We’re getting closer to a Chrome OS tablet thanks to Lenovo, which is showing off its touchscreen convertible Thinkpad Yoga 11e. The $349 Chromebook arrives in June and although it’s geared for the education market, Lenovo is taking a cue from Dell and planning to sell the Yoga 11e to consumers as well.
Lenovo announced the device back in January and is now getting ready for the product launch. Brad Linder of Liliputing got a chance to use an early prototype — that’s why the touchscreen doesn’t work 100 percent for him — and shared this video demonstration of what to expect from the Chromebook.
Clearly, the Yoga 11e isn’t the first touchscreen Chromebook to hit the market. Google’s Chromebook Pixel claimed that prize when it launched a year ago and Acer followed with a lower-costing touchscreen model of its C720 Chromebook. Lenovo can claim to have the first convertible touchscreen Chromebook, however because like other Lenovo Yoga products, you can fold the screen all the way to the back of the laptop.
That makes the on-screen keyboard in Chrome OS a bit more valuable because the Yoga 11e can essentially be used like a Chrome OS tablet as needed. Or you could flip the screen back up and use the traditional ThinkPad keyboard. I suggested this very use case earlier this year noting that it would be more likely to see this type of form factor instead of an actual Chrome tablet because the Chrome OS isn’t yet touch optimized.