LENOVO IDEAPAD 5i CHROMEBOOK 16 – Are you searching for a reasonably priced laptop that packs a punch? Look no further than Lenovo’s IdeaPad 5i Chromebook 16. This impressive device not only boasts a massive 16-inch screen but also features a speedy 12th-generation Core i3 CPU and a surprising range of features at its affordable price point. Although compromises were made, they were strategically placed in the IdeaPad 5i Chromebook 16.
Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Chromebook 16 – Specifications
|Specifications||Lenovo 5i Chromebook (16-inch)|
|Processor||12th Generation Intel® Core™ i3-1215U Processor (E-cores up to 3.30 GHz P-cores up to 4.40 GHz)|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel UHD|
|Memory||8 GB LPDDR4X-4266MHz (Soldered)|
|Storage||128 GB eMMC 5.1 TLC|
|Display||16″ WUXGA (1920 x 1200), IPS, Anti-Glare, Non-Touch, 45%NTSC, 300 nits, 60Hz, LED Backlight|
|Camera||1080p FHD with Privacy Shutter and Mic|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6E 2×2 AX; Bluetooth 5.1|
|Ports||2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2; 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1; 3.5mm jack; microSD slot; Kensington Nano Security Slot|
|Audio||2 x 2W stereo speakers by MaxxAudio|
|Dimensions||0.79 x 14.3 x 10in (19.95 x 356.5 x 253mm)|
While this laptop is on the bulkier side, it’s well-suited for students and individuals who primarily study or work at a desk rather than those seeking a portable device for all-day use around campus. With dimensions measuring 357 x 253mm and a thickness of nearly 20mm, it weighs 1.9kg. The laptop’s body is constructed entirely of plastic, with the exception of the two-tone dark grey lid, preventing excessive screen flexing but causing the laptop to be rear-heavy. Nevertheless, it remains stable both on a desk and on the lap, thanks to its solid plastic base.
Budget laptops often sacrifice connectivity options, but the LENOVO IDEAPAD 5i CHROMEBOOK 16 avoids this basic mistake. It offers two USB-C ports that support 10Gbits/sec USB 3.2 Gen 2, surpassing the standard 5Gbits/sec USB 3.2 Gen 1. Additionally, there are two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. One of the Type-C ports serves as a charging port, but the other can be utilized for connecting to an external monitor via DisplayPort or for linking to a USB-C hub. Moreover, Bluetooth is available for connecting wireless peripherals such as mice or keyboards. Impressively, the IdeaPad 5i Chromebook 16 stands out among its competitors by supporting both Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6, providing the option for future-proof connectivity.
However, compromises become evident when considering the keyboard. While the keyboard on Lenovo’s Windows-based IdeaPad 5 14 Gen 7 is representative of their mid-range laptops, the keyboard on the IdeaPad 5i Chromebook 16 feels more akin to that of a budget device. On the positive side, the layout is satisfactory, and the large flat keys feature clear legends and a subtle texture that aids in preventing finger slippage while typing. On the downside, the key action is occasionally rattly, and the entire keyboard deck tends to bounce as you type. Although these issues may not be deal breakers, it’s important to note that this is one of the weaker keyboards compared to other laptops on the market.
The cost-cutting measures are also noticeable in the screen department. Despite its 16-inch size, it only offers a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, resulting in a pixel density of 141ppi. While text remains legible, the screen’s brightness of 310cd/m2 is adequate for indoor and indirect sunlight use. However, additional pixels would have been appreciated. Unfortunately, color reproduction is subpar, covering a mere 56% of the sRGB gamut, and color accuracy is lacking. Nevertheless, for office tasks, video streaming, and even some gaming, the screen performs adequately, partly due to its comfortable viewing experience and the squarer 16:10 aspect ratio.
Budget laptops often suffer from tinny audio, but the LENOVO IDEAPAD 5i CHROMEBOOK 16 exceeds expectations in this area. The audio output is clear and powerful, although it lacks bass, and it offers a decent stereo spread.
In the realm of Chrome OS, the Core i3-1215U CPU may not be considered fast for Windows laptops, but it delivers a snappy performance on the IdeaPad 5i Chromebook 16. With two P-cores and four E-cores working across eight threads, it achieved respectable results in cross-platform benchmarks and maintained a smooth and lag-free experience during general use. Surprisingly, the battery life surpassed expectations, lasting an impressive 14 hours and 47 minutes in the video-rundown test, placing it at the top of the scoreboard.
If it weren’t for the bouncy keyboard, we would wholeheartedly recommend this large-screen Chromebook. If you can tolerate that aspect, it’s definitely worth considering.
LENOVO IDEAPAD 5i CHROMEBOOK 16-inch
- Robust Intel 12th-Gen i3 chip
- All-day battery life
- Port-heavy design
- Full keyboard with number pad
- Display is lower-resolution than most
- Somewhat squishy keys
- Average speakers