Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus
This successor to the Best Chromebook you can buy today offers exclusive Chromebook Plus features, a satisfyingly crisp touchscreen, and all-day battery life for the same price as its non-Plus predecessor. Best of all, this one isn't exclusive to Costco, so you get warehouse-quality savings without needing a membership.
Lenovo's Flex 5 and Flex 5i Chromebooks have been among the most popular and dependable Chromebooks for the last three and a half years since the first one debuted at CES 2020. Balancing power and price, portability and productivity, the Flex 5i has been my go-to recommendation for new Chromebook buyers who aren't willing to dive into the deep end with the $700 Acer Chromebook Spin 714. The latest entry in this series is the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus, a 14-inch 2-in-1 laptop with a 13th Gen Intel Core i3, upgraded webcam, ample RAM, and a small but sweet crop of new features exclusive to the new Chromebook Plus line — and only a month after it's launch, it's already over $100 off.
Why you want to grab the Chromebook Plus model of the Flex 5i
I'm writing this deal up on the Flex 5i as we speak and have been using it for most of the last two and a half weeks, and I could easily see this becoming my new primary laptop over the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook I've used for the last year and a half. The touchscreen here might not be "2K Touch" like Best Buy's product listing claims, but it's a perfectly respectable 1920 x 1200 pixels that has been easily the best of the three Chromebook Plus models I've tested so far.
While we're going to start seeing Black Friday deals on the previous versions of the Flex 5i, you should skip them and grab the brand-new model for a few reasons. Firstly, the immediate predecessor to this laptop, the non-Plus Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (14"), was exclusive to Costco, while Amazon is polluted with the 2021 and 2020 models, most of which are at or above this deal's $379 price. The upgraded webcam — and new Plus-exclusive video call control panel — make this version much better for Zoom, Meet, and any other video calling platforms your work might use. You also get the latest Intel Core processors, ample memory, and truly 10-hour battery life.
In addition to working full-time on this laptop, I've also been playing a slightly unreasonable amount of Stardew Valley on this Chromebook, enjoying the auto-move and auto-attack of the Android version of the game while also getting the convenience of the backlit keyboard controls when time is of the essence. While the Flex 5i is technically able to get Steam for Chrome OS through the Beta channel, the i3 here is more suited to casual games, though you'll be able to stream games here decently through GeForce Now.