Word has it that Lenovo's new Flex 11, an ARM-powered Chromebook featuring a 360-degree hinge, should be available sometime this month for $279. If the Samsung Chromebook Plus or the upcoming Pro (also expected to land this month) are a bit too rich for your blood, this might be a compelling alternative.

I'm an unabashed fan of Chromebooks. I like the battery life, being able to use Android apps, and not having to worry about toting around an expensive and delicate high-end device when I travel. I get all the features of an Android tablet, but I can actually do work, too. And I don't have to baby a nice laptop as I'm bouncing around the city. The Flex 11, like a lot of Lenovo's recent offerings, especially focuses on eliminating that last concern. It's rigged for improved drop-resistance, has a sealed touchpad, and a water-resistant keyboard, perfect for taking your work down to the beach.

The port-paranoid among us need not fret, as it sports USB in both the C and full-size 3.0 flavors, an SD-card slot, HDMI-out, and a headphone jack. All of these ports have also been reinforced. No word yet on exactly which chipset this unit will ship with (just an unnamed "quad-core ARM processor" that's clocked at 2.1GHz), but other specs include a purported 10-hour battery, 11.6" 768p IPS display, 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage. All in all, not a bad setup for $279.