best chromebooks – Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e, 2017

As with its full-size laptop counterparts, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook applies the series’ hybrid design to Google’s laptop alternative. With dimensions of 11.8 x 8.5 x 0.87 inches and a weight of 3.1 pounds, the Yoga 11e is slightly heavier and bulkier compared to similar Chromebooks. The Yoga’s screen can also rotate up to 360 degrees, making it physically similar to a tablet.

Summary

However, as benchmarking from our colleagues at Laptop Mag showed, the Yoga’s battery life doesn’t take advantage of the added weight. During Laptop’s battery test, in which a Chromebook loops through webpages at a consistent brightness, the Yoga 11e only lasted for 6 hours and 18 minutes before powering down. By comparison, an average budget Chromebook typically reached around 8 hours in Laptop’s test.

Internally, the Yoga 11e relies on an average 1.83GHz Intel Celeron processor that provided adequate ??? if not exceptional ??? performance. Via Laptop, its mark of 1,300 points in browser speed test Peacekeeper places it a distance from the fastest Chromebooks. In active use, though, the Yoga 11e can still handle the basic tasks Chromebooks are optimized for, such as document editing and web browsing.

Externally, the Yoga 11e comes with the expected connectivity additions. The Chromebook features USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, along with an SD card reader, HDMI output and an Ethernet jack. With their thin dimensions, Chromebooks typically come with limited port options. While the USB 2.0 port offers lackluster data transfer performance, the Yoga 11e’s Ethernet jack is a nice inclusion for business and enterprise users.

The Yoga 11e’s 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display offered visual performance in line with the Chromebook’s higher-end pedigree. In Laptop’s testing, the display’s brightness rating of 253 nits was significantly higher than comparable budget Chromebooks, which typically have sub-200 nit screens. Laptop found the display to have strong viewing angles and average color reproduction accuracy.

The display also has touch support for when the Chromebook is in tablet mode, but Laptop found it to be a somewhat unnecessary addition. While the touch display was responsive in their testing, the Chromebook’s Chrome OS operating system was designed for a physical mouse and keyboard. As a result, Laptop found tasks like clicking browser close buttons to occasionally be difficult.

Lenovo includes a base one-year warranty on the Chromebook and offers support via phone, social media and an online support webpage. During their annual customer support surveying, Laptop gave Lenovo mixed marks due to issues with inconsistent support agent assistance and difficult webpage design.

The Yoga 11e’s inconsistencies keep it out of the running with the best Chromebooks, but its flexible form factor gives it some upsides. With its high-performance screen and mainstream specifications, the Yoga 11e is built durably enough for most Chromebook users.