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Lenovo Unveils Two New Chromebooks, Staring at $279

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 13.10.26

Lenovo has announced that it is bringing two new Chromebooks to market this summer, with one sporting a unique ‘flex’ touchscreen able to flip over backwards.

The notebooks are the first consumer-orientated Chrome devices to be offered from the laptop maker. It has previously produced ruggedised versions of its Yoga line running Chrome OS for education.

N20p Stands Out From The Crowd

Despite the swelling ranks, the current range of Chromebooks available are fast becoming identical (give or take some over adjective-ised colours). Lenovo is hoping that the new N20p Chromebook, with a hinged 300 degree display, will be able to (pun intended) stand out.

Unlike the Yoga 11e Chromebooks, this one only has two modes: laptop or ‘tent’. It doesn’t fold back flush to form a tablet. The screen supports 10-point touch.

For those looking for a less acrobatic device a flex-free version sans touchscreen functionality will also be available. Display features aside, both the clamshell and its more agile sibling feature more or less the same internal specifications, including the same dual-core Bay Trail CPU and 16GB flash storage.

  • 11.6-inch display (1366×768) 
  • Intel Celeron N2830 processor @ 2.41 GHz
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics
  • 16GB eMMC storage 
  • 2GB or 4GB DRR3L RAM
  • 8 Hour Battery
  • Webcam, 2x USB, HDMI, SD Card Reader

Size, weight and price comparison

At just 17.9mm thick when closed, and weighing in at less than 1.4kg (the N20p is a touch heavier than the N20) the devices compare favourably against similar models on the market.

At $329, the N20p is also less expensive than the Thinkpad Yoga 11e Chromebook which retails to education at $349. While it lacks the benefit Yoga’s ‘tablet’ mode and IPS screen, you do get a better processor and a $20 saving.

The other consumer touchscreen Chromebook (putting the pricey Pixel to one side) is the Acer C720P. This sells for somewhere around $299 in the US. It’s cheaper but doesn’t include the flexible form factor functionality of this latest offering from Lenovo.

The N20 isn’t quite as well-priced at $279, making it almost $80 more expensive than the entry Acer C720.

Pricing & Availability

Lenovo say the N20 Chromebook will be available to buy in the US this July starting at $279. The more desirable N20p will land in August at a slightly more expensive entry point of $329.

Intrigued? Hit play on the video below to see a Lenovo rep demo the devices first hand.

  • Jon A.

    Well, it’s stylish.

  • Wesley Files

    Potentially a cost-effective compromise for those who want a Chrome OS tablet.

    If we see some news out of the Intel event today, or Google I/O, about Chrome OS advancing it’s touch-screen interface, then I might be very interested in this one.

    • AJ

      “… this one only has two modes: laptop or ‘tent’. It doesn’t fold back flush to form a tablet.”

      • Wesley Files

        “compromise”

  • r4in

    Pretty heavy and not so cheap. Also wasted opportunity – why only 300 degrees?

  • Core23

    Where are the 4gb models? (Ahh, video states up to 4gb)

  • Felix

    Some websites say it has an Intel quad core processor. Does anybody know more on this?
    Is it really “only” the Intel Celeron N2830?

    • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      We’ve asked Lenovo for clarification on this. Reports are contradictory at the moment, but I suspect there will be a quad-core option (as with 4GB) but that the base models will use the dual core Celeron N2830.

  • M4rduk

    “It doesn’t not fold back flush to form a tablet.”.

    So … it does?

    :)

  • Curtis Mitchell

    Meh. I don’t need to hide my keyboard so badly when I’m streaming that I would need this. A full yoga style chromebook might be very useful. Still, more choice and all that jazz.

  • Kevin Allen

    Does this chromebook “stare at $279″ meaning it spends a lot of time looking at money or does it “start at $279″???????

  • miri

    Looks solid, but I just want IPS.

  • norcal1953

    No IPS = no go. HP Chromebook 11 sets the standard.

    • Core23

      I thought I heard her mention an IPS screen on the Google/Intel Q&A session.

      • miri

        The Yoga has IPS, this is TN.

        • Edward Ashdown

          Another reveal article said that the screen specs are identical to the HP 11… ?

  • Seriously now?

    The 11e is where it’s at for a Lenovo Chromebook. I’m glad Lenovo has finally started moving in the Chromebook market. I’ll be waiting for an 11-inch / sub-2.5 lbs Thinkpad Chromebook for my next buy, but until then I’m happy to follow these first efforts.

  • Mark

    Gimmick. Touch is for tablets not laptops. This just becomes an inconvenience and put finger prints on your screen which I hate. Tablets dont have keyboards for mobility making touch a must feature. And since when is chrome a touch based os? Want to play touch based games, use your tablet.R

  • Mark

    Anybody….. give me a 17 inch chromebook with good resolution please.

    • dourscot

      Connect it to a monitor.

      • mark

        So… can I take the monitor from the bedroom, to the living room, to the kitchen, out to the pool. Duh.

    • Core23

      17″ laptops are in the desktop replacement category – don’t expect them to last too long on battery.

