BERLIN — Lenovo has a Chromebook for every person who could possibly want one, from a cheap and durable plastic convertible for school to a giant high-end aluminum convertible for people who don’t really need the power of a desktop.
The company took the wraps off three new Chromebooks Thursday at IFA in Berlin. Two sub-$300 notebooks are aimed at two different markets: those who want a convertible touchscreen laptop and those who absolutely do not want that. Then there’s a premium option, the Yoga Chromebook C630 (pictured above), which pushes the boundaries of how much a Chromebook should cost.
The $750 Yoga Chromebook C630, available in October, is aimed at a buyer who wants a large, attractive laptop. The convertible Yoga Chromebook delivers that, with an all-aluminum body, 15.6-inch touchscreen, 8GB of RAM, 64 or 128 GB of storage and all the ports you could need (1 USB-3, 2 USB-C, microSD card slot, headphone jack). Is $750 for a Chromebook too much? Take a look at the $1,000 Google Pixelbook and then ask yourself again.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are two no-frills Chromebooks designed for kids in school and adults who want just the basics. The S330 (pictured above) is a $250, bare-bones, 14.1-inch clamshell Chromebook — there’s no option to flip this keyboard around to use as a touchscreen. In addition to the ultra-low price, the S330 also has ports galore, including USB-C, HDMI, SD card reader and headphone jack. That makes it a useful option for getting work done.
But for $30 more, you can get the convertible C330 (pictured above), which comes in Blizzard White plastic with the same array of ports the S330 offers, same processor (MediaTek 8173C), same storage (32GB or 64GB) and same memory (4GB). Aside from being a convertible notebook, the C330 is also lighter (2.6 pounds to the S330’s 3.3), though it has a smaller screen (11.6 to the S330’s 14-inch panel). Is it worth the small price to upgrade to a touchscreen Chromebook? We’d venture to say yes, but it depends on how you feel about convertible notebooks.
Lenovo also has a new always-connected LTE notebook, the $850 Yoga C630 (pictured above). Out in November (just in time for the holidays), the Yoga C630 sports a Snapdragon 850 chip, which gives it a 30 percent performance boost over laptops with the last-gen 835 CPU. Lenovo says this version can last 25 hours on a charge, up from 20 hours.
The aluminum grey convertible touchscreen notebook seems ideal for the person who needs an ultra-portable, always-on machine, but Windows on Snapdragon devices haven’t impressed us in the past. We’ll put the Yoga C630 to the test to see if it meets our expectations.