The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one particular of the only Chromebooks I’ve ever applied that is aware what it is. Much like Apple’s iPad or Microsoft’s Floor, the Duet’s identity is in its detachable versatility. It embraces its position wholeheartedly, with a lightweight layout, vivid WUXGA exhibit, and funky magnetic keyboard situation that incorporate into an impressively transportable and attractive package.
It is as straightforward on the wallet as it is on the eyes. The Duet expenses just $299 at Best Buy for 128GB of storage—and that’s with a removable keyboard. But you don’t want to be in the marketplace for a low cost Chromebook to want one. The Duet’s quirky individuality far more than tends to make up for its pokey processor, so though it may well not stand up to even a middling Chromebook like the Pixelbook Go in pace checks, the Duet will completely stand out in the group.
This assessment is element of our ongoing roundup of the finest laptops. Go there for information on competing products and solutions and how we analyzed them.
Excellent appears to be in a smaller package deal
If I did not know improved, I would have guessed the Duet was developed by Google. The back again has a two-tone blue-and-grey layout like the Pixel phones, the front has uniform bezels like the Pixel Slate, and the keyboard protect has a knit exterior like the Pixel material situation. Essentially, the Duet combines the ideal factors of Google’s products into a very great-on the lookout pill. The camera is a minimal bumpier than I’d like, but it’s no worse than that on any other tablet.
But even with a rather spinoff design, Lenovo has put some considered into the details. The electricity button and volume rocker are properly split by the coloration line to make occur wonderful symmetry, the speakers are on the major so as not to be muffled by the keyboard, and the sole USB-C port is on the base to keep the twine from having tangled. Which is also wherever you will be plugging in earbuds, due to the fact the Duet doesn’t have a headphone jack. It’s the only actual knock I can levy on the design and style, and even so, it’s a little just one mainly because Lenovo consists of a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter in the box.
On its individual, the Duet weighs just a pound, considerably less than the 9.7-inch iPad. Its 6.29 x 9.44-inch body is very easy to hold with just one hand, and the 10.1-inch display strikes a wonderful balance among far too major and as well small. The bezels about the display are uniform and relatively skinny, so the aim is fully on the display.
And what a screen it is. When most Chromebooks in this value variety have 720p displays, the Duet has a superior-than-complete-Hd WUXGA 1900×1200 resolution which is the two vivid and crisp. Max brightness topped 500 nits and even though it’s a tad uneven in places, it is one of the much better shows I’ve found on a Chromebook at any selling price selection. It even holds up compared to the Pixel Slate’s wonderful 2000×3000 Molecular Exhibit. For $300 you’re not going to uncover a far better display—unless you get an iPad on sale.
A stand-up accessory provides it all with each other
With a superb show and lightweight structure, the Duet would be an exceptional pill jogging any OS, but it really is a particularly good showcase for Chrome’s pill method enhancements. With edition 81, Google released Android-inspired gestures for navigation. They’re proper at household on a pill this small. It feels a whole lot like making use of a major mobile phone, with intuitive back and house gestures that make the UI smart and animated.
But the Duet has a further trick up its sleeve: it can transform into a small laptop. And it won’t cost you anything. Although the iPad, Area, and Pixel Slate all cost hundreds of bucks added for their insert-on keyboards, Lenovo includes its detachable keyboard in the box, turning a good price into a fantastic just one.
Like most tablet keyboards, the Duet’s is magnetic, attaching by using a established of pogo pins and a collection of magnets on the again. The change below is that it is split into two parts, with the back acting as a type of protector when the keyboard is not in use. Each items attach firmly and perform nicely with each other, but they are far more intriguing as individual pieces. The Floor-design kickstand which is built into the rear scenario features good adjustability, but it needs two palms to pull out–and even then it is nevertheless a minimal tough. (I typically pulled the case off the again when hoping to pull out the kickstand.) Even so, I found myself normally leaving the again plate on even when using the Duet as a tablet, the two for the kickstand performance and the texture it supplied.
