Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Review
Released in June 2021, the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook boasts an Intel chip instead of the AMD chip this time, as denoted by the “i” in 5i. However, this model is pretty much the same as the 2020 variant and is a great choice of Chromebooks in terms of its build, performance, battery life, and features.
The primary difference between the two Chromebook models is the processor, which is better in the 2021 Lenovo Flex 5i. So if you are looking to buy a Chromebook at a lower price, the Lenovo Flex 5i is the one you should opt for.
Starting from $450 and featuring 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash memory, along an 11th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, the Lenovo Flex 5i is worth the price. Throw in an additional $100 and you will get a Costco membership. You can consider maxing out on its memory with up to 8GB of RAM to get the best results when it comes to demanding tasks.
Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook – The Convertible
Lenovo is the pioneer of convertible laptops and has done an absolutely wonderful job with Lenovo Flex 5i. Lenovo’s very first convertible laptop was Yoga, which was released years ago. Over the years, Lenovo has broadened the category of convertible laptops and they now come in various options including Yoga Book, ThinkPads, and now the Lenovo Flex 5i.
Lenovo Flex 5i – An Upgrade for Students
Most of the Chromebooks available in the market today that are cheaper than Lenovo Flex 5i have smaller screens, plastic outer bodies, and slower processors that limit your usability.
However, if you spend some more money when buying a Chromebook, you will get Lenovo Flex 5i, which is absolutely worth it and better than these all-plastic Chromebooks.
The Lenovo Flex 5i is designed in a soft touch plastic with a metallic lid, making it look high-end and premium. The Chromebook is a little bigger than the 11.6-inch models that are commonly used in educational institutes.
However, the bigger 13.3-inch display in Lenovo Flex 5i makes a huge difference when you are navigating through long pages or when you want to see more on your screen than a typical laptop would show you.
The Lenovo Flex 5i has a beautiful display with satisfactory colors and contrast. However, the display is a little dimmer than you would expect it to be. You would want to increase the brightness to the fullest, especially if you are using your Chromebook in daylight.
Otherwise, the display is worth it and this price as it is USI pen-enabled, that works with all of Lenovo’s and other USI pens.
Webcam and Microphone
Right above this display is a great, 720p webcam that gives you decent camera results. The microphone also works well, so you can easily attend video conferences and meetings and don’t find it difficult to be heard or seen by others.
Honestly, the 720p camera should have been a 1080p webcam, but no Chromebook features a decent 1080p or above webcam despite their remote usage. This explains why there is only a 720p camera in Lenovo Flex 5i.
However, what’s different in Lenovo Flex 5i is that it comes with a physical privacy shutter for the camera so you can block your camera for privacy whenever you want, which is pretty cool. Many people would find it to be a great tradeoff between the privacy shutter and the high-resolution camera.
When it comes to ports, there is a USB-C port on the right of the chassis, in addition to a power button and the volume rocker, all of which you can use when in tablet mode. However, the power button is placed at a sensitive spot so you may end up pressing it accidentally when trying to use one of the ports.
But don’t worry. Your Chromebook would not shut down right away as it will ask you whether you want to sign out, power off, or lock your Chromebook. The USB-C ports are placed on both sides, making it possible for you to charge your Chromebook from either side.
There is also an HDMI 1.4b video port, and an audio combo jack. You can charge your Chromebook using the AC adapter and a USB-C plug. The cheaper configured model of this Chromebook comes with a barrel-style AC adapter that will connect to its dedicated port, which is ideal as you will be able to use both the USB-C port and the charging port simultaneously.
There are also two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports that are rare to find on laptops today. These ports will come in handy when you have to connect multiple devices that do not support USB-C. There is also a full-sized SD card reader on the right. You won’t find any thunderbolt ports on this Chromebook.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Lenovo Flex 5i comes with a comfortable keyboard with a snappy feel. It is a backlit keyboard that you typically do not find in cheaper Chromebooks. The touchpad is just like any other touchpad. It serves its purpose well enough. Nothing special about it.
The overall performance of Lenovo Flex 5i is great. You would not experience any problems, delays, or slow speeds in this Chromebook. You can easily use Google Docs or Sheets, stream music or video content, and carry out video edits.
You can even play any game on the Google Play store easily without facing any issues. There won’t be any slowdowns or compromises on performance as can be seen in a typical Chromebook. You can even get the most of Stadia, Google’s streaming game service by using fast Wi-Fi 6 support.
However, the Lenovo Flex 5i is not designed to be used for high-power tasks such as image manipulations, 3D rendering, or 4K video transcoding. Similarly, it also won’t function well for 3D gaming. It comes with Iris Xe integrated graphics in its processor instead of a dedicated GPU. So you should not be expecting it to perform well in high-end games.
The battery life of the Lenovo Flex 5i is pretty impressive. At full charge, it will last you almost 11 hours, 10 hours and 48 minutes to be exact, which is great considering most people use their Chromebooks for remote work. Although it depends on what you are using your Chromebook for, it will definitely last you more than 7 hours on a usual day.
If you are looking for a higher-end Chromebook that is better than most of the Chromebooks available in the market today, the Lenovo Flex 5i is a great choice that you would not regret. What’s more is that it is often available on sale throughout the world, so you can get it at a great price during the holiday season. The Lenovo Flex 5i has impressive features and performance charts that will make it last longer than a typical Chromebook. It is durable, sturdy, fast, and beautiful.
Learn more about other Chromebook reviews here and find the right one for your needs.