Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Review
There was a lot to like about the first-generation Lenovo Chromebook Duet. I got one, and it was fantastic. It’s tablet-based design and laptop-focused operating system were significant selling points. And being able to run the handful of Android apps I cared about on a tablet was a huge plus.
The technology was top-notch, the screen was gorgeous, and the keyboard was comfortable despite its diminutive size. The one and only issue was how slow it was. ChromeOS works fine on low-end hardware, but Duet’s MediaTek CPU isn’t up to par. However, Lenovo did not give up and instead increased its efforts.
Two Duet Chromebook tablets are available as a follow-up option. Already big fans of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook, we take a look at its smaller sibling, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 C. In addition to its lengthy name, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook is a ChromeOS-powered 11-inch tablet that remains faithful to the concept established by its predecessor.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Specs
|Laptop Class||Chromebook, Detachable 2-in-1|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2|
|Boost Drive Type||eMMC Flash Memory|
|Native Display Resolution||2000 by 1200|
|Dimension||10.15 by 6.47 by 0.31 inches|
- Conveniently small and portable.
- Type comfortably on the cover’s keyboard.
- Practical kickstand
- Excellent adaptability for both Chrome and Android programs
- The Qualcomm CPU performs admirably.
- No jack for headphones
- Separately available pens
- The battery drains quickly.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook, priced at $379 at Best Buy in the United States, is currently available for pre-order. This is for the model that we tested, which has 128 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM. It appears that the global rollout, including in the United Kingdom, has yet to commence. The Lenovo online store has run out of supply and is not currently selling the item, but they expect to have more in stock soon. The IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook’s compatible Lenovo USI Pen 2 costs $34 from Lenovo Direct, although it was not yet available for purchase at the time of this review.
Lenovo’s first Duet Chromebook, which came out in 2020, looks a lot like the Duet 3 Chromebook. The Duet 3 is a little bit bigger. It has an 11-inch, 2K (2,000 x 1,200-pixel) screen and a thin, black metal body. In my hands, it feels strong and light enough to carry around the house all day. Lenovo kept the Duet’s keyboard and cover as two separate pieces. The keyboard and cover are made of a nice thick-woven cloth that feels good in the hand.
Like the Duet, the new Duet 3 has a keyboard and back cover that you can take off and put on separately. Each piece is magnetic to help it slide into place easily. The keyboard cover feels sturdy to type on, and on the review unit, the magnets are strong enough that if I move the keyboard cover’s attachment point within an inch or so of the right port on the tablet, the two devices snap together with a speed and force that’s a little scary.
The Duet 3 has two USB-C connectors, one on either side of the tablet’s removable display. However, that’s all there is in terms of actual ports. These USB-C ports can be used to charge the device or to connect to other devices that utilize USB, HDMI, or Ethernet via an adaptor. You’ll also need to plug your headphones into one of the USB-C inputs.
This allows the use of USB-C headphones or an adaptor with a standard headphone jack. However, you can’t just plug in another pair of wired headphones. The Duet 3 also supports Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 5, allowing for wireless networking. (Therefore, wireless Bluetooth headphones are a choice.)
With 400-nit backlight boosts the resolution, allowing for crisp text and vivid colors in any environment. Compared to the larger Lenovo Duet 5 and its OLED display, the Duet 3 puts up a respectable showing for its size and price. The Duet 3 is a tablet with a touch screen that supports multitouch, and Lenovo takes it a step further by also allowing a stylus.
Despite being compatible with USI 2.0 stylus pens, it does not have one. Despite selling an older USI pen (opens in a new window) for Chromebooks at $34.99, Lenovo doesn’t appear to feature any suitable pens in its accessories discovery tool. Streaming videos from services like YouTube and Netflix sound fine over a pair of 1-watt stereo speakers. However, the overall quality isn’t great, so wireless headphones are highly recommended (especially since the Duet 3 has a headphone connector).
Lenovo did more than just improve the CPU in the Duet 3 in comparison to the previous model. There is a significant upgrade with the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2. It’s astonishing to have such a powerful processor in such a small gadget as the Duet 3, which is an improvement even over the original 7c. This Chromebook never gets warm to the touch, even when under heavy load, and there are no fans to make any noise. The tablet’s metal back may get warm, but not any hotter than a smartphone powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor.