This time around, we're taking a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, a budget 13-inch Chromebook that ranges in price from $360-410. There's a lot to like about the Flex 5, but one or two flaws keep me from whole-hardheartedly recommending it to everyone.
From the stylish pink-sand colored Chromebook C340 to the Duet Chromebook tablet, Lenovo loves making ChromeOS devices to fill a wide variety of consumer needs. Most of its devices are on the cheaper end of the spectrum, targeting budget-savvy back-to-school shoppers and older folks who just need access to a reliable computer. Now, the company has launched a new 11-inch Chromebook 3 with a unique design for $229.99.
Chromebook ownership comes with plenty of perks: Android app support, stellar battery life, low hardware prices. But on top of all those implicit benefits are a handful of external perks Google provides in a constantly-changing selection — free stuff like apps, games, and Drive storage space. Chromebook owners will now be able to snag Doom, Doom II, and The Elder Scrolls: Legends Fall of the Dark Brotherhood expansion, though these offers aren't working for everyone.
The ability to fill in certain PDFs (example) on Chrome OS or in the desktop version of the browser is certainly handy, but it's surprisingly hard to save edited files with the built-in PDF viewer. Once you're done entering information into a form or annotating something, you'd think the download button would output a version with your changes intact, but you'd be wrong. Thankfully, Google is going to correct this.
The coronavirus pandemic ruffled Chrome and Chrome OS releases quite a bit, so Google paused updates for a short time, even omitting version 82 altogether. But now the company is getting back on track and has announced the release of Chrome OS 83. It'll start rolling out to first people this week, and it brings a whole slew of neat improvements to the table. None of them are as big as the addition of gesture navigation we've seen in version 81, though.
This story was originally published and last updated .
With more and more people buying laptops to work or learn from home, a lot of folks are probably looking into the prospect of switching to a lighter, cheaper Chromebook instead of a traditional Windows or Mac laptop. Chromebooks come at a wide range of price points and with a variety of features, but the big question for most people is about Chrome OS itself. How hard is it to switch? What are Android apps like? Does Linux support really work, and how well? Do Chromebooks make good tablets? Can I use Firefox on one? We'll cover as much of that as we can in this post.
With social distancing becoming the norm during the Coronavirus pandemic, it's certainly added a new chapter in how we communicate. Zoom is one of those particular tools that folks defaulted to because it was already on their work computer. The good news is that it's an excellent app for video chatting with several people at a time. And if you're logging in from a Chromebook, there are a few ways to install the app.
Note that since these are not the desktop versions of Zoom, they're not as full-featured as their Mac and PC counterparts.
The Pixelbook Go is a very pleasant little laptop, but starting at $649, it's also pricey for a Chromebook. But right now at Best Buy (or Best Buy's eBay storefront, if you'd prefer), you can nab a refurbished model for significantly less — $520, which represents a savings of $129.
Although it still doesn't work yet, settings controlling the long-rumored Ambient Mode for Chromebooks have appeared in the current Chrome OS Canary channel. Controlled by an easily enabled flag, the new options appear in Chrome OS's Personalization menu. At least two different modes are planned: Google Photos and an art gallery.