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Lenovo beats HP to 'Chromebook-killer' title with £230 Windows 8.1 laptop

Lenovo's B50-30 is full-featured, entry-level machine
Tue Aug 19 2014, 15:22
Lenovo B50-30 joins the budget laptop club with sub-£230 price

LENOVO HAS ANNOUNCED its first budget laptop running Microsoft's Windows 8.1 with Bing software, beating HP to launch the first 'Chromebook-killer'.

The Lenovo B50-30 is a full featured laptop measuring in at under an inch thick and weighing a touch over 2kg.

The main change comes in the decision by Microsoft earlier this year to offer a cheaper version of Windows to OEMs in order to pass the savings on to customers in the hope of mitigating the rising threat from machines powered by Google's Chrome OS, which have seen a surge in popularity.

Reports surfaced earlier today claiming that the leaked HP Slate 14, also set to be powered by Windows 8.1 with Bing, would be the first 'Chromebook-killer',  but it looks like Lenovo beat it to it. 

The only discernable difference the consumer sees between Windows 8.1 with Bing and Windows 8.1 is that all the web browser defaults are set to use Microsoft's search engine, but under EU law, the user must also be free to change them.

Under the bonnet, the Lenovo B50-30 has a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron 2830 processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which is enough for most tasks, and the Bay Trail standard five hour battery.

It's business grade sturdy and the anti-glare screen offers full HD 1080 resolution. It has VGA, HDMI, RJ45, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports, along with a CD/DVD rewriter, Bluetooth and an SD card slot. Dolby digital sound is included and prices, which depend on the amount of storage, start at £229.

Although the company announced the Lenovo B50-30 today, we had previously been alerted to third-party sellers offering the same shell with a slightly underclocked processor for even less.

The INQUIRER has taken delivery of one such Lenovo B50-30 and will use it to test how far you can turbo-charge an entry-level laptop with a larger hard drive and more RAM in a feature later this month. µ


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