Lenovo 300e Chromebook Review: A Modest Laptop for Students

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By Omoyeni Araokanmi

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My take on Lenovo 300e Chromebook

Summary

Here’s a durable convertible Chromebook that survives a liquid spill and a fall in the classroom. Its impressive battery life also makes you confident of a full day’s activity without having to charge.

Overall
4.4

Pros

  • Durable build
  • Supports any pen
  • Spill and Drop Resistant
  • Impressive Battery Life

Cons

  • Average multitasking
  • Only one USB Type-C port

Lenovo 300e Chromebook: At First Glance

The year 2018 started with Lenovo announcing the launch of new education-focused Chromebooks. This series includes the Lenovo 100e, 300e, and 500e.

All the models were created to satisfy the needs of those in the education space. Furthermore, Lenovo didn’t just make this a Chrome OS device, they also offered a Windows OS model – which is uncommon in Chromebooks.

Following that, Lenovo redefined the 300e in 2019 and referred to it as the “300e 2nd Gen”. Well, manufacturers often redefine products but just how redefined is this device?

Read on to satisfy your curiosity as I review the 2nd Gen model of this Chromebook.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook: Design, Dimensions & Weight

If you’re familiar with the 1st gen, you’ll begin to notice some design changes on the 2nd gen just from a glance. For starters, the Lenovo 300e 2nd gen feels lighter than the 1st gen model.

To be specific, the 2nd gen weighs 1320g and has a dimension of 290 x 204 x 20.85 mm. The 1st gen on the other hand weighs 1351g and has 292.1 x 203.2 x 20.32 mm as its dimension.

Despite the fact that the differences don’t seem like a lot, it’s a noticeable change. When you compare the Lenovo 300e with two of its competitors, you’ll find some lighter and some heavier options.

Notably, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 weighs less at 1200g while the Dell Chromebook 3100 weighs more at 1410g.

As for build material, this Chromebook is made up of a plastic chassis. This smooth-textured chassis Chromebook is available in one color variant which is black and is highlighted with dark grey edges.

Furthermore, these edges are sharpened, unlike the previous version which had curvy edges. Above the left sharp edges on the lid, you’ll see the “Lenovo” text logo while Chrome’s colorful logo sits on the right edge of the lid.

The Lenovo 300e Chromebook isn’t just a smooth, feel-good kind of device, it’s also durable. Lenovo says this device is military-grade tested and is able to survive a drop of 75 cm which is the height of a school desk.

Apparently, this drop survival is possible thanks to the rubber bumpers around the Chromebook’s edges. Furthermore, on its durability, the solid hinges of this Chromebook require that you use both hands in opening the laptop’s lid.

Speaking of hinges, these hinges go all the way back 360 degrees which gives you a convertible device. It is a completely convertible Chromebook like the 1st gen and also a touchscreen display.

Being a convertible means that you can use the Lenovo 300e Chromebook in laptop, tablet, or tent mode.

Not only is this a convertible laptop, but it also features a 10-point multi-touch touchscreen display. Having a 10-point multi-touch screen means the touch screen allows you to use different gestures of ten fingers on the screen simultaneously.

For a touchscreen display, you ordinarily expect a stylus pen right? Well, interestingly, Lenovo came up with something creative.

Asides from having the typical stylus pen of this Chromebook (which comes at an extra cost), Lenovo included a feature called “any stylus”.

With that said, you pretty much know what it means to have a stylus pen given to you with a touchscreen device. Now, you’re probably wondering what “any stylus” means right?

According to Lenovo, the “any stylus” feature means a typical pen is accepted on this device. This means that students are able to use an actual pencil on the touchscreen display of the Lenovo 300e.

With such a feature, you expect that this screen will mostly develop some scratches or marks from the use of a pencil. Impressively, the screen doesn’t leave any track marks after the pencil use.

Having the “any stylus” feature is a big plus especially if you don’t want to add some cash for the actual stylus pen. Using a typical pencil is probably all you’ll need.

Even though Lenovo says “any stylus”, using an ink pen isn’t the best. That’s because ink pens produce ink stains on the screen, so a typical pencil will do just fine.

Furthermore, the Lenovo 300e Chromebook has an 11.6″ inch IPS display. This display is also an HD (1366 x 768) resolution.

Having an IPS (In-plane switching) display means a device maintains a sharp display even when in different viewing angles. Without a doubt, IPS displays are important in a convertible device since you’ll have them in different modes.

Fortunately, the Lenovo 300e Chromebook has good viewing angles as you’ll expect – nothing so impressive. As for its screen brightness, this device has the average 250 nits of brightness we often see in Chromebooks.

On a more impressive note, this Chromebook features a 66% sRGB color gamut which is higher than the 52% we see in most Chromebooks.

To clarify, sRGB is responsible for the color accuracy and color brightness of a display. With that said, a higher sRGB is what you should be rooting for and that’s what Lenovo offers.

Away from the display, the other end of this Chromebook is where you’ll find the keyboard and touchpad. Starting with the keyboard, the Lenovo 300e Chromebook features a spill-resistant keyboard.

For clarity, a spill-resistant keyboard has an underlining material between the keyboard layout and the motherboard. This material prevents liquid from getting to the motherboard in good time to avoid damages.

This means if anything gets spilled on the keyboard, the motherboard doesn’t get affected. Even though it’s spill-resistant, you shouldn’t dump it in a pool!

This Chromebook can only survive a spill of 33cl of water.

Ordinarily, you would expect that an 11-inch device would have an annoying keyboard for typing but it doesn’t. The keys respond fast and have good key spacing.

Unfortunately, this keyboard is not backlit which means the typing experience in low-light situations won’t be so enjoyable. Along with the typing, the touchpad of this Chromebook is average and responds well to get the job done.

On both sides of the Lenovo 300e, you’ll see decent ports expected for an education-focused Chromebook.

Starting from the left, there’s a headphone jack, a full SD card reader, an HDMI port, and a full-service USB Type-C charging port. While on the right, there are two volume control buttons, the power button and a USB Type-A 3.0 port.

Having only one type-C port is limiting for a Chromebook. This is because having two USB Type-C ports would increase the possibility of charging the laptop and also transferring data at the same time.

After taking a look at the ports on the right side, there’s a dedicated pen slot close to the Chromebook’s base. According to Lenovo, this is a “garage AES pen” – don’t worry I’ll explain that shortly.

The garage AES pen is not just a stylus pen’s case for safekeeping, it’s also where the pen gets charged up. This means that while you’re charging the Lenovo 300e, the stylus pen also gets charged when it’s in the “garage”.

Overall, the design section of this Lenovo 300e Chromebook review has a lot of impressive features to love about it. Altogether, it won’t be far-fetched to rate this review section a nine out of ten.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook: Processor (CPU) Performance

The processing power of the Lenovo 300e Chromebook comes in two variants. You can get this Chromebook with the Intel Celeron or MediaTek processor.

As for the specifications, the Intel Celeron N4000 is a dual-core processor. The MediaTek 8173C on the other hand is a quad-core processor.

It’s uncommon to have two processor options on an education-focused Chromebook. Even though both processor options are not the highest performers, they are expected to offer good performance ideal for a Chromebook.

Speaking of expectations, knowing the processor performance is all that matters right?! Well, as expected, I didn’t forget to carry out a processor performance test on this Chromebook.

Usually, we use a JavaScript test tool for testing a Chromebook’s processor performance. Fortunately, we were able to use the Cinebench benchmark test instead.

The Cinebench 20 is a test tool that analyses the CPU’s performance. It lets you know just how fast or slow the processor handles tasks with a high score meaning it’s fast and a low score telling you it’s slow.

This Chromebook was able to support the Cinebench test because Lenovo offers a Windows 10 OS model option. Having a Windows OS model of this Chromebook is a big plus because Chromebooks typically run on the Chrome OS.

Just before I get into the test, it’s worth noting that our review model has the Windows OS with the Intel Celeron N4000 processor.

As for the processor performance test with Cinebench 20, the Lenovo 300e 2nd Gen scored 514 points. This is higher than the average 459 points score of this processor.

Furthermore, the Lenovo 300e was some points behind the Dell Latitude 11 3190 which scored 540 on the same test. The Lenovo 300e Chromebook also almost had a tie with the Acer TravelMate B1 which had 513 points.

Based on the performance scores above, the Lenovo 300e Chromebook performed above the average score of this processor. In addition to that, it also performs around the range of its competitors.

In that case, nine is an ideal score to rate the processor performance in this Lenovo 300e Chromebook review.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook: Memory (RAM) Performance

The Lenovo 300e Chromebook comes with 4 GB LPDDR3 1866Mhz RAM. This is also a single slot memory that is soldered to the Chromebook’s motherboard.

As for upgradability, you cannot upgrade the memory of this Chromebook because it’s soldered to the motherboard. Nevertheless, you won’t be needing more than 4 GB of memory for a student-friendly Chromebook.

Having said that, it would be good if we establish just how much performance this Chromebook can handle. To do that, I did a multitasking test on the Lenovo 300e Chromebook 2nd Gen.

For this test, I opened 14 web tabs simultaneously. These tabs responded at a good pace and moving between tabs wasn’t sluggish.

However, when I increased the web tabs to 21, this Chromebook began to slow down.

Multitasking or running programs is not a problem for this device. Although, if you push it, you won’t get the best out of this Chromebook.

In fairness, the Lenovo 300e performs as expected – not so fast and not overly slow either. With that in mind, I will rate this memory section an eight in this Lenovo 300e Chromebook review.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook: Storage Options & Performance

The storage capacity of the Lenovo 300e Chromebook is slightly more than what we see on typical Chromebooks. This device comes with 32 GB eMMC storage.

A Chromebook with 32 GB is more than one with 16 GB. Nonetheless, a Chromebook having 256 SSD storage is very unnecessary and that’s because Chromebooks were not designed for storing files locally.

