Need a new notebook but don’t want to spend a fortune? Or do you need a machine for college, web browsing, and the occasional YouTube video?
If you don’t mind using Chrome OS, the Lenovo Chromebook S330 (81JW0001US) could be what you’re searching for. It is reasonably priced. It’s astute. It’s also useful in the office as well as in college.
Lenovo Chromebook S330 Performance
Because they outperform ordinary Celeron chips, Intel Core M-Series and Core i3-i5 Series CPUs may be ideal for powering Chromebooks. The Lenovo Chromebook S330 has:
- 2.1GHz MediaTek MT8173C processor
- 64GB flash storage
- 4GB RAM
A combination that isn’t ideal for multitaskers but is ideal for basic users, particularly students.
It will allow you to perform basic computing operations, such as keeping numerous browser tabs open and streaming YouTube videos. Because the Intel UHD Graphics 620 lacks the muscle to handle gaming, the device is best suited for streaming online media at 1080p/60fps.
The display can be extended to an external monitor through the HDMI/USB-C interface at 4k/30Hz, although the pixels may not be smooth. You’ll be fine with Full HD or lower.
If I had to grade the Lenovo S330 convertible’s performance, I would place it in the middle of previous Chromebooks we’ve reviewed, albeit it falls short of HP’s Chromebook x2, which leads to the pack of low-cost ARM laptops. Tabs open quickly, and the system isn’t slowed down by having a dozen browser tabs open. Regardless of the specifications, this Chromebook operates well, which most customers will appreciate at this price.
Lenovo Chromebook S330 design
This is not Lenovo’s first attempt at an inexpensive Chromebook, but the company understands how to build a sturdy, fashionable notebook. The Chromebook 81JW0000US is constructed from a few strong plastic sheets in a subtle Business Black hue.
It has a good quality, but it attracts fingerprints on the lid. Furthermore, while it lacks the distinct appearance of the Pixelbook, it resembles the premium Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630, the obvious Intel Core alternative.
The Lenovo S330’s design goes beyond the surface, with the sensation of a laptop twice its price. You won’t find creaky or sagging panels here, prevalent in laptops under $1,000.
That is true of some of our budget-friendly faves, such as the Acer Aspire 1 and Acer Chromebook Spin 15. This Chromebook outperforms all of them.
Lenovo Chromebook S330 Inputs
Aside from a good design, the keyboard is another nice element to look out for. It follows the typical Chromebook layout, with a search key replacing the Caps Lock and dedicated buttons for browser navigation, brightness, and volume controls along the top row.
It seems comfortable and quick to use, which most Windows users will like, but bear in mind that it lacks Page Up/Page Down and Home/End keys.
The touchpad is responsive and functions properly. The hinges expand to 180 degrees, allowing you to put the laptop flat on a table, albeit it lacks rubberized sides to prevent slipping when used in this mode.
Lenovo Chromebook S330 Battery life
Chromebooks have amazing battery life, and the Lenovo Chromebook S330 is no exception. With the screen brightness set to 150 nits, the 45 Wh battery lasts slightly over 10 hours on average use, including continuous streaming and reloading websites.
This means it may easily survive a whole day at work or school, which is difficult to achieve with a comparably priced Windows notebook. All it takes is 1.5 to 2 hours to completely charge the Chromebook.
Lenovo Chromebook S330 Display
Lenovo claims to have the first 4K display on a Chromebook, but we’re still waiting for the model to be released. For the time being, we’ll make do with the more modest 1,920 by 1,080 display. Nonetheless, for the ordinary user, this resolution is adequate. Because it’s a TN display, the viewing angles aren’t as good as on an IPS panel.
It’s not blindingly bright, but it’s bright enough to drown out the regular office glare. In most cases, keeping the brightness at roughly 78% will allow you to see everything. Brighter alternatives are the HP Chromebook 14 and Acer Chromebook 514.
The Chromebook 81JW0000US’s connectivity choices are good. However, they may be insufficient for some users. On the left side, there are USB-C (DisplayPort and power connector), USB 3.0, HDMI connectors, and an SD card slot for additional storage. Like most Chromebooks running Google Chrome OS, the machine has 100 GB of Google Drive cloud storage for two years.
An audio jack, a power button, a volume rocker, and a Kensington lock slot on the right. The provided USB Type-C port can also be used as a DisplayPort connection as the only DC port. As a result, your connectivity options are very limited, particularly when charging the Chromebook.
The Lenovo Chromebook S330 has three redeeming features:
- It’s one of the cheapest Chromebooks on the market.
- It’s well-designed.
- It has excellent battery life.
However, it is not very quick while performing difficult work, and it is adequate as a budget notebook.
Is there a better option?
There is no comparable Windows 10 laptop at this price that compares build quality, performance, and battery life. The only one that comes close is the Lenovo IdeaPad 330, albeit it lacks portability in terms of battery life and chassis size.
However, there are major competitors in the Chromebook market. One such example is the ASUS C302CA-DHM4, which features an Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB flash storage. In addition, if you prefer a 2-in-1 design with a touchscreen, Lenovo’s Chromebook C330 provides a great convertible experience.