- Budget pricing
- Windows 10 Pro
- 2-in-1 touch screen design
- Extremely small storage capacity
- Sluggish performance
- Specs aren’t high enough to take full advantage of Windows 10 Pro
Performance 4 / 10
Design & Build 6 / 10
Battery Life 6 / 10
Price to Value ratio 5 / 10
Multipurpose devices are unquestionably the future of mobile computing, with hybrid 2-in-1 machines become more and more common on store shelves and digital catalogs.
Many of these touch screen devices that can work as a tablet or a laptop still come with hefty price tags, which may put them outside your grasp.
..the usability of Windows with the form factor of a tablet and packing a nice overall design as well..
Lenovo has a solution for buyers needing the versatility of a 2-in-1 machine while sticking to a budget. The N23 combines the usability of Windows with the form factor of a tablet, and while packing a nice overall design as well.
This particular unit comes with some major limitations that should be carefully considered before buying, however. You may find other models will offer better performance depending on what kind of programs you use most often.
Build Quality & Multipurpose Design
We’ll start off with some of the strong points with Lenovo’s budget 2-in-1 offering.
While the N23 features a plastic design, which is expected with this low price point, it is more solidly constructed than you might expect.
I’d go so far as to say it is actually pretty rugged, and will stand up well to heavy usage if you take your device with you everywhere you go. It’s not fully waterproof or air sealed by any means, but it can hold up against a few drops and being jostled around in a backpack regularly.
..a plastic design, which is expectd with this low price point..
The keyboard is quite compact and lacks the 10 key side segment, but there are some upsides here.
Many manufacturers make the baffling decision to put the power button on the actual keyboard above the delete key in 11 inch models. Lenovo wisely ditched that terrible design and keeps the power button above the keyboard where you can’t accidentally press it while typing.
Due to the smaller screen size of this model, you actually get pretty good battery life for a Windows 10 laptop.
When emailing, scrolling through Facebook, or streaming videos, you’ll get close to an all-day charge before needing to plug into an outlet. That’s a big plus if you are picking up the N23 to use for college courses or even storing customer info with your small business.
Of course the main selling point is the 2-in-1 design, which lets you flip the screen around a full 360 degrees. Most hybrid models tend to run on the more expensive side, so the N23 gives you extra versatility at a lower price.
In addition to the rugged design, rotating hinge, and decent battery life, there’s one major anomaly here that will likely catch your eye.
The N32 provides the full version of Windows 10 Pro, rather than the Chrome OS or even the Home version of Windows, which is very rarely found in a budget 2-in-1 model.
If you need Pro’s networking capabilities or extra features but prefer a smaller, lighter package than the typical laptop, the N23 could be worth considering as a buying option.
|Hardware specifications for Lenovo N23|
|Processor||Intel Celeron N3060 (Dual Core, 1.6 – 2.3GHz)|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel HD graphics|
|Display||11.6 inch touch screen display, 1366 x 768 pixels resolution|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro|
|Battery Life||7 hours|
|Other Features||360 degree hinge for 2-in-1 operation|
Unfortunately, that’s about where any praise for the device ends and the problems start to pile up.
To achieve such a low price and offer a 2-in-1 hybrid at this size, Lenovo had to cut some pretty big corners, and those can end up being major deal breakers.
First off, you will absolutely need an SD card for storage space, as Windows 10 Pro takes up most of the internal 32GB before you even install any programs or start downloading any files.
This is a bigger deal than just having room to store documents and music files. The very first Windows update you receive will wipe out the remaining internal storage space, which is a huge problem.
..N23 is acceptable for basic tasks like email, having a small number of tabs open while web browsing..
Whether you go with an SD card or not, you’ll simply be better off saving any text documents or spreadsheets in an online solution like Google Docs or Word Online… which sort of begs the question — why not just go with a Chromebook instead?
Overall performance with the N23 is acceptable for basic tasks like email, having a small number of tabs open while web browsing, and so on.
This model gets very sluggish when using anything that require more memory or CPU cycles however, and that’s the N23’s Achilles heel.
The N23 simply can’t be recommend for serious photo or video editing, browsing with dozens of tabs open simultaneously, or using any sort of enterprise level software.
A dual core Celeron CPU and 4GB of RAM can’t keep up with many of the programs and features that the full version of Windows 10 Pro would normally allow you to utilize.
Essentially, this is a slightly heavier version of a tablet that can also be used as a portable laptop for some Microsoft applications.
Although you get the full Windows 10 operating system, unfortunately you can’t really utilize many of the Windows features due to the low end specs, which makes the N23 a bit of a wash overall.
Due to the low level specs, it isn’t really as useful as a business machine as you might expect. This model is aimed pretty squarely at students or budget buyers who want a laptop / tablet hybrid for limited home usage.
In most cases, this model is only the best option if you accidentally aren’t willing to give up the Windows OS, but need a cheap portable device with a touch screen.
While some buyers who don’t have much to spend could get decent use out of the N23, there are more useful options available.
At this price range, you’ll get better performance going with a Chromebook that doesn’t need as much RAM or hard drive space to operate efficiently. With the older and less powerful Celeron CPU used here, you aren’t going to be running high end Windows software without major lag, so Android apps will frankly be an improvement.
Although it doesn’t have a touch screen, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a solid option at the same price range.
Want to see what else is available for budget 2-in-1 picks with touch displays? We’ve got a full roundup of all the best hybrid laptops — from extremely cheap $200 models all the way up to the premium Surface Book — that can be found over here.