Lenovo announces the new ThinkPad C14 Chromebook

Lenovo announces the new ThinkPad C14 Chromebook

At Lenovo’s Accelerate event in Las Vegas today, the company has taken the wraps off of the new, work-focused ThinkPad C14 Chromebook. As you would expect, this new device has the standard ThinkPad look and feel, coming in the same dark blue aluminum chassis as the ThinkPad C13 Yoga we were so fond of last time around. Many of the ThinkPad-specific features are here, too, and this Chromebook comes in with some truly notable, new features that could make it very interesting.

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First off, this is a ThinkPad, not a ThinkPad Yoga, so we’re looking at a clamshell-only setup for the C14. As these sorts of laptops go, that isn’t too much of a surprise. Though it is nice to have a convertible every so often, most professionals end up using their Chromebook in the more-standard laptop mode. Hopefully that means we’ll get a proper follow up to the C13 Yoga in the future with either the latest Intel or AMD processors, but that remains to be seen.

Ready for the enterprise

As you would expect from a device like this, it comes with the whole suite of enterprise-ready features that make Chromebooks such a good fit for professional situations.

  • Intel vPro Platform security
  • Google’s Titan C Security chip
  • Chrome Enterprise upgrade
  • Chrome Zero-touch enrollment
  • Lenovo ThinkShield
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Webcam privacy shade
  • MIL-SPEC rated
  • Optional Lenovo Premier Support

As is the case with most enterprise-ready Chromebooks, we’ll eventually see them hit the more-standard store shelves for consumers, too. The Lenovo ThinkPad C14 Chromebook comes with most of the standard Chromebook features we’re used to and a handful of fun, new features as well. To start, let’s get the basic specs out of the way.

Lenovo ThinkPad C14 Chromebook Specs

  • Up to 12th-gen Intel Core i7
  • Iris Xe integrated GPU
  • FHD Webcam w/privacy shutter
  • Up to 16GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • Up to 256GB of storage
  • 57Whr battery
  • Rapid Charge with 65W adapter
  • Upward-firing Waves MaxxAudio speakers
  • 14-inch FHD IPS display (250 or 300 nits w/touch option)
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 2x USB 3.2 Type-A
  • 2x USB 4.0 Type-C (Thunderbolt optional)
  • MicroSD card reader
  • Full-size HDMI port
  • Headphone/mic combo
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Optional LTE
  • 325.4 x 217 x 19.83 mm / 12.81 x 8.54 x 0.78 in
  • 1.56kg / 3.44 lbs.

New, notable features

Clearly, this new ThinkPad will be a workhorse of a Chromebook, but a few additions make it stand out from the pack a bit. First up – and expected on a ThinkPad – is the inclusion of the loved/loathed pointer stick in the middle of the keyboard and the three physical mouse buttons that go with it above the trackpad. While I don’t use this feature, it is incredibly handy in situations where the user is required to wear gloves for their profession.

Then we have the integrated fingerprint scanner in the top-mounted power button. This is a great spot to put biometrics on a Chromebook, and I really like seeing Lenovo make this move to save a bit of keyboard real estate.

It seems that move wasn’t the only keyboard adjustment made, here, as this C14 ThinkPad has a very interesting keyboard layout. First, there’s a dedicated Google Assistant button which we’ve not seen in a long time. Additionally, there is a very unique top-row layout on the keyboard, adding a physical microphone toggle and grouping the other ChromeOS function keys together in 4 groups. This pushes the screenshot button and keyboard brightness buttons down by the spacebar, giving this Chromebook a very unique layout.

Additionally, it really looks like Lenovo has added in a smart card slot (like we saw with HP’s latest announcement) on the side as well, giving this device just about every connectivity option you could think of. It isn’t the prettiest of devices, but if you are on the lookout for a robust, fast, well-connected, get-the-job-done Chromebook, this one could be a great option. We’ll hopefully get one in the office before long as the release window is set for June.

Lenovo is saying the ThinkPad C14 Chromebook will start at $629, but there’s no indication of what that configuration will actually be. I’d wager we’ll see a Pentium model at that price, but we don’t’ currently know for certain. As we said earlier, this device is built with an enterprise focus, so we’re not sure what models will eventually show up in the more-standard consumer channels. We’ll keep an eye on it and let you know when the ThinkPad C14 Chromebook actually goes up for sale.

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