Submit A Tip Alternative Tip Form

First Look at Lenovo’s New Chromebook Convertible

As the first device approaching the tablet form factor to run Chrome OS, the lack of hype around the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e is perhaps a little surprising.

But the convertible Chromebook, which is being targeted at the education market, is edging closer to release. Lenovo say it should be available to buy in both Windows and Chrome OS flavours sometime in June.

Ahead of its release, Lenovo has given several technology sites a brief hands-on with some prototypes.

ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook

The convertible ThinkPad Yoga 11e lets you fold the screen back 360 degrees behind the keyboard so that you hold the device like a traditional tablet. Additional positions are touted, such as ‘tent mode’, and the device can even be laid out entirely horizontal.

Yoga Chromebook

Yoga 11e Chromebook (Image Credit: Brad Linder)

Key Stats at a Glance:

  • 11.6-inch IPS touch display (1366 x 768) with Gorilla Glass 
  • Quad-core Intel Celeron N2920 (Bay Trail) @ 1.8GHz 
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB SSD
  • 8 hours of battery life
  • Priced from $429 

Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Chromebook

Flashy flexible model aside, Lenovo will also launch a more traditional clamshell Chromebook alongside the Yoga, in the shape of the ThinkPad 11e. This 11.6-inch notebook is also aimed at the education market, where it will come badged with a RRP starting at $349.

Key Stats at a Glance

  • 11.6-inch HD LED display (1366 x 768) 
  • Quad-core Intel Celeron N2920 (Bay Trail) @ 1.8GHz  (Haswell option on Windows models)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB SSD (HDD option on Windows models)
  • 8 hours of battery life
  • Priced from $349 

Build

When it comes to hardware on the inside, both the flexible and inflexible models are made up of the same parts: both weigh in at around 3.3Ibs, both are just under one-inch thick and all feature the same array of ports and connectivity options (with the exception of ethernet, which is only available on Windows models).

Both devices are built with a strengthened plastic shell capable of withstanding the inevitable knocks and scrapes in the classroom. Rubber bumpers, reinforced ports and a set-in keyboard whose keys can’t be picked off all aid in defending the device from riotous little hands.

Intel Core i-series chips will also be available in select models. But with more power comes more power usage. Reps state that these Haswell models will see battery life reduced from 8 hours to just 6 hours.

Release Date

So when can you buy one? While aimed at education institutions Lenovo will be selling both devices directly to consumers. Chrome OS models will launch sometime in June, while those running Windows 8 are expected to arrive later this month or early May.

  • shoryumike

    429 bucks? No, thank you Lenovo.

    • http://www.dahayden.com/ David Alastair Hayden

      That’s for the Yoga. The non-Yoga is cheaper. Also, these have been ruggedized for school abuse. They’re not built with consumers foremost in mind.

    • http://drgeorge.org/ ricegf

      Touchscreens seem to add about $100 to the cost of a laptop (the C720P with touchscreen is $299 but without the 360 hinge) and a convertible hinge about another $100, so if a “normal” Chromebook is $199, this convertible is priced about right.

      If you don’t need to convert but want touch, get a C720P. If neither, you have a world of options. But for those who want both, this is a good option.

      • calden74

        Don’t forget that you are also getting a faster CPU, actually it’s the fastest CPU outside of the Google Pixel that you can get in a Chromebook. It’s a QuadCore chip vs. a DualCore found in the Acer, HP or Toshiba x86 models. The new N2920 is also only 7.5 Watts compared to 15 Watts the 2955U commands, so I would expect better battery performance as well.

        • http://drgeorge.org/ ricegf

          I hadn’t noticed that. Thanks for pointing it out. If I didn’t already use my beloved C720P, the convertible would be very tempting!

          • r4in

            The “U” Celeron in C270 is WAY faster (Core architecture) than “N” Celeron (Atom based). More like a downgrade.

  • Anonymoused

    The reason I wanted a Chromebook was to steer FAR from the tablet form factor. No thanks Lenovo, I’ll pass.

    • http://www.dahayden.com/ David Alastair Hayden

      One of the models didn’t have a tablet mode.

      • Anonymoused

        Yeah, but it’s still a touchscreen with only 2GB of RAM. They could have made a touchless one and added more RAM. With that IPS screen, it’d be perfect with more RAM and less gimmick.

    • Peddler

      Perhaps it’s not aimed at you.

    • calden74

      Wow, that’s a pretty ridiculous comment. Why would you think companies would ignore one of the most successful form factors available today. The Yoga has a very intuitive hinge, it’s so unintrusive that a first time user wouldn’t be able to tell it could fold all the way back, they would think they were using a normal laptop. There are no visual cue’s to suggest that this a hybrid so I’m dumfounded as to what you are actually protesting against. I would recommend doing a little more research in the future instead of posting such an obviously childish and uneducated comment.

      • Anonymoused

        Actually, yours is pretty ridiculous because I never once claimed that they should ignore a certain form factor (though I would hardly call tablet the most successful one, seeing as how many people WANT a keyboard).

        My comment is childish and uneducated because my opinion and preference don’t match yours? THAT is a childish and quite ignorant opinion.

        • calden74

          I can care less if your oppinions match mine, I never astrosized you for being different. It’s the way you childishly jumped all over a form factor without doing any research on the matter. The Yoga for all intensive purposes is a laptop, there is no way a user would know that the hinge could fold completely back unless they knew forehand. Look, If you would have simply stated that you didn’t have any need for a tablet mode and left it at that I wouldn’t have jumped in. It’s just I can’t stand when people get annoyed about things they have no interest in, keep it to yourself, comments like these add absolutely nothing to the conversation.

