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Review Lenovo Chromebook C330 (81HY0000US): Worth it!

  • Good Build Quality
  • Convertible design
  • 64 GB of storage instead of 32 GB
  • Long battery life
  • HD display
  • No backlit keyboard
Buying a Chromebook is not an easy task. There are so many different brands and models out there, each with its own set of pros and cons. Don't even get me started on the difficulty of finding the right convertible. However, once in a while you find that perfect model that's just the right balance of price, specs, and portability that hits all the right spots in all the right ways. Enter the Lenovo Chromebook C330 81HY0000US.

The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a rather modest little fella. It features a MediaTek processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a generous 64 GB of storage which quickly manages to set this model apart from most of its competitors offering 32 GB. Aside from that you also have the added bonus that it doubles as a tablet - being a convertible and all that - .

All of these features together have helped Lenovo's latest venture into the convertible Chromebook space to be quite a hit, managing to quickly climb the ladder and become one of the best-selling Chromebooks in the market - and that includes non-convertibles -.

However; will it be the right Chromebook for you? That's what we're getting ready to find out in this review of the Lenovo Chromebook C330 81HY0000US.

Who's it for?


First of all, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 81HY0000US is a perfect little device for students. It's lightweight and has great battery life so you can easily carry it around campus without feeling weighed down or getting frustrated that your laptop dies on you before midterms are over.

The fact that it doubles as a tablet makes this model even more useful for students. Having a tablet means that you can use it to take notes, watch videos in class or even annotate them if your professor allows - which most do nowadays -.

=> Professionals on the go:

Being capable of easily switching between laptop and tablet mode makes the Lenovo Chromebook C330 81HY0000US very suitable for professionals as well.

However; this model is not really designed for professionals who are looking to do some heavy lifting with their laptop - meaning running professional-grade software or doing intensive tasks like video editing, rendering etc. These users would be far better suited with something like the Acer Swift 3 SF314-59-75QC we reviewed late last week.

=> Casual laptop users:

If you find yourself using a laptop just because you like the comfort of a fully-fledged keyboard and the convenience of an easily accessible filing system but you don't really use your laptop for much more than browsing the web, watching movies, messaging, and streaming music then this little convertible is the perfect fit.

Design, Display and Keyboard

Starting off with the design, the Lenovo C330 has a rather simple and modest look, which is fitting for its humble price tag. It's all made out of plastic but it doesn't feel cheap or flimsy in any way. In fact; the build quality feels just as good if not better than many higher-end models that we've tested with many customers attesting to this as well.

As far as the display goes; this particular model sports an 11.66-inch IPS panel with a 1366×768 resolution, which is pretty common for most Chromebooks in its price range -. The display is quite vivid and relatively sharp though we would have loved to see a Full HD display here we understand that such a thing would've affected both price and battery life.

It also features a very responsive touchscreen which is exactly what you want in a convertible that can also basically turn into an Android tablet.

The keyboard is a rather standard affair with no surprises in terms of the layout or spacing. The keys are well-spaced and comfortable enough to allow for fast typing, which is great if you're looking to do some serious writing on your Chromebook.

It's also pretty lightweight, managing to tip the scales at just over two pounds. That's some serious portability right there.

Performance: Processor, RAM & Storage

As far as performance is concerned, the 81HY0000US isn't going to be winning any awards anytime soon but for its price point, you can bet that it's still pretty impressive.

Specifically, if we look under the hood we've got a mobile CPU MediaTek MT8173C that features four cores and manages a clock speed of 2.1 GHz. Couple that with 4 GB of RAM - some chromebooks feature 2 - and 64 GB of eMMC storage and you should get a pretty clear idea that this Chromebook was designed first and foremost as a content consumption device.

What performance can I expect with these specs?

As far as everyday use is concerned, the 81HY0000US performs just fine. You can check your email or chat with friends on Facebook without any hiccups and you'll be able to do some basic web browsing, streaming multimedia content, videoconferences etc. However; if you're looking to run more demanding applications like Photoshop or play games then this little laptop is not for you.

Is this a gaming laptop?

Chromebooks aren't really known to be gaming devices and this model is no exception. Sure enough, you can download games from the play store but you shouldn't expect the C330 to be your next gaming rig for AAA games because it's just not going to cut it.

Is it too different from a conventional Windows laptop?

In short, yes. Chromebooks operate under a completely different set of principles and the biggest difference is that everything happens in the cloud.

This means you can't install your favorite Windows apps or games on this laptop but instead have to rely on web-based alternatives which may not be as feature-rich as their desktop counterparts - for example, there isn't any desktop version of Photoshop available on the web. We've covered this topic already in a lengthy piece we did on the pros and cons of a Chromebook, you should check it out!

Can I upgrade storage or RAM on the Lenovo Chromebook C330?

No. Chromebooks don't allow for upgrading these features. You could do a workaround and have a permanent SD card inserted within the notebook and use it as a sort of external drive. You could also opt to buy some extra cloud storage if you find yourself being limited by the 64 GB of storage that comes by default.

Having said that, this is a recurring issue with most Chromebooks with most of them within this price point packing 32 GB of storage instead of 64 GB. Case and point the recently reviewed HP 11a-na0060nr or the HP Chromebook 14a-na0024nr, both featuring 32 GB.

Battery life & Connectivity Features

How long will it last? The 81HY0000US can run for up to ten hours before needing a recharge and while that's not amazing we don't think this is too bad considering its modest hardware configuration.

What about connectivity?

On the connectivity front, things are pretty standard with this Chromebook featuring a standalone USB-C port (doubles as a charger), an SD card reader, single USB Type-A port, headphone/speaker jack combo, and it even packs an HDMI port, which is not all that common amongst convertibles.

Obviously, it has a pretty good WiFi signal, Bluetooth support can handle up to two devices connected at the same time and you've even got a nifty little HD webcam.

Verdict: Should I buy the Lenovo Chromebook C330?

If you're clear on your needs and you're looking for a lightweight and affordable laptop to use mainly on tasks such as editing documents on Google docs, streaming video, browsing the web, and listening to music then we would definitely advise you in favor of getting this Chromebook.

If, on the other hand, you're looking for a Chromebook that can handle a little bit more of a punch, features a Full HD display, and can handle more intensive workloads with several tabs open at a time then we would recommend you set your sights - and wallet - at superior models such as the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (82B80006UX) or the more recently reviewed Asus Flip C433TA-AS384T.