The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a versatile 2-in-1 laptop and tablet that offers a great user experience for both work and play. With its sleek design and powerful hardware, it is a solid option for those looking for a portable and reliable device. In this review, we will take a closer look at its features and performance.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is the company’s first Chromebook Plus model. Chromebook Plus is a hardware specification that sets a minimum floor for high-performance Chromebooks. To be considered a Chromebook Plus, a device must have a 12th generation Intel i3 processor or a Ryzen 7000 series processor. It should also have at least 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, a full HD 1080p IPS display, a battery life of at least 10 hours, and a 1080p webcam.
The Flex 5i Chromebook Plus exceeds some of these specifications, as we will discuss further in this review. It is important to disclose that this device was provided on loan from Lenovo, but all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Nobody has paid for this review, and nobody has reviewed or approved the content before it was uploaded.
Pricing and Performance
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus has a price point of $499. It is equipped with an Intel i3 1315U processor and 8 GB of soldered RAM. The 128 GB of storage is in the form of an E MMC drive, which cannot be upgraded.
When it comes to performance, the Intel i3 1315U processor offers adequate power for everyday tasks such as web browsing, word processing, and media streaming. However, it may struggle with more demanding applications or multitasking. The 8 GB of RAM is sufficient for smooth navigation and multitasking within Chrome OS.
Design and Display
The Flex 5i Chromebook Plus features a convertible design, allowing it to be used as both a laptop and a tablet. The hinge mechanism is sturdy and allows for easy transition between modes. The device has a sleek and modern aesthetic, with slim bezels surrounding the 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display.
The display offers vibrant colors and wide viewing angles, making it suitable for media consumption and productivity tasks. It also supports touch input, which works well with the Chrome OS interface and Android apps.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The laptop-style keyboard on the Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is comfortable to type on, with well-spaced keys and a decent amount of key travel. The keys are backlit, which is a nice addition for working in low-light environments. The trackpad is responsive and accurate, providing smooth navigation and gesture support.
Battery Life and Connectivity
One of the key features of a Chromebook is its long battery life, and the Flex 5i Chromebook Plus does not disappoint in this aspect. It can easily last for a full day of use on a single charge, thanks to its efficient hardware and optimized software.
In terms of connectivity, the device offers a good selection of ports, including two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. The USB-C ports support data transfer and display output, making it easy to connect external devices and monitors.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus features a 14-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920×1200. While it may not offer the best color accuracy with only 45% of the ntsc color space covered, it still provides a visually appealing experience. The 16:10 aspect ratio adds to the overall viewing pleasure, making it suitable for various tasks.
Design and Build
This 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid is a combination of metal and plastic materials, resulting in a well-constructed device. The flexibility of the design allows you to switch between laptop and tablet modes effortlessly. The touch display adds an extra layer of convenience, giving you the option to interact directly with the screen. Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus boasts a sleek and versatile design.
One downside of the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is its weight. At 3.57 lb or 1.62 kg, it may feel slightly heavy compared to other laptops in its category. However, this trade-off in portability is reflected in its affordable price tag. If you prioritize a lightweight device, there are alternatives available. Nevertheless, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus still offers a decent level of portability.
One of the notable features of the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is its compatibility with USI pens. This allows you to unleash your creativity and take advantage of the tablet mode. Whether you’re sketching, note-taking, or simply exploring your artistic side, the USI pen adds a new dimension of functionality to the device. Additionally, the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E ensures fast and stable internet connectivity for all your online activities.
According to the Chromebook Plus specifications, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus provides around 10 hours of battery life. However, this estimate can vary depending on your usage patterns. If you primarily use the Chrome browser and keep the display brightness at a reasonable level, you can expect the battery to last for an entire workday. As with any electronic device, battery life may differ based on the tasks you perform.
Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus offers a commendable package at an affordable price point. While it may not excel in every aspect, it provides a satisfactory experience for everyday tasks and casual use. Whether you’re a student, professional, or simply in need of a versatile device, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is worth considering. With its 2-in-1 functionality, decent display, and additional features like USI pen support and Wi-Fi 6E, it offers a well-rounded user experience.
