Lenovo is a giant in the PC manufacturing industry with a versatile array of Windows laptops and tip-top Chromebooks. We’ve got ourselves the likes of the Lenovo Chromebook 3 and the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 proving the technical ability of this Chinese company. It’s no wonder how Lenovo likes to pack in top-of-the-line quality in their products while keeping the price tag affordable.
They’ve done this, especially with the Lenovo Chromebook Duet—a convertible device with a brilliant display and more-than-appreciable performance levels. However, what brings us to write this article today is another promising Lenovo machine making rounds on the internet and claiming to pack a surreal punch in terms of value for money. The device we’re talking about is the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook, coming at a mid-range price of $399 in 2022.
In this article, we’ll be taking the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 for a spin and reviewing its significant strengths and weaknesses, down to the very particulars. Keep on reading if you’ve been eyeing this device and want to know whether it is the one for you or not.
- Recommended from Chrome Ready: Top 10 Lenovo Chromebooks to buy.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 technical specifications
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 processor
- Display: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) OLED, 100% DCI-P3, 400 nits, touch-enabled display
- Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno Graphics
- Memory: 4 GB
- Hard drive size: 64 GB eMMC hard drive storage
- Camera: Front (5 MP Fix Focus CMOS), Rear (8 MP Auto Focus)
- Ports: 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1
- Battery Type: 42 Wh battery, 15-hour+ runtime
- Charging Speed: 80% in 60 minutes
- Weight: 700g (without keyboard), 1.5 lbs (with keyboard)
- Price: $429
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 in-depth review
The following are four major parameters from which we gauge the quality of the device. Read along to discover what aspects the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 shines and where it takes a considerable nosedive.
Starting with the overall look and feel of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, we’ve got ourselves a real charmer here. This device makes short work of boring, monotonous Chromebook designs and chews them up like never before, although we do get the likes of the Asus Chromebook CX9 being released from time to time. This convertible Chromebook sports multiple viewing modes and can even be detached from the keyboard to provide a tablet experience.
Portability, therefore, is at an all-time high with the Lenovo Duet 5. It has a kickstand cover that provides unparalleled flexibility when working with the device and USI stylus compatibility for jotting down notes with a digital pen. The 2-in-1 functionality you get here is everything to write home about, especially for those who work in offices and need their devices to accommodate various tasks.
From a looks-perspective, the Storm Grey color scheme of the Duet 5 looks astounding from afar when the device is sitting on a workstation. It’s genuinely bound to turn heads of passersby frequently. However, since this is a tablet and Chromebook affair we’re collectively talking about, don’t expect the highest durability levels from the Duet 5.
It’s capable of surviving occasional drops here and there, but anything beyond that domain and you’re seriously asking for trouble. Subsequently, it isn’t mil-spec rated, so durability testing isn’t something the device can vouch for itself.
With that being said, one facet shining on the plus side complementarily is the lightweight build. The Duet 5 weighs just about 1.5 pounds when you’ve got the keyboard attached to it, but if you were to take it off, the overall weight of the tablet would be just around 700 grams. If that doesn’t define unmatched portability, we don’t know what does.
Coming down to the device’s screen, we’ve got ourselves a 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080p) Samsung-made OLED panel. Upfront, the remarkable display quality of the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook wasn’t something we initially expected from it. With a maximum brightness cap of 400+ nits, you can take this device for a walk outside without squinting your eyes to visualize the contents of its screen.
The bezels on the sides of the screen are 7 mm thick, so there is probably not a lot of density in that aspect. You almost get a nano-edge experience with the Duet 5, one that’s leaps and bounds beyond the original Lenovo Duet Chromebook. Moving onto the keyboard, this is another area where the Chromebook in question does nothing but excel.
The spacing of the keys is allotted just right, and the positioning of the keyboard itself seems to be thought out well. It’s comfortable to type on, and article and blog writers will quickly see the Duet 5 Chromebook becoming their favorite device for their craft. The trackpad lives up to a similar kind of story, one that’s glorified with high quality all over the real estate of the component.
As for the port selection, there are two USB-C ports that you can employ for quick connectivity. Unfortunately, the lack of USB-A ports means that you’ll have to miss out on using your legacy peripherals with the Duet 5. However, the best USB-C hubs around can compensate for the lack of these ports and a microSD card reader slot.
Furthermore, the Duet 5 has two different cameras. For a Chromebook, this is pretty unusual, but speaking in terms of a tablet, the dual-camera setup of the device is nothing out of the ordinary. The 5 MB front webcam can take average photos, while the 8 MP rear camera is pretty decent. Again, don’t expect these cameras to blow you out of the water with their respective quality.
Lastly, the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook sports a set of 4 stereo-quality speakers, given the tablet nature of the device. The speakers sound crisp, clear, and rich but don’t have much bass. The whole thing is above average and isn’t truly a mind-blowing experience to boot.
Looking at the specs sheet, the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook employs a Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 CPU with a 4 GB RAM and 64 GB hard drive size setup. This is yet another Chromebook that has been manufactured with a Snapdragon processor inside, right alongside the Acer Chromebook Spin 513. The latter, however, is an entirely different story that dishes out a disappointing performance at the end of the day.
Looking at the Duet 5 while coming from that, you wouldn’t normally expect a lot since Snapdragon and Chrome OS haven’t been tagging along too nicely. But, to our surprise, Lenovo’s 2-in-1 convertible is an outright beast when it boils down to the overall performance. It sails past regular browsing tasks without breaking a sweat and works fluidly right out the gate. You’re not going to run into occasional lags, stutters, or anything similar when using the Duet 5.
Quite shockingly, the Duet 5 employs Gen 2 of the same chipset found in the Spin 513. One wouldn’t usually presume that a little bit of an upgrade in that department would go a long way in reinvigorating the device’s overall performance. However, this is precisely the case with the machine at hand. Lenovo has found its way with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compute platform, and it just shows that blatantly in the Duet 5.
We had our fair share of run-ins with errors while using some Linux applications with the Chromebook, but other than that, our experience remained highly impressive.
The manufacturer has developed multiple variants of this Chromebook. You’ll find models ranging from 4 GB RAM to 8 GB RAM and 64 GB hard drive sizes to ones that house 128 GB and 256 GB. Currently, Lenovo has the 4 GB RAM and 256 GB eMMC storage edition of the Duet 5 up for sale on the official website.
3. Battery life
The battery life of the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook defines Chrome OS as an operating system. You can get a mesmerizing 15-20-hour runtime on one full charge with the Chromebook at hand, and this is nothing but terrific. Seldom have other Chromebooks managed to accomplish such a feat, and not all of them are on the level of the Duet 5.
The best part is that you can juice up this Chromebook pretty quickly. It charges up to 80% in about one hour. If you fill the device up 100% before leaving for work in the morning, you won’t have to worry about charging the device anytime soon, leaving you comfortable and fully secure.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 manages to earn our nod of approval at the end of the day, despite a few hiccups here and there in terms of the performance and the lack of enough ports. It’s got a dazzling 13.3-inch FHD screen that you can enjoy in various ways. Complimenting the quality of the display is the 2-in-1 detachable form factor that allows you to transform the Duet 5 into a tablet by taking the keyboard off and reverting it into a full-fledged Chromebook, just as quickly.
It paves the way for users to experience an immersive, rich display as enticing as ever. The Duet 5 has been made with a great deal of thought. It seems to win the heart of anyone who picks it up and tries to look for its faults. We fare it as the ultimate tablet experience on Chrome OS that you can purchase easily from Amazon for a mid-range price of $429.