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Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 evaluation: $300 properly spent


Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

MSRP $300.00

“The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is quick sufficient for the duties it is going to be anticipated to carry out, with wonderful battery life and a beautiful show.”

Professionals

  • Ok productiveness efficiency
  • Wonderful battery life
  • Surprisingly good show
  • Folio kickstand and keyboard included
  • Robust worth

Cons

  • Keyboard is just too cramped
  • Restricted to Wi-Fi 5

Costly, top-of-the-line laptops are enjoyable to evaluation in their very own proper. Nevertheless it’s price range laptops the place the rubber hits the highway — and the place most individuals are procuring.

Chromebooks are a superb place to look on this regard, and the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 has all the time been one among our favourite units to suggest on that record. $300 for a compact, highly effective, and surprisingly well-built 2-in-1.

My evaluation unit got here with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 CPU and a ten.9-inch 2K (2,000 x 1,200) show, and it’s the one configuration offered right here within the states. Regardless of the uncomfortably small keyboard, Lenovo continues to impress by how a lot they’re in a position to squeeze into a tool this low-cost.

Design

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 rear view showing camera and kickstand.
Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The Chromebook Duet 3 has been up to date from the earlier era, with probably the most vital change being a rise in display screen dimension from 10.1 inches to 10.9 inches. That leads to the brand new model being barely bigger, about half an inch wider and 1 / 4 of an inch taller. The bezels stay the identical dimension, which is extreme for a contemporary gadget.

The Chromebook Duet 3 has elevated barely in thickness to 0.31 inches from 0.29 inches, and it weighs 1.14 kilos, up from 0.9 kilos. Probably the most direct competitor, HP’s Chromebook x2 11, is barely narrower however half an inch taller, at 0.3 inches thick and 1.23 kilos. The bottom Apple iPad with a ten.2-inch show is narrower and taller however thinner at 0.29 inches and lighter at 1.07 kilos, and the Microsoft Floor Go 3 with a ten.5-inch show can also be narrower and taller whereas being thicker at 0.33 inches and heavier at 1.2 kilos.

The pill is constructed of a mixture of aluminum alongside the perimeters and plastic on the again cowl. I discovered it to be as well-built as different comparably priced tablets, with no bending or flexing. This doesn’t really feel like a $300 pill, which is saying rather a lot.

The kickstand right here works in addition to the built-in model on Floor units.

Aesthetically, the Chromebook Duet 3 is an easy slate design with two shade selections. My evaluation unit was the Storm Gray, which was darkish gray alongside the underside three-quarters of the perimeters and the again cowl and a lighter gray alongside the highest. There’s additionally a Misty Blue possibility. In the present day’s tablets are very related, with none of Lenovo’s competitors standing out when it comes to appear and feel.

The included cloth-covered folio rear kickstand cowl and removable keyboard is a two-part unit, which is much less handy than one-piece designs. Nevertheless, the again cowl attaches solidly by way of magnets and doesn’t really feel prefer it’s prone to come off by accident, and the kickstand works in addition to the built-in model on the Microsoft Floor Go 3 with a variety of angles. Mixed, the folio provides 0.95 kilos to the pill’s complete weight, bringing it as much as 2.09 kilos.

Ports

You get two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a pogo pin connector for the keyboard, and that’s it. There’s no audio jack, which is disappointing, nor an SD card reader, which isn’t stunning.

Wi-fi connectivity is supplied by Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1, a limitation of the Qualcomm chipset.

Efficiency

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 tablet.
Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

One other change from the earlier era is a change from a MediaTek Helio P60T CPU to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, an 8-core ARM CPU operating at as much as 2.4GHz. That gives a small bump in pace with a extra up-to-date ARM processor. There’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, each of that are sufficient for a easy Chrome OS expertise because of the working system’s inherent efficiencies.

Throughout my testing, I discovered the Chromebook Duet 3 to be fast sufficient for the sorts of duties for which a Chromebook is usually used. I might open fairly a couple of Chrome tabs and run some Android apps within the background earlier than I seen any slowdown. Actually, I might inform that the Chromebook Duet 3 was slower than laptops geared up with Intel Core CPUs, however for the cash, the 2-in-1 was greater than enough.

Objectively, the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 wasn’t quick at operating the Geekbench 5 benchmark, equaling the identical CPU within the HP Chromebook x2 11 however falling behind the Intel Chromebooks and the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 with a more recent MediaTek Kompanio 1380 CPU. It hit 45 within the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark, once more the identical because the HP and slower than the remainder of our comparability group.

You’ll be challenged in operating probably the most intense Android video games. For instance, Asphalt 9 suffered some stuttering throughout gameplay. You’ll seemingly need to restrict your self to extra informal titles.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Speedometer 2.0
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2)
623 / 1,709 46
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
936 / 3,438 76
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
898 / 2,866 N/A
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
590 / 1,689 45
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
1,190 / 4,151 163
Microsoft Floor Go 3
(Core i3-10100Y)
920 / 1,704 47

Show and audio

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The 11-inch IPS show is available in at a decision of two,000 x 1,200, labeled as 2K, and with a really uncommon 15:9 facet ratio. That’s a bit of taller than 16:9, however simply barely so. The show is sharp sufficient that you could’t see any pixels except you search for them, and I discovered it to be vibrant and colourful throughout my testing. Lenovo guarantees 400 nits of brightness, and I imagine the show comes shut.

