At 22 millimeters thick and three.1 kilos, the Flex 5i received’t win any portability awards, but it surely’s hardly overweight. The plastic all-gray design additionally feels primary to a fault, regardless of the inclusion of an accent stripe in barely darker gray on the left facet of the lid. The identical no-nonsense keyboard and trackpad discovered on most Chromebooks are accounted for right here as effectively.
Quick besides and quick to get up, I discovered the Flex 5i to be persistently speedier than the Acer 515—however solely marginally, besting it on benchmarks by lower than 10 p.c throughout the board. Battery energy nevertheless suffered by the same proportion, maybe a necessity to accommodate the modest pace enhance. I eked seven hours and 20 minutes of life out of the Flex 5i on a full-frame YouTube video playback check, in comparison with virtually eight-and-a-half hours on the Acer. Given the Flex 5i’s smaller show, that’s maybe a much bigger delta than you would possibly initially assume.
I’ve written beforehand in regards to the new apps and options obtainable throughout the Chromebook Plus platform, akin to animated wallpapers, Google’s Magic Eraser from its Pixel phones, and video options that clear up your webcam photos and movies. Google says a lot extra artificial-intelligence-driven extras are coming in 2024. Prepared for an on-demand, AI-generated background to your subsequent Google Meet? It’s on the way in which.
For now, the machine is able to rumble straight out of the field, absolutely configured inside minutes of powering it on. I encountered no issues with stability or dragging efficiency all through my testing. The machine was additionally just about silent even underneath load, aided by upward-firing audio system that pumped out loads of sound.
Is all of this price that further hundred bucks over an entry-level Chromebook Plus mannequin? The true get right here is the touchscreen, and arguably the addition of the microSD card slot, however each of these gadgets could have area of interest enchantment that not everybody wants. In case you can dwell with out them, go for the cheaper Acer 515 Chromebook Plus. But when they sound helpful, that is an impressive little laptop computer that checks off all of the Chromebook Plus bins at a nonetheless very cheap worth.