Are you in search of a capable laptop for surfing the web? Then you need to take a look at this Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook review.
Itechguides' Take on Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
The Lenovo Flex 11 is a rugged-looking laptop that has some unique features. One of its unique features is its spill-resistant keyboard and touchpad. The Flex 11 is also very affordable and durable. However, I find its keyboard’s key travel to be too shallow.
- Durable build
- Affordable price
- Battery life is great
- Its keyboard and touchpad are spill-resistant
- Shallow key travel
This review will uncover the structure of the laptop – its design, to be precise. In addition, I will also review other aspects of the laptop such as its battery life, storage, processor, memory, GPU, and CPU performance.
For the purpose of giving you a definite value of its performance capability, I will be rating the performance of the Flex 11 in the aspects I listed above. I will also be comparing the Flex 11’s performance with other related laptops’ performance.
My Initial Thoughts
At first sight, the Lenovo flex looks like an old laptop judging by its outdated appearance compared to modern laptop designs. Do you know the adage that says never judge a book by its cover? – that adage may be perfectly applicable here.
The Lenovo Flex 11 is a detachable laptop that allows you to enjoy its flexibility as a tablet or PC. It also looks very durable and yet affordable – at the time of writing this review (October 2021), the laptop costs $194.99.
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Moreso, it has a water-resistant proof on the surface of the keyboard that prevents electrical damage when it falls or when water spills on it. Lenovo said it can fall as high as 2.4 feet drop with no scratch.
Could that be true? Let’s take a deep dive into the features and performance of this laptop to find out.
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Design, Dimension & Weight Review
The Lenovo Flex is a rugged-looking detachable laptop with a mixture of two colors. The top part is shiny black, while the bumper around the edges of the lid is grey.
The bumper is to protect the edges when it drops up to 2.4 feet.
On the lid, there is a Lenovo logo written in the top left corner. At the top right corner of the lid, there is a chrome logo, plus the “Chrome” text printed beside it.
When you lift the lid, you will discover an 11.6-inch HD resolution touchscreen. This screen is an IPS Anti-Glare display surrounded by thick black bezels.
You may be wondering what the IPS Anti-Glare display is. Well, it is a screen that minimizes sharp reflections and allows you to use the laptop in a bright light setting.
However, the reflections are difficult to avoid in brighter environments. In the sun it looks blurred, but in the shade, it looks much brighter.
At the top bezel of this laptop’s display, you will see a 720p HD Camera. Even though the quality is a bit poor, it is not so bad when you consider the price of the laptop.
As I mentioned earlier, the Lenovo Flex 11 has a flexible build. Thanks to its 2-in-1 design, you can use the laptop as a tablet or a PC.
The Flex 11’s hinge rotates 360-degree mode depending on the angle you want to view the display from. You can use the Flex 11 in tablet mode, stand mode, tent mode, or laptop modes.
Generally, most Chromebooks don’t have a good speaker bass. Likewise, there was a bit of echo in this laptop’s speaker despite being a front-firing speaker positioned above the keyboard area.
Nonetheless, the flex 11 speaker is a bit louder than you’d expect.
Just 2 mm away from the Flex 11’s front-firing speaker is its keyboard. This keyboard houses all the functioning keys.
However, it is very shallow. Its travel distance is 1.1 mm and it requires 69 g force for it to register inputs.
The keys are made from slippery plastic, hence typing can be difficult for fast typists because they may miss a lot of keystrokes.
Don’t be disappointed yet; there’s something nice about the keyboard. It is spill-resistant and can handle up to 1 cup of liquid without damage.
This keyboard can also withstand falls of above 2 feet without electrical damage.
Below the keyboard, there is a smooth touchpad. This touchpad is large enough to get things done within the range provided.
It is quite responsive, but the user has to be careful not to pinch in the wrong spot while carrying the laptop when it is open. Just like the keyboard, the touchpad is also spill-resistant thanks to its sealed design.
