Lenovo has launched the IdeaPad 5i Chromebook — a device that looks fairly unremarkable but has a potentially standout screen. The device will be available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in September 2022 with a starting price of €549 — US pricing and availability are still to be announced.
The IdeaPad 5i is Lenovo’s first 16-inch Chromebook, and it’s a substantial one at 4.10 pounds and 0.8 inches thick. The display has a 2.5K resolution, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and a maximum brightness of 350 nits — but what really has the Chromebook community buzzing is that it also has a 120Hz refresh rate. That means you can see up to 120 frames per second when you’re gaming (on GeForce Now or Stadia, for example). It should also make for a noticeably smooth scrolling experience and more enjoyable video-watching. 120Hz is a higher refresh rate than you see from all kinds of modern laptops (such as the $3,499.99 Asus one I just reviewed. No, I’m still not over it).
There’s also an option for a 60Hz, 300-nit FHD screen, which will presumably cost less.
Elsewhere, the IdeaPad 5i is said to have 12 hours of battery life (which strikes me as ambitious for a high-resolution, high-refresh-rate screen, but I guess you never know), a keyboard with 1.5mm of travel, and speakers tuned by Waves MaxxAudio. The camera is FHD and has a physical shutter.
As for processors, buyers can choose between an Intel Pentium 8505 and a more powerful Core i3-1215U and can get up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
Lenovo also announced two new additions to its Tab P11 tablet lineup. The second-gen Tab P11 Pro targets a media-viewing crowd with a 600-nit 11.2-inch OLED touchscreen and support for HDR10 Plus. It’s powered by the MediaTek Kompanio 1300T octa-core processor offering 120 percent more power than the previous device (which my colleague Dan Seifert referred to as an “OLED screen movie machine”).
A “ThinkPad-inspired” detachable keyboard is included. You can add Lenovo’s Precision Pen 3, which magnetically attaches to the device.
Also announced is the second-gen Lenovo Tab P11, which runs the tablet-oriented Android 12L. This device has an 11.5-inch regular LCD display, also with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s powered by a MediaTek G99 chip and is said to be 50 percent more powerful than its predecessor.
Both tablets include subscriptions to Nebo, a digital notebook software, and MyScript Calculator 2, a calculation tool that can solve written equations. Both come in Storm Grey; the P11 Pro also has an Oat option, and the P11 has a Sage option. The products will receive “at least two major Android OS upgrades” and three years of security updates from the time of launch.
The P11 Pro is launching in September with a starting price of $399.99. We’ll have to wait until January for the regular P11 Pro, which will start at $249.99.