Lenovo N20p Chromebook Review


The Lenovo N20p Chromebook has a matte gray finish that covers the lid and underside of the device. The edges of are a combination of black and gray. You’ll find a shiny silver Lenovo logo along with a colorful Chrome logo on the back of the display. On the underside of the N20p Chromebook, you’ll see four rubber feet along with two small speakers located next to the two feet at the front edge of the Chromebook. These speakers can sound tinny with weak bass, but that’s not uncommon for the small speakers often found in lower-priced and ultraportable machines.

Like other thin and light notebooks and Chromebooks, the N20p features a tapered design. On the left edge, you’ll find the power port, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI-out, and an Audio Combo Jack (headphone and mic). The right edge of the machine houses the 2-in-1 (SD / MMC) card reader as well as a Power LED, Power button, and USB 2.0 port.

The front and back edges of the N20p Chromebook are clean, which is necessary because any ports or buttons located on these edges would get in the way when using the Chromebook’s Stand mode capabilities. By opening/flipping the display 300 degrees, the Chromebook will transform into Stand mode. After rotating the display into Stand mode, the screen will automatically rotate and the hardware keyboard will be disabled—a must so you don’t accidentally press keys while resting the Chromebook on its keyboard. Anytime you need to enter text, just tap a text entry area on the screen and an on-screen keyboard will appear.

Although we can think of a number of situations where we’d want to use the N20p Chromebook in Stand mode, we can’t help but think how much cooler this system would be if Lenovo would have incorporated its 360-degree hinges that we’ve seen in the Yoga models to give this device the ability to work in Laptop, Stand, and Tablet modes.

The hinges on the N20p Care stiff enough that you’ll need two hands to open the lid. If you open the Chromebook by lifting in the middle of the display, you won’t notice any flex but if you grab an edge, you’ll see the display bends slightly.

The keyboard is nice and roomy, and feels a lot like many of the other Lenovo laptop keyboards. Overall, we thought the N20p Chromebook’s keyboard was very comfortable to use with good response and decent key travel. The large touchpad is a nice addition to the Chromebook as well. You can tap or press to click anywhere on the touchpad. This touchpad also supports two-finger scroll, zoom, and rotate functions.

Above the display, you’ll find the 720p webcam which is adequate for the purposes of web calls and Hangouts. When the webcam is in use, a small white LED to the right of the webcam lights up.

The 11.6-inch display supports a resolution of 1366 x 768. This display has a glossy finish which occasionally can cause a distracting glare. The multitouch capabilities were very responsive in both notebook and stand modes, however.

The N20p Chromebook has 16GB of storage. Should you need additional storage capacity, you can insert an SD card or USB drive or utilize a cloud service. Of course, Google would like to see you use its Drive service, but any web-based cloud service will work.

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