Display and Performance
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus features a bright display that offers vibrant colors and sharp visuals. Whether you’re watching videos, editing photos, or playing games, the display does not disappoint. However, it should be noted that keeping the display on its brightest setting and engaging in processor-intensive tasks may affect the battery life.
Camera and Mic Features
The Chromebook Plus comes with a 1080p webcam, which ensures high-quality video calls and captures. Lenovo has implemented some new features in this Chromebook that enhance the camera experience. Users can now add blurring and noise reduction for the microphone at the operating system level. This means that you can easily control these features through the camera controls at the bottom of the screen, without the need for separate drivers or complicated adjustments. Additionally, the device includes a shutter at the top of the display to cover the webcam when not in use, ensuring privacy and peace of mind.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad of the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus are impressive. The device offers spacious and well-spaced keys, following the standard Chrome OS layout found in other devices. What sets it apart is the backlit keyboard, which adds a touch of convenience and elegance. The trackpad is also exceptional, delivering smooth and responsive navigation. Lenovo has a reputation for manufacturing top-quality keyboards and trackpads, and this Chromebook lives up to that expectation.
The speakers on the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus provide a pleasant audio experience. Whether you’re streaming music, watching movies, or engaging in video calls, the sound quality is clear and immersive. Lenovo has put effort into ensuring that the audio performance matches the overall excellence of the device.
Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet that offers a high-quality display, impressive camera features, a comfortable keyboard and trackpad, and satisfying audio performance. Users can expect a versatile and enjoyable experience whether they’re working, studying, or simply entertaining themselves. Lenovo has once again delivered a solid device that combines affordability with functionality.
Sound Quality and Ports
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus may not have a wide range of sound, but it is not disappointingly small either. The laptop provides decent stereo separation with speakers located on the left and right hand side of the unit.
When it comes to ports, the Chromebook offers a couple worth mentioning. It has two full service USB-C 3.2 ports, one on each side. These ports not only support data transfer but also provide power and video output. This allows for flexibility in using the USB ports for different purposes. However, it is important to note that these ports are not Thunderbolt or USB 4 compatible.
Additionally, the laptop features a USB-A port which runs at a maximum data rate of 5 Gigabits per second, compared to the faster 10 Gbps rate of the USB-C ports. There is also a headphone microphone jack and a Micro SD card slot to expand the onboard storage. On the other side, you will find the volume control, power button, another USB-C port, and a Kensington lock to secure the laptop on a desk.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is equipped with a cooling fan, which can be quite noticeable when it kicks in. The fan primarily activates when performing tasks beyond the basics, such as watching videos or extensive web browsing. It is important to ensure that the bottom of the laptop is clear for proper air intake and the back is unobstructed for efficient fan exhaust.
That being said, the fan tends to generate noticeable noise, especially when it is running at full speed. This can be a slight drawback for users who value a quiet computing experience. However, with proper maintenance and usage, the fan noise can be managed and reduced.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus offers a seamless web browsing experience. When visiting the NASA.gov homepage, the website quickly springs to life, allowing smooth navigation using the touchscreen. Whether in tablet mode or laptop mode, the browsing experience is enjoyable and enhanced by the quick performance of the Intel hardware. Additionally, the recent redesign of the NASA website is aesthetically pleasing and adds to the overall browsing experience. Video playback on the Chromebook is also commendable, with the ability to smoothly play a 1080p 60 video from YouTube without any issues, except for one minor caveat.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus handles video playback with ease. Whether streaming on Twitch, YouTube, or any other major video provider, the Chromebook keeps up without any noticeable lag or frame drops. This is particularly impressive considering the 16:10 display aspect ratio of the device, which may cause minor adjustments in certain video formats. However, this does not hinder the overall video streaming experience on this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet.
Performance under Load
Under heavy load, such as when running resource-intensive applications or multitasking, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus does activate its fan. While the fan noise may be noticeable, it does not significantly impact basic work or browsing. The fan efficiently regulates the device’s temperature, ensuring optimal performance even during demanding tasks. It is important to be aware of the fan’s operation when placing the device under load, but overall, it does not hinder the user experience.
Video Playback Quality
When it comes to video playback on the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus, you’ll be pleased to know that it performs well. However, there is a slight downside to consider. Due to the 16×9 aspect ratio of most online videos, you may experience some letterboxing at the top and bottom of the screen. This is a minor issue, considering that the majority of videos you encounter online are in this aspect ratio.
