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Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook review: A charmingly chubby, cheap and rugged Chromebook

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The edges look like bumpers.

Josh Miller/CNET

It operated smoothly when surfing the web, streaming hours of Netflix shows and lurking Facebook.There's  enough processing power to have a handful of tabs open while streaming HD video with no lag. Open more than a few though, and performance starts to slow down.


  • 11.6-inch IPS touchscreen
  • 1,366x768-pixel resolution
  • 2.10 GHz Quad Core ARM processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC storage

Screen brightness is a bit dim, so visibility outdoors on a sunny day is difficult. It's a touchscreen so you can easily swipe or scroll using your finger when reading an article or browsing a web page, but it has some trouble accurately recognizing taps. My taps had to be consistently forceful, more like push, for the screen to acknowledge them. It's regrettable, but this has been a known issue with the least-expensive touchscreen PCs.  

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A healthy number of ports, including USB-C.

Josh Miller/CNET


  • USB-C
  • HDMI
  • USB 2.0
  • SD card reader
  • Headphone jack

Like most current Chromebooks, the Flex 11 can access apps from the Google Play Store on the Chrome beta channel. Most Android apps I downloaded, like Facebook and Spotify, ran fine, but many weren't yet optimized for a bigger screen. For security, Android apps run inside a virtual sandbox, away from the core operating system.

The shallow keyboard is one of the biggest disappointments. It's flat and uncomfortable to type on for very long, and the spacebar requires more pressure than I'm used to in order to function. While typing on the laptop I often had to go back and edit my sentences to add spaces. Not fun. It's solid enough for basic use, but if you're a student who needs to knock out essays, a model with a better keyboard, like the Lenovo ThinkPad 13, is a more fitting choice. It's one of the more budget-feeling aspects of this laptop.

In our CNET streaming battery test, it ran a little less than 12 hours. Its standby time is also great. I fully charged the laptop and left it sleeping for an entire weekend. When I returned to it, its battery life had barely been depleted.

Nothing about the Lenovo Flex 11 is incredibly special. Yet, if you want an affordable and tough laptop with a touchscreen, it's one of the cheapest you can get. If the keyboard isn't a deal-breaker, the Flex 11's attractively low price makes up for most of its shortcomings.

Google Octane

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
HP Chromebook 13
Samsung Chromebook Pro
Lenovo Flex 11
Acer Chromebook 14


Longer bars indicate better performance


Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
HP Chromebook 13
Samsung Chromebook Pro
Lenovo Flex 11
Acer Chromebook 14


Longer bars indicate better performance

Streaming video playback (in minutes)

Streaming video playback (in minutes)
Lenovo Flex 11 719
Acer Chromebook 14 570
Samsung Chromebook Pro 537
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook 495

Specs compared

Lenovo Flex 11 Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook Acer Chromebook 14 HP Chromebook 13
Price as reviewed $269 $845 $355 $819
Display size 11.6 13.3 14 13.3
PC CPU MTK 8173C Processor (2.10GHz) Intel Core i5-6300U Intel Celeron Quad-core N3160 Intel Core m5-6y57
PC Memory 4GB 8GB 4GB 8GB
Storage 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB
Operating system Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS

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