As expected, Lenovo’s first gaming Chromebook is a 16 inch laptop with a 12th-gen Intel Core U series processor, 8GB of RAM, and support for up to 512GB of storage.
Basically the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook looks a lot like the company’s Ideapad 5I Chromebook, but there are a few key differences. The gaming model has a higher-res display with a faster screen refresh rate, four speakers instead of two, and a backlit keyboard with 4-zone RGB lighting effects. The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook should hit the streets this month for $599 and up.
Like other new “gaming Chromebooks,” the laptop has the look of a gaming device. But it’s missing one thing you might expect to find in a gaming laptop: discrete graphics. That’s because Google is working with PC makers to build gaming Chromebooks with cloud-first designs.
While you can theoretically play Android and Linux games on a Chromebook, or even install Steam, these devices are really designed to stream games from cloud services like NVIDIA’s GeForce Now, Amazon’s Luna, or Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Ironically, they’re launching just weeks after Google announced it would soon shut down its own Stadia game streaming platform.
Anyway, in order to take advantage of cloud gaming, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook supports WiFi 6E connectivity, has a 71 Wh battery that should provide up to 11 hours of run time, and a 2560 x 1600 pixel IPS LCD display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and up to 350 nits brightness.
With support for Intel Core i3-1215U or Core i5-1235U processor options, the laptop won’t exactly be a speed demon. But it’s pretty powerful compared with budget Chromebooks. It has 8GB of LPDDR4x-4266 memory and storage options that include 128GB of eMMC storage or a 256GB or 512GB M.2 2242 PCIe SSD.
The laptop also has a 1080p webcam, four 2W speakers, three USB 3.2 Type-C ports with support for power input or display output, two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a microSD card reader and a headset jack, and Bluetooth 5 support.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook joins new gaming Chrome OS laptops from Acer and Asus, all of which should begin shipping this month.