Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook Review
Planning to buy Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook Review? Wondering isn’t the same 10.1-inch tablet with a keyboard and kickstand that was lauded in May 2020? The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook (starts at $429.99; $499 as tested) is a different beast from that adorable detachable Chromebook; it’s a giant 2-in-1 tablet with a 13.3-inch OLED touch screen that offers stunning color and contrast. You can buy cheaper and speedier traditional Chromebooks. Still, if you’re looking for a tablet that can also function as a laptop, the new Duet is superior to the previously reviewed HP Chromebook x2. Being a high-quality Chrome OS convertible, it has been chosen as an Editors’ Choice.
Pros of Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook
- Very good battery life
- Detachable 2-in-1 design
- Bright, clear OLED screen. Includes keyboard and cover.
Cons of Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook
- The pen is not included.
- High price.
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook Specifications
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2|
|Processor Speed||2.55 GHz|
|Screen Size||13.3 inches|
|Dimensions||0.28 by 12 by 7.4 inches|
|OS||Google Chrome OS|
|Laptop Class||Chromebook, Detachable 2-in-1|
Costs and available customizations
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 1 CPU, integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC storage, and an OLED display are included in the $429 basic model of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook (1920 x 1080 pixels). The $499 model I tested has the same screen as the $399 model but is otherwise more powerful, thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage.
Batteries and Display
After years of using screens with brightness levels between 220 and 250 nits on Chromebooks, especially those in the 13 to 14-inch size range, the improvement brought by the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook’s display is difficult to overestimate.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is the only Chromebook that bucks that trend, costing nearly twice as much as the Duet 5. A 250-nit display is functional indoors but becomes unreadable as you go outside or throw open the drapes. The 400 nits are not too bulky to bring with you wherever. While I’ve sat here in the fresh, beautiful air of a Florida morning in December, I’ve spent many pleasant hours reading (or, more frequently, playing Microsoft Solitaire) on my Duet 5.
The quad stereo speakers produce loud and clear sound, and the 16:9 aspect ratio eliminates the black bars that plague video playback on the HP x2 11 and the Acer Spin 713. The Duet 5’s speakers are a vast improvement over last year’s original Duet’s wimpy ones, so you won’t have to mute your ears when listening to music or taking a conference call that could have been handled with an email. While you’ll need a USB-C to 3.5mm converter or wireless headphones to listen to music privately, these speakers will allow you to rock out in your phone office alone.
While the Alcantara-wrapped Surface devices from Microsoft helped popularise fabric-based designs, last year’s Lenovo Duet Duet and Asus Detachable CM3 introduced the style to a more affordable world. We gave both books glowing ratings, likening them to a notepad and a tweed diary. The stippled surface of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook fabric reminds me more of denim, yet it still has a pleasant touch and is a vast improvement over the icy smoothness of aluminum.
The 13.3-inch screen and 16:9 aspect ratio make it awkward to use in one hand, but the supplied cover makes it simple to find the ideal viewing angle and enjoy the stunning OLED display. Without the keyboard and body, the tablet measures 12 by 7.4 by 0.28 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds. With them, the total weight and thickness are closer to 0.48 by 2.24 by 0.96 inches. Either setup is portable, lightweight, and should fit almost any laptop bag.
Two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports and the pogo pins that link the keyboard cover round out the connectivity options for the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook. The loss of a 3.5mm headphone/microphone connector is my only real gripe. It’s surprising for a gadget that’s made for watching videos. Yet, most of us have already given up and switched to wireless headphones, so this is not a dealbreaker. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook has two USB ports, so you can charge your phone or another device that isn’t USB-C without using a USB Type-C hub.
The Duet 5 has four 1W speakers—two on each side for authentic stereo sound. It won’t blow you away, but if you walk in with realistic expectations, you’ll have a good time despite the small size. Hearing “2011” by 5 Seconds of Summer in my medium-sized (12′ x 18′) testing room, there was no audible distortion. That being said, these speakers’ lack of bass response is noticeable. Lyrics and instrumentation are explicit. However, songs that rely more heavily on bass lose impact. It’s OK for casual video watching or listening to some background music, but you should invest in a good pair of wireless headphones for more serious listening.
Time in Battery
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook’s long battery life might be a dealbreaker for specific customers. The Duet 5 lasted 13 hours and 31 minutes in Laptop Mag’s battery test, which entails continuously using the web via Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness.
Are Cameras Good?
A 5MP front-facing and an 8MP back camera are included in the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook. While neither camera is excellent for snapping family photos, the front-facing one is adequate for video chats because of its sharp and relatively noise-free image in bright conditions.