With that said, you’re probably wondering what happens when the storage gets filled up (which is unlikely). Well, this Chromebook has more storage options.

To be precise, Lenovo made provision for you to enhance the storage with the SD card reader feature. This means you can slot a full SD card into this device for more storage.

Asides from that, you also get 100 GB of Google cloud storage when you activate Google One on your Chromebook. To learn how to activate the 100 GB Google Drive storage, visit this link – How to Get 100GB of Google Drive Space on a Chromebook.

In summary, Lenovo 300e Chromebook has a storage size that is above average. In addition to that, the full SD card reader feature is also a plus especially when most recent devices come with the limiting microSD card reader instead.

Hence, this storage section of the Lenovo 300e Chromebook review deserves a rating of nine.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook: Graphic Card Performance

The graphic card featured in the Lenovo 300e is the Integrated Intel UHD Graphics card. As an integrated graphics card, you should expect it to depend on the CPU for any graphics task.

When it comes to speed, this graphics card has a 200 MHz base frequency and 650 MHz boost frequency. Since I just mentioned its speed, you’re probably wondering what these figures mean in performance.

To provide clarity, I conducted a 3D Mark benchmark test. This benchmark test tool is works by rendering 2D and 3D graphics so users can have an idea of how this device handles overall graphics performance.

After making use of the 3D Mark test, Lenovo 300e arrived at 415 points. A more impressive score is the Dell Latitude 11 with 501 points in the same test.

Apparently, the Dell Latitude 11 which is the main competitor of the Lenovo 300e performs better when it comes to graphics. Hence, a rating of eight is a reasonable score for this storage review section of the Lenovo 300e Chromebook.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook: Battery life & Performance

When it comes to battery, the Lenovo 300e is powered by a 42Wh Li-Polymer battery. As for battery life, Lenovo claims that this Chromebook lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge.

While it’s normal to see Chromebooks with such battery life, it’s important to be sure. And to be certain, I did a battery test to verify Lenovo’s claim.

To be precise, I carried out a video playback test which involves playing a video repeatedly till the battery dies. Before starting this test, the Chromebook was fully charged and brightness was set at 70%

I also turned off the Wi-Fi connection and played a locally saved 15-minute video documentary repeatedly. At the end of this video playback test, the Lenovo 300e 2nd gen Chromebook gave up at an impressive 16 hours 18 minutes.

Looks like Lenovo underestimated the battery life of their product! For a Chromebook to last 16 hours on video playback, you can expect two hours more than that solely on web browsing.

When compared with the previous model, the 1st gen model lasted only 10 hours 47 minutes on the same test. Also, Dell Latitude 11 didn’t meet up with Lenovo’s new product with its runtime of 12 hours 42 minutes on the same test.

Even though it is common to see Chromebooks with impressive battery life, 16 hours is super impressive for a device at its price. With that said, a score of nine is definitely befitting for this battery performance section of the Lenovo 300e Chromebook review.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much RAM does a Chromebook 300e have?

This Chromebook comes with 4 GB of RAM.

2. When was the Lenovo 300e 2nd Gen released?

Lenovo released the 300e 2nd Gen in 2019.

3. What processor does the Lenovo 300e Chromebook have?

Lenovo offers two processors on different models: the Intel Celeron and MediaTek processor options

4. What is the size of the Lenovo 300e Chromebook?

This is an 11-inch Chromebook that weighs 1320g.

5. Is the Lenovo 300e Chromebook waterproof?

This Chromebook has a spill-resistant keyboard that can handle some spills on it.

Conclusion

The Lenovo 300e is definitely one Chromebook that hits the mark of education-focused devices out there. Whether a teacher or a student, this Chromebook is a great blend of portability, durability, and performance.

Above that, this device is also suitable for frequent travelers who need an affordable laptop. In addition to its affordability, this Chromebook has a rugged build that will survive road trips and still has average performance for basic tasks.

It’s tempting to say that this Chromebook can do no wrong. However, if you find the charge-only USB Type-C port limiting, you’ll find that as a flaw.

Regardless, if you can live with that single limitation and you need a reliable Chromebook for school, the Lenovo 300e should check all the boxes.

I hope you found this Lenovo 300e Chromebook review helpful. If you found the review helpful, kindly click Yes to “Was this page Helpful?” below.

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Finally, for more Chromebook reviews, visit our Chromebook Reviews page. You may also find our Laptop Specs page very helpful.

About the Author

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Omoyeni Araokanmi

Omoyeni Araokanmi is a Content Writer at Itechguides.com. She has a B.Sc. in Sociology. Omoyeni loves everything tech. If she's not writing tech reviews, she's either reading, watching movies, or enjoying the outdoors. She writes product reviews and buying guides for itechguides.com

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1 thought on “Lenovo 300e Chromebook Review: A Modest Laptop for Students”

  1. Nice article but it is a little concerning that you have many stock photos of smiling people but no pictures at all of the device you reviewed. It would be nice to see actual photos of the Chromebook and not just the text.

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