We knew they were coming… and now it looks like they’re coming soon. The first Chromebook designed for gaming has broken cover… unofficially.
Chrome Unboxed found details about an unannounced Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook that basically looks like a slightly souped-up version of the IdeaPad 5i Chromebook that Lenovo unveiled last month. The key differences? This model has an option for a faster processor with better integrated graphics… plus an RGB backlit keyboard, which has become a hallmark of gamer-centric design.
Like the Ideapad 5i Chromebook, the upcoming Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is expected to have a 16 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel IPS LCD display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and 350 nits brightness, 512GB of storage, and a 12th-gen Intel Core processor.
The gaming-focused model will ship standard with 8GB of RAM and supports up to 512GB of PCIe NVMe solid state storage. The backlit keyboard has 4-zones for different RGB lighting options.
The notebook has 2 USB-C ports, 2 USB-A ports, a headphone jack, FHD webcam (with a privacy shutter), quad 2W speakers, and support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
With a choice of Intel Core i3-1215U or Core i5-1235U processor options, this notebook has the sort of specs that you’d expect to find from a mid-range Windows laptop rather than a high-end gaming machine. There’s no discrete GPU or support for external graphics.
But you should be able to install Steam on this Chromebook to load games that play well with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, or run Android games downloaded from the Google Play Store. And you should be able to stream games over the internet from cloud gaming services like Amazon Luna, NVIDIA GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
One thing you won’t be able to do for long? Stream games from Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service, as Google has announced plans to shut down Stadia in January, 2023. And that makes this an odd time for companies like Lenovo to start bringing gaming Chromebooks to market.
You can find more details and additional pictures at Chrome Unboxed.