Lenovo Chromebook Duet Review – 10.1″ 2-in-1 ChromeOS Tablet
This is a Chromebook tablet that comes with a keyboard and trackpad and is very reasonably priced. You pretty much get all the accessories. You need to get a very computer like experience, but you’ve got the tablet and you can run a lot of Android apps on it too. We’Re going to be taking a closer look at this in just a second, but I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure if this is on loan from Lenovo. So we’re done with this, it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own. Nobody is paying for this review, nor is anyone reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before it was uploaded, so let’s get into it now and see. What this is all about now, the price point on this is super competitive. It is two hundred and seventy nine dollars for the entire package, which i think is a very good deal, especially considering you get the keyboard, the trackpad and the tablet all in the box. For that price, so let’s dive into the hardware. Now there are two storage configurations available. The base model here has 64 gigabytes of storage there’s, another one that’s just a little bit more expensive with 128 gigabytes of storage, but is otherwise the same machine and I would suggest going with the higher storage version just because it doesn’t cost all that much more And you’ll want that storage for the Android apps you might install on this, along with some of the Linux apps.
It can run and we’ll take a look at some of those things as we make our way through. The review here. It’S got a 10.1 inch display that runs at 400 nits of brightness. It looks great nice color on it a touch display, of course, because it is a tablet and it works well with both the Chrome, OS apps and the Android apps and a few of the Linux ones, which we’ll explore a little later in the video. The display resolution is 1920 by 1200, that is a 16 by 10 aspect ratio. It works pretty nicely here, especially when it’s in landscape format it’s a little bit narrower when you have it in portrait orientation here versus an iPad. Perhaps but given some of the 16 by 9 aspect ratio tablets, we’ve seen in the past, this isn’t bad now there’s a couple of components that attached to the tablet here. One, of course, is the keyboard that you saw just snap in it’s, magnetically, guided and generally finds its way and then on the back here you have a removable kickstand. This is a fabric backing, it feels very nice and if you attach it, it will latch on magnetically to the tablet. And then this part here will come out and you can adjust the orientation of the tablet and you don’t need to have the keyboard attached to use the kickstand. So you can maybe put it on your airport, airplane, tray and watch your movies and stuff in flight, and you can also decide to leave it behind completely and just carry the tablet around.
The tablet feels really nice it’s metal on the back. It’S got a nice thick glass screen on the front, pretty lightweight. It is just under a pound it’s about 450 grams or 0.99 pounds to be exact. The backing here adds about a half a pound or another 220 grams, and then, when you’ve got the full package assembled here, you’re looking at just over 2 pounds or 920 grams. So not all that heavy. My only complaint with it is that the keyboard here slides around a lot on the front of the display, and I think that might risk scratching or something undesirable here, so that’s, my only gripe with it. It doesn’t really cause much of an issue. If you hold it down here, but if you’re holding it like this you’re gon na feel it’s slipping around a bit, and that was the one thing I didn’t like about the design of this particular device. The Google pixels slate that was released last year, which is much more expensive than this, also had a similar slippery keyboard thing here on the front, but that was again my only big gripe with the overall industrial design here and really for the price point I’m. Not complaining all that much now, as I say, I was very impressed with the quality of the keyboard and trackpad combo. Here the trackpad feels really nice. Lenovo has been making some nice track pads for a long time. It’Ll do all of the gestures that you’re used to here.
So you can do your pinch to zoom. You can do your two finger scrolling. You can do a right click with two fingers down or a single click with just one altogether, really really nice stuff. The keys are nice very well spaced keys here, even though they’re a little smaller than your typical keyboard. My only gripe on the keys is that some of the things you might reach for frequently are about half the size, so the plus and the minus here, for example, our areas where you might sometimes make a mistake while typing just given that these keys are much Smaller than some of their neighboring keys but that’s, a small gripe lots of travel on this there’s a lot of room for these keys to push down. So you get a good amount of tactile feedback as you’re typing on them and all together for a low cost tablet device. The keyboard is really nicely done, especially given it was packed into the box here, and this is powered by a mediatek, p. 60 T Helio processor: this is an ARM based chip which consumes less power than some of the more powerful Intel chips we typically see on Chromebooks, but as you’ll see in a few minutes, this really holds its own against those machines and consumes less power. Lenovo is saying you get about 10 hours of battery life out of this thing, and I think if you keep the display brightness down and stick to web browsing, you should get close to that mark for battery life if you’re running, android, apps and really killing the Processor, that is going to impact battery life more significantly, but the basic Chrome OS tasks – tasks, I think, will get you through most of the day here on a single charge.
