The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019) is an ultraportable laptop that runs Chrome OS. Its 11.6" screen is small and makes multitasking difficult, with a mediocre max brightness, poor viewing angles, and terrible color accuracy. The speakers don't get very loud, and they sound piercing and distorted. On the bright side, it feels responsive when booting and loading apps since Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system. It has a decent webcam, and the built-in microphone records speech clearly. Also, even though the battery can't quite last a full workday of productivity, it can charge via USB-C.
We tested the Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen with a MediaTek MT8173C SoC (System-On-Chip), 4GB of RAM, and a 16GB eMMC storage drive. All options come with integrated graphics and 4GB of RAM, but you can choose between 16 or 32GB of eMMC storage and among a variety of low-power MediaTek, Intel, and AMD mobile processors. We expect them all to handle no more than light tasks like web browsing or word processing. Mobile games run well, but non-Android games won't provide a good experience when running on Linux. We expect the newer variants to run applications more smoothly and have better battery life.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen is an adequate school laptop. It's very portable, with a decent battery that can last through quite a few classes before needing to recharge. The keyboard feels decent to type on, with an excellent amount of travel, and the touchpad is alright but a bit small. The webcam captures colors and lighting well, and the microphone records clear audio. However, the screen doesn't get very bright, and the image looks very inaccurate if viewed even a little bit off-center.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen is bad for gaming. Every variant uses low-power, lightweight mobile processors, so they can't handle graphically intensive games. It can't launch any DirectX games like CS:GO or Civilization VI because it's running on Chrome OS. Since it runs the 32-bit version of the operating system, you can only run a limited selection of apps, like older versions of modern apps or low-requirement mobile games. You can install Linux apps for better game compatibility, but we don't expect many newer games to be playable.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen is a poor laptop for media consumption. The speakers don't get very loud, and they sound piercing and distorted. The 11.6" 720p TN panel is small, with terrible color accuracy, a disappointing contrast, and poor viewing angles. There's no touchscreen, and you can't flip the screen all the way around to use it as a tablet. However, the battery can last through a few feature-length films.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen isn't suited for workstation tasks. It uses Chrome OS, so many commonly used apps for 3D rendering and video editing aren't supported. The Intel and AMD variants use low-power CPUs, so performance is limited even if you use Linux apps. There's a middling selection of ports, meaning that you need a USB hub if you want to use multiple wired peripherals.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen is middling for business and productivity tasks. The 11.6" screen is small, so you need to output to an external display if you intend to multitask. The keyboard feels decent to type on, but you need a fair amount of force to actuate the keys, which might cause strain over long periods. The touchpad tracks alright but is a bit small. The battery lasts almost a full day of light productivity, but on the bright side, it can charge via USB-C. It's very portable, the webcam and microphone are okay, and since the laptop is fanless, it's completely silent.
The Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen is a bulky-looking laptop despite its small size. It feels a little cheap, and the rubber edges look basic and don't help make it look stylish.
The Lenovo 100e's build quality is alright. The overall tough, bulky-looking build makes it look like it can endure a few accidental drops, but it still feels like it could be damaged. The plastic feels cheap, the hinge isn't smooth, and there's a little too much flex on the keyboard deck and display. If you want a similarly sized Chromebook at the same price point that feels significantly better built, check out the Samsung Chromebook 4 (2019).
The Lenovo 100e's hinge is sub-par. It can open to a flat 180 degrees, which might be helpful on rare occasions, like when showing the screen to someone directly opposite you. However, the lid itself barely opens at all before the keyboard deck lifts with it, so you need to use both hands to open it. If you prefer a 2-in-1 Chromebook that you can use in tablet mode, check out the Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020).
The Lenovo 100e is relatively thin and lightweight despite its stocky, bulky-looking chassis, so you can easily take it along with you. Unfortunately, the included power adapter is quite large for a USB-C charger and might be inconvenient to bring around.
The Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen has poor serviceability. It's relatively easy to access the internals; you only need to remove nine Phillips screws, pry open the panel from the top, and unclip two ribbon cables. However, the only replaceable part is the battery, which most people won't need to replace over the usable life of the unit. Opening the laptop and making changes to the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.
