Lenovo unveils its IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook for Xbox Cloud Gaming: Here's everything we know

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook
(Image credit: Lenovo)

What you need to know

  • PC manufacturer Lenovo has officially revealed the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook, a unique device aimed at fans of cloud gaming services.
  • The 16-inch laptop supports Xbox Cloud Gaming, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, and Amazon Luna, and comes with a new ChromeOS feature designed to make finding and playing games a quick and easy process.
  • Features and hardware include 12th Gen Intel CPUs, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, an impressive 2560x1600 100% sRGB display, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth, and more.
  • The device's starting price is $599, and it's expected to become publicly available in the U.S. at some point in October 2022.

Cloud gaming is on the rise. As services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce NOW have matured over the years, game streaming has become a popular and affordable alternative to playing games natively on expensive consoles or gaming PCs. 

As a result of this, many companies have begun to introduce dedicated game streaming devices and accessories to the emerging cloud gaming market. Logitech recently revealed its ambitious G CLOUD handheld, while the release of peripherals like the Razer Kishi V2 and the GameSir X2 have made gaming on mobile devices more comfortable and intuitive than ever before.

Lenovo is the latest manufacturer to throw its hat into the ring with the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook — a cloud gaming laptop with several impressive features and a fairly affordable price tag. Here's a look at everything we know about the new device.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook: What is it?

(Image credit: Lenovo)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is a 16-inch laptop designed to offer its users a high-quality cloud gaming experience, with the device featuring full support for Xbox Cloud Gaming, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, and Amazon Luna. It, like all other Chromebooks, will use the clean and lightweight ChromeOS operating system. It will also ship with a new software feature that allows the user to quickly find and play games across services using the Everything Button that's unique to Chromebooks. You can pin your favorite games to the taskbar while using it, too, giving you quick access to them during future play sessions.

Hardware-wise, the laptop offers Intel 12th Gen Mobile CPUs as options, including a Core i5-1235U or a Core i3-1215U. 8GB of DDR4 memory and up to 512GB of storage provide a good amount of RAM and file space, and Lenovo claims that the 71Wh battery can last for up to 11 hours. For wireless connectivity — one of the most important parts of any streaming device — you get advanced Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.0.

The device's design is very thin and light, and it features an impressive 350-nit WQXGA display that boasts an sRGB 100% color gamut and a refresh rate of 120Hz. Its keyboard has a short 1.5mm travel for fast actuation and anti-ghosting to help with accuracy, and it also sports four-zone color RGB backlighting. Additional features of the design include dual USB-C and USB-A ports (perfect for hooking up controllers), a microSD slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a 1080p FHD webcam with a privacy shutter.

Though it's positioned as a laptop for gamers, there's nothing stopping you from using the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook as a machine for general productivity work, studying, and more. In fact, Lenovo includes Dropbox, Infinite Painter, Clip Studio Paint, Adobe Lightroom, and other pieces of software on the device pre-installed, anticipating that people will want to use the IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook as a multipurpose laptop.

The full tech specs for the device can be found below.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook: Tech specs

(Image credit: Lenovo)
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Processor12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U
Row 1 - Cell 0 12th Gen Intel Core i3-1215U
Memory8GB 4266MHz LPDDR4
Storage128GB eMMC
Row 5 - Cell 0 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Row 6 - Cell 0 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display16-inch WQXGA (2560x1600) IPS
Row 8 - Cell 0 16:10 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate
Row 9 - Cell 0 100% sRGB, 350 nits
Row 10 - Cell 0 TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light (Hardware Solution) Certification
Wireless2x2 Intel Wi-Fi 6E (802.11 ax)
Row 12 - Cell 0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports1x microSD card slot
Row 14 - Cell 0 2x USB Type-C (USB 3.2)
Row 15 - Cell 0 2x USB Type A (USB 3.2)
Row 16 - Cell 0 1x 3.5mm combo audio jack
Audio4 x 2W Speaker with Waves Audio
Camera1080p FHD
Row 19 - Cell 0 Privacy shutter
Row 21 - Cell 0 Up to 11 hours
Dimensions14.03 x 9.96 x 0.79 inches
Row 23 - Cell 0 356.5 x 253.0 x 19.95 mm
WeightStarts at 1.82 Kg
ColorsStorm Grey
Row 26 - Cell 0 Stone Blue with Pattern (in select markets)
Row 28 - Cell 0 Infinite Painter
Row 29 - Cell 0 Clip Studio Paint
Row 30 - Cell 0 Adobe Lightroom
Supported ServicesNVIDIA GeForce NOW
Row 32 - Cell 0 Xbox Cloud Gaming
Row 33 - Cell 0 Amazon Luna

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook: Release date, price, and availability

(Image credit: Lenovo)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook will have a $599 starting price, with the cost of the device expected to rise a bit if you decide to opt for the Core i5 CPU instead of the entry-level Core i3. 

The laptop is slated to become available in the U.S. at some point in October 2022. Right now, it's unclear whether or not Lenovo has plans to bring the laptop to other markets in the future following its release in the U.S.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook: Should you buy it?

(Image credit: Lenovo)

While Lenovo's IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook likely won't appeal to folks that already have a laptop they could use for cloud gaming, everything we've seen so far suggests it will offer excellent all-in-one value to people that need a reliable, yet relatively affordable device. While it's pricier than most Chromebooks (the majority of them fall into the $350 range), the fact that it comes with 12th Gen CPUs, 8GB of memory, a beautiful 16-inch WQXGA display, and plenty of ports means it will hopefully offer an incredibly smooth and enjoyable experience for both game streaming as well as other general activities. Notably, it's also less expensive than many Windows laptops.

I could totally see my younger self picking this up if it came out when I was still in university, as a $600 machine useful for both homework and gaming would have been an absolute godsend back then. I expect that the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook will be very popular with students, as well as anyone else that can take advantage of the device's versatility.

It's true that at $599, the IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook will be more expensive than both the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S. You'd have to worry about buying a good TV  with one of those systems, though, and ultimately, when's the last time you decided to finish an assignment or complete some productivity work on a game console? The laptop won't garner much attention from people that can afford specialized flagship devices, but that's not who it's for. It's for people that need bang for their buck.

Of course, we won't know if Lenovo's ambitious new cloud gaming laptop actually lives up to the hype until it releases later this month. Because of that, we're not ready to make a recommendation yet, and won't be until we're able to get our hands on one and test it ourselves. With that said, this is definitely something to keep on your radar.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.