Lenovo's bending over backwards to sell you a new Chromebook. The leading laptop vendor has unveiled the $329 N20p, an 11.6-inch touch screen notebook that runs Google's Chrome OS and features a hinge that bends back 300 degrees to go into "stand mode"--just like the company's popular Yoga notebooks.
For budget-conscious shoppers, Lenovo also announced the nearly-identical $279 N20 Chromebook, which has similar specs but lacks a touch screen and the N20p's flexibility. Both laptops will start shipping in July or August.
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Powered by an Intel Celeron processor, the Lenovo N20p and N20 both have 1366 x 768 displays, though the N20p's screen supports 10-finger touch input. The notebooks can be configured with up to 4GB of RAM and 16GB of interal eMMC storage. The Chromebooks have Bluetooth 4.02 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity and 1-MP webcams.
At 11.6 x 8.34 x .7 inches and 2.8 (N20) or 3.1 (N20p) pounds, Lenovo's new Chromebooks are light enough to take anywhere. Both have an attractive graphite gray finish and comfortable island-style keyboards. Lenovo promises that the N20 and N20p will provide up to 8 hours of battery life, long enough to make it through a day of work or school.
The systems come with a wide array of ports, including two USB ports, HDMI out and a 2-in-1 SD Card reader.
While Chrome OS doesn't enjoy the same large ecosystem of apps as Windows, Chrome OS is becoming increasingly popular because of its security and simplicity. Parents can hand their kids a Chromebook with confidence that they won't be able to infect it with malware. And less tech-savvy adults can operate Chrome OS with ease because almost everything takes place in its browser window.
We look forward to seeing how Lenovo's N20 and N20p compare to the Chromebook competition when they arrive later this summer.