Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i makes a silent and unexpected appearance

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The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet has been making rounds over the Internet as one of the best deals you could get for Chromebooks these days. That's not because of its list of features but because of what you're getting for a sub-$300 tablet with a keyboard cover included. Lenovo might not want to distract consumers from that which is probably why it isn't making much noise about another affordable Chromebook that seems designed to appeal to a different group of users.

The Chromebook Flex 3i seems to be slotted between the IdeaPad Duet and the Chromebook Flex 5, both of which were first announced back in CES 2020 last January. While the Flex occupied the higher-end of the spectrum, the Flex 3i takes after its namesake, the Flex 3, and offers a low-power Intel convertible instead.

That's really just a generous way of describing the Intel Celeron N4020 that runs inside. That processor is paired with 4GB for RAM and 32 or 64 GB of storage. The 11.6-inch screen is larger than the IdeaPad Duet's but its 1366x768 resolution is ironically lower.

So why would you want a slightly more expensive Chromebook Flex 3i? That reason would largely be due to its attached keyboard that you can instantly fold back and forth to use as a tablet or a laptop as needed. No fiddling with covers and whatnot.

Whether performance will be better than the IdeaPad Duet's ARM-based MediaTek, however, still remains to be seen. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i is currently listed for $329.99 but is still unavailable for purchase. It will be a close call and will probably boil down to which form factor and screen is preferred.