Lenovo Chromebook Duet CouchSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet debuted at CES, and it looked like the most promising Chromebook of the year, even before 2020 went completely sideways. This is the first non-education Chrome OS tablet we've seen since the premium and problem-plagued Pixel Slate launched two years ago, and while this isn't a powerhouse by any means, the Duet still has a better chance at success because it's learned from the Slate's mistakes. Most importantly, it learned you don't sell a Chromebook tablet without a keyboard in the box, what were you thinking, Google?!

Fun and functional

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Get Chrome OS in a couch-friendly form.

With the latest tablet features from Chrome OS and a full bundle out of the box with the cover and keyboard, Lenovo is offering up the most promising Chromebook tablet we've seen so far. Whether you need to bang out some emails or just want to Freecell and chill, the Duet is ready for you.

Starting at $279, the Duet comes with both the detachable keyboard and a magnetic kickstand cover in the box, which is great because while I have held this Chromebook up for hours of reading in bed — this puppy was made for catching up on your favorite fanfiction/e-books — once you want to get any work done, you'll want the kickstand to hold your Duet up and the keyboard to type faster on.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet Back CoverLenovo Chromebook Duet Keyboard Shrunken KeysSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Category Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
Display 10.1-inch touchscreen
1920x1200
400 nits
Processor Mediatek Helio P60T
Memory 4GB LPDDR4x
Storage 64-128GB eMMc
Ports 1x USB-C (USB 2.0 + DP)
Peripheral features Fingerprint reader
Pre-bundled with keyboard and kickstand
Optional Stylus
Audio Dual speakers
Battery 7000mAh
10 hours
Dimensions 239.8 x 159.8 x 7.35mm
9.44" x 6.29" x 0.29"
Weight 430g / 0.94 lb (tablet only)
920g / 2.03 lbs (with cover & keyboard)
AUE Date June 2028

That keyboard has some shrunken function and punctuation keys on the right side, which is a small adjustment but buyers should be able to adapt pretty quickly unless they're used to using a lot of brackets and hyphens like me. The keyboard is similar to a Surface Go in that some people might feel cramped on it — I didn't, but I'm tiny and used to 11.6-inch Chromebooks — and it can flop around a bit if you're not using the Duet at a flat location like a table or your fully flat lap.

A few last notes on the hardware front before we get into hardware, and this one is going to be important for workaholics who are considering getting one: battery life has been great, but this Chromebook tablet seems to max out at 18W (9V / 2A). It also only comes with a 10W USB-A charger in the box — hey, they had to pinch pennies somewhere — so you'll want to upgrade to my favorite pocket-friendly 18W PD charger assuming you don't have a good Power Delivery charger in your gear bag. Charging at only 18W means that completely recharging the Duet will take a couple hours, but I think Lenovo topped out there to avoid the tablet getting too warm while charging.

If you peeked at the spec sheet over here, you'll also notice that there's only one port on the Duet: a single USB-C port. That's right, folks, no headphone jack here, though they include a adapter dongle in the box. I'd rather use Bluetooth anyway, but I know that it's going to annoy some of you, so let's get it out of the way now. The lack of microSD is more significant, which is why if you're buying a Duet, get the 128GB version.

Lenovo Chromebook DuetSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Moving into performance, I'm still feeling out the limits of the Mediatek Helio P60T processor inside the Duet, but for the most part is performs like I expect a $300 Chromebook to. I've been seeing some slight wonk when waking up my sleeping Duet, but a Chrome OS update came in over the weekend so we'll see if that fixed it. The two Android apps I consistently use on my Chromebooks did just fine here: Microsoft Solitaire Collection had no lag when animating the cards and Fanfiction.net's app didn't have any issues with me slowly scrolling through 60 chapters of Batman family shenanigans.

Tablet mode in Chrome OS is finally ready for primetime.

You'll want to keep your tabs under control, especially when you're in tablet mode. The new tab managing bar for Chrome in tablet mode is nice, but it still takes you clicking on the tab icon to pull it up, so it'll still be slower than when you're in the regular laptop mode. The new Android 10-like gestures here are also an adjustment, but the limited the back gesture to the left edge, which I'm happy with because it means I can hold the tablet on the right side and not worry about accidentally backing out of my current page or app.

Lenovo Chromebook DuetSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

We'll have a full review before too long, but at first glance, the Duet looks like it will be living up to the hype it generated earlier this year. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is now officially on sale in North America — it comes to Europe and Asia next month, called the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook in some markets — with the 64GB model running $279 and the 128GB model running $300. With the lack of microSD card slot, the extra $20 for 128GB is absolutely worth the upgrade if you can't wait for my full review to pick one up.

Fun and functional

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Get Chrome OS in a couch-friendly form.

With the latest tablet features from Chrome OS and a full bundle out of the box with the cover and keyboard, Lenovo is offering up the most promising Chromebook tablet we've seen so far. Whether you need to bang out some emails or just want to Freecell and chill, the Duet is ready for you.

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