Lenovo’s first consumer Chromebooks start from $279

by: Bogdan PetrovanMay 6, 2014

Lenovo N20p chromebook (2)

Back in January, Lenovo executives promised a big Chromebook push for this summer, comprising of multiple Chrome OS devices offered at different price levels. Now the first devices in this push are here, and Lenovo predictably went for the low end of the market first.

The new Lenovo N20 and N20p will be available this summer for $279 and $329 respectively, as the company’s first Chromebooks that are generally available to consumers. Lenovo first Chrome OS laptops, released in January 2013, were sold exclusively to schools and other educational institutions.

The N20 and N20p feature identical specs, but the N20p boasts a 300-degree swiveling touchscreen that makes it possible to use it as a tablet, even though Chrome OS is still not fully optimized for touch use. Google recently added an onscreen keyboard and other touchscreen accessibility features, but Chrome OS remains primarily made for keyboard and touchpad use.

Lenovo N20p chromebook (4)

Lenovo’s two Chromebooks feature 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 displays, Haswell-based Celeron processors, up to 4GB of RAM, and up to 16GB of storage. Connectivity options include two USB ports, an SD card slot, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac WiFi. There’s a full-sized keyboard and a generously proportioned touchpad. Design-wise, these two Chromebooks are utilitarian, rather than stylish, with their conservative lines and thick bezels around the display.

The Lenovo N20 will become available starting from July, while the touchscreen N20p will follow up in August.

Talking to The Verge, Lenovo said it hopes to continue the “huge success” its Chromebooks had in the educational market. Like its competitors HP and Dell, Lenovo – the largest PC maker in the world – is embracing Chromebooks as one of the few growing segments in an otherwise stagnant PC industry.

While Chromebook sales remain relatively small, the concept has gained traction over the past year. Chromebooks hold the first six positions on Amazon’s list of best rated laptops, and consistently rank among the best sellers.

Lenovo’s new N20 and N20p will compete with Chrome OS offerings from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, and Samsung, all priced in the $200-$350 range.

  • Luka Mlinar

    I find these things so incredibly pointless. For an extra 100$ or so you could play Left 4 Dead with your friends :/

    • Otto Andersson

      I had one of these HP models and returned it quickly. I actually loved the form factor, and I loved the ease of use. However, productivity issues arose with a weak processor, awkward window snapping, and waste of desktop space.

      These are good for non techy people that just wanna Facebook and YouTube. Or write simple documents. The form factor actually felt really good for the price. Form over function for the Apple types.

      • Luka Mlinar

        I mean i can see that there might be a future in this but selling it as is looks more like a slap in the face to the consumer. But what ever. I’m sure someone will show up soon saying how he loves it.

        • Jayfeather787

          I love it.
          I mean if I had one, I would put Ubuntu on it, because it is the best desktop operating system. An intel celeron is more than capable of running Linux. I am running Ubuntu right now on my laptop from like 2006 or 2007 with worse specs and it flies. (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, 320 GB hard drive) It is great for productivity.
          Chromebooks get too much hate. You can’t find and Windows devices equivalent for the price. For 100 bucks less than some stupid video game (I am assuming it is a video game, I do not know, nor do I care) you can get something for productivity, videos, light gaming, hacking fun/development. If I buy Left 4 dead, then I need to buy something to run it, and that costs a lot more, and then all I can do with it is play a game.
          I do agree that Chrome OS is pretty bad though. Chrome OS is operating system hell.
          Also, I think that these are better than tablets. The Acer C720 is 200 bucks new from Amazon, and the Nexus 7 is 230. The Acer can do more faster, has a bigger screen, and has a keyboard. Plus Acer puts a refurbed model on Amazon every now and then for 150 bucks, which is insanely cheap! I mean, that is way less than a Nexus 7, and worth it.

          • Luka Mlinar

            But that’s a laptop now isn’t it. It has a hard drive un like other cromebook that have little to no storage. Also you put Linux on it. At this point you can no longer call it a cromebook.

          • Jayfeather787

            It says chromebook on it. If I take a macbook and put windows on it, it’s still a macbook. It is still a chromebook with Ubuntu, and 16 GB is more than enough storage for productivity. Ubuntu is only a couple gigabytes, and Chrubuntu is less than that.