Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review: Affordable, functional and ultra-portable Review

Nancy J. Delong

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet will take the 2-in-one strategy to the Chromebook: the display screen part can be made use of as a standalone tablet, or you can attach the keyboard and kickstand, and type absent. Operating Chrome OS and with assist for Android apps, this diminutive ten-inch multi-modal machine, whose commencing cost is just £279.ninety nine (inc. VAT) in the UK, or $249.ninety nine in the US, appears like exceptional benefit. Let’s uncover out how it designs up. 

There are 3 IdeaPad Duet Chromebook styles offered on Lenovo’s Uk web-site. All are powered by a MediaTek P60T processor with an built-in ARM Mali-G72 GPU and run on Chrome OS. Also regular across the board is 4GB of RAM, 802.11ac wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.2, a ten.one-inch one,920-by-one,200 IPS display screen with four hundred nits brightness, a 7000mAh battery and a pair of cameras (2MP entrance, 8MP back). 

My entry-degree £279.ninety nine review device experienced 64GB of inner storage, of which 18.8GB was made use of out of the box, leaving 45.2GB for apps and data. The mid-selection £269.ninety nine product doubles the storage to 128GB, although the best-stop £319.ninety nine product adds a stylus. 

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Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook has a ten.one-inch IPS touchscreen, a keyboard and kickstand that attach magnetically, and is powered by MediaTek’s P60T processor with 4GB of RAM. Our entry-degree review device experienced 64GB of inner storage.


Illustrations or photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The ten.one-inch display screen sits in reasonably large bezels, so the tablet is a minimal greater than you may possibly anticipate. Still, it is by no suggests unwieldy at 239.8mm huge by 159.8mm deep by 7.35mm thick and 450g. With the keyboard and kickstand, the proportions and fat are 244.87mm x 169.31mm x 18.2mm, and 920g. 

That fat is just not significantly beneath the incredibly lightest of laptops, but it is unfair to make that comparison, so I is not going to give any laptop computer illustrations right here. What is actually noteworthy is that the complete kit is little more than enough to stow absent in the tiniest of backpacks it even dropped neatly into the best pocket of a rucksack I use regularly. 

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A blue panel at the best adds a exclusive contact.


Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The tablet is made of plastic fairly than metal, and may possibly be susceptible to drops — while, that explained, it felt durable more than enough in the hand. It really is properly created with a mid-blue part at the best lending a exclusive overall look.  

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There is just a solitary USB-C port on the tablet, and that is made use of for charging as very well as for attaching a wired headset. Lenovo bundles a USB-C adapter for a three.5mm headset jack, which is a good contact.  

The kickstand, which attaches to the back by means of incredibly strong magnets, feels stable. It is not going to maintain the tablet upright in portrait manner, however – it is strictly for use in landscape orientation. This two-piece kickstand-primarily based design suggests the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is only ideal for desk-primarily based get the job done with the keyboard hooked up. As opposed to a clamshell laptop computer, it is around unattainable to get the job done sitting down on an armchair or lounging on a sofa. 

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The cloth-coated kickstand device delivers some safety to the tablet part.


Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet   

The kickstand has a properly tactile cloth back, and feels hard more than enough to offer great safety for the machine when it is sitting down in a drawer or on a desk, and probably even in transit – so extensive as those magnets maintain. 

The keyboard also attaches to the tablet employing magnets, and has pogo-pins for data sharing. The magnets are strong more than enough less than regular disorders, but slippage in transit is a prospective be concerned. On balance, I would want to use a sleeve when travelling. 

The ten.one-inch IPS touchscreen delivers four hundred nits of brightness and handles 70% of the NTSC color gamut. This, alongside with a pair of stereo speakers, helps make video clip catchup a properly possible use situation. Utilizing the two Chrome OS and Android apps was a nice more than enough encounter, and anybody with an Android handset will immediately experience cozy with the use of gesture controls to get all over. The couple shortcut keys for app management on the keyboard’s best row also enhance usability. 

The display screen is on the little aspect for quite a few productiveness duties, however. There is just not more than enough place for significant spreadsheet get the job done, and it is unattainable to have two documents open aspect by aspect — in viewability phrases at any level. If you just have to have a single doing the job window you should get by Ok, until you’re doing the job with a commented doc, in which situation the precise creating region is distinctly cramped.   

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Despite being squeezed into a little place, the IdeaPad Duet’s keyboard delivers a responsive action.


Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The keyboard will be difficult for quite a few folks mainly because it is packed into an region just 244mm huge. With the exception of the arrow keys, the place bar and best row, the keys have Lenovo’s characteristic pot-bellied design. The QWERTY and range keys are fairly sized, but the punctuation keys on the suitable are fairly narrow. If the keyboard dimension is just not a challenge, then typing is a worthwhile encounter many thanks to the bouncy and responsive keys.  

The touchpad is incredibly little and appears like it will be cramped in use, but it is basically large more than enough to acquire the cursor across the display screen in a single sweep. Still, for quite a few may desire to prod at the touchscreen.  

The MediaTek P60T processor with 4GB of RAM is not created to manage heavy workloads. I observed doing the job into website apps, viewing video clip and searching website webpages all properly good. But even flicking a YouTube stream into comprehensive-display screen manner involves a hold out although the command is executed. Basic productiveness duties should be good, but this is not the Chromebook for you if anything more demanding is essential. 

Battery life is realistic. In a single usual session with a little pop-out streaming window sitting down alongside a website app the battery went from one hundred% to 71% in 3 hrs. That is quite significantly in line with Lenovo’s assert of ten hrs for the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. 

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Impression: Lenovo

Conclusions 

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is neat, transportable, and purposeful. The keyboard is worthwhile to use furnished your arms are little more than enough, and battery life is great. The cloth kickstand guards the tablet properly. 

The processor will complain if you test to do more than just the basic principles, and it is highly recommended to decide for the mid-selection machine, mainly because for just a little uplift in price you get a lot more storage (128GB vs . 64GB). Overall, this is a stable minimal 2-in-one Chromebook that does double duty as a standalone tablet. Looking at the keyboard and kickstand are bundled, it delivers incredibly great benefit for funds.

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