Streaming and Watching Videos
If you’re someone who enjoys streaming a lot of video content, this Chromebook is a good choice for you. It handles video playback smoothly and delivers a satisfying experience. However, there is an important caveat to keep in mind.
Netflix on the Web Browser versus App
Let’s take Netflix as an example. When you open Netflix on the web browser, you will notice a button that says “Open in App”. Clicking on this button will prompt you to download the Android version of Netflix from the Google Play Store. While this may seem like a convenient option, there is a difference in video playback quality between the browser and the app.
Video Playback Quality on the App
Unfortunately, the video playback quality on the Netflix app is lower compared to watching it through the browser. If we examine the specifications on the Netflix app, you’ll notice that the DRM level is set at Widevine Level 3. This means that the maximum playback resolution you can achieve is SD, which is equivalent to DVD quality.
Optimizing Video Quality on Chromebook
To ensure the best video quality on your Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus, it is advisable to watch Netflix through the web browser. This will allow you to enjoy the full 1080p video resolution that this Chromebook offers. By streaming through the browser, you can avoid the lower-quality playback experienced on the app.
Good News for Chrome OS Users
One of the biggest complaints about Chrome OS has finally found a potential solution with the introduction of the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus. This 2-in-1 laptop/tablet offers high-end features that address the issue of image quality on Chromebooks.
The Image Quality Problem
Many Chrome OS users have been frustrated by the image quality on their devices, particularly when watching streaming services like Netflix or Disney. The resolution displays on these Chromebooks have not been able to provide the full image quality, leading to a lower quality viewing experience.
Fortunately, Lenovo has recognized this issue and is working on a software fix to improve the image quality. Although it may take some time for this fix to be implemented, it is an encouraging sign that Chromebook users will soon be able to enjoy the best image quality.
Optimal Viewing Experience
While waiting for the software fix, Chromebook users can still enjoy a better viewing experience by watching streaming services in the browser instead of using apps. By doing so, they can access the best image quality currently available on Chromebooks.
In addition, Lenovo’s Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus performs well in benchmark tests. With a score of 268 on the bch.org speedometer benchmark test, this Chromebook is comparable to other computers with similar hardware specifications.
Enhanced Android Application Support
One of the advantages of Chromebooks is their compatibility with Android applications through the Google Play Store. The Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus takes full advantage of this feature by offering enhanced support for Android applications.
A standout application that showcases the capabilities of this Chromebook is Luma Fusion, a video editing application. With the high-end hardware of the Chromebook Plus, users can now edit 4K videos directly on their device. The quick boot-up time and efficient performance make it possible to create basic video edits on the go.
However, it is worth noting that the Chromebook Plus may experience slight performance issues when scrubbing through the timeline of a 60 frames per second 4K video. Despite this minor drawback, the overall performance of the Chromebook is commendable considering its limitations.
In conclusion, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus addresses the long-standing issue of image quality on Chrome OS devices. As Lenovo continues to work on a software fix, users can still enjoy an optimal viewing experience by watching streaming services in the browser. Additionally, the Chromebook Plus offers enhanced support for Android applications, allowing users to perform tasks such as video editing directly on their device. Overall, the Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a promising option for users seeking a versatile and high-performing 2-in-1 laptop/tablet.
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus Review – 2 in 1 Laptop/Tablet
Chrome OS for Higher-End Activities
The Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is powered by Chrome OS, which is known for its simplicity and efficiency. While it may not be the best option for heavy-duty editing tasks, it can handle higher-end activities with ease. With the ability to run Android apps and native Linux applications, developers have multiple ways to approach their work. It is a positive sign to see Chrome OS supporting a wide range of applications, making it more versatile and user-friendly.
USI Compatible Pen Support
One of the standout features of the Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is its support for USI (Universal Stylus Initiative) compatible pens. This allows users to draw and write naturally, without any input interference from their wrist. The included pen offers a good writing experience with its resistance and minimal latency. Additionally, users have the option to purchase pens directly from Lenovo or opt for any USI compatible pen available on the market.