All the models of this have four gigabytes of RAM, which is more than fine for a Chromebook and altogether. I think it’s got a good processor on board to do what it’s going to do there’s only one port on this one. You won’t find it on this side, but you will find it over here on this side, it’s just a USB type c port. This is a multi function port, so you can plug in an external display with a dongle if you want. This is also where you charge the tablet and you can plug in some data devices like a keyboard or a mouse or a USB hub or something. I just note, though, that, although it is a USB C port, it’s running only at USB 2.0 speeds for data, so you’re not going to be pushing huge volumes of data quickly in and out of that port. But again for what you got here. I think it’s probably adequate for the task. I would have liked to have seen – maybe a second USB C port just for flexibility but, of course, you’re trying to hit a price point with something you got to make some sacrifices somewhere, and that was probably where they did. That also lacking is a headphone jack. So you’ll need to connect up your Bluetooth headphones to get some private audio going there or they do have stereo speakers here at the top. They don’t sound all that great a little on the tinny side, but it is stereo and you’ll hear left and right out of those two speakers up there.
However, when it’s in its portrait orientation, all the sound is going to come out of the right side of the tablet. Now you’ve got two cameras on this one, one on the back and one here on the front: the rear, camera isn’t spectacular, it’s, 8 megapixels. It can do 1080p video, but it doesn’t look all that great, so it’s not going to be something you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures with, but it’s there. If you need it, the front facing camera can do 720p video it’s. Only though about 2 megapixels for stills, but I did find it looks pretty good for videoconferencing and that sort of thing so adequate cameras, but not as good as what you’ll find on the iPad let’s take a look now and see how it performs. We’Ll start off with some web browsing and then we’ll dive into Android and a few other things too. All right. So let’s pull up a web browser on here kind of a basic core Chrome, OS function and we’ll load up the nasa.gov home page and see how fast everything renders in. As you can see, it comes together pretty quickly. Here I can use my trackpad if I want to zoom in on some text or I can use the screen, we can select a link here and just browse around the website. I like going to this site because it is very multimedia, rich there’s. A lot of photos and videos and things that pop up from time to time here, but as you can see, it is rendering in very very quickly – and it feels like a really good experience here for browsing the web.
Now we can also watch YouTube through the browser if we want and I’ve got a 1080p 60 video that we’re gon na run here. Let me just get through the ad and we’ll see how well it’s able to render all the frames that a 1080p 60 video will deliver to us. So it looks pretty good here, but we’ll pull up the stats for nerds and get a better sense as to how many frames we’re dropping I’m. Finding that it’s dropping a few frames here or there when you’re in a 1080p 60 frames per second video like this. But generally does pretty good for the price point. You’Ll see some delays when you’re switching into full screen, for example, and you might drop a few more frames there, but generally it’s able to keep up even through the browser based playback here, which is good so I’m. Not finding any real performance scotches here don’t expect super perfect, 1080p60 playback, but generally it’s able to keep up well with a few drop frames here or there and on the browser bench org speedometer test. We got a score of 46 point: six, six on version 1.0 of that test and twenty seven point. Seven four on version 2.0 and I’ve got two other devices. I want you to take a look at. The first is the first generation surface, go tablet: the entry level version and the Google pixels slate both of those are powered by presumably more powerful Intel processors, but this one holds its own against them for the types of things you might do on the web.
So I think from the standpoint of web browsing and video watching this is fine and you’re saving a lot of money versus some of those more expensive tablet to in one combo devices. Although take a look at the iPad, this is the sixth generation iPad. From about a year and a half ago that I got from my daughters that costs about the same without the keyboard, even the new version of that iPad, and you can see there that that one performs significantly better one hundred and twenty nine point. Five. On version 1.0 and sixty seven point, six on version 2.0 and that’s, the one thing that Apple’s been doing very well in this low cost tablet market. They are light years ahead in performance, but I think for what most people do with a tablet. You don’t always need that kind of performance. So if your intention is web browsing a few apps here and there some video watching this is fine, but if you’re doing photo, editing and other more higher end tasks. In addition to that web browsing, then you might want to look at the iPad. Even the entry level one will perform significantly better at those higher end things now. One of the neat features of the Chrome OS operating system is that, because it’s made by Google, it can now run a lot of Android, apps and it’s getting better at doing that. As time goes on, what you’ll find is there is some general flakiness to how Android apps work here.
So, for example, right now, I’ve got the YouTube app running here and I’ve got the Google Play Store running again. Both of these are Android applications and if I click on the web browser here it just like automatically minimizes the Android apps away, I haven’t seen other Chromebooks. Do this – and I don’t know if this is a new feature, that they added or some, but I did notice that my android windows were disappearing when I brought the Chrome OS browser window up to the front here, so a couple little gotchas here and there, but Generally, it seems to be doing well with some of the basic Android apps you might run on it. So here’s a game called Crossy Road. This should load up here pretty quickly and it looks great on the display – and although this is not a super powerful tablet – it’s more than adequate for probably about 90, if not more – of the Android app library, because most developers target the basics when they’re making their Games just because so many people have lower and Android devices to play those games on. I did find that some of the higher end games like Call of Duty don’t, work too well on here. You might get them to load up, but then they’ll, freeze and act really. Strangely, so some of the real higher end things that really push the higher end. Smartphones are probably not a good fit for this, but if you’re just looking to play a few games of Crossy Road every once in a while, maybe load up your favorite Android word processor or something you should be fine and what’s interesting is that you can also Run as we saw a second ago, the Android version of YouTube, if you want, you can also load up the Android version of Netflix and Amazon.
