Better in every way

Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 Render

Oversized

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

The Flex 5 hits all the sweet spots for a Chromebook: it has a 13.3-inch 1080p screen in almost the same footprint as the C340-11, a backlit keyboard, and enough get-up-and-go for full-time work.

$410 at Amazon

Pros

  • More compact size
  • Smoother performance
  • Better pricing

Cons

  • Smaller screen
  • No number pad
  • Harder to find

This is the extra-large sibling of the Lenovo Chromebook C340-11, and while it offers up a perfectly adequate experience, it's more expensive than the Flex 5 while offering very little extra benefit other than a physically larger screen.

$500 at Amazon

Pros

  • Bigger screen
  • Number pad on keyboard

Cons

  • Much heavier
  • Pentium Gold models are weaker
  • Some models lack backlit keyboard
  • Shorter support life

Lenovo makes some of the best Chromebooks on the market, and both the Lenovo C340-15 and the Lenovo Flex 5 rank up there among them. They share a lot of the same features and specifications — after all, they're both touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebooks — but the Flex 5 pulls away as the clear winner in terms of portability, power, and pricing.

Why the Lenovo Flex 5 flexes all over the C340-15

Lenovo Flex 5 ChromebookSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The Lenovo Flex 5 is my favorite Chromebook of 2020, and it would be sitting pretty as our best overall Chromebook if it was in stock at a non-gouged price more than 5% of the time. The Flex 5 has been highly sought-after for good reason: it's a 13-inch Chromebook with essentially the same footprint as an 11.6-inch Chromebook, and it's also one of the most affordable 2-in-1 Chromebooks with a backlit keyboard. Combine that with a Core i3 processor and a 1080p touchscreen and you've got a recipe for success.

At first glance, the Lenovo Chromebook C340-15 seems like the same Chromebook just stretched out an extra two inches, but the C340-15 has smaller storage options, older radios for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and a much shorter support life, with an AUE date of June 2025 compared to the Flex 5's June 2028. When the C340-15 launched last fall, 5.5 years of support was the norm, but now in 2020, eight years is the standard for new Chromebooks. 2020 was also the year that USI stylus support rolled out more widely, if you care about pen input.

Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook Lenovo Chromebook C340-15
Display 13.3-inch touchscreen
1080p • 16:9 • 250 nits
15.6-inch touchscreen
1080p • 16:9 • 250 nits
Processor Intel Celeron 5205U
10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110U
Intel Pentium Gold 4417U
Intel Core i3-8130U
Memory 4GB DDR4 4GB DDR4
Storage 32-64GB eMMC
or 128GB SSD
32-64GB eMMC
Expandable microSD card microSD card
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 802.11AX (2 x 2)
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 5 802.11AC (2 x 2)
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 2x USB-C
1x USB-A
3.5mm Audio jack
2x USB-C
1x USB-A
3.5mm Audio jack
Peripheral features Backlit keyboard
USI stylus support
Optional backlit keyboard
Audio 2 x 2W stereo speakers 2 x 2W stereo speakers
Battery 52.5Whr
Up to 10 hours
56Whr
Up to 10 hours
Dimensions 310 x 214 x 17mm
12.2" x 8.4" x 0.67"
362 x 249 x 19mm
14.23" x 9.8" x 0.74"
Weight 1.35kg / 2.97lbs 1.98kg / 4.37lbs
Auto Update Expiration Date June 2028 June 2025

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

On top of the updated internals, it's hard to overstate how much more manageable and lap-friendly the Flex 5 is over the C340-15. Two inches may not sound like much of a difference in screen size alone, but being an inch deeper and over a pound heavier makes the C340-15 a tighter fit in many laptop backpacks — it's almost too wide for my Simple Modern Wanderer. The addition of the numpad also scoots the trackpad to the left, since it aligns with the spacebar, so it's an adjustment if you're used to laptops without a number pad. That said, for anyone who puts in lots of numbers, the C340-15 may win out for the functionality of having that trackpad — just be sure you buy the 81T90002UX model, as that's the only C340-15 model to come with a backlit keyboard.

Lenovo Flex 5 ChromebookSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

It's hard to judge the pricing of these two Chromebooks when prices and supply have been so erratic over the last few months, but when both Chromebooks were in stock and being sold at their suggested prices, the i3 configuration of the Flex 5 was a good $90 less than the i3 configuration of the C340-15. Getting a laptop that's easier to carry around and will last three years longer for significantly less money makes this pretty much a no-brainer argument.

While there are a few specific instances where the extra size of the screen can come in handy — if you turn up your screen zoom for larger font, for example — but in most instances the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook beats out the Lenovo Chromebook C340-15 hands-down. So while it may take you a little longer to find the Flex 5 in stock, it's worth waiting for and will serve you better in the long run.

Better in every way

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 Render

Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

The best Chromebook if you can find it

Lenovo hit the sweet spot here of giving us a screen big enough for split-screening, a backlit keyboard for late-nights of working, and enough power and battery for a full day's work.

Oversized

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

If you need the biggest screen available

A larger screen and a bigger keyboard can be useful to some, especially if your next Chromebook is going to live on your desk and not move around much, but unless you just find 13.3-inches too small, the Flex 5 will last longer and travel much easier.

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