A Chromebook with many minor flaws

FROMThere has been an operating system between Mac and Windows and between iPad and Android tablet for years that has its charm but is hardly known. In the notebook segment, Chromebooks have more than 10% of the market share. The suppliers are well-known manufacturers such as HP, Acer, Dell, Asus and Lenovo. Even so, most people don’t know what to do with the term Chromebook.

The idea behind this is to connect Google Chrome OS with Google services, Google account and Google Cloud. Google’s concentrated bundle ends up in notebook or tablet hardware that, at first glance, is not much different from conventional devices. So you can’t do without Google, it all depends on Google, you need to know it and not everyone will like it.

However, Chromebooks come at low prices as the operating system is economical on existing resources and the data ends up in the cloud anyway. Most programs run as a web application in your browser, no software to install. Updates are automatic and there is no need for a backup as everything is in Google’s clouds. You have to trust Google, they have total control of every Chromebook.

Remarkable in several ways

Android apps have even run on Chromebooks for a few years, but they’re far from all app scenarios, and scaling apps to a large monitor isn’t fun. Benefits include a Chromebook’s fast startup time, typically just ten seconds, and a long battery life of ten hours or more.

You log into your Chromebook with your Google Account and you will immediately find the complete working environment, including word processing Google docs and spreadsheets. In addition to the files created with a Google account in Google Drive, there is no additional file system on the device itself, although you can access external storage and data media in other cloud services. This sounds bad, but has the advantage that the entire Google ecosystem is available as soon as you sign in, and you can easily hand over your computer to someone else when you sign out.

Like almost all Chromebooks, young Lenovo does not need a fan and works silently.





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In the test
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Lenovo Chromebook

We’ve now tried the new Chromebook, which is remarkable in many ways. The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Duet is one of the few Chromebooks with a high-quality OLED display that offers high contrast, rich blacks and good color fidelity. One likes to watch a video in such an advertisement, especially since the diagonal is lush and is 13.3 inches, although the black borders are also lush. In addition, a resolution of only 1920 × 1080 pixels is a negative point, as is the maximum brightness of the reflective display, which is less than 400 candela per square meter.

Quiet work

IdeaPad comes with four or eight gigabytes of RAM, but you should always take the larger version. EMMC media with a capacity of 64, 128 or 256 gigabytes are used as flash memory. The operating system, including user data, occupied about 19 gigabytes on our test device, thanks to which there were more than 40 gigabytes left for additional data, even in the smallest expansion stage. IdeaPad does not have an adapter for memory cards, on the left and right side there is only one USB-C port with USB 3.1 data speed, to which you can connect the monitor. The battery life is 8 to 10 hours.

Like almost all Chromebooks, young Lenovo does not need a fan and works silently. This is also because the CPU is not the fastest. The second generation of the Snapdragon 7c causes some stuttering during demanding tasks and makes this Chromebook unsuitable for gamers. When it comes to common office tasks, editing texts in Google Docs or surfing the Internet, the machine is fast enough. However, the 10-finger typist is not satisfied with the keyboard provided. Like the touchpad under the keys, it only leaves an average impression. Interestingly, it is not possible to perform mouse clicks on the top edge of the touchpad.

To make the tablet ready for use, you need to magnetically attach the fabric back as a stand. The keyboard is also magnetically attached and makes contact with the base unit via five pogo pins. The whole thing is mechanically not too well thought out and complicated, nothing for frequent travelers who want to have a computer ready to work with one movement of the wrist. The fully equipped Ideapad weighs 1.2 kg, which is the same as a lightweight notebook. The tablet itself weighs just over 700 g. At a retail price of 450 euros (8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of memory), this Chromebook is aimed primarily at users who are looking for a large monitor with very good color reproduction. The iPad with the A13 processor is a bit cheaper and faster, but does not have an Oled display.

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