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Lenovo IdeaPad 3i Chromebook 11 Inch HD Laptop (Intel Celeron, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, Intel UHD Graphics 600, Chrome OS) – Onyx Black

£9.9£99Clearance
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About this deal

Ara loves Android phones so much that she wears a shoulder holster to ensure they're never out of reach, and if you see her without headphones, RUN. Don't get me wrong, HDMI without having to hassle with a Chromebook-friendly USB-C hub can be handy, especially in a classroom setting where everyone may need to go plug in and show their presentation through the projector, but having a spare port for charging if the first one breaks would be so much more handy. The use of a TN panel instead of a more advanced in-plane switching (IPS) one especially reduces the IdeaPad 3’s screen quality, making colors appear washed out if you view it from an angle. You can fullscreen an Android app and use it like that, snap two apps side by side, or watch fullscreen video with it propped up on its stand - it helps that the Duet 5 uses an OLED 1080p touchscreen, for punchy colours and good contrast. The thick bezel I mentioned above is old fashioned and something of an eyesore, but is very useful when handling the Chromebook in tablet mode as it gives you an easy way to hold the device.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i review: A likeable but flawed Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i review: A likeable but flawed

Comparing the Chromebook Flex 3i with the 13-inch Apple iPad Pro ( not exactly a fair comparison as the iPad Pro costs considerably more) and the Flex 3i is considerably thicker, but easier to fit into a more compact bag or tote. It’s an IPS LCD panel, which lifts it slightly over the more budget-friendly TN technology, but it won’t hit the heights reached by OLEDs. With four USB ports in total and a microSD card reader, the IdeaPad 3 offers superior physical connectivity, even compared with the Pixelbook Go and other Chromebooks that cost far more.That sense of engineering quality extends to the keyboard, which has plenty of keystroke and a really solid base. I didn't try dumping a full glass of milk on it, but a few drops of water brushed off with no adverse affects. The Flex 3i has a low-end hardware specification but benefits from a convertible chassis; you can fold the display around to turn the Chromebook into a thick tablet or use it in tent mode, ideal for watching videos. Were this a Windows machine, that Intel Celeron chip, 4GB of memory and 64GB eMMC SSD would be enough to invoke fear of the almighty, as in almighty awful performance. The IdeaPad 3’s touchpad is adequate, though I found its Mylar surface to offer rather jerky trackpad movements.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook review | TechRadar Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook review | TechRadar

It’s popular with PC gamers, as it gives a sharp picture without putting the strain on the GPU that a 4K image would. What’s more, it has awful vertical and horizontal viewing angles, meaning you have to sit directly in front with the screen tilted just so if you want to see what’s going on. An 11-inch laptop is about as small as it’s possible to go without creating something totally unusable or having to type with your thumbs. No screws or gaps mar the clean lines of the display lid or the edges of the laptop, which is clad in a mixture of polycarbonate and ABS plastics. Their lack of onboard storage isn’t a problem, and the ability to run Android apps (and even Linux applications if you’re a bit more confident) mean they’re extremely good general purpose laptops, perfect for younger members of the family or users less steeped in the complexity of modern PCs.Of course, there are now numerous affordable 2-in-1 Chromebooks to choose from, including the Acer Chromebook Spin.

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