Earlier this month, I wrote a post titled Key feature missing in the Lenovo Chromebook Duet keeps it from being a true Chromebook replacement and in that post, I talked at length about a missing element to the overall Duet experience that, for me, makes the entire device less than ideal. The culprit discussed there was the lack of ability this tablet has to output the normal, standard display resolutions over USB Type C to external monitors.
Our review will be coming early next week, so I don’t want to go too far into depth about my thoughts with this tablet, but I don’t care to divulge that I think it is a fantastic piece of hardware at a completely insane price point. I do love a ton about the Duet and I think many users will love it as well, but I haven’t been able to fully embrace it as I’d initially hoped due to the fact that I’m basically locked into that diminutive 10.1-inch screen for the duration of time I use it as a Chromebook.
If you want to read more about why I think this thing should be able to output normal resolutions like any other Chromebook, go read that earlier post. What I want to get to today is the fact that it seems very unlikely at this point that a fix or adjustment is on the way. In that first post, I pointed readers to a bug report I’d submitted that really gained a ton of traction. Lots of stars and lots of developer eyes were on this issue and I became quite hopeful that a fix might be on the way. This morning, however, my hopes were dashed as the latest post in the bug report reads:
As this is a limitation of the Lenovo Chromebook 10e, I am closing this bug as WontFix.
The bug has now been marked as closed with no implication that any further work will be done on it. And, to be honest, my heart sank a bit when I saw that. Sure, from that earlier post I knew that there was a missing bit of hardware being added to other devices like the Duet (based on the same ‘Kukui’ baseboard) that will allow them employ a wider range of display outputs, but I was still hopeful that there could be some sort of fix or workaround that would at least get the Duet up to 1080p. As it stands right now, that doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the road map.
In the now-closed bug, there’s a question of whether or not this applies to the Duet since that bug was technically created for the 10e. Rest assured, though these are different overlays (‘Krane’ and ‘Kodama’), they are the same baseboard and basically the exact same device underneath. If there’s no quick fix for the 10e, there’s no fix for the Chromebook Duet, either.
For the review of this Chromebook, I really had to adopt a different way of looking at it as a tablet first and a Chromebook second. Now that we know there is no real hope of extending this tablet to a larger screen for longer, more intense work, I think we can all move on and appreciate the Lenovo Chromebook Duet for what it is: a well-made, super-affordable tablet that can do Chromebook stuff from time to time when you need it. I don’t understand the decision to build it without the hardware necessary for proper display extension, but at least we can put this to bed now and figure out whether or not another small, affordable, well-built tablet will come along and be the device I was really hoping for in the Duet.