Lenovo Chromebook 3 Review

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Lenovo Chromebook 3

Lenovo Chromebook 3

USD
8.3

Value for Money Score

8.4/10

Reliability Score

8.3/10

Performance Score

8.4/10

Specifications and Features Score

8.1/10

Design Score

8.3/10

Pros

  • Very compact size
  • Good battery life
  • Virus-free environment
  • Decent connectivity
  • Lightweight and very easy to travel with

Cons

  • Can be hard to find currently
  • HD screen resolution
  • Small storage space
  • Touchpad quality could have been better
  • Better options are available

Verdict

The Lenovo Chromebook 3 does fulfill its functions like it is supposed to, but is simply no more a solid contender on the scene, given the competition it faces. There are certainly good things we can say about it, but the dull display and other drawbacks raise doubts about its usefulness.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 & Variants Price

Introduction

The Chromebooks are usually characterized by an affordable price, good battery life and although less powerful than Windows machines, they can be a great way of computing, especially when you have to travel more.

So today we have the Lenovo Chromebook 3, a highly compact, lightweight, and Chrome OS-based machine.

Now, this is nowhere near the latest launches, but we think that its usefulness has not run its course for some of the users, yet.

The Google Chrome OS is itself preferred due to its simplicity and reliability, so the software aspect is somewhat acceptable.

Hardware, on the other hand, comprises entry-level specs, and what’s most alarming is the very low amount of storage.

This restricts its usefulness and we don’t know why someone would still choose this as a primary computer.

As a Chromebook, well there are better options now, and you would better buy a laptop by upping your budget a bit.

So this is a device that is made for a selected few, who are satisfied with the compact design and battery life.

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Also, with Lenovo discontinuing it, it can be tagged “outdated” even. Read our review to see if it meets your expectations.

Lenovo Chromebook 3

Buy for: Lightweight and compact design

Beware of: Less satisfying displayBetter options are present

Best uses for: Low end works | Kids | Homeschooling and other works

The alternatives:

Design and Build

One of the good things that we feel about the Chromebook 3 is its design, and although not the best of its kind, its small footprint makes it a great travel companion.

It comes in a black-based color variant only, ‘onyx black” if you will.

There is a striped design on the lid, with the “Chromebook” label on one of the top corners, and Lenovo’s branding on the other.

On the inside, it is very simplistic, and the display goes back to a full 180 degrees to give a bit more convenience while working.

The overall build quality is good, and although it won’t feel premium, it is sturdy enough. Given the price tag, there isn’t much that you can expect anyway.

It is quite lightweight at just 1.12 kg, and fairly compact at a thickness of 0.67 inches and 11.28 inches in length.

The display measures 11.6 inches and is an HD one. There are two fundamental problems here, thick bezels and less lively color production.

The already small display feels even more so due to the borders, and surely we have seen better display qualities even on budget Chromebooks like this one.

Performance

The device comes with an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, a late 2019 offering from Intel with 2 cores, 2 threads, and a maximum clock rate of 2.8 GHz.

It isn’t made for heavy lifting, but what it does is provide you with good battery life, since the TDP is of 6 W only.

The graphics that come with the CPU are the Integrated Intel 600, also an entry-level graphics solution.

With this you can expect to run the applications present on the Google Play Store smoothly, so no issues regarding that.

The RAM present is 4 GB, which again restricts the amount of performance allowed to you.

In general, the Chromebook 3 is not that good a performer and lags behind most of its competition by noticeable numbers.

It is good for you only if you aren’t keen on performance, and are interested in the basic student or office productivity.

Another way you may use this is to watch movies and videos, but be sure to carry external storage since the space provided by default would fill up very soon.

While working on daily apps, you might experience some stutters occasionally, and multi-tasking is better not done on the device.

As for the screen, like we said the HD panel is not that great, and better color accuracy was expected.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 Display

The peak brightness is at 250 nits, not very bright, and even problematic when working outdoors.

Google Chrome is the OS, you shall have no issues with regular updates and privacy, and with an Android smartphone, working on-the-go is made even easier.

Storage and RAM

The storage present on the Lenovo Chromebook 3 is of the eMMC kind, so while it is faster than a hard drive, the reading and writing speeds that you get are nowhere near an SSD.

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What’s of greater concern is the space, that being 64 GB only, it can be a bit of a problem in long term usage.

You do have the option of using external storage drives, flash drives, and memory cards, which makes things easier.

The RAM available is 4 GB, soldered on the motherboard. The amount present is only good for light usage, and the scope of upgrading it is already ruled out.