Which is a superior thing, mainly because the keyboard is not the Duet’s strongest good quality. While the keys have a great vacation, typing on it is a very little cramped owing to the modest size—and some of the keys, such as the comma and apostrophe, are 50 percent-sized, which will make them more durable to hit. The keyboard also much more than doubles the fat of the Duet when attached, even with the compact measurement. Closing the keyboard on the screen turns off the monitor, but due to the fact there is no magnetic closure on the keyboard aspect, it’ll slip, slide, and flop open up though carrying the Duet inside a bag.
If it were a $100 add-on, the Duet keyboard may not be value acquiring, but as a bundled accessory, it’s a great addition to an previously fantastic pill. Lenovo was sensible to split the keyboard situation in two, simply because even if you decide for a total-sized Bluetooth keyboard for your typing desires, the Duet’s keyboard address will be incredibly awesome to have when you will need to bang out a prolonged email or prop it up to watch a movie.
Just sufficient power, much more than enough battery everyday living
If you’re on the lookout for a Chromebook with energy, the Duet is not for you. Its MediaTek Helio P60T was gradual again when it introduced in 2018, and a bare-minimum 4GB of RAM means you will not be maintaining dozens of tabs open. It’s significantly slower than a Main i5-based Chromebook like the Pixel Slate or Pixelbook Go, but for the most element it’ll get through responsibilities with relieve.
Your mileage will change relying on what you want to do with it, of course, but for the most part, the Duet will complete about as properly as an Intel Celeron or OP1 processor. That is to say, a good deal great plenty of. Though you can plainly see that the Duet delivers up the rear in comparison to other current Chromebooks in our baseline CrXPRT 2 General performance benchmark, in day-to-day use it did not sense almost as sluggish as the bar chart would have you think.
The identical can be stated for the Basemark 3. benchmark, which steps browser efficiency and the responsiveness of world wide web programs, two very critical issues on a Chromebook. All over again, the Duet brings up the rear when as opposed even to a minimal-electricity Celeron-based Chromebook, but it is not as negative as the chart would have you believe. Certainly, web-sites load a little bit slower and video clips just take a beat for a longer time to start participating in, but it was extremely bearable in my tests. Chrome doesn’t have a tendency to get bogged down about time like other techniques, so the overall performance need to be wonderful for the points most folks want to do.
Battery daily life, nevertheless, is yet another story, a really fantastic tale with a content ending. Lenovo rates the Duet as having 10 hours of battery everyday living, but in my screening I acquired way more than that. Benchmarks yielded an insane 15-in addition several hours. I easily acquired via numerous times in normal use. It’s relatively akin to the iPad in that I in no way experienced to be concerned about battery everyday living. Standby everyday living is wonderful, and it did not look to shed substantial battery life executing any solitary task, even with the keyboard attached.
For my cash, I’d substantially instead have far better battery everyday living than the quickest processor in a Chromebook anyway, and the Duet much more than delivers exactly where it counts. It will get by a working day with sufficient electricity, lots of juice, and extremely minimal fuss.
Should really you acquire a Lenovo ChromeBook Duet?
In the course of a time when children are becoming schooled at dwelling, mother and father are turning to Netflix for escape, and no one particular would like to devote a bundle of cash on everything, the Duet hits each individual high observe. But even if we weren’t shrouded in the fiscal and social uncertainty of a pandemic, the Duet would be the great Chromebook for most folks.
The screen could possibly be a small small and the keyboard a minor cramped if you are doing work for several hours on finish, but or else it is a fantastic little equipment, irrespective of whether you use it as a companion to a much larger laptop computer, give it to a child who requires to acquire a Chromebook to faculty, or established it up as a portable streaming product. Even if you by no means use the keyboard for something other than a stand, the Duet is a great bargain that sets the bar extremely substantial for all potential Chromebook tablets.
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.