The Lenovo 100e doesn't have any other screen resolution or panel options. The bezels are thick on all sides, particularly the top and bottom, so there isn't as much screen space as there could be. Because of its small size, it isn't the best option for media consumption or multitasking. If you want a Chromebook with a sharper screen, check out the Google Pixelbook Go (2019).
You can only get the Lenovo 100e with a 60Hz screen. As you can tell from the amount of ghosting in the motion blur photo, the response time is slow, meaning fast-moving content won't look very good.
The Lenovo 100e has a poor contrast ratio, so blacks look gray in the dark, typical of TN panels. Chromebooks have a built-in Content Aware Brightness Control feature, a type of adaptive brightness that you can't turn off, but it doesn't seem to affect the checkerboard pattern that we use for testing. The contrast ratio can vary between individual units.
The Lenovo 100e's brightness is mediocre, as it doesn't get bright enough for use in sunny environments. Thankfully, the screen gets dim enough for comfortable viewing in darker situations.
The Lenovo 100e has good reflection handling. The matte screen disperses direct reflections outstandingly well, but very bright environments might cause glare that can make displayed content difficult to see.
The Lenovo 100e's black uniformity is terrible. The backlight bleed isn't bad, but the overall uniformity is awful, mainly due to the TN panel's poor viewing angles. You need to be looking at it almost perfectly straight on while being very close to the panel if you want the best results. Black uniformity may vary between units.
The Lenovo 100e's TN panel has poor horizontal viewing angles. The image gets dimmer and gains a greenish hue the further off-axis you look at it, which isn't good for sharing content with others.
The Lenovo 100e has bad vertical viewing angles, typical of most TN panels. The image quickly gains a greenish hue and gets dim, and exhibits chroma inversion when viewed at sharp angles from below. If you want the best image quality, you need to keep the screen directed almost perfectly at you, which could be difficult in some situations.
The Lenovo 100e has awful color accuracy out of the box. We measured an extremely cool white point, resulting in very blue-shifted whites and grays, and very inaccurate colors that are tinted blue. The gamma curve is mediocre, with dark scenes being too dim and lighter scenes being too bright. Color accuracy may vary between units.
The Lenovo 100e has poor coverage of the sRGB color space, meaning it can't display many colors used in standard web content. It isn't suitable for viewing HDR content or working with the wider Adobe RGB and Rec. 2020 gamuts for content creation.
The backlight is completely flicker-free, eliminating image duplication and reducing eye strain for some people.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook has a middling keyboard. It's well-sized, feels decent to type on, and has good spacing between the keys, which feel surprisingly stable and have a fantastic total travel distance. However, you need to apply a fair amount of force when typing, which might cause your hands to tire out over extended periods. The lack of backlighting might make it difficult to use in very dark environments.
The Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen's touchpad is acceptable. Although it's small, the size doesn't feel very restrictive, and the gestures and tracking are responsive. However, the surface is plastic, so your fingers sometimes catch while clicking and dragging. Like most touchpads, it's hard to properly click near the top.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook's speakers perform poorly. There's barely any compression at maximum volume, but this is because the speakers don't get very loud to begin with. Like most laptop speakers, there isn't any bass whatsoever. Combined with the huge spikes in the high-mid and treble ranges, this creates a very sharp and piercing sound profile. If you want a Chromebook with better-sounding speakers, check out the HP Chromebook 14 (Intel Celeron N4000, 2021).
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook's webcam and microphone are alright. It's difficult to see fine details like the hair strands and small writing, but the colors are well-identified, and the lighting is good. Recorded audio sounds clear, and although there's a bit of static, you won't hear it in most cases unless you listen for it.
The Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen has a middling selection of ports. The USB-C port is used exclusively for charging, so you can't use it for video output or high-speed data transfer. There's one USB-A port that uses the USB 3.2 Gen 1 standard, which supports a 5Gbps maximum data transfer rate. You'll have to carry around a USB hub if you need more than a single port for your wired peripherals. There's a spot for a Kensington security lock.
The Lenovo 100e's wireless adapter is a Marvell Avastar 88W8897.