Let’s quickly look into the Flex 11’s ports and connectivity options. The left side has a USB Type-C port for charging purposes.
There’s also an HDMI and USB 3.0 Type-A port for conventional purposes. Close to the USB Type-A, you’ll find the SD/MMC card reader for photo and audio transfer.
On the right side, there is a combo audio jack, volume rocker, power button, and Kensington lock port.
In terms of dimensions and weight, the Flex 11 measures 296 x 206 x 20.5 mm and weighs 1350 g.
To round off this design review section, I will say the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is good in terms of the design aspect because it is extremely affordable and durable. It also has unique features like a spill-resistant design.
I give the Lenovo Flex 11 an eight in this design, dimension, and weight review.
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Processor (CPU) Performance Review
The processor the Flex 11 laptop uses is a quad-core MediaTek MT8173C processor. It is an upper mainstream ARM SoC (System on a chip), primarily found in tablets and laptops.
This processor runs at a base frequency of 1.70 GHz and a maximum frequency of 2.10 GHz. It has 4 cores with no available cache memory.
Ideally, the MediaTek MT8173C processor is relatively powerful and can perform real-world tasks like document editing, web surfing, and spreadsheet preparation. To find out if this holds true with the Flex 11, I ran the Octane V2 benchmark test on the laptop.
Octane V2 is a benchmark developed to measure how well a certain processor can run in a real-world task. At the end of the test, the Lenovo Flex 11 delivered a score of 10319 points.
In comparison, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook had a score of 29435 points in the Octane V2 benchmark. This doubles the score of Flex 11.
Also, Acer Chromebook R13 had a score of 10139 points and Lenovo IdeaPad MIX 310 scored 6343 points. The Flex 11 performed better than both of them.
In conclusion, the Flex 11 processor is quite good when performing real-world tasks. Its performance is not mind-blowing, but considering its price point, the Lenovo Flex 11 is performed well.
On that note, I will be rating Lenovo Flex 11 seven on this processor review.
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Memory (RAM) Performance Review
One thing everyone appreciates on a laptop is an upgradable hardware component. Unfortunately, Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook disappoints in this aspect.
The Flex 11 has a single memory slot soldered on the motherboard. As a result, its RAM cannot be removed or upgraded.
The single memory slot comes with a standard 4 GB LPDDR3 memory.
To test the laptop’s memory performance, I opened two different web browsers and made use of eight tabs in each of the browsers. With these operations, the laptop worked smoothly without interruption.
For the benchmark test, I used WebXPRT 2015 to test the Lenovo Flex 11. The WebXPRT 2015 benchmark is used to test the memory performance of any web device and most Chromebooks.
On the test, Lenovo Flex 11 scored 142 points. Comparatively, Acer Chromebook R13 scored 138 points.
The Flex 11 was a bit better than the Chromebook R13. However, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 performed better with a score of 359 points.
To conclude, the Lenovo Flex 11’s memory performance proved that it can perform efficiently when multitasking. Based on its performance, the Lenovo Flex 11 scores eight in this memory review section.
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Storage Options & Performance Review
The Lenovo Flex 11 storage configuration is discouraging. It comes with only 32 GB of eMMC flash memory.
Considering that many other Chromebooks have up to 64 GB and 128 GB, I was expecting more storage capacity on this laptop.
On a positive note, you won’t be needing much internal storage because like all Chromebooks, the Flex 11 is designed to use Google Drive cloud storage. You can start with the standard free 5 GB Google Drive storage.
You can click on this link to view a detailed guide on how to activate the free 100 GB Google Drive storage.
However, you can activate the 100 GB free Google Drive storage available for all Chrom, ebooks for up to 2 years.
In any case, if you need more local storage, Lenovo offers this laptop with an SD card option that you can use to expand your storage.
Though this external SD card storage option may not be sufficient if you store a lot of files, it is an addition to the already existing internal storage on the laptop.
