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The Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook 13 is out – is it worth the hefty price?

The new Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook is now available for purchase from Lenovo’s official website.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook 13 was announced at CES earlier this year. It’s a Chromebook (obviously made by Lenovo) with a similar design to Lenovo’s Windows laptop. It’s known to be a durable, high-quality, and top-tier Chromebook since it’s made by a premium manufacturer. Many giants are making Chromebooks for both the budget market (this is where Chromebooks are competitive and where I believe gained most of their consumer market share), and the high-end laptop market as well.

Chromebook manufacturers such as Acer, ASUS, and Samsung as well as HP all have premium Chromebooks that are almost five times as expensive as their cheaper counterparts. Chromebooks first entered the market and were regarded as a super cheap laptop (if we’re only talking about Chromebooks from a pricing perspective, which made it affordable for many. Although they were cheap, they do and still do carry a reputation that they’re “useless without Internet” or “have no compatibility” or “are a joke.

Besides that fact that Chromebooks have overtaken Macbook sales recently, the Chromebook is rapidly taking over the market. In fact, in the education market, Chromebooks are dominating. Schools are upgrading to Chromebooks from Windows due to their affordability and simplicity.

Regardless, let’s get on with this overview for the Lenovo Chromebook 13. I just wanted to provide a background for Chromebook, in case you’re new.

What’s so special about the Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook?

The first thing I can say is that it’s powered by Intel’s new Skylake processor, and has support for Android apps later when the update rolls out.

In case you haven’t heard, Google is bringing the Play store over to Chromebooks, which means you can run Android apps on your Chromebook. However, not all Chromebooks are capable of running Android apps, and many won’t receive this update. Check our list of Chromebooks that will be eligible for the Play store.

Lenovo Chromebook 13 design

The Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook 13 sports a rugged design similar to the Window's version.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook 13 sports a rugged design similar to the Window’s version.

The design of the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook by Lenovo is pretty much the same as its Windows version, although there are some minor differences. It doesn’t feature the classic ThinkPad TrackPoint, and also has some aesthetic changes- not available in silver with the aluminum lid. Besides that, the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook comes equipped with the ThinkPad keyboard and port support and locations, there’s nothing new. If you’re not familiar with the Windows version, then this will all be new to you.

Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook 13 ports

The ThinkPad 13 has two USB 3.0 ports and two USB-C ports. These USB-C ports can be used to charge the Chromebook, which I personally think is awesome. The ThinkPad 13 also has a 3.5mm headphone port and your standard SD card slot.

Legendary ThinkPad ruggedness means a durable Chromebook

If you aren’t familiar with ThinkPads, you’ll like this part. They have a reputation for their durability and ruggedness. The Lenovo Chromebook 13 meets military standards for quality and durability, which includes a variety of tests (including drop tests) that challenge the Chromebook to a different scenarios and environments. If you want one of the most durable Chromebooks on the market, the Lenovo Chromebook 13 is something to consider.

Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook 13 price

The ThinkPad Chromebook 13 comes in a few different variants on Lenovo’s website.

Here’s the breakdown:

For $429, you get an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of SSD storage, and a 1366×768 resolution display with a 13.3’’ screen.

For $629, you get an Intel i3 processor with the same specs.

For $879, you get an intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 32GB of SSD storage, and the same screen resolution and size.

If you add $50, you can upgrade to a 1920×1080 IPS display. This is full HD and uses IPS technology, which basically allows you to view your Chromebook from multiple angles and still see a clear picture. It’s a premium upgrade and is regarded as one of the highest quality and most expensive display types to produce.

This isn’t really affordable for the entry-level Chromebook buyer, nor is it cheap at all, especially for a Chromebook and their reputation of being extremely high value with low price tags. There’s been a shift towards making high-end performance Chromebooks, and the ThinkPad 13 sits right in the middle. It’s not cheap for a Chromebook, but it’s not overpriced either for the ThinkPad quality you get.

These prices are currently changing and they may be running a promotion for their Chromebooks as you’re reading this. You should probably check out their Lenovo’s site for a Lenovo Chromebook 13 sale.

If you’re looking for a touchscreen Chromebook, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook doesn’t offer it- yet. It’ll be available later on. Keep checking PlatypusPlatypus for updates. We’ll let you know when it’s out.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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