Good Pen Experience
The screen of the Flex 5i Chromebook Plus provides a pleasant writing experience, offering the right amount of resistance for precise control. The surface is not too slippery, allowing for a comfortable grip while writing or drawing. The overall pen experience is smooth and responsive, making it suitable for various creative tasks.
Chrome OS now includes built-in pen controls, allowing users to write in any text field and have their handwriting recognized. This feature adds convenience and efficiency, especially for those who prefer handwriting over typing. With improved handwriting recognition, users can take notes, fill in forms, and annotate documents with ease.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus: A Versatile 2-in-1 Laptop/Tablet
Flipping Between Tablet and Laptop Mode
When using the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus, you have the option to switch between tablet and laptop mode effortlessly. In tablet mode, you can enjoy a split-screen view, allowing for multitasking and increased productivity. Simply flip the Chromebook around to switch to laptop mode, where you can have overlapping windows and move them around as needed. This seamless transition between modes makes it convenient for users who need versatility in their computing experience.
Display Mode: Adding More Flexibility
Another popular mode offered by the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is display mode. In this mode, you can flip the keyboard onto the bottom, similar to tablet mode, but with the added advantage of a larger display. This mode is perfect for watching movies, giving presentations, or engaging in any activity that benefits from a bigger screen. This Chromebook truly offers a range of options to suit your needs.
Gaming Capabilities: Some Limitations
Chromebooks have recently gained the ability to download and run Steam games, providing a new dimension of entertainment. However, it is important to keep in mind that certain Chromebook models, including the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus, have limitations when it comes to gaming performance. With its Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, it may struggle with more demanding games. Lower-end games, on the other hand, tend to perform reasonably well on this device. Let’s take a look at one such game, Dave the Diver, to see how it performs.
Performance Tests: Dave the Diver
Running Dave the Diver on the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus with its Intel Core i3 and 8GB of RAM yielded around 30 frames per second. While this may not be the smoothest gaming experience, it is decent for a Chromebook at this price range. Some lag hits may occur during loading screens, but overall, the game runs well enough to be playable. It’s important to note that if gaming is a priority for you, especially high-end or resource-intensive games, you may want to consider a laptop with more powerful specifications.
In conclusion, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus offers a versatile 2-in-1 experience with its tablet and laptop modes, as well as display mode for added flexibility. While its gaming capabilities are limited compared to more powerful laptops, it can still handle lower-end games reasonably well. If you’re looking for a device that offers versatility and decent performance at an affordable price, this Chromebook may be a suitable choice.
Performance for Steam Gaming
When it comes to steam gaming, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is not the ideal choice. However, if you opt for one of the ryzen based devices or one of these with 16 GB of RAM, you may notice a slight improvement in performance. I tested running demanding titles like No Man’s Sky, but unfortunately, they did not play well on this Chromebook. Nevertheless, this gives us an insight into Google’s intention with the Chromebook plus specification. Game streaming, on the other hand, works exceptionally well on these Chromebooks. I am currently running Starfield with the Microsoft Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription and, as you can see, everything is streaming smoothly over my Wi-Fi 6 Network.
Optimizations for Chromebook Plus Hardware
Other services, such as GeForce Now, have also made optimizations specifically for the Chromebook plus Hardware, especially on devices with higher refresh rate displays. Although this particular Chromebook is locked at a 60 Hz refresh rate, it performs exceptionally well for game streaming. This makes it an excellent option for higher-end gaming, considering its hardware capabilities. On the 3D Mark Wildlife gaming benchmark test, the Chromebook Plus scored 7013 on the regular version and 1119 on the extreme version. While there are devices with better processors that will provide higher scores, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus holds its own in this category.
One important aspect to consider when purchasing a Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is its Linux compatibility. Like most Chromebooks, this model allows you to install Linux applications. Whether you prefer command line apps, such as the popular text editor Nano, or graphical applications like Libre office, this Chromebook gives you the option to use a full office suite locally without the need for internet connection. You can store all your software and data directly on the device. Additionally, you can install various open-source applications, making it a versatile option for different needs. However, it should be noted that it may not be the best choice for running Steam games, as its performance in that area might not be as impressive.
Display and Keyboard Features
One standout feature of the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is its large and bright display. Despite being a low-cost unit, the display offers vibrant colors and crisp visuals, making it a pleasure to use for work or entertainment purposes. The keyboard is another notable feature, as it is backlit, allowing for comfortable typing even in low-light environments. The inclusion of a backlit keyboard is a thoughtful addition that enhances the overall user experience.
