After making plenty of successful Chromebooks in the cheaper price segment, Lenovo is stepping up to something a bit more premium with the launch of the new Yoga Chromebook. That "Yoga" name means this is, of course, a convertible laptop with a 180-degree rotating hinge, but it's also a sign that Lenovo is willing to position a Chromebook with the more premium-focused Yoga brand. And the price fits — the Yoga Chromebook starts at $599 and can go up a couple hundred dollars from there depending on how you spec it out.
So what do you get for the price tag that's over double the other two Chromebooks Lenovo just announced? For starters, you get physically more computer: the Yoga Chromebook is a 15.6-inch machine, which is bigger than most mainstream Chromebooks out there. Then, there's how it's made. This is a solid, all-aluminum build that feels sturdy and looks great with its subtle angular lines and tight tolerances. It looks every bit worth the asking price, and is accompanied by nice features like dual USB-C ports for charging and data.
|Display||15.6-inch IPS LCD, touchscreen
3840x2160 or 1920x1080
|Processor||8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U Kaby Lake R|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Storage||64/128 GB eMMC 5.1
MicroSD card slot
|Audio||Stereo speakers, 3.5 mm headphone jack|
Est. 10 hours (FHD), 9 hours (UHD)
|Connectivity||USB 3.0, USB-C (power/display/data)|
|Dimensions||14.23 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches (361.5 x 248.85 x 17.8 mm)
4.2 lbs (1.9 kg)
With the big screen, Lenovo is positioning the Yoga Chromebook as a media-focused "around the house" computer rather than one you'd carry with you or even take to/from work on a daily basis. The base model has just a 1080p display, but you'll want to opt for the 4K model if at all possible — it's gorgeous, and the small bezels give it a modern look. Both variants are touchscreens as well. You also get a big, comfortable trackpad and backlit keyboard under the screen with all of that extra deck space, though it's odd that the pair of speakers are down-firing considering the room available up top.
The fact that you can flip that massive screen over into various convertible modes doesn't seem all that useful at first in a laptop this big, but when you think about getting the keyboard out of the way to enjoy some TV episodes or movies on that excellent 4K screen, it makes sense. It's downright comical to try and it up even with the firm grasp of two hands, but just because you fold over the screen doesn't mean you have to keep it up in the air in your hands. Flipping it into the display or tent modes, this will be a great Netflix machine for people who don't have any other computer, giving you a comfortable viewing size compared to traditional 11- and 13-inch Chromebooks.
This thing is great — I just wish it came in a smaller size, too.
With all of that case size and an increased price, Lenovo filled the Yoga Chromebook with specs far above what you find on the cheaper models. It comes standard with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM an 64GB of storage — with an option for 128GB in addition to a microSD slot. The 56Wh battery inside isn't particularly large, but considering this isn't a super-portable machine it isn't surprising. And because it's already north of 4 pounds as it sits, adding in more battery would make it even more immobile.
For as nice as this machine is, I sure wish Lenovo would've paired it with a release of a smaller model in this exact same design, materials, and specs. The fact that this is a big, heavy machine with a 15.6-inch display designed primarily for home use severely limits its potential market, and clouds its many redeeming qualities and desirable features. I know some people are looking for this type of larger laptop and don't need the portability — but Lenovo can (and does) make more than one size of each laptop model.
The hardware is efficiently designed and extremely well executed, the specs are wonderful for a Chromebook, and the screen looks really good. I just wish it was also available in a 12- or 13-inch version that I could carry with me every day — even if the price was roughly the same. But if this is the type of laptop for you, and you like the simplicity of Chrome OS, you can get one starting in October for $599 and up, depending on the spec.