Lenovo Switches Gears From Education to Consumers With Latest Chromebooks
In about 13 hours, Google and Intel will be hosting an event in San Francisco to talk about all things Chrome OS. But one partner isn’t waiting till the morning to share its news.
Tonight, Lenovo introduced its first Chromebooks aimed at consumers: The N20 and N20p. The N20 will be available in July with a starting price of $279, while the N20p starts at $349 and will ship a month later.
The biggest difference between the two is the N20p has an 11.6-inch, 1,366 by 768-pixel touchscreen, while the N20 has a non-touch display of the same size and resolution. The N20p also has a convertible design where the keyboard folds back 300 degrees, so you can use the machine in Stand mode for watching videos, playing games or browsing the Web using just the touchscreen.
That’s about where the dissimilarities end. Both models feature an Intel Celeron processor with integrated graphics and a boot time of around three seconds. They can be configured with up to 16 gigabytes of internal storage and up to 4GB of memory.
Weighing about three pounds each, the N20 Chromebooks also have a one-megapixel Webcam, two USB ports, HDMI out and an SD card reader. Battery life is estimated at around eight hours.
Till now, Lenovo’s previous models, including the ThinkPad 11e and ThinkPad X131e, were designed primarily for the education market. The company said it decided to release a consumer-focused Chromebook now because it felt both the market and Chrome ecosystem were maturing.
Lenovo is hoping the N20p’s multi-mode design will help give it a leg up on the competition, but we’ll find out soon. We expect more Chrome OS machines to be unveiled tomorrow. The Google-Intel event starts at 10 am PT; Re/code will be there, so stay tuned for more news.