We’re getting to the point where we’re a few weeks out from the unveiling of the very-popular, highly-sought-after Lenovo Chromebook Duet tablet. For months we’ve been awaiting the Chrome OS tablet and when it did arrive, apart from one place where I find it to be lacking, this device delivers more bang for the buck than just about any other device you can currently buy in the Chrome OS space.
But that’s the problem, isn’t it? If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the Lenovo Chromebook Duet and had money set aside to buy one in the event that the reviews were good (they are), then you probably feel the sting many would-be buyers are feeling right now as this ridiculously-popular tablet can’t seem to stay in stock anywhere.
It is unclear what is driving the problem at this juncture, but its likely a combination of higher-than-usual demand and the slowly recovering supply chain due to COVID-19. For what its worth, the Duet has not even become available on Lenovo’s own website up to this point, so that tells us there are likely issues in the core manufacturing lines for Lenovo right now. Best Buy has been the only retailer to have any sort of stock in the US and they sold out within 48 hours before getting stock back for a what amounted to a single day. Since then, it’s been out of stock everywhere.
No other retailer has been able to fulfill orders and the 64GB model has yet to even make its first appearance. While I still hold to the position that no one should buy the $279 64GB version over the $299 128GB one, I’d easily say that you should grab one right now if you could. The problem persists, however, even in the lower-cost model as not one retailer has managed to get any inventory in to sell even the first one.
We’ve reached out to Lenovo about this and will update if we get a response as to why this is happening, but it is frustrating and very unfortunate to say the least. I’m sure demand is high, but I’d seriously doubt that is the only factor at play right now. In any case, I think Lenovo should at least be providing a bit of guidance for potential buyers to know when they can expect to actually get their hands on a Duet. For many buyers, a purchase decision is not something that can drag out for weeks and, thus far, that’s the sort of time frame Lenovo is asking of its customers.
The Duet is a solid tablet and a ridiculous deal that does so much right at a low price point that it is an easy recommend across the board. Other than botched Chromebook launches where device simply don’t start shipping at all, we’ve not really run into long-term supply and demand problems with Chromebooks in the past. The combination of pandemic buying, raised Chromebook awareness, and the rock-bottom pricing of the Duet make for understandable inventory problems, but weeks of unavailability and radio silence from Lenovo could really put a dent into the potential of this tablet, and I hate to see that. Here’s hoping a fresh batch show up soon and at more places than just Best Buy.