The day is finally here! Nearly 5 months to the day since we first laid eyes on the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, the company has delivered one to our office and we’re taking off the wraps to reacquaint ourselves with the 10-inch Chrome OS tablet. It’s no secret we and countless others have been looking forward to this device for months, so we’re very excited to begin the review process.
Again, I know its a small thing, but I love seeing companies ship Chromebooks in thoughtful packaging. This makes the third Chromebook shipped in 2020 that didn’t show up in a brown cardboard box, and I’m a fan of this change. Otherwise, inside the box is the same thin, light, premium-feeling tablet I remember from CES 2020. Seriously, this thing feels way better than a $300 tablet (with included keyboard) deserves to feel. The metal feels substantial, the 1920×1200 IPS screen looks fantastic at 400 nits, and whole package comes off far more distinguished than you expect for what you pay.
There are no new surprises here, but having the keyboard and kickstand backing in the box are huge value adds for a tablet that will pull double-duty as a diminutive laptop, too. As we stated in the 10e review (the Duet’s rugged brother), the video output via USB Type C on this thing is strange and capped at 720p, so don’t expect to be substituting this Chromebook into your daily workflow in place of your existing Chromebook. Instead, this is a tablet first and Chromebook second, so that’s how I’ll be treating it as I dive into really using it on a daily basis.
For now, you need to know that the Duet feels awesome in the hand, the keyboard and trackpad are more than usable, and for what you pay, this is easily the nicest overall package you can buy in the Chrome OS space for the money. When we dip below $300, we generally find tons of plastic, bad screens, slow processors, and compromised input methods. From what we can tell right now, the Lenovo dodges these pitfalls and may end up making for a great overall device when all is said and done. Again, I have to reiterate that this probably won’t be the full-blown Chromebook replacement I wanted it to be. I think approaching it as a secondary device, a tablet first, will make for a better level of expectation going in.
Our review unit arrived late on Friday, so we’ve not spent any real time with it yet, so I’m holding off on making a bunch of judgements on it just yet. Our full review will come soon, but if you’ve been waiting for a small, portable tablet that can be a Chromebook when you need one, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet feels like it could be your next device. Look for availability at Best Buy, Walmart and Lenvo’s website very soon (we’ll keep the Chrome Shop listing updated as they become available) and if you’re even close to being on the fence, grab it quick. They seem to be selling out fast.