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Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook vs. Lenovo Chromebook C340-15: Which should you buy?

Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook
Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 Render

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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.

Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook

Better in every way

More compact size
Smoother performance
Better pricing
Smaller screen
No number pad
Harder to find

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

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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.

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

Oversized

Bigger screen
Number pad on keyboard
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

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 ChromebookLenovo Chromebook C340-15
Display13.3-inch touchscreen
1080p • 16:9 • 250 nits
15.6-inch touchscreen
1080p • 16:9 • 250 nits
ProcessorIntel Celeron 5205U
10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110U
Intel Pentium Gold 4417U
Intel Core i3-8130U
Memory4GB DDR44GB DDR4
Storage32-64GB eMMC
or 128GB SSD
32-64GB eMMC
ExpandablemicroSD cardmicroSD card
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6 802.11AX (2 x 2)
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 5 802.11AC (2 x 2)
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports2x USB-C
1x USB-A
3.5mm Audio jack
2x USB-C
1x USB-A
3.5mm Audio jack
Peripheral featuresBacklit keyboard
USI stylus support
Optional backlit keyboard
Audio2 x 2W stereo speakers2 x 2W stereo speakers
Battery52.5Whr
Up to 10 hours
56Whr
Up to 10 hours
Dimensions310 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"
Weight1.35kg / 2.97lbs1.98kg / 4.37lbs
Auto Update Expiration DateJune 2028June 2025

Lenovo Chromebook C340-15

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: 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 (opens in new tab). 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 Chromebook

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: 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.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.