Prime video. If you want as well – and I think that’s a really great way to go because you can download netflix videos and amazon videos for offline viewing on the tablet and that’s another argument for that larger 128 gigabyte version – if you want to go that route, so you Get some of the best things about having an Android tablet, along with some of the really nice optimized performance of the Chrome, OS operating system, and my recommendation to you all would be to do your web browsing on the Chrome OS browser. But then do some of your video watching through the Android apps, which are better suited for that sort of thing on the tablet interface here now, Chrome OS will shift into its tablet mode when you detach the keyboard. So if I pull the keyboard off of it here, you’ll see that everything now goes fullscreen and what I can do is just pull up here from the bottom to get a list of all the active windows that are currently running. So you saw that while we had a window, an interface when the keyboard was attached, when you detach it, it goes to tablet mode and everything runs fullscreen. So I’ve got a web page running here. I can shift it into portrait mode here and that will shift its orientation. It does a pretty good job of doing that. I can switch, maybe back over to that website. We were looking at here a little bit earlier and I can flip it around this way and get that or I can pull up.
My Android app here running YouTube and do the same here as well, so you will be able to kind of navigate through with gestures and then, if I reattached the keyboard here generally, what happens is that you get your windows back again, although it’s minimizing the Android Apps here, but you get the gist of how things work. There is an on screen keyboard. So if I wanted to maybe go to a different website here, I can just pull that up and start typing and as we’ve seen in Prior videos, you can also write things out with a pen or your finger and it will recognize the text as you write, Which is pretty handy and then you also have the ability to use a microphone and just dictate to it as well. So you’ve got a lot of different interface options when you pull the keyboard off and then, when that keyboard reattaches, you get your trackpad and keyboard back again and I think they’ve done a nice job with the interface here kind of accommodating both the tablet interface and The laptop interface, depending on what you have attached now when chrome OS first came out. It was pretty much just a web browser, but they’ve been adding a lot to it over time. So, a few years ago we got the Android functionality that we just saw and now we’re starting to see Linux applications running on Chrome OS and this little low cost tablet can also run those Linux apps.
So we can boot up the command line here and use the Nano text editor that my friend Chris Allegretto was a part of that’s pretty cool and we can also load up a GUI based Linux applications too. So, for example, we can load Libre Office up which is a free office. Suite that’s got a spreadsheet, a word processor and a whole bunch of other applications that are completely free, and you can run this locally on your Chromebook. So, even if you’re not on the internet, you can work on spreadsheets, save them to the local storage, email them to people whatever you want. You’Ve got pretty much a full on office suite that will load up on your Chromebook whenever you want. There are some issues, though, with screen orientation and the mouse at the moment. So right now, as you can see I’m able to move my mouse across the menus here. But if I max some eyes the window things get a little messed up so I’m clicking on the mouse pointer right here, but this menu right here is the one that I’m getting so there’s some issues related to that which they have to fix, which I’m sure They will this is strictly a software problem, but at the moment right when this device came out the day that I am recording, this video Linux is still a little flaky here and there are some things that they need to iron out on it.
But the good news is the Linux: apps do run and I’m sure they’ll correct some of these screen orientation issues as further updates come out and speaking of updates. One of the features, if you will of Chrome OS, is that every device comes with an expiration date. Now it doesn’t mean that the Weisse stops working on that date, but it does mean that they stopped getting updated. This one is coming with a 8 year product lifespan, which is one of the longest I’ve seen for a Chromebook, so this device will be supported up until June of 2028, which means that it will continually get updates until that time. After that date, it won’t be updated anymore, but will still work and when they stop updating it, they stop security, updates everything it just gets locked in where it was when that expiration date hit. So if you’re looking at this thing in the future, maybe it’s, 2027 and you’re looking to buy this one used or something it’s only gon na have about a year of updates left on it before it expires. So just be sure if you’re out shopping, do the math and figure out where, in the line you are now if they update this in the future, with a new model that one will have a new expiration date. But this particular model, the first generation duet – will expire in June of 2028. Overall, I think it’s a nice little tablet.
It performs well, it is very competitively priced, I think, it’s a good. I pad alternative if you don’t want to spend as much on accessories as you’ll have to spend on the iPad to get the matching keyboard and everything it’s. Probably one of the nicer keyboards I’ve, seen at this price point really nice to type on again great travel to it, it’s, really a very functional compact chrome, OS device that can run all the Chrome OS stuff. You want to want to run on it, but also all the Android and Linux and altogether, I think, it’s a really nicely performing device great battery life. The screen looks terrific. I can’t find much to complain about here, especially given the very affordable price to get into it. But again I do recommend spending just a little bit more for the larger storage version, so that you can make the best use of all the things you can do now with a Chromebook that’s gon na do it for now until next time. This is lion Simon. Thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lon TV supporters, including gold level supporters, the four guys with quarters podcasts Tom Albrecht, Rick astute Oh Chris Allegretto in Callie an Kumar. If you want to help the channel you can, by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV, slash, support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe visit.