The device takes about 10 seconds to boot up, and the overall responses are average.

Ports and Connectivity

The only reason why Chromebook 3 is still worth considering is that it has got decent connectivity, which balances a few of the weaker aspects.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 Ports

For example, the two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C ports offer better bandwidth and charging facilities.

There are two other USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a micro SD card slot, a headphone microphone jack, and that’s about it.

You have access to 802.11 ac WIFI and Bluetooth 4.2 as well for wireless connections.

Battery Life

The device has got a 3-cell 42 Wh battery, which considering that this is a Chromebook, is decent.

A 45 W adapter comes with it, and it charges up well within 2 hours, to provide a backup of about 8+ hours, depending on usage.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 Adapter

Now Lenovo has claimed a battery runtime of up to 10 hours, but there are certain factors that this depends on.

The OS doesn’t work like Windows, so battery consumption in the idle condition is very little.

Whatever work you do, and the screen brightness, state of the WIFI and Bluetooth (turned on or off), etc, are some of the things that have a direct effect on the backup time that the battery can provide.

The good thing is you wouldn’t have to worry about all these too much to make sure the laptop lasts long without a charger, since it does so anyway.

With WIFI turned off and brightness adjusted to half or lower, you can easily watch 3 to 4 lengthy movies, and still might have some power left.

Additional Features

The Chromebook 3 comes with most of the features that you can expect from a laptop.

The first of these is a good keyboard, albeit without backlighting.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 Keyboard

The keys allow you to type for long hours without any discomfort, a great advantage for both students and professionals alike.

The touchpad quality had chances of improvement, and we believe you’d want to use an external mouse.

There is also a 720p webcam present on top of the display, which too had provisions of betterments.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 Webcam

The speakers on the Chromebook 3 consist of dual 2W speakers, facing downwards.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 Speaker

Now, these are surely loud, but not very clear. External speakers are better choices here as well.

Specs:

What Do Users Think about Lenovo Chromebook 3?

The Chromebook 3 has been liked by many users, but it does have complaints too.

The compact size and good battery life of the device were the major highlights, even though it may not be such a good performer.

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The specs it has are entry-level, and there aren’t many provisions for upgrades.

So while it cannot be used for intensive computing tasks, other lighter ones can be done without any issues.

The dual-core processor is well equipped to handle single-threaded tasks, but beyond that struggles are visible.

The other aspects, like the speaker and webcam quality, were also found to be average, and a majority of the users would have liked it if the touchpad was more responsive.

The display quality was a major disappointment for some, and Lenovo could indeed have made some changes about it.

It is a very budget-friendly device, and this was one of the things that the users liked.

There are better options, and even then people have still considered the Chromebook 3 due to the good features it offers.

The connectivity is great, and the two Type-C connectors proved to be very advantageous.

Our Testing & Analysis Report

When we tested the performance of the Lenovo Chromebook 3 on different browser-based benchmarks such as JetStream and WebXPRT, we found that it just meets the standards of Chromebooks and is not as good as the Core i3 or i5.

During testing, our technical analysis team found that the processor often slowed down and performed sluggishly while using an intensive program.

It also lagged notably while running websites such as YouTube. However, it boots up pretty fast, in about 10 seconds.

As for the memory performance of the system, our technical analysis team once again resorted to WebXPRT test results.

They found that this particular system scored 94 points, which is higher in comparison to the score of Acer Chromebook 315, which managed only 77 points in the same test.

We conducted a 3DMark 11 test to check the graphics performance of this laptop and found that it is good enough to play some basic games like Dirty Rally.

While playing this game on the system we found that it managed to render an average frame rate of 43 fps only.

As for other tasks, such as photo editing, the GPU supported nothing more than the very basics.

Still, on this benchmark test, the Chromebook managed to score about 631 points, which is much higher than some lesser-known laptops such as Chuwi LapBook SE which managed to score only 541 points on the same 3DMark 11 test.

When we worked on a few word docs, we found that the keyboard and touchpad are nothing exceptional.

The non-classy keys have very little travel but are pretty light, and crisp, and do not wobble or flex in the middle. The touchpad, though small, seemed to be far more accurate, but it sticks to most fingers.

As for the HD display, we found that it looks crisp but the backlight is not bright. Also, when we ran the color accuracy test, it touched 200 cd/m² peak brightness, which is 50 cd/m² less than what Lenovo usually claims.

The horizontal and vertical viewing angles of the display are also not satisfactory as we had to sit directly in front of it to see the images clearly on a tilted screen.

About Taylor

AvatarTaylor S. Irwin is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience.

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