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Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook hands-on review

Lenovo's newest Chromebook is a sleek detachable

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Lenovo's new IdeaPad Duet Chromebook features a neat detachable design and a bright display for an affordable price.

For

  • Neat detachable design
  • Affordable
  • Bright display

Against

  • No Intel or AMD option
  • Cramped keyboard

CES 2020 is here so that means more laptops, and of course more Chromebooks, as Lenovo just announced its IdeaPad Duet Chromebook (a detachable laptop) and the IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (a 2-in-1 laptop). We got some hands-on time with the Duet Chromebook, and it has potential to be one of the best Chromebooks around.

The IdeaPad Duet Chromebook will launch first in May 2020 starting at $279, while the IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is slated to launch in June 2020 starting at $359.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook design

For a detachable Chromebook at an affordable price, the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook does look pretty neat. The back has a gray fabric suit over the aluminum tablet comboed with a kickstand and a small cutout for the camera. At first glance, I thought the fabric was a part of the tablet, but it's actually a magnetic backing, which isn't as seamless as it could be.

(Image credit: Future)

The interior features a gray edge to edge detachable keyboard and touchpad, while display sports relatively chunky bezels, which is understandable for a tablet.

The tablet itself weights 0.94 pounds and comes in at 9.44 x 6.29 x 0.29 inches, so it's slim and light, making it super portable.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook ports

As far as the ports go, there's literally only one and that's the USB Type-C port, which also acts as a DisplayPort.

Depending how compatible the system is, you might be able to expand with our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook display

The IdeaPad Duet Chromebook features a 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 display that's rated to to emit 400 nits of brightness, which is plenty vibrant. 

(Image credit: Future)

While it apparently covers only 70% of the sRGB color gamut, the Duet Chromebook was very bright and the color was decent, especially for a product this cheap. I've seen worse displays on more expensive products

The panel is touchscreen and the Chromebook also comes with an optional USI stylus for drawing and note-taking.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook keyboard and touchpad

Despite how thin the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is, the keyboard features 1.3 millimeters of key travel, which isn't that bad, and it actually had a decent click to it when I typed on the keyboard. However, the keyboard was a little cramped and some of the keys were half the size they'd normally be.

(Image credit: Future)

The touchpad is 3.48 x 2.05 inches, so it's just as cramped as the keyboard. It was a little difficult to navigate with the touchpad, as there was very little room to work with. I'd eventually opt out and just use the touchscreen display.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook specs

The IdeaPad Duet Chromebook comes with up to a Mediatek Helio P60T processor, an ARM G72 MP3 graphics card, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB eMMC. Unfortunately, there's no Intel or AMD option, but that would likely make the system more expensive anyway.

There's two speakers onboard as well as dual-array microphones. The front camera is 2MP, while the rear is an 8MP camera. I tested the 8MP rear camera and it wasn't anything to write home about. It caught some detail and color of the gray laptop in front of me, but the details still weren't as sharp as I'd like.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook battery life

Lenovo shoved a 7180 mAh battery in the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook, which is rated to get up to 10 hours of battery life. That's pretty ideal for a tablet, but it'll be interesting to see how it holds up against our own battery test.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is your traditional 2-in-1 Chromebook with a splash of premium specs and a sleek aluminum top cover, coming in at 2.97 pounds and 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.67 inches.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

You can get this system with up to an Intel Core i5-10210U processor, Intel Integrated Graphics, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.

Its 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display can nail 300 nits of brightness, which is impressive for a cheap Chromebook. On top of that, it can also get up to 10 hours of battery life, like the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook.

As far as ports go, it sports two USB Type-C ports, one USB 3.1 port, a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. It also features two 2W top-firing speakers.

Bottom line

I'm excited to get the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook through our lab and see how to takes to our performance and battery tests. We plan on getting some hands on time with the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 at CES 2020, so stay tuned for that as well as our full review and benchmarks later in the year when both products launch. For more news on laptops, tablets and more, check out our CES 2020 hub page.