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Hands-on with the Lenovo 14e Chromebook
Lenovo introduced a new Chromebook during MWC Barcelona 2019 built for the enterprise. Released alongside the 14w with Windows 10, both are intended to “increase firstline worker productivity” in retail, manufacturing and more. Both arrive in April with the Chromebook costing around $279 and the Windows 10 device costing around $299.
Lenovo 14e: An enterprise-friendly Chromebook
For this hands-on, we dug into Lenovo’s enterprise-friendly 14e Chromebook. The model on display featured a durable aluminum exterior complementing a 14-inch IPS screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. It measured a decent 0.69 inches thick and weighed 3.27 pounds, making this Chromebook a great solution for employees constantly on the move.
Although Lenovo didn’t give us a specific model number during the show, the Chromebook featured AMD’s dual-core A4-9120C all-in-one chip (APU) optimized for Chromebooks. It’s one of two introduced during CES 2019 in January serving as a “middle ground” in performance between pricier models with Intel’s processors and those released with MediaTek and Rockchip CPUs.
Other ingredients thrown into Lenovo’s Chromebook include optional touch input, up to 8GB of system memory, and up to 64GB of storage. Given this device targets enterprise, you’ll likely see set configurations along with an option to customize this Chromebook to fit your needs when it arrives this spring.
According to Lenovo, the backlit keyboard is “spill proof,” thus if coffee spills across the keys, the liquid moves down through vents mounted under the laptop. That means Lenovo’s Chromebooks should be ideal for classroom use as well.
For ports, the Lenovo 14e Chromebook includes two USB-C (5Gbps), two USB-A (5Gbps), one MicroSD card slot, and one 3.5mm audio combo port. Other features include a 720p camera, noise-cancelling microphones, and a 180-degree hinge so you can lay the Chromebook completely flat on a table for shared presentations.
On the software front, this Chromebook ships with education and enterprise-focused apps already installed, such as G-Suite for Enterprise. It’s backed by Chrome Enterprise launched in 2017, which adds Google Play app management, printer management, theft protection, managed Chrome OS updates, and more.
Finally, powering Lenovo’s new Chromebook is a 57Wh battery promising up to 10 hours.
The only other 14-inch Chromebook in Lenovo’s arsenal is the N42, a somewhat bulky device measuring 0.91 inches thick. The Lenovo 14e Chromebook is a welcome addition to the company’s 14-inch space providing a lean, professional design similar to the Chromebook S330 while meeting Lenovo’s durability requirements.
Price and availability
The Lenovo 14e Chromebook with AMD’s dual-core A4 APU arrives in April starting at $279. We suspect Lenovo may offer another processor option at launch, as Lenovo’s product video showcases the device with AMD’s dual-core A6-9220C APU, the second chip in AMD’s new optimized dual-APU set.