Lenovo's N20p Chromebook shares some design features with the IdeaPad Yoga, and is able to fold its keyboard back 300 degrees to enable a 'Stand' mode.
Chromebooks are on the rise, and Lenovo wants a bigger piece of the action. Following the unveiling of its Yoga models in April, the Chinese hardware maker is delving deeper into Google's Chrome OS with the N20 and N20p Chromebooks, intended for schools.
When targeting the education market, cost is a big factor, and the N20 is priced to move at $279. The N20p ($329), however, is in interesting up-sell, borrowing some elements of Lenovo's well-regarded Yoga line of laptops, including a 10-point touchscreen and a hinge that lets the user fold the keyboard backward up to 300 degrees.
Folding the hinge beyond 180 degrees will disable the keyboard for "Stand mode," which can be better for watching videos and presentations. And at $329, the N20p is still cheaper than the most inexpensive Yoga Chromebook, the $349 ThinkPad Yoga 11e.
Powered by Chrome OS, Chromebooks share aspects of both laptops and mobile devices. Appropriately, the chip powering Lenovo's latest Chromebooks is a quad-core Pentium processor — Intel's venerable chip line that lies in between the PC-centric Core chips and mobile Atom processors.
Lenovo says the battery on board the N20 and N20p will last up to eight hours on a full charge. The display is 11.6 inches with a 1,366 x 768 screen, or exactly the same specs as the HP Chromebook 11. It weighs 3.1 pounds and is 0.7 inches thick, which is thin and light for a laptop, but not impressively so.
Chrome OS is, of course, more dependent on web connectivity (enabled via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0), although the notebooks have 16GB of local storage where you can save files (and it can open and edit Word and Excel documents). You also get 100GB of extra Google Drive storage with purchase.
The new Lenovo N20 and N20p Chromebooks will go on sale in July and August, respectively.