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

Maria J. Danford

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet will take the 2-in-1 approach to the Chromebook: the monitor segment can be made use of as a standalone tablet, or you can attach the keyboard and kickstand, and sort away. Managing Chrome OS and with aid for Android apps, this diminutive ten-inch multi-modal device, whose setting up value is just £279.ninety nine (inc. VAT) in the UK, or $249.ninety nine in the US, seems like exceptional worth. Let us come across out how it shapes up. 

There are three IdeaPad Duet Chromebook products out there on Lenovo’s Uk internet site. All are powered by a MediaTek P60T processor with an integrated ARM Mali-G72 GPU and run on Chrome OS. Also common across the board is 4GB of RAM, 802.11ac wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.2, a ten.1-inch 1,920-by-1,two hundred IPS monitor with four hundred nits brightness, a 7000mAh battery and a pair of cameras (2MP front, 8MP back). 

My entry-amount £279.ninety nine assessment unit had 64GB of internal storage, of which eighteen.8GB was made use of out of the box, leaving forty five.2GB for apps and data. The mid-vary £269.ninety nine product doubles the storage to 128GB, though the prime-conclusion £319.ninety nine product provides a stylus. 

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Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook has a ten.1-inch IPS touchscreen, a keyboard and kickstand that attach magnetically, and is powered by MediaTek’s P60T processor with 4GB of RAM. Our entry-amount assessment unit had 64GB of internal storage.


Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The ten.1-inch monitor sits in fairly big bezels, so the tablet is a small more substantial than you might hope. Continue to, it’s by no signifies unwieldy at 239.8mm wide by 159.8mm deep by seven.35mm thick and 450g. With the keyboard and kickstand, the proportions and bodyweight are 244.87mm x 169.31mm x eighteen.2mm, and 920g. 

That bodyweight is not significantly beneath the very lightest of laptops, but it is unfair to make that comparison, so I will not give any laptop examples right here. What is noteworthy is that the finish kit is tiny adequate to stow away in the tiniest of backpacks it even dropped neatly into the prime pocket of a rucksack I use often. 

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A blue panel at the prime provides a distinct contact.


Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The tablet is made of plastic relatively than metal, and might be vulnerable to drops — while, that explained, it felt sturdy adequate in the hand. It is nicely built with a mid-blue segment at the prime lending a distinct visual appearance.  

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

The kickstand, which attaches to the back by means of very powerful magnets, feels sound. It will not keep the tablet upright in portrait manner, although – it’s strictly for use in landscape orientation. This two-piece kickstand-dependent layout signifies the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is only proper for desk-dependent function with the keyboard hooked up. Compared with a clamshell laptop, it’s in close proximity to unachievable to function sitting down on an armchair or lounging on a couch. 

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The fabric-coated kickstand unit offers some safety to the tablet segment.


Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet   

The kickstand has a nicely tactile fabric back, and feels tough adequate to offer very good safety for the device when it’s sitting down in a drawer or on a desk, and potentially even in transit – so very long as all those magnets keep. 

The keyboard also attaches to the tablet making use of magnets, and has pogo-pins for data sharing. The magnets are powerful adequate below typical conditions, but slippage in transit is a likely get worried. On harmony, I would want to use a sleeve when travelling. 

The ten.1-inch IPS touchscreen offers four hundred nits of brightness and addresses 70% of the NTSC colour gamut. This, together with a pair of stereo speakers, will make movie catchup a correctly feasible use scenario. Employing both Chrome OS and Android apps was a pleasant adequate working experience, and anybody with an Android handset will instantly come to feel at ease with the use of gesture controls to get all-around. The couple of shortcut keys for application manage on the keyboard’s prime row also enrich usability. 

The monitor is on the tiny side for quite a few productiveness responsibilities, although. There is not adequate house for severe spreadsheet function, and it’s unachievable to have two paperwork open side by side — in viewability phrases at any price. If you just require just one performing window you must get by Ok, unless you are performing with a commented doc, in which scenario the precise producing spot is distinctly cramped.   

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Even with remaining squeezed into a tiny house, the IdeaPad Duet’s keyboard offers a responsive motion.


Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The keyboard will be difficult for quite a few men and women for the reason that it’s packed into an spot just 244mm wide. With the exception of the arrow keys, the house bar and prime row, the keys have Lenovo’s attribute pot-bellied layout. The QWERTY and quantity keys are moderately sized, but the punctuation keys on the right are relatively slim. If the keyboard sizing is not a difficulty, then typing is a rewarding working experience many thanks to the bouncy and responsive keys.  

The touchpad is very tiny and seems like it will be cramped in use, but it’s essentially big adequate to choose the cursor across the monitor in just one sweep. Continue to, for quite a few may prefer to prod at the touchscreen.  

The MediaTek P60T processor with 4GB of RAM is not built to cope with large workloads. I observed performing into internet apps, viewing movie and browsing internet web pages all correctly good. But even flicking a YouTube stream into whole-monitor manner involves a wait though the command is executed. Primary productiveness responsibilities must be good, but this is not the Chromebook for you if everything far more demanding is necessary. 

Battery life is acceptable. In just one regular session with a tiny pop-out streaming window sitting down alongside a internet application the battery went from one hundred% to seventy one% in three several hours. That is very substantially in line with Lenovo’s assert of ten several hours for the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. 

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Picture: Lenovo

Conclusions 

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is neat, portable, and functional. The keyboard is rewarding to use supplied your palms are tiny adequate, and battery life is very good. The fabric kickstand safeguards the tablet nicely. 

The processor will complain if you check out to do far more than just the essentials, and it’s advisable to decide for the mid-vary device, for the reason that for just a tiny uplift in expense you get a ton far more storage (128GB as opposed to 64GB). Total, this is a sound small 2-in-1 Chromebook that does double obligation as a standalone tablet. Taking into consideration the keyboard and kickstand are bundled, it offers very very good worth for funds.

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