Home / Laptops / Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review: Affordable, functional and ultra-portable

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

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet takes the 2-in-1 option to the Chromebook: the display screen phase can be utilized as a standalone pill, or you’ll be able to connect the keyboard and kickstand, and sort away. Working Chrome OS and with beef up for Android apps, this diminutive 10-inch multi-modal tool, whose beginning worth is solely £279.99 (inc. VAT) within the UK, or $249.99 within the US, seems like superb worth. Let’s learn the way it shapes up. 

There are 3 IdeaPad Duet Chromebook fashions to be had on Lenovo’s UK web site. All are powered through a MediaTek P60T processor with an built-in ARM Mali-G72 GPU and run on Chrome OS. Additionally usual around the board is 4GB of RAM, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth four.2, a 10.1-inch 1,920-by-1,200 IPS display screen with 400 nits brightness, a 7000mAh battery and a couple of cameras (2MP entrance, 8MP again). 

My entry-level £279.99 evaluate unit had 64GB of inner garage, of which 18.8GB was once used out of the field, leaving 45.2GB for apps and knowledge. The mid-range £269.99 fashion doubles the garage to 128GB, whilst the top-end £319.99 fashion provides a stylus. 

lenovo ideapad duet chromebook review affordable functional and ultra portable - Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review: Affordable, functional and ultra-portable

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook has a 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen, a keyboard and kickstand that connect magnetically, and is powered through MediaTek’s P60T processor with 4GB of RAM. Our entry-level evaluate unit had 64GB of inner garage.


Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The 10.1-inch display screen sits in quite huge bezels, so the pill is just a little greater than you may be expecting. Nonetheless, it is under no circumstances unwieldy at 239.8mm large through 159.8mm deep through 7.35mm thick and 450g. With the keyboard and kickstand, the size and weight are 244.87mm x 169.31mm x 18.2mm, and 920g. 

That weight is not a ways underneath the very lightest of laptops, however it’s unfair to make that comparability, so I may not give any pc examples right here. What is noteworthy is that all the package is sufficiently small to stow away within the tiniest of backpacks; it even dropped smartly into the tip pocket of a rucksack I take advantage of steadily. 

lenovo ideapad duet chromebook review affordable functional and ultra portable - Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review: Affordable, functional and ultra-portable

A blue panel on the peak provides a particular contact.


Symbol: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The pill is product of plastic relatively than steel, and may well be vulnerable to drops — despite the fact that, that stated, it felt strong sufficient within the hand. It is properly designed with a mid-blue phase on the peak lending a particular look.  

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There’s only a unmarried USB-C port at the pill, and that is the reason used for charging in addition to for attaching a stressed headset. Lenovo bundles a USB-C adapter for a three.5mm headset jack, which is a pleasant contact.  

The kickstand, which attaches to the again by means of very robust magnets, feels cast. It may not grasp the pill upright in portrait mode, although – it is strictly to be used in panorama orientation. This two-piece kickstand-based design approach the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is handiest suitable for desk-based paintings with the keyboard hooked up. In contrast to a clamshell pc, it is close to inconceivable to paintings sitting on an armchair or lounging on a settee. 

lenovo ideapad duet chromebook review affordable functional and ultra portable - Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review: Affordable, functional and ultra-portable

The material-covered kickstand unit gives some coverage to the pill phase.


Symbol: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet   

The kickstand has a properly tactile cloth again, and feels difficult sufficient to offer excellent coverage for the tool when it is sitting in a drawer or on a table, and maybe even in transit – as long as the ones magnets grasp. 

The keyboard additionally attaches to the pill the usage of magnets, and has pogo-pins for information sharing. The magnets are robust sufficient underneath standard prerequisites, however slippage in transit is a possible fear. On stability, I might need to use a sleeve when travelling. 

The 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen gives 400 nits of brightness and covers 70% of the NTSC color gamut. This, along side a couple of stereo audio system, makes video catchup a wonderfully possible use case. The usage of each Chrome OS and Android apps was once a pleasing sufficient revel in, and any person with an Android handset will straight away really feel pleased with the usage of gesture controls to get round. The few shortcut keys for app regulate at the keyboard’s peak row additionally improve usability. 

The display screen is at the small aspect for lots of productiveness duties, although. There is not enough room for critical spreadsheet paintings, and it is inconceivable to have two paperwork open aspect through aspect — in viewability phrases at any charge. In the event you simply want one running window you must get through OK, except you are running with a commented report, through which case the real writing space is distinctly cramped.   

lenovo ideapad duet chromebook review affordable functional and ultra portable - Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review: Affordable, functional and ultra-portable

In spite of being squeezed right into a small house, the IdeaPad Duet’s keyboard gives a responsive motion.


Symbol: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The keyboard might be difficult for many of us as a result of it is packed into a space simply 244mm large. Excluding the arrow keys, the distance bar and peak row, the keys have Lenovo’s function pot-bellied design. The QWERTY and quantity keys are relatively sized, however the punctuation keys at the proper are relatively slender. If the keyboard dimension is not an issue, then typing is a rewarding revel in due to the bouncy and responsive keys.  

The touchpad may be very small and seems like it is going to be cramped in use, however it is in fact big enough to take the cursor around the display screen in a single sweep. Nonetheless, for lots of would possibly like to prod on the touchscreen.  

The MediaTek P60T processor with 4GB of RAM isn’t designed to take care of heavy workloads. I discovered running into internet apps, viewing video and perusing internet pages all completely nice. However even flicking a YouTube flow into full-screen mode comes to a wait whilst the command is finished. Elementary productiveness duties must be nice, however this isn’t the Chromebook for you if anything else extra hard is needed. 

Battery existence is affordable. In a single conventional consultation with a small pop-out streaming window sitting along a internet app the battery went from 100% to 71% in 3 hours. That is just about in keeping with Lenovo’s declare of 10 hours for the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. 

lenovo ideapad duet chromebook review affordable functional and ultra portable - Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review: Affordable, functional and ultra-portable

Symbol: Lenovo

Conclusions 

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is neat, moveable, and practical. The keyboard is rewarding to make use of equipped your fingers are sufficiently small, and battery existence is excellent. The material kickstand protects the pill properly. 

The processor will bitch for those who attempt to do extra than simply the fundamentals, and it is really useful to go for the mid-range tool, as a result of for only a small uplift in price you get much more garage (128GB as opposed to 64GB). Total, it is a cast little 2-in-1 Chromebook that does double accountability as a standalone pill. Bearing in mind the keyboard and kickstand are bundled, it gives excellent worth for cash.

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