Lenovo Liked Its Cheap Windows And Chromebooks So Much It Made ThinkPad 13-Inch Versions, Too (Updated)

This fall, Lenovo released two surprisingly inexpensive 11.6-inch ThinkPads -- one running Windows 10 and one Chrome OS. To be honest, when I spent some hands-on time with them both at a briefing, they felt cheap, but the Windows 10 ThinkPad, at least, turned out to be a pleasant surprise in terms of its usability.

If Lenovo’s announcement of two new Thinkpad 13 models -- again, one each running Windows 10 and Chrome OS -- is any evidence, then it seems we weren’t the only ones to see it that way.

Like many of the other products Lenovo just announced, the ThinkPad 13 laptops are geared more towards business (as well as educational) environments. Or, simply as an inexpensive option for a student’s personal machine.

Both feature healthy-sized 512 GB SSDs and come packing 16 GB of DDR4 memory and Intel Core i5 vPro (Skylake) CPUs. They also both enjoy USB-C connectors. (There’s no word on the display specifications at this time, nor wireless information.)

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 ThinkPad 13 (Chrome OS)ThinkPad 13 (Windows 10)
CPUUp to Intel 6th Gen Celeron Core i3/i5Up to Intel 6th Gen Core i5 vPro
RAM4 GB or 8 GB LPDDR3 RAMUp to 16 GB DDR4 memory
Storage16 GB or 32 GB SSDUp to 512 GB SSD
I/O-Full size HDMI -USB 3.0 (x2)-USB Type-C (x2)-SD card slot-Full size HDMI -USB 3.0 (x3)-USB Type-C-Onelink+
Misc.Mil-Spec testedMil-Spec tested
OSChrome OSWindows 10
AvailabilityJune 2016April 2016

The Chrome OS version is rather pricey for a Chromebook at $399, even though that gets you some decent hardware. The Windows version is $50 more expensive at $449, and it has significantly more compelling specs. The former will arrive in April, and the latter is coming in June.

Update, 1/4/16, 11pm PT: So, Lenovo's press materials were gravely incorrect. The original version of this article had the specs for both devices as nearly similar, which we found quite surprising, considering that those specs make little sense in a Chromebook. When we met with Lenovo at CES, a company rep clarified the actual specs. We have amended the article accordingly.

Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

  • kawininjazx
    Wait, i5, 16gb ram, and 512gb ssd for $449? Did I read that right, that is one heck of a deal even if it feels cheap.

    Also, as a previous chromebook owner, Chrome OS takes no power to run it, you are better off getting a celeron / 2gb or 4gb model and save your money.
  • ivyanev
    What is the display resolution? With fullHd display they could become very nice laptops.
  • photonboy
    Those are starting prices. Note the "up to 512GB" for the SSD and similar for system memory.

    For all we know that's Pentium + 64GB SSD + 4GB sys ram at $450.