Our model of the Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen has the MediaTek MT8173C. It's an ARM-based SoC originally released in 2015, with two performance cores and two efficiency cores. The low-power efficiency cores take care of simple, basic tasks, while the high-power performance cores handle more demanding ones, which helps balance performance and battery life. There are also newer x86-based variants available, including the Intel Celeron N4020 and AMD A4-9120C models. Also, there's a newer ARM-based model that uses the MediaTek MT8183 SoC with four performance cores and four efficiency cores. Because these three processors were released much more recently than the MT8173C, we expect them to yield a longer battery life and run applications more smoothly.
Our Lenovo 100e Chromebook with the MediaTek MT8173C SoC has the Imagination PowerVR GX6250 integrated graphics. However, since it was released in mid-2014 and was aimed at running mobile games from that period, there isn't much in the way of performance aside from being able to run low-requirement or well-optimized mobile games. The newer models come with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600 for the Intel variants, integrated AMD Radeon R4 Graphics for the AMD variants, and integrated ARM Mali-G72 MP3 graphics for the newer MT8183 variants. These newer versions can run Android games from the Play Store more smoothly and efficiently, particularly for the newer ARM models.
The Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen can only be equipped with 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a type of RAM made specifically for low-power devices. It's enough for light web use, especially on a lightweight operating system like Chrome OS, but the laptop doesn't feel as responsive if you have many browser tabs open.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook that we tested comes with 16GB of eMMC storage, but you can get it in a 32GB eMMC option if you want to store more files locally. Chrome OS appears to take up 6GB of storage, meaning you'll only have about 10GB left for apps and data. Our model comes with a 4-in-1 card reader, so you can use an SD card to increase the amount of local storage if you need it. The newer models may or may not have a MicroSD card reader, depending on which you choose.
The Lenovo 100e performs awfully in the Geekbench 5 benchmark. This means that workloads like file compression and video encoding take longer to complete. The newer Intel and AMD versions will score better in both single- and multi-thread benchmarks. On the other hand, the newer MediaTek version with 8 cores will perform significantly better in multi-thread benchmarks, which helps improve performance when multitasking. If you want a laptop with better performance, check out the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020).
We couldn't run the GPU compute test on our version of Geekbench 5 because it doesn't support the proper graphics API. That said, the MT8173C's integrated PowerVR GPU is aimed at running older mobile games, meaning it won't perform particularly well in computational tasks.
Cinebench R23 isn't compatible with any versions of Chrome OS or Linux, so we couldn't run this benchmark.
Blender doesn't run on Chrome OS. Although it can run on Linux, Ubuntu Desktop installations don't officially support processors built on ARM-based architectures, so we can't install any official releases on our MediaTek MT8173C unit. Even though you might be able to install Linux on the newer models with x86-based Intel and AMD processors, they won't run 3D rendering tasks well enough for practical purposes.
There are versions of Ubuntu Server that support ARM, but because Blender itself doesn't yet have any official stable releases on ARM or ARM64, you would need to tinker extensively with the Linux package to run it in a non-graphical mode for rendering tasks.
The PowerVR GX6250 integrated graphics on our Lenovo 100e perform very badly in the game scene benchmark, typical of a mobile SoC. The newer Intel, AMD, and MediaTek models will perform better and will be able to run modern Android games much more smoothly. Also, since most Android games are optimized for ARM-based CPUs, we expect the newer 8-core MediaTek variant to perform better than the Intel and AMD variants. Even if you install Linux on the Intel and AMD models, they won't provide a satisfactory experience in most non-Android games.
The Lenovo 100e performs particularly badly in storage write tests, so handling local files can be time-consuming. However, since most tasks on Chrome OS are web-based, the laptop doesn't lag or feel slow, and booting up is still fast. We expect the 32GB eMMC option to be marginally faster, as larger storage drives tend to perform better.
The Lenovo 100e has shorter battery life than Lenovo's 10-hour claim. It can't quite last a full day of work. However, the newer variants of the Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen have updated, more efficient CPUs and newer DDR4 RAM for better battery life. If you need a Chromebook with longer battery life, check out the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (2021).
Borderlands 3 isn't compatible with Chrome OS. Even if you install Linux on the newer Intel or AMD models of the Lenovo 100e Chromebook, there isn't enough system RAM to even launch the game.
Civilization VI isn't compatible with Chrome OS.
