Lenovo is well known for manufacturing Chromebooks for education products. In this post you shall be seeing a full review of a very solid, consumer version of their chrome books, known as the Lenovo Flex 11. The Chromebook is built to have a tough design that can stand the test of time. It is rated to take a 2.4 foot drop and has a water resistant keyboard tray to prevent any form of water spills to penetrate into the panel. With all these durable features, the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook still have a reasonable price you will get to find out as you read on. You can easily find a Chromebook that is not educationally branded and yet very expensive, but the EDU-branded Flex 11from Lenovo stands out from the crowd.
After the using the Lenovo Flex 11 Chrome for a while, you will discover that the strengths outweigh the drawbacks, and that is the more reason why I love this device. It has a decent and solid performance which makes it more durable than other products in its price range and category.
Because of its durability factor and low price tag, the Flex 11is a great Chromebook for students or anyone who gives a little care to his or her devices. Apart from the body’s durability, the keyboard gives more reason why you should go for this device. Read on as you get to see the Lenovo Flex 11 review of is features, design and specs.
Lenovo Flex 11 Specifications
|Display||11.6-inch 1366 x 768 IPS Touchscreen|
|Processor||MTK 8137C @2.10GHz|
Full-size SD card slot
1 USB-A (USB 3.0)
Headphone/Microphone combo jack
|Size||11.65 x 8.11 x .8 inches|
Lenovo Flex 11 Price
The Lenovo Flex 11 price simple goes for $ 279.99, and you can purchase it in both online and offline stores.
Lenovo Flex 11 Review: Features and Design
The Lenovo Flex 11is not much of a pretty laptop to behold. It s not an ultralight aluminum laptop designed to be light and look good, instead it is a polycarbonate, rugged device that can handle lots of external stress. It has a uniform gray top and bottom, with a lighter gray rubber bumper around the edge of both the top and bottom of its clamshell body.
The Flex 11 is built in such a way that Lenovo clearly places ruggedness over appearance.
The Flex 11 have a solid body design. There is no give if you push on the top of the lid, no wiggle when it is flipped open, and no soft spot on the bottom side of the bumper feet. On the right side of the body, you will find the Kensington lock, power button, volume rocker and the combo headphone and microphone jack. While on the left side of the body, you get to see the USB and HDMI ports with a full-size SD card reader.
When the lid is closed, the Lenovo Flex 11 is bland but tough. On opening the lid, you will find a metal-finished keyboard pan and palm rest with a standard island-style keyboard and trackpad.
The keyboard still comes with the normal Chromebook style, having the Chrome keys replacing the function row and backspace. The display of the keyboard is surrounded by a rather wide bezel, thought it is black and under the glass, rather than the same metalized plastic used for the keyboard pan.
The hinges also have a perfect built compared to other Chromebooks
The 360-degree hinges makes it possible for you to flip the screen of the Flex 11over, and use it in a tablet form or flip it halfway and use it in easel or tent mode for watching videos. One good thing is that the hinges remain solid, no matter the position of the screen. In conclusion, the hinge of the Lenovo Flex 11is more rugged than every other average Chromebook.
Lenovo also made it clear that the Flex 11 can survive a 2.4 feet drop. Though 2.4 feet might not look very high, but it is the height of your lap while sitting down on a chair. I will not advice you to conduct a durability test by dropping your Chromebook while sitting on a chair, but we should all stick to the claim of the manufacturer.
The Lenovo Flex 11 boasts of an 11.6inch display with resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, I would not be giving a complete thumbs up to this. Though it is not really terrible, but we are in an age where 1080 pixels or higher display are trending. Seeing a last generation’s 1336 pixel resolution is never a nice deal. Though it is a standard for most laptops under $300, that does not mean Lenovo cannot do better.
The resolution also looks dim, which means that colours do not pop up the same wat they would on a brighter display. This is mostly obvious when you look at dark shades layered on each other while watching a video. Dark blue finds it difficult to stand out against black, and this is clearly seen when using the Lenovo Flex 11 in an area with plenty of ambient light. When you are in a dark room or looking at a static image, you would not notice the image as much.
The 10-point multitouch features however looks great. It makes touches to register immediately, and multi-finger gestures like two-finger zooming or alt-clicking work flawlessly.
In conclusion, the display features is okay if you are looking for a Chromebook below the $300 price tag.
Keyboard and Touchpad
While the screen is fine, the keyboards appear to be a little bit disappointing. Everything works perfectly, but the keys are very shallow and seems easy to press. This makes it a little bit difficult to type fast and accurately without having errant key presses or double letters result.
The biggest setback is that a laptop which was designed for youngsters and students has a keyboard that is bad to use when learning how to type. But a prolong use of the Lenovo Flex 11 will get you accustomed to its keyboard, so it should not be a big deal.
The trackpad appears to be a whole lot better. It is smooth and nice with just a hint of texture and has a discernable edge where it is recessed into the keyboard pan. Touch and tap gestures works perfectly, though pressing or clicking the trackpad seems a little bit stiff.
The keyboard of the Lenovo Flex 11 is advertised as been water resistant, with innovative internal channel beneath the keyboard to divert liquid away from sensitive electrical components. It can handle up to a cup of water (up to 330ml) of liquid without damage.
Other Features and Performance
The Lenovo Flex 11 comes with a basic industry standard MediaTek ARM processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM. This made the Flex 11 to produce high performance compared to every other laptop within its price range. You can open multiple Chrome tabs and yet the laptop won’t lag, unlike other 2GB models. You can comfortably open up to 10 to 12 browser tabs before the system slows down or suspends any older tabs from running.
You can render full-screen HD video through YouTube and Netflix perfectly. And apart from the issues of dark colours I earlier talked about the display, you will not have any complain as far as you have the bandwidth to stream the video.
The Flex 11 have loud and bright speakers, which makes it suitable for watching a video or listening to a podcast, but not for normal music (this is because of the definite lack of bass response you find with most laptops. The 3.5mm combo jack provided better audio and should satisfy most users with typical headphones or headsets. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have good ranges, so there are no connectivity issues.
From the battery angle, I think there is a minor hitch attached to it. Lenovo made a claim of 10 hours of battery life when charged to 100%, but that is just optimism. You can actually get 7 to 8 hours of battery usage when used moderately. The main issue with the battery is that it drains while watching a video because it seems to depletes much faster and the Flex 11 gets warmer compared to other Chromebooks with the same basic processor arrangement.
Maybe the screen is more power-hungry or there may be a difference in the device configuration, but it is highly noticeable. You will sure have a lesser battery percentage after watching a video with the Lenovo Flex 11than you would with other similarly priced Chromebooks.
The battery of the device charges through the USB-C port, which uses the standard power-delivery feature. Using a USB-C to USB-C cable, you can charge your phone or any device that also makes use of the USB-C PD standard.
Android Apps On Lenovo Flex 11
The Flex 11 has access to Google Play when switched to the Chrome beta channel. It offers the same experience just like any other Chromebook with Google Play Store access.
Why You Should Buy The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
If you are looking for a Chromebook that is durable and suitable for students and youngsters in general, the Flex 11 should be a best-buy. The positive aspects of the overall package are more than it shortcomings, as explained in this Lenovo Flex 11 review. You cannot find any other Chromebook this durable in this price range.