The Chrome OS started out slow as an experiment by Google to develop a lightweight operating system for notebooks back in 2008. Now there are tons devices available in the market running Chrome OS which is basically a full-fledged version of Chrome browser and is based on the Linux kernel.
Today we are going to review the Lenovo 500e Chromebook which is one of the best that you can get your hands on right now. But before that let’s actually discuss what are Chromebooks capable of so that you can make the right decision.
The Chromebooks are usually really cheap compared to other laptops this is because they don’t come up with beefy specs. You are provided with a clean and easy to use interface paired up with snappy performance.
The Chromebooks usually run web applications and some of them can run Android apps as well. It can not run full-size desktop apps like you get on Windows and Mac OS so this might be a turn off for some people. These notebooks are most suitable for students or if you just want to surf the web and check your emails on the go.
Now with that out of the way let’s jump straight into the review of the Lenovo 500e Chromebook.
The 500e is not a pretty laptop in anyways, it is a dull black piece of slab. This laptop was not designed to look pretty instead it was built to be tough and rugged, and that’s what it is. It is a U.S Military grade certified for durability so you can expect it to survive falls and spilled.water.
The exterior is made of PC/ABS plastic surrounded by thick rubber shell. This thick soft plastic shell helps make the 500e drop-resistant up to 29.5 inches. The lid has this engraved hexagonal pattern which is really satisfying to the touch. Also, it is a fingerprint magnet so you will need to wipe it often or it will start looking like a pile of grease.
You can also notice the brandings on the lid, there is a shiny Chrome logo on the top-left corner of the device and an etched Lenovo logo on the bottom-right corner. Opening up the lid, the laptop is as simple as from the outside. You are presented with a basic keyboard, trackpad and an oddly placed webcam just above the keyboard.
One great thing that I would like to mention is that it is a convertible laptop which means it features a pair of 360-degree hinges allowing to use it three ways; tablet mode, tent mode and of course as a traditional notebook.
Moving on to the display of the device, it is a 1366 x 768 IPS touch panel which produces decent colors and gets the job done for the most part. According to our colorimeter, the 500e Chromebook reproduced a solid 81 percent of the sRGB color gamut, passing the 77-percent Chromebook average. However, don’t expect it to look crystal sharp as the resolution is quite low.
Also, it is not a bright display and gets up to 218 nits only considering the average which is 258 nits. So you can forget about using it in direct sunlight as the panel is also very reflective. I guess the display is the biggest tradeoff that you will have to make.
The Lenovo 500e Chromebook is powered by the Intel Celeron N3350 clocked at 1.10 GHz which can be boosted to 2.4 GHz. It features 4 Gigabytes of LPDDR3 RAM paired up with 32 Gigabytes of eMMC storage. Also, it sports Intel HD 520 for graphics.
Of course, the specs are not good considering today’s standard but are enough for the Chrome OS. The performance is really fast and snappy, you will experience no lag even if you open multiple tabs in the Chrome browser.
Also, this Chromebook can run Android apps which is really good as there are millions of apps available on the Google Play Store. However, don’t expect to play PUBG on it as the GPU is fairly poor.
You do get some decent ports here, starting with a USB 3.0 and USB Type C port on the left along with a microSD slot and a headphone/mic audio jack. On the right, you get another USB Type-C port, USB 3.0 port, and a Kensington Lock.
Keyboard And TouchPad:
The keyboard is pretty basic, it has got some click and the key travel is decent but the typing experience is uncomfortable cause of the small surface area for the palm rest. On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I managed 54 words per minute, which is under my 60-wpm average.
Moving on to the touchpad, it feels kind of resistive when swiping the finger around but the response is good. It is a 4.1 x 2.3-inch touchpad which supports multi-touch and recognizes different navigation gestures.
The 500e Chromebook houses a3490 mAh battery which according to Lenovo provides up to 10 hours of battery life. We ran a little battery test which continuously surfed the web at 50% brightness and the device lasted for about 9 and a half hour which is really impressive.
The 500e Chromebook is a decent laptop for its price. The performance is really great but there are some limitations due to the OS. You can not run full-sized desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop, FinalCut Pro etc. This notebook is targeted towards specific consumers who just surf the internet and use office apps so if you just need a laptop for that then make sure to check out this device.