Chrome OS isn’t precisely known to be dominant in the space of tablets, but recent trends have shown to prove relatively otherwise. There is a company in the PC industry that we’re sure you’ve well heard of before, and it’s specially bent on developing the best Chrome OS tablets around. You’ve guessed it right. We’re talking about Lenovo—the China-based tech giant and an industry veteran.
The company initially released the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. This convertible device took the world by storm and was instantly a big hit. To this day, some of its biggest selling points include a vibrant FHD screen, high-quality keyboard, and trackpad combo, and non-pareil flexibility in choosing different viewing modes. Today, we’re faced with the following product in line after the birth of the original Duet—the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, which is bound to release in the coming months.
This review article will cover everything you need to know about this good Chromebook. Whether it measures up to be the bigger and better version of the original Chromebook Duet, or is it something to avoid instead, keep on reading for an in-depth guide.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 technical specifications
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Compute Platform
- Display: 11” 2K (2000 x 1200p) IPS, 16:10 aspect ratio, touch-enabled, 400 nits display
- Graphics: Integrated
- RAM: 4 GB
- Hard drive size: 64 GB
- Camera: 5 MP front camera, 8 MP rear camera
- Ports: 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports
- Weight: 516.5 g without the keyboard, 1.14 lbs with the keyboard attached
- Charging speed: 50% in 40 minutes, 12-hour battery runtime
- Price: $399
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 in-depth review
The following are the major parameters that we will use to properly assess the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3. Let’s begin with the overall design and the build quality and make our way to other facets.
From the design perspective, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is pretty reminiscent of its earlier-arriving sibling, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. That is to say; both devices boast the same form factor and just the right amount of versatility in braving the struggles of everyday life. However, it bears noticing that Lenovo has improved the new iteration of the Duet series in several different ways, and picking up the Duet 3, one can easily contemplate how.
First off, the back kickstand cover of the device borrows the same materials and subsequently the quality from the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, which is currently the biggest, most efficient Lenovo Chromebook Duet out and about. The component feels rock-solid and utterly smooth both at the same time. This terrific combination of these traits paves the way to a commendable user experience when switching the device from one viewing mode.
Now, the detachable keyboard is the other piece of this device that can be discussed separately before getting into the other essentials. Taking the unit off of the device’s screen feels clicky and on-point, and there are no complaints. As for the quality of the entire component, we’ve been left utterly impressed. At first, we had our fair share of usage time with the device’s relatively small trackpad.
It feels responsible for us to report that the trackpad of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 doesn’t feel cheaply made. It’s pretty firm and sturdy with a robust click mechanism. Moreover, the unit doesn’t feel sticky or laggy at all. You can glide your finger across the trackpad’s surface and discover that it is highly responsive to the movements made. Even better is that similar remarks go for the device’s keyboard.
There’s more key travel in the Duet 3 than the original Lenovo Chromebook Duet, which is nothing but a good thing. Accompanying the comfort of the keyboard is the relatively larger screen size of the Duet 3. This is an 11-inch Chromebook that looks, feels, and is bigger than the first Duet. It makes it possible for the keys to be placed more separately apart and allow for a better typing experience.
Speaking of the screen, let’s jump to the quality of the display offered by the Duet 3. Again, nothing is putting us off here. We felt compelled to place this device’s display quality among the best-ranking Chromebooks in this price bracket. The specifications sheet tells us we’re looking at an 11-inch 2K resolution (2000 x 1200p) IPS display with a marvelous 16:10 aspect ratio.
The colors seem punchy, bright, and exceptionally vivid. In addition, the 400 nits screen brightness has an adequate glare to its name, making it painless for users to take the device out with them and utilize its efficiency on a sunny day. Moreover, the device’s corners have also been rounded this time around. Features like these guarantee smooth sailing for those living a mobile lifestyle, so it’s well worth picking up the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 in this regard.
On the other hand, the port selection is a bit less generous. You’ve only got a couple of USB-C ports on the device that you can use for charging and fast data transfers. There is a lack of a microSD card reader slot for extra storage and even a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Another thing that missed out on landing some praise from our side is the set of stereo speakers flanking each end of the side of the keyboard.
The sound quality that this component puts out is somewhat subpar, and you don’t get your money’s worth with it. Still, you’ll be able to use apps like Google Meet for video conferences just fine, and the experience won’t be that too dismal.
Coming equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a solid performer. It handles Google Play Store apps truly well, and you can also engage in multitasking using different windows on the fly. Pairing the processor is the 4 GB memory of the device’s base version and 64 GB of hard drive storage. It’s been said that Lenovo will offer plenty of configurations of the Duet 3 when it finally makes landfall.
We can set up Linux on the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 and try high-quality Linux software like GIMP and OpenShot. As expected, our experience went swimmingly, and there were little to no hiccups in-between. On top of the fundamental capability, the Duet 3 also comes with Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1, offering enhanced networking speeds.
Moreover, the device seems to be optimized quite well. Since 2-in-1 convertible Chromebooks also pack an added tablet experience, they have to hit the mark near-perfectly to offer stable performance when used as a proper clamshell Chromebook and a tablet. Fortunately for the Duet 3, it handles itself genuinely well and lives up to the core Chrome OS experience.
You’re free to open a dozen Chrome tabs with graphics-intensive applications working in the background. The Chromebook at hand won’t disappoint you for the most part, but it’s worth mentioning that you still shouldn’t push it too over the edge. While the Gen 2 7c Snapdragon processor is pretty up to the mark, overloading the CPU by exceeding its boundaries will lead you to your networking demise.
Avoid an unnecessary overpopulation of apps and Chrome tabs, and you’ll find that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 will be able to hold up its ground admirably.
3. Battery life
The battery life of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 should be lauded with praise. The device is out here dishing out 10-12 hours of battery runtime on a single full charge, allowing users to juice the machine up once and forget about charging it again for the whole day.
What’s more, the Duet 3 supports quick charging up to 45W. The charger supplied with the package is 30W, however, so you should still be able to charge the device pretty rapidly. Battery life-wise, we have at our disposal a great winner here.
Only a handful of Chromebooks out there deliver a satisfactory Chrome OS tablet experience. It’s safe to assume that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is one of them, packing several exciting features, commendable performance, and a bright screen that will keep you hooked for days. It’s hard not to recommend a device of this stature, especially when it falls in the mid-range price bracket.
People who need a versatile Chromebook to keep pace with their dynamic requirements will find it easy to purchase this device. The Duet 3 promises an excellently-manufactured form factor with high-quality components all around. Furthermore, the tablet experience offered by the Chromebook is nothing short of commendable.
Since there are plenty of configurations incoming for the Duet 3, we recommend picking the one that suits your requirements and budget. If nothing else, the machine’s base version starts at $399, which is a fair price. In summary, the overall value offered by this lovely Lenovo specimen is something to consider worthwhile for all the charisma it packs.