CS:GO isn't compatible with Chrome OS. Even if you install Linux on the newer Intel or AMD versions of the Lenovo 100e Chromebook, we don't expect the laptop to provide a satisfactory gaming experience.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider isn't compatible with Chrome OS.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook is fanless, so it's completely silent. Even under load, the keyboard doesn't get too warm. The hottest point is at the upper-left side of the keyboard, around the 'W' key.
Because Cinebench R23 and Unigine Heaven aren't compatible with Chrome OS, we couldn't run any tests to determine if the Lenovo 100e Chromebook experiences any performance loss over time. However, we don't expect it to throttle due to the CPU's low power draw and the relatively large chassis. The other CPU models draw a similarly low amount of power, so likewise, they shouldn't throttle either.
The Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen runs Chrome OS in 32-bit mode, so you can't run many new apps or newer versions of apps that have more features. However, it works well enough for school and basic web surfing. Although the MediaTek MT8173C is a 64-bit processor, it's running a 32-bit version of Chrome OS likely to conserve RAM. You can run Linux apps using Crostini, making it compatible with a wider range of applications. If you want a laptop that can run x86 applications, check out the Thomson NEO 10 (2020).
Every Chromebook has an "expiration date" at which it stops receiving software updates, and according to Google's official document, the end-of-life of the Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen is June 2026. Google may extend this date as they have in the past for other Chromebooks; it's best to check their official document for any changes. For this particular unit, Google states that managed devices with the Chrome Education or Chrome Enterprise Upgrades will continue to receive security and management updates and support, but no new feature updates until June 2027.
We tested the Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen with the MediaTek MT8173C SoC, PowerVR GX6250 integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. There's another model with the same processor that has 32GB of eMMC storage, but both models have an SD card slot that you can use to store more apps and files. Unfortunately, the version we tested has been discontinued, so you might only be able to find it through third parties. There are other, newer versions available; see the table below for comparison.
Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration that we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.
You can see our unit's label here.
The Samsung Chromebook 4 (2019) and the Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019) are ultraportables with power-efficient CPUs running Chrome OS. The Samsung is better for most uses, with a better touchpad, far better-sounding speakers, and a much better webcam. You can also get it with more storage, and its battery lasts longer for light productivity. The Lenovo's keyboard feels better to type on, it has a full-size SD card reader, and you can get it with AMD, Intel, and newer MediaTek ARM processors.
The Thomson NEO 10 (2020) and the Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019) are both compact, ultraportable laptops with power-efficient CPUs, but the Lenovo runs Chrome OS, whereas the Thomson runs Windows 10. The Lenovo is a better laptop overall, with a better-performing CPU, a better display, and far better battery. Also, it has a better-feeling keyboard and touchpad and a significantly superior webcam and microphone. The Thomson might be a better option if using a Windows device is important to you.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019) and the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) are Chrome OS laptops with power-efficient CPUs. The Acer is much larger, and it's better for school and business productivity and multimedia viewing. The Acer's keyboard has a Numpad and feels better to type on, its touchpad tracks better, and its webcam and microphone are much better. Also, it has a better-looking screen, a more flexible port selection, and far better battery life. On the other hand, the Lenovo is much more lightweight and portable.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (2019) and the Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019) are both 11.6 inch laptops that run on Chrome OS. However, the Acer is a 2-in-1 convertible that can be used in tablet mode, whereas the Lenovo is limited to the standard clamshell mode. The Acer has better display quality because the Lenovo's display has a bluish tint caused by an extremely cool color temperature. The Lenovo also has narrower viewing angles because it uses a TN panel. The Acer's keyboard feels better to type on, and its speakers sound louder and more balanced, but its touchpad and webcam aren't as good as the Lenovo's. The Acer has a newer SoC that performs significantly better in multi-threaded workloads because it has double the number of cores. This newer SoC is also more power-efficient, so you get much longer battery life on the Acer despite the Lenovo having a bigger battery.
The HP Stream 11 (2021) and the Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019) are budget laptops. However, the Stream 11 runs Windows, while the 100e Chromebook runs Chrome OS. This means that you can run full x86 applications on the Stream 11, but you're limited to web apps, Android apps, and Linux apps on the 100e Chromebook. The 100e provides a slightly better user experience because it has a better keyboard, touchpad, and webcam, but its build quality doesn't feel as sturdy as the Stream 11.