The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is Lenovo's breakout star among its Chromebook portfolio, but now its time for some new headliners. The Beijing-based laptop giant is unleashing four Chromebooks that cost no more than $429.
The 14e Gen 2, 100e Gen 3, 300e Gen 3, and 500e Gen 3 are Lenovo's new quartet of budget-friendly Chromebooks headed your way. If you have a preference for AMD chips, you'll be elated to know that all the Chromebooks, save for 500e Gen 3, are equipped with AMD processors.
Lenovo 14e Gen 2: The $334 Chromebook
The Lenovo 14e Gen 2 is powered by an AMD chip that is optimized for Chromebooks. This education-oriented device comes with up to 8GB of RAM, up to 64GB of eMMc flash storage and a 14-inch display with up to 300 nits of brightness. There's also an option for a touch screen.
The 14e Gen 2 is a Chromebook that's purpose-built for students and teachers. If it tickles your fancy, the Lenovo 14e Gen 2 can come equipped with a Chrome Education license, which enables IT administrators to manage multiple Chrome laptops with a centralized software interface. G Suite for Education is another service one can enjoy on the 14e Gen 2. G Suite for Education empowers teachers and student to learn and innovate together with tools that streamline administrative tasks and schoolwork flows.
Being a klutz and having a fragile laptop is a tragic combination, but don't worry! The 14e Gen 2 is designed to meet MIL-STD-810H standards, which means it can sustain shocks and drops without shattering into a non-functional mess. The keyboard is water-resistant, too (up to 360 ml), so feel free to spill a cup of coffee or two — within reason, of course.
The ports you'll find on the 14e Gen 2 include USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI 1.4 and a 3.5 mm audio/mic combo jack. There's also a Kensington lock slot to protect your laptop from being stolen by Chromebook thieves. For additional security, the 720p webcam comes with a privacy shutter.
According to Lenovo, the 14e Gen 2 lasts 10 hours, so this Chromebook should offer all-day battery life. Of course, we do our own battery life testing at Laptop Mag, so when the 14e Gen 2 hits our labs, we'll tell you whether Lenovo's 10-hour battery life claim matches our results.
The 14e Gen 2 Chromebook is 0.7 inches thick, weighs 3.2 pounds and will be available in a Storm Gray design.
Lenovo 100e, 300e and 500e Gen 3: All under $425
The third-generation 100e and 300e Chromebooks are powered by AMD's latest processors for Chromebooks. The 500e model is packed with the new Intel Celeron N5100 CPU. Similar to the 14e Gen 2, the 100e, 300e and 500e models offer services that benefit students such as G Suite for Education and Chrome Education.
All three Chromebooks are military-tested, 11.6-inch laptops with an attractive gray finish and a speckled design, but there are some noteworthy differences between the Chromebook trio.
Lenovo 100e Gen 3
The Lenovo 100e Gen 3 offers 4GB of memory, 32GB of eMMC flash storage and a 1366 x 768-pixel display with 250 nits of brightness. Like 14e Gen 2, 300e and 500e, the 100e Gen 3 Chromebook has a water-resistant keyboard.
Ports include USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4b, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, a microSD card reader and an audio jack. You'll also find a Kensington NanoSaver lock slot. The 720p webcam comes with a privacy shutter to stave off peeping Toms.
The 100 Gen 3 reportedly lasts 10 hours, allowing students and educators to get all of their work done without scrambling for an outlet. The 100e Gen 3 is 0.8 inches thick and weighs 2.76 pounds.
Lenovo 300e and 500e Gen 3
What makes the Lenovo 300e and 500e different from the Lenovo 100e is that they're convertibles. They sport a 360-degree hinge that will help teachers and students transition seamlessly between several modes, including tent and tablet. You can use tablet mode for reading and drawing, flip to tent mode for visual entertainment and transition back to clamshell mode for typing.
Both Chromebooks also feature an optional garaged stylus, which is recommended for folks who love having quick access to a digital pen for note taking and sketching.
The 300e Chromebook is packed with 4GB of RAM and up to 65GB of eMMC storage. The 500e Chromebook comes with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 64GB of eMMC flash storage. Both sport an 11.6-inch, 1336 x 768-pixel Corning Gorilla Glass touch display with 250 nits of brightness. The 300e and 500e also have the same stock of ports: two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, an HDMI 1.4b port, a microSD card reader and an audio jack. There's also a Kensington NanoSaver lock slot on both Chromebooks.
Both convertibles come with a 720p camera and a privacy shutter, but interestingly, the 500e comes with a world-facing, 5MP camera (an optional feature on the 300e Chromebook). This could be useful for science teachers, for example, who want to demonstrate experiment.
The 300e and 500e Chromebooks are both 0.7 inches thick and weigh 2.9 pounds.
Lenovo's new fleet of Chromebooks are purpose-built for both educators and teachers. And guess what? They won't break the bank!
The 14e Gen 2, 100e Gen 3, 300e Gen 3 and 500e Gen 3 will set you back $334, $229, $359 and $429, respectively. All four budget-friendly Chromebooks will be available in May 2021.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!