I can’t apply my colorimeter to the show as a result of it’s not supported in Chrome OS. Subjectively, although, along with being vibrant and colourful, the distinction is pretty deep with true blacks and textual content that pops on a white background.

The closest competitor is the HP Chromebook x2 11, which has a extra conventional 3:2 show at 2,160 x 1,440. That makes the HP’s show sharper and even taller, however I might characterize the general high quality as related.

Two side-firing audio system supplied audio that was clear and vibrant however didn’t get very loud. Mids and highs have been properly performed, however there was zero bass. The sound high quality is adequate for system sounds and watching YouTube movies by your self, however pull out a pair of Bluetooth headphones for bingeing Netflix and listening to your tunes.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The keyboard is a distinct story. Whereas it’s well-built and waterproof, it’s additionally fairly cramped, with small keycaps and considerably much less key spacing than the standard laptop computer keyboard. The switches aren’t very easy, with adequate journey however a unfastened feeling and a bottoming motion that lacks confidence.

It took me fairly a while to get used to the keyboard, and I by no means did really feel comfy typing on it. The HP Chromebook x2 11’s keyboard was simply as disappointing, whereas the Microsoft Floor Go 3’s model was a lot better. The perfect factor concerning the Chromebook Duet 3’s folio attachment is that it’s included within the $300 value.

The 5MP webcam gives a higher-resolution video picture than many laptops costing a whole bunch extra.

The touchpad is small however comfy to make use of, with a easy floor and dependable help of the total vary of Chrome OS multitouch gestures. The buttons present a stable and quiet click on. The show is touch-enabled, in fact, and helps Lenovo’s USI energetic pen. I didn’t obtain the pen with my evaluation unit and couldn’t take a look at inking.

The front-facing digicam is a full 5MP, that means it could actually present a higher-resolution video picture than many laptops costing a whole bunch (or 1000’s) extra. It’s a fantastic possibility for hybrid staff who desire a extremely transportable gadget for videoconferencing.

Battery life

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 side view showing kickstand.
Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The Chromebook Duet 3 has simply 29 watt-hours of battery capability, which doesn’t sound like rather a lot, but it surely’s powering a small show and an energy-efficient ARM CPU. The HP Chromebook x2 11’s battery is barely bigger at 32 watt-hours, whereas the Microsoft Floor Go 3’s battery is barely smaller at 28 watt-hours.

Nonetheless, the Chromebook Duet 3 demonstrated distinctive battery life. It made it to 11.5 hours in our internet searching take a look at that cycles by a sequence of in style and sophisticated web sites, lower than the Chromebook x2 11 however nonetheless a powerful exhibiting. In our video take a look at that loops an area Full HD Avengers trailer, the Chromebook Duet 3 hit 16 hours, a surprisingly wonderful outcome.

Battery life is an actual power of the Chromebook Duet 3, and it beats out all its equally priced competitors. This price range laptop computer will run for a full day of labor and into the night.

Net searching Video
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2)
11 hours, 29 minutes 15 hours, 59 minutes
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
11 hours, 7 minutes 12 hours, 42 minutes
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
7 hours, 44 minutes 8 hours, 2 minutes
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
12 hours, 42 minutes 10 hours, 59 minutes
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
9 hours, 25 minutes 8 hours, 50 minutes
Microsoft Floor Go 3
(Core i3-10100Y)
5 hours, 24 minutes 11 hours, 42 minutes

Our take

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a incredible worth at $300, significantly on condition that the folio kickstand and removable keyboard are included. And it’s not simply concerning the value — this little Chrome OS pill can deal with a stunning vary of duties, falling in need of solely probably the most demanding productiveness and inventive workflows.

You’ll spend a whole bunch of {dollars} extra for the same setup that gained’t achieve you a lot extra performance. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is the most effective price range Chrome OS pill (a bit of) cash can purchase.

Are there any alternate options?

The closest Chrome OS pill is the HP Chromebook x2 11. It’s about twice as costly and presents related efficiency however much less battery life. It, too, consists of its kickstand and keyboard add-ons, and its show is barely sharper.

In case you’re in search of a Home windows 11 pill, then the Microsoft Floor Go 3 is an possibility. It should additionally price you more cash, particularly whenever you add on the removable keyboard, however you’ll get a built-in kickstand and a a lot better typing expertise.

Lastly, the Apple iPad is a stable various. It begins at about the identical value however doesn’t embody the keyboard. Nevertheless, you’ll get higher efficiency and extra apps, making the iPad a powerful competitor.

How lengthy will it final?

The Chromebook Duet 3 is constructed properly sufficient to final for years of service, and its elements will preserve the streamlined Chrome OS operating effectively for simply as lengthy. And the one-year guarantee is greater than acceptable at this value.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. At $300, the Chromebook Duet 3 makes a fantastic secondary pc for demanding customers and a fantastic starter pill for everybody else.

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