Lenovo Chromebook 500e overview: A sensible, sturdy little machine
Ruggedised convertible Chromebooks are nothing new, notably within the training market, however the 11.6in Chromebook 500e takes issues a bit additional. For one factor, Lenovo’s design has hit a near-perfect stability between versatility, sturdiness and all-round practicality. With a desktop footprint of 290 x 240mm and thickness of simply over 20mm, it’s a straightforward match for crowded school rooms and received’t stick out amongst the textbooks within the college bag – but it is going to effortlessly shift between clamshell, pill and tent configurations.
Lenovo Chromebook 500e overview: What you could know
What’s extra, it’s about as rugged as they arrive. From the rubber bumpers and spill-proof keyboard to the Gorilla Glass three display, this factor feels constructed for the battlefield – and it’s handed the MIL-STD-810G exams to show it. Don’t be delay by the training angle, both. There’s one thing actually interesting a few laptop computer that may take a number of thousand knocks, even in case you’re simply lugging it into the town or leaving it mendacity across the dwelling.
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Lenovo Chromebook 500e overview: Design
As for versatility, Lenovo has paired the already responsive touchscreen with a garaged EMR stylus, which slots right into a gap within the base. It’s not an lively pen, utilizing Google’s machine studying expertise to deduce refined monitoring from a passive piece of plastic and capacitive touchscreen, however it feels surprisingly like one, full with stress sensitivity for drawing. For taking notes or sketching out concepts, it’s an affordable and really cheerful method to go.
Desire the extra conventional method? Nicely, the 500e nonetheless has you lined. Lenovo not often places out a nasty keyboard, and whereas this Chromebook can’t match a ThinkPad for format or really feel, the motion is mild however responsive and you may simply attain an excellent typing velocity. The rock-solid construct high quality additionally signifies that you don’t get the bounce you discover in lots of price range laptops. The trackpad is efficient, too, though it’s extra vulnerable to choosing up greasy finger marks than others we’ve seen.
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Lenovo Chromebook 500e overview: Show and efficiency
Look additional and a few indicators of cost-cutting creep in. We received’t carp on concerning the bog-standard 1,366 x 768 decision, which is the norm on 11.6in gadgets, however the 500e’s twisted nematic (TN) display can solely ship 64% of the sRGB color gamut and its brightness slips just under 200cd/m2. In apply, this isn’t a catastrophe; it’s shiny sufficient for normal use and Lenovo’s anti-reflective coating helps in shiny circumstances, however darkish scenes in films can pose issues. You merely don’t get the punch of the most effective IPS screens. It’s value noting, although, that Lenovo is simply updating the 500e on the time of writing, and the brand new mannequin has an improved 250cd/m2 IPS show. Nonetheless, it could not ship a pattern to us in time for testing.
The brand new model additionally boasts a barely quicker Celeron N4100 with 4 cores operating at as much as 2.4GHz, which is sweet information when the present mannequin, with a Celeron N3450, is without doubt one of the slowest Chromebooks we now have on take a look at. It doesn’t really really feel sluggish in on a regular basis use, even with half a dozen Chrome tabs operating, however if you would like one thing that may deal with extra demanding apps then you definately’ll want to maneuver upmarket. The brand new mannequin may also help as much as 8GB of DDR4 RAM, though we didn’t have any points with the 4GB fitted right here.
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Lenovo Chromebook 500e overview: Verdict
As for battery life, the 500e trails behind the leaders however was nonetheless good for practically eight hours of video playback, so ought to survive the typical working day. Relating to stamina, it’s no match for the Dell Chromebook 3100 2-in-1, and far the identical goes for efficiency, however check out the general design, the stylus and the value, and it’s the Chromebook 500e that’s the higher deal. When you like what you see, we’re keen to gamble the 2nd Gen might be even higher.