yeahLenovo takes on the Microsoft Floor Go 2 and Google Pixelbook Go along with a reasonable pill/laptop computer hybrid that runs ChromeOS. Is that this the way forward for Chrombooks? Right here’s the Tech Advisor assessment of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook.
Design & Construct
We’ve all grown accustomed to a sure design ethic relating to Chromebooks. Both they’re compact laptops with 11.6in shows or bigger 14in variants that usually have the flexibility to fold the show again via 180 or 360 levels.
Very often, we see an outlier that makes use of a pill format. Essentially the most notable instance was Google’s ill-fated 12.3in Pixel Slate, however that suffered from buggy software program and an eye-watering worth. Fortunately, this hasn’t killed off the thought completely, as the brand new Lenovo IdeaPad Duet takes the shape issue however shrinks each the scale and price.
The Duet itself is a pill with 10.1in HD IPS show, accompanied by a rear case that encompasses a built-in tilt stand, plus there’s clip-on exterior keyboard that additionally doubles as the opposite half of the protecting cowl. Each equipment connect to the Duet by way of magnets that are simple to connect and proved reliably safe throughout my time with the machine.
The perfect a part of this association is that Lenovo contains all the things within the field for no extra value, in contrast to the aforementioned Microsoft Floor Go, which whacks someplace within the area of £100/$100 for the important keyboard that makes it really usable.
That includes a easy, minimalist design, the Duet is compact at 240 x 160 x 7.35mm and weighs in at 450g.
This makes it smaller and lighter than the 10.5in Microsoft Floor Go, which measures 245 x 175 x 8.Three mm and 544g, though each clearly develop in measurement when the keyboards are hooked up.
The highest quarter of the Duet is completed in pale baby-blue wanting moderately like a Google Pixel cellphone, with the rest of the chassis a darkish gray. The entire controls and ports are on the correct facet, with buttons for quantity and energy, plus the solitary USB-C port that’s used for charging in addition to output for audio attributable to the truth that there is no such thing as a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The latter is a disappointment, however with so many price range wi-fi earbuds in the marketplace now it’s much less of a problem than previously, plus Lenovo features a USB-C to three.5mm adaptor within the field. Take word Apple!
Other than the magnetic clips on the underside edge that secures the keyboard, the one different accoutrements are the 2Mp entrance going through and 8Mp rear going through cameras.
It’s a tidy bundle, with the tilting stand permitting you to place the show at a variety of angles, the keyboard including loads of performance, all of which may then be folded all the way down to the scale of a hardback ebook and thrown in your bag.
Keyboard & Trackpad
With the smaller type issue of the pill comes a lowered quantity of area for the keys on the keyboard. The primary letter keys are all an inexpensive measurement and fall properly beneath the fingers should you’re a touch-typist like myself.
There’s a small quantity of adjustment to make, nevertheless it doesn’t take lengthy to really feel pure. The identical can’t be stated of the particular keys on the correct facet of the format, which have been lowered to half-size to be able to save area.
The return key can be flat moderately than L-shaped and vertical, so should you’re used to that sort of association then you might end up hitting the key somewhat too typically as a substitute.
For mild typing it’s respectable sufficient, however any lengthy stretches quickly turn out to be somewhat tiring as you’re employed with the cramped format. Against this, for years I used the Google Pixel C pill and keyboard, which was wonderful as a cell workstation.
Whereas I really like the look of the Duet, it does undergo considerably by the compromised typing expertise as compared. In fact, you can simply use a daily Bluetooth keyboard of your selecting, which might immediately make a marked enchancment for any intense typing tasks.
The trackpad is somewhat small, however because the Duet can be a pill you’re in a position to combine between mouse controls and easily touching the display screen, so that you hardly discover the restricted floor space. There have been a number of situations the place the trackpad didn’t register softer clicks although, so a agency faucet is beneficial.
Sure, it’s a foolish phrase I’ll admit, and I’m not the primary to make use of it, however 2-in-1 gadgets is usually a bit hit or miss relating to utilizing them in your lap. As there is no such thing as a hinge to carry the show in place, you’re on the mercy of your thighs when figuring out the lapability of the machine.
I discovered that angling the Duet in order that it was comfy sufficient to learn clearly, meant that the kick-stand was proper on the sting of my kneecaps, so any ahead movement would knock it off and ship the machine plummeting in the direction of the ground.
For those who’re the supermodel kind, with legs that go on ceaselessly, then you shouldn’t have any issues, however for hobbit-folk like me, you might wish to transfer to a desk or desk.
Specs & Options
In fact, small gadgets that look cute aren’t precisely new, however how properly does the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet carry out as an precise Chromebook?
It ought to come as no nice shock that the Duet isn’t sporting the most recent in high-end silicon from Qualcomm or Intel. What it does include is the MediaTek Helio P60T octa-core processor, which is similar one we’ve seen in cheaper Android telephones because it was launched again in 2018.
Within the pace stakes, it’s not going to outshine processors from premium machines, however then the Duet isn’t attempting to. Lenovo appears to have a agency thought of who this 2-in-1 is aimed toward, and blazing benchmarks isn’t too excessive on its agenda.
In on a regular basis use, the Duet handles duties in a immediate method with solely the occasional delay because it thinks concerning the job at hand. Apps open and shut swiftly, and even my catastrophic use of Chrome with about thirty tabs open didn’t appear to trigger an excessive amount of of an issue.
