Lenovo launched its most recent Slim 3 Chromebook in May. Customer reviews love it. But Best Buy slashed the price by 44 percent down to a paltry $179, then took another $10 off on top of that. Why?
Unfamiliarity, we suspect. Most people have heard of Qualcomm and its Arm chips, but MediaTek is an up-and-coming CPU supplier that also licenses Arm CPUs from Arm Ltd. MediaTek launched the Kompanio 520 CPU late last year into the Chromebook space and Lenovo signed on to build it into its Slim 3 Chromebooks this past May.
The Kompanio 520 is an eight-core Arm CPU with an improved dual-core graphics engine, so it’s a cutting-edge CPU in a market where retailers still sell Chromebook trap deals that use out-of-date and discontinued hardware. However, even legitimate back-to-school deals on Chromebooks still use CPUs that are several years out of date.
The Lenovo Slim 3 includes the Kompanio chip and 4GB of RAM, which we try to shy away from because it can limit the amount of tabs and applications. But the processor is certainly peppy enough, the screen is a solid 14-inch 1080p display, there’s a good keyboard, and customers rave about the battery life… all for under $200. This is a steal, especially at
Updated on August 11 to note the additional $10 discount.