Chromebooks are gaining in popularity, particularly among users who want an inexpensive device simply for browsing the web or handling basic computing tasks. The education sector is a prime target for many Chromebook manufacturers for good reason—this is a segment where Chromebooks are gaining traction quickly. Although the education world may be a primary target for this platform, there are many consumers who can also benefit from the low-cost, easy-to-use and maintain Chrome OS-based devices that are available today.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Chrome OS in general as well as Lenovo’s implementation of the N20p Chromebook. One of the key differentiating points of the N20p Chromebook in comparison to other Chromebooks on the market is its touchscreen display and rotating hinges that let you use the machine in Stand mode. Unsurprisingly, these were our two favorite features of the N20p Chromebook.
We’ve been big fans of Lenovo’s Yoga series of notebooks because of their flexibility and ability to operate in Laptop, Stand, Tent, and Tablet modes. While the N20p Chromebook only operates in two of these modes, the addition of a touchscreen and Stand mode are a nice addition to a Chromebook. That said, we can’t help but wish Lenovo would have incorporated the full Yoga-like hinges in the N20p Chromebook to give the Chromebook the ability to function as a tablet as well.
Lenovo’s N20p Chromebook wasn’t a benchmark topper, but in everyday use the system had no problem responding to our demands with little to no delay. Given the hardware found in the N20p Chromebook compared to some of the other more powerful Chromebooks we’ve previously reviewed, we weren’t surprised the N20p was often near the bottom of our comparison charts. In this case, we would caution against placing too much weight on the benchmark scores since the system performed very well in day to day duties as many purchasers are likely to use the machine.
In many ways, the N20p Chromebook’s greatest strengths (the touchscreen display and flexibility) are also its biggest weaknesses due to the additional cost associated with these features. If you’re in the market for a Chromebook, cost is likely one of your main considerations. At $329, the N20p Chromebook isn’t unreasonably expensive but when you compare it to other Chromebooks that sell for $200 or less, the N20p Chromebook gets harder to justify.
On the whole, there’s a lot to like about the N20p Chromebook. It is simple and easy to use with little to no learning curve and no bloatware. The touchscreen display is a nice addition, though we feel that the N20p Chromebook’s suggested retail price is a tad expensive, likely due to the added cost of the touch display.