The Flex 11’s 32 GB memory plus its SD card reader will be enough for some basic operations.
As much as I would have loved to, I couldn’t perform a benchmark test because the laptop’s Operating System (Chrome OS) doesn’t support our regular benchmarks. Hence, I will rate the Lenovo Flex 11 based on its storage configuration.
With that being said, the Flex 11 scores a seven in this storage performance review.
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Graphics Card (GPU) Performance Review
The Graphics card used in this Flex 11 is the Imagination PowerVR GX6250. It is an integrated graphics card that operates at a frequency of 700 MHz.
This graphics card doesn’t come with a dedicated VRAM.
In case you want to know, Imagination PowerVR GX6250 is a mobile graphics card designed for ARM-based SoCs. It is mostly used in Android-based laptops and smartphones.
As I mentioned earlier, this graphics card is integrated, meaning it shares memory with the CPU.
On the gaming aspect, since the Lenovo Flex 11 lacks a dedicated graphics card it cannot play any graphics-intensive games. It can only play basic 3-D games.
To determine the graphics performance of the Flex 11, I performed a WebGL Aquarium graphics benchmark. The WebGL Aquarium graphics test is a benchmark that determines a laptop’s graphic processing performance.
The result of the test showed that the Flex 11 rendered 2,000 Fish at 37 frames per second. “Fish” as used here indicates points.
Comparatively, Acer Chromebook 11 N7 hit 25 fps and Dell Chromebook 3189 reached 13 fps. It is clear that the Flex 11 had higher performance.
Hence, I will rate the Lenovo Flex 11 an eight in this graphic card performance review. This is because of its good performance in the benchmark test.
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Battery Life & Performance Review
One thing is to purchase a laptop, and another thing is to enjoy the battery life. I don’t know about you, but I feel disappointed whenever I’m working and the system goes off due to its low battery.
In the case of the Lenovo Flex 11, the laptop is shipped with a 3-cell, 45 Wh battery. The manufacturer advertises that the battery can last up to 10 hours.
In order not to just make assumptions based on the manufacturer’s claims, I carried out a real-life performance test. While surfing the web using WiFi, the Lenovo Flex’s battery lasted up to 12 hours and 44 minutes.
Its battery runtime is extremely amazing. It even surpassed the advertised runtime.
I compared the battery life of Flex 11 with that of the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook. The Thinkpad 13 lasted up to 8 hours, 56 minutes when I put it under the same test.
However, the Flex 11 performed better than ThinkPad 13 with a big difference of 4 hours. So no doubt, Lenovo Flex 11 will not disappoint you anytime-anywhere.
Overall, I will give the Flex 11 a rating of nine in this battery life performance review.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Lenovo Flex 11 can last up to 12 hours 44 minutes under regular workload with medium screen brightness.
No. The Lenovo Flex doesn’t come with a stylus pen.
Chromebooks are designed to run on Chrome OS. Similarly, the Flex 11 runs on Chrome OS.
Yes. It has a 720p HD Camera.
No. The Lenovo Flex 11 can only play 3D games. It cannot play graphically intensive games.
Yes. Lenovo Flex 11 features 1 HDMI port.
My Final Thoughts
The Lenovo Flex 11 is a laptop most people would love to have because of its durable build. Asides from its durable build, its 2-in-1 design is also a tempting feature.
Although the Flex 11 has its shortcomings, such as its uncomfortable keyboard, it is still worth considering. I can easily recommend this laptop to students whose basic need for a laptop is for writing classroom essays.
Another set of people I can recommend the Flex 11 to are Business owners whose daily operation requires the usage of Microsoft office to analyze their daily transactions.
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Reference and Further Reading
- Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook: Rugged Enough for the Classroom,
- Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Specs and 2021 Review | Best 2-in-1 Laptop
- Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook – Specs, Reviews, Deals
- Imagination PowerVR GX6250
- Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Laptop Review
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