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Up close with Lenovo's 100S Chromebook (pictures)

Lenovo's sub-$200 laptop runs Google's Chrome OS. Let's take a closer look.

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Nate Ralph

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1 of 8 Nate Ralph/CNET

Lenovo 100S Chromebook

Chromebooks are cheap, web-centric devices, keeping you connected with a minimum of fuss. The Lenovo 100S Chromebook fits this description perfectly. It's got a comfortable keyboard, runs Google's Chrome OS, and costs $199 (approximately £138 or AU$282).

Unfortunately, competitors with an identical price run Windows 10, a far more flexible operating system.

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The Lenovo 100S is wholly unremarkable; barring a few stickers and the Lenovo and Chrome branding, it's hard to tell this machine apart from the myriad of black boxes dotting the budget PC landscape.

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The keyboard is roomy, so fingers won't feel cramped, and the keys offer a nice amount of feedback and depth with every press -- no typing mistakes here. The keyboard isn't backlit, but there's no chance it would be at this price.

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There's a single USB 2.0 port on the right side. That's not a wide selection, but in line with the price.

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The 100S Chromebook weighs just 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg).

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There's an SD card slot on the side for importing files and photos, but I'd recommend using it for a bit of extra storage -- the Chromebook only has 32GB of storage. There's also an HDMI output port, and a USB 3.0 port.

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The 100S Chromebook's 11.6-inch display has a 1,366-by-768 pixel resolution. It does a fair job with color accuracy, but the contrast starts to degrade noticeably when viewed off-axis. It's also not a touchscreen.

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The speakers sit on the bottom, but you'll want to stick to headphones. The audio they pump out sounds rather tinny, which is to be expected from something this inexpensive and small.

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