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Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook overview

yeahLenovo takes on the Microsoft Floor Go 2 and Google Pixelbook Go along with a cheap pill/laptop computer hybrid that runs ChromeOS. Is that this the way forward for Chrombooks? Right here’s the Tech Advisor overview of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook.

Design & Construct

We’ve all grown accustomed to a sure design ethic in the case of Chromebooks. Both they’re compact laptops with 11.6in shows or bigger 14in variants that usually have the flexibility to fold the show again by means of 180 or 360 levels. 

Very sometimes, we see an outlier that makes use of a pill format. Probably 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 concept completely, as the brand new Lenovo IdeaPad Duet takes the shape issue however shrinks each the dimensions and price. 


The Duet itself is a pill with 10.1in HD IPS show, accompanied by a rear case that includes 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 through magnets that are straightforward to connect and proved reliably safe throughout my time with the system. 

The very best a part of this association is that Lenovo contains every little thing within the field for no further 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 truly 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 eight.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 slightly like a Google Pixel cellphone, with the rest of the chassis a darkish gray. All the controls and ports are on the appropriate 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 isn’t any three.5mm headphone jack.

The latter is a disappointment, however with so many funds wi-fi earbuds available on the market now it’s much less of a problem than up to now, plus Lenovo features a USB-C to three.5mm adaptor within the field. Take be aware 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 package deal, 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 dimensions of a hardback e book and thrown in your bag.

Keyboard & Trackpad

With the smaller type issue of the pill comes a diminished quantity of area for the keys on the keyboard. The principle letter keys are all an affordable measurement and fall effectively underneath the fingers should you’re a touch-typist like myself.

There’s a small quantity of adjustment to make, but it surely doesn’t take lengthy to really feel pure. The identical can’t be stated of the particular keys on the appropriate facet of the structure, which have been diminished to half-size with a view to save area.

The return key can also be flat slightly than L-shaped and vertical, so should you’re used to that sort of association then it’s possible you’ll end up hitting the key somewhat too usually as a substitute.



For mild typing it’s first rate sufficient, however any lengthy stretches quickly develop into somewhat tiring as you’re employed with the cramped structure. Against this, for years I used the Google Pixel C pill and keyboard, which was glorious as a cellular workstation.

Whereas I really like the look of the Duet, it does endure considerably by the compromised typing expertise as compared. In fact, you would simply use a daily Bluetooth keyboard of your selecting, which might immediately make a marked enchancment for any intense typing initiatives. 

The trackpad is somewhat small, however because the Duet can also be a pill you’re capable of combine between mouse controls and easily touching the display, 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 advisable.

Lapability

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 generally is a bit hit or miss in the case of utilizing them in your lap. As there isn’t any hinge to carry the show in place, you’re on the mercy of your thighs when figuring out the lapability of the system.

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 system plummeting in direction of the ground. 


In case you’re the supermodel sort, with legs that go on without end, then you shouldn’t have any issues, however for hobbit-folk like me, it’s possible you’ll need to transfer to a desk or desk. 

Specs & Options

In fact, small gadgets that look cute aren’t precisely new, however how effectively does the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet carry out as an precise Chromebook?

Processor

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 identical 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 concept 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 in regards to 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. 

It is a informal system although, so should you intend to push it to the bounds with graphically demanding video games and software program, you’ll want to just accept that issues are prone to get slowed down slightly rapidly. 

To provide 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. 

Examine these scores to these I recorded in my overview of the Acer Chromebook 713 Spin and the Duet is totally trounced, however should you solely need a system 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 overview mannequin sports activities 4GB of RAM and 64GB of drive area, which is ok as most ChromeOS apps stay within the cloud.

In fact, should you’re planning on making the most of Android apps and video games, then it’s possible you’ll have to handle your storage regularly, because the Duet doesn’t have a microSD card slot.

Connectivity

As you may suspect from the value tag, the Duet maxes out at Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth four.2. For most individuals this will probably be effective, though within the lesser served areas of my home the Duet did wrestle to keep up a gentle connection, suggesting that it doesn’t have probably the most highly effective antenna.

Cameras

Often, 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 received’t be successful any pictures competitions with these optics, however not less than 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 an enormous step up from plenty of Chromebooks within the worth bracket. It will possibly additionally get very vivid, 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 have been fast and dependable all through my time with the Duet, with the added bonus that once I’d completed engaged on a doc, I may take away the keyboard then use the system 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 Cross.

The latter is because of Chromebooks being suitable 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, but it surely 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 ends in boxy sounding music tracks however acceptable for watching TV exhibits and YouTube movies.

There’s little or no bass, so that you received’t be blown away by the scorching soundtracks of Hollywood films, however that might be unrealistic for a tool of this kind, measurement and worth. 

Battery life

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 first rate for a small system like this and you may almost definitely get longer should you’re simply typing a doc or perusing web sites. 

Software program

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 will get rather a lot executed with ChromeOS today, as lots of the apps work offline and sync any adjustments when you get again on-line. Google’s workplace suite covers plenty 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 have been optimised for the portrait orientation of a smartphone slightly than the panorama of a pill, however usually the mix of ChromeOS and Android makes the Duet a really helpful system 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 obtainable 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 Kind Cowl which prices an additional £124.99/$129.99. 

Clearly, there are many Chromebooks to select from, which vary in worth between the 2 gadgets talked about above, so remember to try our greatest Chromebook chart earlier than making your buy should you’re not satisfied.

Verdict

In case you’re searching for a sensible, small Chromebook then the IdeaPad Duet has rather a lot to supply.

It’s effectively 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 greatest and the cramped keyboard not one which we’d advocate for lengthy typing classes.

However, ought to these not be a priority to you then the IdeaPad Duet is effectively value investigation. 

Specs

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook: Specs

  • MediaTek Helio P60T Octa-Core
  • ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
  • Chrome OS
  • 10.1in FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS show
  • 4GB LPDDR4X
  • 64GB Storage
  • Rear digital camera: 8MP auto-focus
  • Entrance digital camera: 2MP fixed-focus with LED indicator
  • USB-C (Gen 2)
  • Quantity management
  • Energy button,
  • 5-point pogo pins for keyboard
  • 2 x 2 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
  • Bluetooth four.2
  • 2 x Dolby Audio audio system
  • 239.eight x 159.eight x 7.35mm
  • 450g

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