Lenovo Chromebook Duet Review

October 27, 2020 at 7:13pm
By Jason Stettner

This is my second go at a Chromebook enabled device, and I was generally left quite impressed. This is a cheaper option, and one that still packs quite a whole lot to it. It’s a very compact, versatile and efficient device. It’s available for easy use as a tablet, or with its extra attaching keyboard to become a bit of a mini laptop. It’s neat, and proficient in either format.

If you’re not familiar with the Chromebook OS, it’s basically a streamlined setup that focuses on light work and web usage. This one also brings a fairly impressive offering of Play Store games and apps too which was surprising as my initial device dive in didn’t seem to have the same options.

Whatever the case, I’m impressed by both the quality and the value that you’re getting here. It runs in a snappy way, without having anything too overly powerful for what this provides. That means you get a good battery life of ten hours or so when doing casual things such as watching videos. That’s fine for the form factor, definitely seems to deliver on that too.

An aspect that certainly did impress me about this design is the whole case structure. It’s a compact keyboard for sure, but it worked fine and was comfortable enough to use. Don’t expect a backlight in regards to the keyboard, you will need light for night usage.

That aside, the cool part was the whole kickstand setup. The fabric backing allows for a smooth transition into a display stand. You can really move this too, having the device almost flat and it holds well in various adjustment setups. That’s impressive, at least to me.

It also seems to hold onto the device quite well once attached. A good stand solution to the whole laptop angle this device is trying to provide. Talking about form factor we’re getting a standard HD 10.1” display at 1920x1200. It has 4 nits to it and a somewhat large bezel.

By itself the dimensions are 239.8mm (9.44”) x 159.8m (6.29”) x 7.35mm (0.29”) at 450 grams (0.99lbs). It’s light, even with the stand it only adds up to 920 grams (2.03lbs). That means this is easy to carry, and take wherever you need it. You can just throw it in a bag and be ready to go.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet cover

Lenovo Chromebook Duet Specs

Operating System Chrome OS
Processor MediaTek Helio P60T processor
(2.00 GHz, 8 Cores, 8 Threads)
Graphics ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
Memory 4 GB LPDDR4X
Storage 64 GB eMMC

I didn’t find that the device made any sound after extended hours of usage. It kept quiet, which is expected in its form factor in this day and age technology wise. On top of that, I have come to expect that out of devices unless they’re truly pushing things. When it comes to the audio I think it somewhat gets the job done. It’s loud enough and clear if you’re close to it. It features two Dolby Audio speakers and a smart amp. It’s fine quality wise for what this is, could be better though not the worst thing.

When it comes to the webcam I wasn’t too blown away by it. I suppose it’s decent for the smaller device, at the same time not too impressed. You do get a decent 8MP rear camera but the quality wasn’t too amazing. It provides a 1920x1080 video recording at 30fps, as usual I strongly believe 60fps should be the standard option in recording devices these days. You can also use 1600x1200 which I thought was so weird for video recording, but it’s there and I thought I’d highlight that. What an odd aspect ratio that would bring. The front camera is really bad, 2MP for photos and 720p 30fps for video. Webcams are so essential these days for work at home, they need to be better. It’ll get the job done I suppose, but your colleagues won’t be thrilled.

Interfaces wise there are minimal plug-in options. You get a single USB Type-C gen 2 port, a power button and volume control. It might have been nice to get a 3.5mm headphone jack here, or an additional USB port considering the thickness. Not the worst things to have missing, but something to keep in mind. To make up for that, it has Bluetooth 4.2 and a decent Wifi connectivity option.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet review
Now it’s time for some deeper technical specifications on this one. This comes with a MediaTek Helio P60T processor at 2.00GHz, 8 Cores, 8 Threads. Proficient for the size and the tasks this device would need to get done. The graphics is an ARM G72 MP3 800Ghz, so you won’t be getting mind bending games but basic quality and video content will be fine. There’s 4GB LPDD4X memory, which is decent for the tasks but you won’t be able to multi-task too wildly. Still, runs snappy enough when you have a few things going. This also comes with a 64 GB storage, not the biggest but I can’t see you really filling that up too much considering what you would put on it and what I see this device being used for.

When it comes to gaming I couldn’t do my typical benchmarks since you’re reliant on whatever the Google Play Store has for Chrome OS . This had a better offering than the previous, more powerful device I checked out which was odd. Here you can get the likes of Fallout Shelter, Asphalt 9 and World of Tanks Blitz for examples gaming wise. Not the worst selection, you don’t get bigger games like Minecraft, but it has a decently impressive offering here. Stardew Valley, Limbo, Elder Scrolls Legends and more show up to me so it’s a more than fine selection for what I consider this device capable of.

Game streaming is going to be a bigger part of devices into the future and this one does deliver a somewhat fine time. I ran Google Stadia through the Chrome browser and it worked beautifully. I liked how it presented DOOM (2016), it looked fine and ran smoothly while using a controller input.

I also tried Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly known as Xbox Project xCloud), with the Bluetooth option being great for the controller though if directly connected the mapping was off which was disappointing. Still, it had Halo: The Master Chief Collection and DayZ running mostly well, some artifacting was present. That could be the software or network being the error there, since at times it was very clear. I’m mostly being accurate with impressions here of course.

The Conclusion

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a great, versatile device that provides a light tablet offering that is also proficient within a compact laptop form factor. I was impressed by this one, it’s fast enough and runs content in a way that’s pleasing. It’s very small, light and still packs some decent longevity to it for when you’re out on the go. It plays some games well enough, and the game streaming options do run well on it if you’d like the device to punch above its weight class specs wise when it comes to gaming.

When it comes to work, I think it gets the job done and is able to handle the usual Chromebook offerings quite well. I do really like the style of how this is able to switch between tablet and laptop. The stand design for this is sort of fun, and really hits the mark when it comes to usage. It holds, is silent and allows me to really shift how I’m viewing the device when using it for typing. The touch screen is responsive, and of a decent quality considering the form factor size.

I think they did great with this one, considering the value here it’s definitely a good option for usage in many situations. I could see this being a very helpful companion device that you could slide into your work setup very easily. It doesn’t really take anything to bring it along with you considering the size and light weight. It’s a good way to access the operating system, and it’ll likely work for the situations you want it for.

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Lenovo Chromebook Duet Review product loaned by Google tested with Games, Video and Streamed Content. Games; Fallout Shelter, Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming

Rating Overall: 8.5

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner