What you need to know
- A previously-unannounced Chromebook from Lenovo has appeared in Google's "Omaha" servers.
- The device appears as the "Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus," and is using the same "brya" board as the current Flex 5i.
- There is speculation that this upcoming device could debut alongside Google's rumored "Chromebook Plus" initiative.
While there's been a bunch of focus on Google's upcoming Pixel 8 event, the company could have a few more exciting announcements up its sleeve. Over the past couple of months, we've continued to see mentions of "Chromebook Plus" or "Chromebook X" devices. And now, it seems that Lenovo is going to be getting in on the fun with a new Chromebook Plus device of its own.
Robby Payne, over at Chrome Unboxed, first noticed a new device appear on cros.tech, which is a website that allows you to see a bunch of information for different ChromeOS devices. This includes the currently supported software release, along with the board and "codename."
The device in question appears as the "IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus (14”, 7)" and shows up alongside the Flex 5i Chromebook. From this, Payne surmises that it "will likely be the existing Flex 5i Chromebook with a few cosmetic changes." So, unfortunately, we aren't expecting much of the same fanfare as we saw with the new gaming Chromebooks from last year.
Even still, Lenovo makes some of the best Chromebooks on the market today, and that trend will likely continue with this new "Chromebook Plus" model. There are still so many questions that need to be answered, such as some concrete reasoning behind what makes a "Flex 5i Chromebook Plus" different from the current Flex 5i.
If previous leaks and commit references are anything to go off of, devices falling under the Chromebook Plus moniker will have to adhere to a list of standards put forth by Google. It's still unclear what this list will look like, but we doubt that you'll find a lot of cheap Chromebooks making the list.
In addition to the new branding, it's also possible that Google limits certain features to the Chromebook Plus models. This could include things such as Live Caption, expanded support for virtual desks, and more.
With more and more details appearing on a weekly basis, we could see an announcement from Google made any day now. Or this could be just a "silent launch," and we just start seeing new Chromebooks and maybe a new landing page appear for these Chromebook Plus models.
If you're looking for a solid Chromebook that can handle a decent workload, then the Flex 3i Chromebook from Lenovo is worth considering. It might not be the most powerful option out there, but with the convertible design and full-size keyboard, this is great for both work and play.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.