Lenovo’s Core i5 IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is now available but…

Last month, Google joined with three manufacturers to announce some new Chromebooks that are aimed at gamers. In the mix, we have offerings from Acer, ASUS, and Lenovo. Each device has its own redeeming qualities but thus far, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE seems to stand out among the crowd with the best CPU and best overall spec-to-price ratio.

Lenovo’s gaming Chromebook was initially launched in the form of a 12th Gen Intel Core i3 model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage. This model falls short of the power offered up by the beefier Core i5 found in the Acer Chromebook 516 GE but it makes up for it with a stellar introductory price of only $399. At the moment, the Core i3 Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is out of stock at its exclusive retailer Walmart, but when it is available, it is one heck of a deal.

When announced, Lenovo said that there would be a Core i5 version of the Gaming Chromebook and that’s great news because the Iris Xe graphics on the Core i5 chip are significantly more powerful than the standard UHD graphics of the Core i3 Intel CPU. More than a month later, Lenovo has finally released the more-desirable Core i5 model and it is available directly from Lenovo’s website. However, there is one glaring caveat. The price.

ASUS 16″ Gaming Chromebook features an 11th Gen Core i5 CPU and it’s the only model of the three that rocks a 144Hz display. While it is reasonably priced at $699, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE offers up more value with the newer 12th Gen Intel Core i5 and a price tag of only $649. It also uses a P-series processor that has 12 cores and 16 threads which should give it a decided edge over the standard U-series Intel Core i5 that has only 10 cores and 12 threads.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is powered by that latter CPU and while it still has more than enough power to handle cloud gaming and even Steam games, Lenovo has priced itself out of the market with an MSRP of $799. That’s a whopping $150 more than the Acer which is undeniably a better device. That said, I hope that Lenovo will offer the Core i5 Gaming Chromebook from other retailers where we could see a more reasonable price tag. Lenovo has a habit of listing Chromebooks at inflated prices on its own website, but with any luck, it will go on sale for the holidays. At $699, I could say that this Chromebook is worth it, but $800 makes it a bit of a tough sale. Here’s a look at the newly released Core i-5 Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook’s specs.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook Specs

  • Chrome OS
  • Intel Core i5-1235U
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 16″ 2.5K (2560×1600) IPS 350nits Anti-glare, 120Hz, 100% sRGB, TÜV Low Blue Light
  • 4-Zone RGB Backlit keyboard
  • Aluminum top
  • FHD webcam with privacy shutter
  • 2 x USB-C
  • 2 x USB-A
  • MicroSD
  • Audio jack
  • Stereo speakers, 2W x4, optimized with Waves MaxxAudio
  • Wi-Fi 6/Bluetooth 5.1

This model does upgrade the storage to an actual SSD which is good for gamers but it still doesn’t condone the hefty price tag, in my opinion. While I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the more-powerful Lenovo, I definitely feel that your money would be better spent on the Acer. That’s just my piece and as I said, I’m sure that we’ll see some deals on this one and that could change my mind on whether or not you should buy this one. Lenovo is also offering a gaming bundle for the IdeaPad which comes with a mouse and headset for $868. You can see both listings at the link below.

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