Chromebook Plus Features
In the coming months, Lenovo will be adding additional features to the Chromebook Plus. One of the major upcoming additions is the integration of generative AI capabilities. With this new feature, you will be able to input text and generate various outputs. Essentially, it acts as an AI-powered text generation tool at the operating system level. This functionality opens up new possibilities for creative and productivity applications. Beyond this, Lenovo has plans to continue adding new features and updates to the Chromebook Plus operating system over time.
Longevity and Updates
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is designed to receive updates until June of 2032. Google recently extended the update policy for their Chromebooks to be 10 years from the time the platform is developed. Therefore, you can be assured that this Chromebook will continue to receive regular updates for a significant period of time, ensuring optimal performance and security.
Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a compelling option for those in need of a versatile 2-in-1 laptop/tablet. Its Linux compatibility, impressive display, backlit keyboard, and upcoming features make it a good value for the price point. Whether you are a student, professional, or casual user, this Chromebook offers a range of features and capabilities that cater to various needs.
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus Review – 2 in 1 Laptop/Tablet
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a versatile 2 in 1 laptop/tablet that offers a range of features at an affordable price. With a sleek design and powerful hardware, this device is perfect for those who need a portable yet efficient computing solution.
Hardware and Performance
The hardware of the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is top-notch. With an Intel processor, ample RAM, and a spacious SSD, this device can handle demanding tasks with ease. Whether you’re browsing the internet, streaming videos, or multitasking, the performance of this Chromebook is impressive.
Software and Updates
One of the key aspects of the Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is its Chrome OS. Designed for efficiency and simplicity, Chrome OS provides a user-friendly interface and seamless integration with Google apps and services. The device also comes with built-in virus protection and automatic updates, ensuring that you’re always protected and up to date.
Support and Updates
The Chromebook update schedule is an important factor to consider when purchasing this device. Lenovo guarantees five years of support from the date of release, which means that even if you buy this Chromebook used, you still have several years of updates and support left. However, after the specified update period, the device will continue to function but will no longer receive security patches or new features.
With a lifespan of nine years, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus offers excellent value for money. Considering its affordable price point, this device provides a good amount of usage time and reliability. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, this Chromebook is a reliable companion that can withstand years of use.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a capable 2-in-
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a versatile 2-in-1 laptop/tablet device that offers decent sound quality, a good range of ports, and efficient cooling. While it may not have Thunderbolt or USB 4 ports, the USB-C ports provide flexibility in terms of power, data, and video output.
It is important to note the fan noise, which can become noticeable during more demanding tasks. However, with proper care and ensuring proper ventilation, the noise can be minimized. Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a reliable device that combines the features of a laptop and a tablet, making it a suitable choice for users looking for versatility in their computing needs.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a versatile 2-in-1 laptop/tablet that excels in web browsing and video playback. Its Intel hardware delivers swift performance, allowing for quick loading times and seamless navigation. The device’s 16:10 display aspect ratio may necessitate minor adjustments in certain video formats, but it does not impede the overall video streaming experience. Under heavy load, the fan may activate and produce audible noise, but this does not disrupt regular work or browsing. Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus offers a user-friendly and efficient computing experience.
In conclusion, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a versatile 2-in-1 device that performs well when it comes to video playback. However, it is important to note that watching videos through the web browser provides a better quality experience compared to using the app. By utilizing the full potential of the Chromebook’s display, you can enjoy crisp and clear 1080p video resolution. So, for optimal video quality, stick to streaming through the browser rather than relying on the app.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a reliable and versatile 2-in-1 laptop/tablet that offers a great user experience. With its support for USI compatible pens and smooth pen controls in Chrome OS, it provides a seamless writing and drawing experience. While it may not be suitable for heavy-duty editing, it can handle higher-end activities with ease. Overall, it is a solid choice for those in search of a portable and powerful device.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a reliable and versatile device that offers impressive performance and longevity. With its powerful hardware, user-friendly software, and long update support, this Chromebook proves to be a valuable investment. Whether you’re using it as a laptop or a tablet, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a great choice for anyone in need of a portable computing solution.