      • Mark

        I may be wrong but I think having a bigger size form enables manufacturers to put bigger more powerful batteries therefore the battery life should not be affected. May cost more, but I would be willing to fork out extra cost.

        • Core23

          My wife has a Dell studio 17 with a over-sized battery (85 WHr 9-Cell). When brand new it was lucky to go 3 hours, now it’s barely 2 hours on battery. It’s not a Haswell i7, so these might be better now. Kids have a 17″ HP, and that makes it about 60-70 minutes on battery. But regardless, a 17″ laptop is not something you want to work with on your lap.

  • Matthew Wright

    Looks nice, decent specs, and I would hope the keyboard is up to Lenovo standards. I love my Acer C720 to the ends of the earth, but I find myself making more than a few errors when typing, possibly due to how light and flat the keys are. The micro HDMI port on the Lenovo is a bit of a drag…that means carrying around a cable with you everywhere you might want to hook up to a big screen.

  • Edward Ashdown

    Hope this launches in Britain soon… the size is perfect (though a little weighty), the look is great, and though I think the touch is a gimmick at this stage, the N20 looks like (with some of the customisation options) it could be the chromebook I’ve been waiting for to replace my 1st generation samsung. That is to say; 4GB RAM, Quad core intel processor, and a high(er) definition screen. Also anything above 6 hours battery life is great for me as I’m never exactly far from the charger for long. Frankly, for all that I’d be willing to stretch to £300… nevertheless, I hope it’s closer to £250-£275.

    • http://vicente-de-pierola.tumblr.com/ Vicente de Piérola

      I’m in a similar situation… Although availability is a huge problem here in Peru (my only choice is to get it through a courier company) I’m looking forward with something below $350 with 4GB of RAM, a last-gen Intel processor (or a Nvidia Tegra, if they have acceptable performance), a good display, and nice build quality and design. I agree that the touchscreen is absolutely unnecessary for a Chromebook. I would also appreciate a 13 inch display, as I’m not used to smaller screens. With all these in mind, my perfect Chromebook would be a Asus C300 with 4GB of RAM, but sadly that doesn’t exists, so my options right now are the Dell 11, the Acer C720, this Lenovo one, and surprisingly the CTL Education, too.

      • Edward Ashdown

        Have you seen the Acer C720-3871? It’s a new Intel I3 core chromebook, still only 11 inches (though trust me when I say you get used to it with a full sized keyboard pretty quick – I came from a 15 (or 17, I can’t remember) inch display straight down to the 11, and the portabity you gain with the smaller screen strips away the size ‘issue’ in my opinion. I agree with you though, that otherwise the C300 with 4GB RAM does seem ideal. The Acer C720 Tegra K1 is also an interesting development, but it sounds as though the actual ARM processor will be too low power to crunch the numbers needed to truly milk the graphical potential possible from the K1 chip.
        For this reason, I am now looking at the I3 Acer (with 4GB RAM), but am willing to be persuaded another way. At the moment, I have decided not to replace my chromebook till the New Year anyway, as I am going away for four months, and might as well use that time to let the CB market get even bigger and varied…
        Good luck finding the one for you! :)

        • http://vicente-de-pierola.tumblr.com/ Vicente de Piérola

          Thanks for the advice man! I think that the i3 upgrade wont be worth all the dollars of its probably elevated price, the Haswell Celeron CPUs already fly with 4GB of RAM in machines like the Dell 11, which is by the way beautiful.

          • Edward Ashdown

            I’ll definitely bear that in mind… I do believe however that Acer don’t want to raise the price past $350-$400 even for the I3, and I think that with the chromebook market expanding, the demands being placed on the processor as people want to image/video process/edit, the system may mature and produce applications (maybe even actual games in 3-5 years) that some future proofing may be worth an extra $50. I have always been interested in the Dell 11, especially with the nice(r) screen, but I am slightly put off by the width and fan in comparison to the samsung 1st gen.

          • http://vicente-de-pierola.tumblr.com/ Vicente de Piérola

            I hope you are right, mate. I also believe that Chrome OS is the future of computers. However, some years will pass till we actually have pro software for Chromebooks, and maybe at that time I will be thankful for an advanced Intel processor, so you just added one more to my list.

          • http://vicente-de-pierola.tumblr.com/ Vicente de Piérola

            WAIT.

            Check out what I just found out!!! There IS a 4GB RAM version of the Asus C300!!!! http://www.omgchrome.com/asus-chromebook-c300-unboxing-hands-review/ It is the education model, which will be available to public later this month at $329!!!!!

            So now my decision will be between the C300′s beautiful design and ideal screen size ( https://shop.promevo.com/index.php/chromebooks/asus/asus-c300ma-edu-chromebook-458.html ) and the new C720′s future-proof-ness (http://www.amazon.com/Acer-C720-3404-11-6-Inch-Chromebook-Granite/dp/B00KOUIZBC/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=ou00-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=DQR3BOIGIU3GQTZ2&creativeASIN=B00KOUIZBC)

            OMG

  • Fred .

    Lenovo – How to fit a 11″ screen in a 14″ laptop.