          • Anonymoused

            couldn’t care less*

            You’re again calling me childish for stating my PERSONAL OPINION on a form factor. I don’t believe you understand what makes something childish. Your comments don’t add anything to conversation; comments are what they are: comments. They are statements or opinions made by people. You do not get to choose what opinions get posted, end of story.

  • Colin Scroggins

    I am unlikely to buy any Chromebook models with less than 4GB of RAM. While I know they run passably with 2, I have seen the difference in my C720 and Pixel and will not be going back!

    • calden74

      I don’t understand why people dont get that you can add an additional 2Gb for like 20 dollars nowadays. The Yogas has 2 sodimm slots, with only one filled.

      • Peddler

        It depends on the model. The recent Toshiba comes with 2GB of RAM and no upgrade socket. That means you have to chuck away 2GB RAM to load 4GM.

        • calden74

          Okay, so it costs an additional $40.00 dollars for 1, 4GB DDR3 1600 module, it’s not the end of the world..

  • http://www.dahayden.com/ David Alastair Hayden

    I would be very interested in the 11e if it had the IPS display from the Yoga version.

  • cakezula

    2gb ram? In 2014?

    • lerm

      Right? That’s exactly how I feel. In my opinion, it should be illegal to make a $400 (or more) laptop or Windows tablet with the specs of a high end smartphone.

  • Denis Spahic

    ARRGHHH!

    I’m sick of companies like IBM thinking they will get somewhere with a $400+ CB.

    Correct me if I am wrong… The whole idea of a chromebook is a fast, easy & cost effective way of getting work done. Who the F*** is going to buy this? Of course some (dumba**) will buy because of the stupid rotating screen. But look at the specs..

    Specification wise what differentiates this from a $250 CB? …. NOTHING, nothing worthwhile any way.

    What company will spend $400+ on this damn thing for its employees? When everything can be done on a $250 CB just as efficiently.

    I hope these IBM scumbags fail right alongside of Microsoft.

    • Arctos

      um ibm is not lenovo sorry

      • Denis Spahic

        They work together… so same thing.

        • calden74

          Actually they don’t, where did you even hear that from, IBM sold Lenovo their PC business in 2005, which included the brand name ThinkPad, that was the first and last of any collaboration between the two companies. So fast foward 9 years later and it iz very apparant tbat you should really catch up on your tech news, especially before posting something that you are so addiment about being the truth. Another thing you are missing is that the build quality for these hybrid ChromeBooks is much, much better then your Acer, I’m assuming that is what you have. It’s also a Hybrid, the first of it’s kind, so you should expect a little price deviation from a normal ChromeBook. I actually think it’s a very approachable price, as a current Yoga user myself I know that they are fantastic machines built to last, in fact these were actually intended for schools, so you know their tough. Lenovo also ships their Yogas with one very easy to access slim slot free if you buy one with 2GB or 4GB. So adding another 2GB for 20 bucks isn’t the end of the world, shitt I have like 4 2GB DDR2 1600 sodimms in my drawer, I bought 5 for 25 bucks at a clearance sell. This will also blow the doors off of the new Samsung Chromebook, probably twice as fast so before you compromise on price alone you should do a little more research. This is good machine, priced competitively, tough, just because it doesn’t meet your meager budget, mean that others like myself wont be interested. Save your juvenile critics for when the product actually ships and ends up in the hands of the people. Till then your just blowing hot air and frankly it’s disturbing how ignorant your being for passing judgment on something you haven’t even used.

        • Peddler

          You’re obviously not well informed.

        • JPB

          No, they don’t. In fact, IBM employees, as of this year, don’t even have a choice to get a Lenovo laptop system as their choice this year. It’s Toshiba or Mac, and some divisions don’t even get the Mac choice. The contract between IBM and Lenovo is over and was not renewed.

          So, before you call anyone a scumbag, you might want to get your facts in order.

    • http://cendigital.com/ Nick

      I would totally buy a $400 CB, and probably will when the new Samsung comes out later this month. However my $400 CB will have 4GB of ram, I couldn’t go back to 2GB, having used CB with both and compared them.

    • Peddler

      That’s a rather extreme view. To take on Windows 8 Chromebooks need to be available in a number of formats, including better-made $400 versions. There’s nothing about the idea that requires Chromebooks to be dirt cheap. It’s still very competitive.

      Btw, IBM and Lenovo are different companies.

    • JPB

      IBM? What on earth do they have to do with this?

    • Stefano Carlo Coronado Mondoñe

      IBM does not do the Thinkpad anymore.

  • https://fossreviews.wordpress.com/ Ads20000

    Would be great if Google could make Chrome OS the ‘desktop mode’ and Android the ‘mobile mode’ and then merge the operating systems so that convertibles are more feasible. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but they have the same kernal…

  • Heimen Stoffels

    I don’t have a Chromebook, but I do have the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13 with Arch Linux and it has the same convertible features as this 11e with ChromeOS. So let me tell you: it’s an awesome convertible! So it’s worth it.

    • Stefano Carlo Coronado Mondoñe

      How well did it handle UEFI booting?

      • calden74

        The Yoga 13′s be switched to Legacy mode allowing for installation of pretty much anything. Though you can also install Linux through UEFI just fine, It’s only the 32bit WIndows 8 tablets that have a problem. I have a Orange Yoga 13 Pro, it probably has the most incredible screen I have ever seen on any notebook but expect to pay at least 900 dollars for that feature. The normal Yoga 11 or 13 both have 1080P displays that are also pretty great. I couldn’t recommend a Yoga series laptop enough, they’re fantastic machines for the price.

  • omgchrome

    Why can’t anyone make an 11 inch chromebook with 4 gig of ram, an ips display, with a Haswell processor. Is that really too much to ask?