There might already be tough competition for the best Chromebooks, but more options are always appreciated. Lenovo revealed the IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook 14″ today as a laptop that won’t break the bank.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook was announced today at Mobile World Congress, alongside many other new laptops from Lenovo. It’s intended as an affordable 14-inch Chromebook, at a starting price of just $340 — not quite the cheapest Chrome OS machine around, but it’s certainly close.
The laptop is powered by a MediaTek Kompanio 500 series chipset (MT8183), which was released in 2019 and is specifically designed for use in Chromebooks. It’s an ARM-based design with 8 CPU cores, and has already been used in other models from Lenovo, Acer, ASUS, and HP. You can expect similar performance to budget Chromebooks with Celeron or “Intel Processor” chips, but likely with better battery life, thanks to its ARM architecture.
Lenovo promises up to 13.5 hours of battery life, but manufacturers like Lenovo usually test battery endurance in non-realistic situations (e.g. screen brightness close to zero), so take that with a grain of salt. The laptop has a depth of just 18.6 mm or 0.73 inches, which is typical for a laptop of this size, but apparently is thin enough to earn the “Slim” monicker in the product name. That’s a little under twice as deep as Apple’s latest MacBook Air, which measures 0.44 inches or 11.3 mm. Lenovo’s laptop also weighs 1.3 kg, or 2.9 pounds.
The rest of the hardware is what you might expect from a budget Chromebook. The 14-inch screen is either a 1080p IPS touchscreen, a non-touch 1080p TN panel, or a mediocre non-touch 768p TN screen — some regions may only have one or two of those choices available. Lenovo will also sell the laptop with 4-8 GB RAM, 64-128 GB storage, and “up to” Wi-Fi 6 with Bluetooth 5.2. You also get one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A connector, a combo audio jack, and a microSD card slot. One or two more Type-C ports would have been nice.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook will be available in stores in May 2023, in both “Cloud Grey” and “Abyss Blue.” It should show up at Lenovo’s site and other retail stores.