This can be a informal machine although, so should you intend to push it to the bounds with graphically demanding video games and software program, you’ll want to simply accept that issues are more likely to get slowed down moderately rapidly.
To offer you a sign of the efficiency limits, I ran the usual barrage of benchmarks, with Geekbench 5 returning 263 for single-core and 931 for multi-core, Basemark Three was 240.94 and Jetstream 2 scored 35.45.
Evaluate these scores to these I recorded in my assessment of the Acer Chromebook 713 Spin and the Duet is totally trounced, however should you solely desire a machine for light-weight use, plus one which doubles up as a really usable Android pill, then I do know which one I’d desire.
Reminiscence and storage
Chromebooks are not often overburdened with storage or RAM and the Duet sticks firmly to this sample. My assessment mannequin sports activities 4GB of RAM and 64GB of drive area, which is okay as most ChromeOS apps dwell within the cloud.
In fact, should you’re planning on making the most of Android apps and video games, then you might have to handle your storage frequently, because the Duet doesn’t have a microSD card slot.
As you may suspect from the value tag, the Duet maxes out at Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 4.2. For most individuals this can be superb, though within the lesser served areas of my home the Duet did battle to keep up a gentle connection, suggesting that it doesn’t have essentially the most highly effective antenna.
Normally, I’ll bemoan the poor high quality of the cameras in low-cost gadgets like this, however the Duet stunned me by providing affordable video for Zoom calls on both the entrance or the again lenses.
You gained’t be successful any pictures competitions with these optics, however at the very least you’ll look human and in a room that has some lights when on that subsequent video assembly.
Display screen & Audio system
The 10.1in IPS show boasts a 1920×1200 decision which is a giant step up from loads of Chromebooks within the worth bracket. It will possibly additionally get very shiny, with my check unit measuring 495 nits, which is greater than sufficient for many makes use of.
Colors look equally as vibrant, with graphics and textual content sharp and clear.
Contact responses had been fast and dependable all through my time with the Duet, with the added bonus that after I’d completed engaged on a doc, I may take away the keyboard then use the machine as both a Netflix streaming platform whereas cooking the dinner or as a video games machine on the couch, making full use of the Google Play Move.
The latter is because of Chromebooks being appropriate with Android apps, and the Duet’s true pill nature making it the perfect platform for titles like Stardew Valley and Recreation Dev Tycoon. Sure, you should use it for PUBG, nevertheless it handles the extra sedate video games somewhat higher attributable to its measurement and processing energy.
Twin Dolby stereo audio system have their grills alongside the highest of the pill, producing a restricted vary of frequencies that leads to boxy sounding music tracks however acceptable for watching TV exhibits and YouTube movies.
There’s little or no bass, so that you gained’t be blown away by the scorching soundtracks of Hollywood films, however that will be unrealistic for a tool of this kind, measurement and worth.
Lenovo claims as much as 10 hours of battery life for the Duet, however within the normal looped HD video benchmark the place I set the show to 60% brightness and audio to 50% quantity, the Duet survived for seven hours and 52 minutes.
That is nonetheless respectable for a small machine like this and you may most definitely get longer should you’re simply typing a doc or perusing web sites.
As I’ve already talked about earlier, the Duet acts as each a Chromebook and a makeshift Android pill attributable to the truth that ChromeOS now has entry to the Google Play Retailer.
You may get lots accomplished with ChromeOS as of late, as lots of the apps work offline and sync any modifications when you get again on-line. Google’s workplace suite covers loads of floor, plus the Android apps could make up the hole in lots of situations.
I nonetheless encountered a number of of the latter that had been optimised for the portrait orientation of a smartphone moderately than the panorama of a pill, however normally the mixture of ChromeOS and Android makes the Duet a really helpful machine for work and leisure.
Worth & Availability
You should purchase the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook direct from the Lenovo retailer within the UK for £299.99 or Lenovo USA for $279.99. It is also accessible on Amazon.
Because it comes with the keyboard included, this makes it considerably cheaper than the Home windows flavoured, small 2-in-1 that’s the Microsoft Floor Go 2, which at present retails for £399/$399 however requires the extra buy of the Sort Cowl which prices an extra £124.99/$129.99.
Clearly, there are many Chromebooks to select from, which vary in worth between the 2 gadgets talked about above, so make sure you take a look at our greatest Chromebook chart earlier than making your buy should you’re not satisfied.
For those who’re in search of a sensible, small Chromebook then the IdeaPad Duet has lots to supply.
It’s properly designed, good to make use of and the flexibility to easily pop off the keyboard to show it into an Android pill solely doubles the enjoyable.
In fact, at this worth, there are some compromises that you simply’ll want to think about, with the processor being middling at finest and the cramped keyboard not one which we’d advocate for lengthy typing periods.
However, ought to these not be a priority to you then the IdeaPad Duet is properly price investigation.
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook: Specs
MediaTek Helio P60T Octa-Core
ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
10.1in FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS show
Rear digicam: 8MP auto-focus
Entrance digicam: 2MP fixed-focus with LED indicator
USB-C (Gen 2)
5-point pogo pins for keyboard
2 x 2 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
2 x Dolby Audio audio system
239.Eight x 159.Eight x 7.35mm