avatarby John CallahamMarch 24, 20170 comments

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook review

We have seen more and more convertible Chromebooks released in the past year or so, as consumers are turning to devices that can work as both regular laptops as well as touchscreen tablets. This week, Google released Chrome OS 57 to its stable channel, and it includes a feature that was made especially for these new Chromebook convertibles.

The new version now lets the power button turn off the display on any Chromebooks that support tablet mode. That means if you are using a convertible Chromebook in that mode, pressing the power button will just turn off the display and put the device in sleep mode, instead of locking it up and displaying the login screen.

Some of the other new features in Chrome OS 57 include adding a PIN unlock feature on all Chromebooks. In addition, the Camera app now has a new button that lets users switch between front-facing and rear-facing cameras. While this is not specifically made for convertibles, this will come in handy if such a Chromebook has a “world-facing camera” that works on the keyboard side when in tablet mode.

If a Chromebook has support for running Android apps from the Google Play Store, Chrome OS 57 now puts any media files from those apps in the Files section. The new version also enables silent authentication and it includes a new default wallpaper and boot animation. It should roll out to eligible Chromebooks over the next several days.