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.)
|ThinkPad 13 (Chrome OS)||ThinkPad 13 (Windows 10)|
|CPU||Up to Intel 6th Gen Celeron Core i3/i5||Up to Intel 6th Gen Core i5 vPro|
|RAM||4 GB or 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM||Up to 16 GB DDR4 memory|
|Storage||16 GB or 32 GB SSD||Up 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 tested||Mil-Spec tested|
|OS||Chrome OS||Windows 10|
|Availability||June 2016||April 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.