matters, the most critical qualifier into buying the new Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is cash. This thing is damn cheap. The 82HG0006US model in this review is affordable enough to earn some leeway when it comes to day-to-day use expectations.
Which is col, because you can’t miss one or two shortcomings in a laptop this cheap. The most obvious is the Flex 3’s 11-inch display (not so high-quality, but at this price point you can’t have everything).
Nonetheless, the Flex 3 has a handsome blizzard white exterior, reasonably long battery life, and it even has an SD card reader to supplement the 64GB of internal storage.
- Read More : Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Review
A 2-in-1 convertible, with a Screen on Tap
Being a 2-in-1 convertible, the Flex 3 Chromebook can be used as a conventional laptop, and it can be popped up on a desk in tent mode. It can as well be used as a tablet PC of sort, since its keyboard can be completely folded underneath the screen.
In recent dayS, Google has made significant changes in the Chrome operating system to make it work better with touch screens in tablets and 2-in-1s, making the versatility in the Flex 3 worthwhile.
The Lenovo 82HG0006US is sturdy and good-looking, but it has some unnecessary heft and not the smallest 11-inch Chromebook around. The Chromebook in its entirety measures 0.7 by 11.4 by 8.4 inches (HWD), and weighs just 2.64 pounds. With these dimensions, it easily competes with 13-inch ultraportable laptops that cost anything north of $1000 or more. The Google Pixelbook Go, for instance, is 0.4 by 11.4 by 8.7 inches and weigh in at 2.4 pounds.
But…the Screen is Cramped and Dim
Then there’s the screen. If you’re thinking why Lenovo is offering such a glamorous piece of equipment at a palatable asking price, think again. The Flex 3’s most significant compromise is its cramped, dim 11.6-inch HD display. Yes, you can touch it, but with just 250 nits and a 720p resolution, that’s much lower than the 1080p we consider adequate for budget laptops.
As if the dim screen isn’t diminutive enough, it is flanked by huge black borders or bezels. They give the laptop a not-so-pleasing early-2000s aesthetics when you open it, considering most modern laptops have super-thin bezels that are sometimes difficult to see at first glance.
Comfortable Keyboard and Good I/O ports
With reasonably sturdy keycaps, the Lenovo ChromeBook Flex 3 offers a quality keyboard that’s above average for a budget laptop. Apart form an additional lock key, the Lenovo 82HG0006US Chromebook sports the usual Chromebook layout, that’s a bit different from that found on Windows PCs and Macs. You’ll enjoy the extra-large Ctrl and Alt keys that make up for the missing Windows or Command keys.
The touchpad is roomy and sturdy enough, with precise clicks and has vey little unwanted flex around the corners.
For I/O inputs, there is a USB-C port, HDMI and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, that’s handy for connecting thumb drives and external keyboards. You also have a SD card reader, a worthwhile inclusion for Chromebook users who need extra local storage.
Meanwhile, wireless connections include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. it doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802/11ax) wireless standard.
Average Chromebook Performance
Under the hood, the Chromebook Flex 3 (82HG0006US model) is available with a single set of components, and they are exactly what you’d expect of a Chromebook at this price point. In addition to the 64GB of flash storage, the Flex 3 includes a 2.1 GHz MediaTek MT8173C processor, with integrated PowerVR GX6250 graphic processor and 4GB of system memory.
Chromebooks were never created to be badass workhorses, since there are very few resource-intensive apps available for Chrome OS. As such, the flex 3 boots up quickly, just 10 seconds or less. In fact, the only difference you’ll experience between the Flex 3 and the Core i7-powered Pixelbook Go is occasional sluggishness from the Flex 3 when more than a dozen browser tabs are open.
That level of performance isn’t a drawback unless you’re planning on connecting the Flex 3 to an external display. After all, the Flex 3’s screen isn’t really wide enough to accommodate so many tabs in any case.
Granted, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is no powerhouse. Still, running Google’s Chrome OS and the G suite of apps is smooth than might think. That MediaTek chip has decent video decoding chops, too. So, decoding video streams or some locally stored video files puts very little load on the CPU. You can really count on smooth video playback.
Almost All-Day Battery…and Some More
The Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook’s battery life is adequate. Lasting just over 10 hours on a single charge, that should get you through a day of occasional browsing, but it’s still on the low end for a modern Chromebook.
On the other hand, that’s true all-day battery life and it’s the kind of performance you’d never get from a budget system. Clearly, less is sometimes more.
Should you buy the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3?
Perhaps the only main drawback in the Flex 3 is its cramped, dim, low-resolution display, which keeps it from getting an excellent rating. If you decide to overlook this – maybe you plan to keep the Flex 3 connected to an external monitor most of the time – it’s a worth investment. Otherwise, you’ll have to increase your budget to reach 2-in-1 Chromebooks like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 or the Google Pixelbook Go.
Just in case your budget can’t grow, and you can do with the 720p screen, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 (82HG0006US) is terrific value for a 2-in-1 Chromebook.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11" Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 82HG0006US, Blizzard White
$165.00 in stock
11 used from $67.74