This is Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook review where I try out the 10.1” chromebook laptop for a time period of one week. It comes with a dedicated keyboard and stand cover at an affordable price range. This could be best touchscreen chromebook of 2020.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook specifications are MediaTek Helio P60T (2GHz octa core) for the processor, 4GB of memory, and 128GB of storage. The display has a 10.1-inch size and a WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) IPS liquid crystal display. The rear camera has 8 million pixels, the front camera has 2 million pixels, and the rear camera also supports autofocus.
The connection interface is only USB 2.0 Type-C port and supports charging and DisplayPort output. External storage is not supported, and LTE is not supported. It does not have an earphone jack, but you can use wired earphones or headphones if you use the included USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack conversion cable.
The special features of the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook are the above-mentioned special keyboard and the stand cover attached to the back. The bottom part of the stand cover is a mechanism that opens and closes as a stand, and it can be tilted up to about 20 degrees. By attaching it to the main body together with the keyboard, it can be operated in the same style as Microsoft’s Surface series.
The main body size of Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook measures about 239.8 × 159.8 × 7.35 mm (width × depth × height), and the weight is about 450 grams. Although it is a standard size and weight for a 10-inch class tablet, the weight with the cover and keyboard attached is about 920 grams, which is close to 1kg.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook’s keyboard has a key pitch of 18 mm and a key stroke of 1.3 mm. Since it also has a trackpad, you can operate the cursor without separately preparing a mouse. The shortcut keys at the top can be replaced as function keys, but since the numbers are not written, it is necessary to remember the assignment “which key is F10”.
The Chromebook’s feature is that the startup speed is very comfortable, and the screen is displayed within a few seconds by pressing a button. However, to log in, you need to enter the password of your Google account or a 6-digit PIN code that you have set separately, and it takes some effort to log in, despite the quick startup.
The display resolution of Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, but the standard setting is 1,080 x 675 pixels, which is 100% display. Since the screen size is as small as 10.1 type, if the original resolution of 1,920 × 1,200 pixels is used, the characters will be very small, but in the default setting it will be too large, and depending on the website or application, the screen There were times when I couldn’t press a button. Considering usability, it is recommended to change the zoom to around 80% or 90%.
It is also possible to connect to an external display using USB Type-C. It supports an external display with a maximum of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (Full HD)/30Hz, and a USB Type-C compatible display can be connected with a single cable. It is also possible to output via HDMI via USB Hub.
The benchmark test result measured by Google Octane 2.0 is 9,957. As a benchmark for tablets, although the results are comparable to those of middle-range Android smartphones and tablets, this unit is not an Android tablet but a Chromebook, and it is difficult to make a simple comparison with an Android tablet.
The Chrome browser, which is the essence of a Chromebook, is as good as a notebook PC in terms of usability. In places where the communication line is slow, applications that require Internet connection such as Gmail will be slow, but if you connect to a wireless LAN at home, office, cafe, etc., it will work sharply. As mentioned above, I’ve been using Surface Go so far, but I feel that the browser is more usable than Surface Go.
On the other hand, as for apps, although Android apps can be used, they are not completely the same as Android, and some apps are not compatible and some apps are unstable. As mentioned above, IME apps such as ATOK have behaviors such as not working when the keyboard is switched, and it often happens that the app I’m using falls off.
Since the Chrome browser is very easy to use, I felt that it was good to use the web service basically in the browser and use the Android application only for the service that wants notifications and can be used only by the application. In my case, Slack, which needs to be opened close to 10 all the time, is hard to open in a tab of the browser, so I set it in the Android application and use SNS such as Facebook in the browser.
I actually attended several meetings on the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook, and although there was no problem with Zoom only, there were many cases where video chat stopped when I opened materials such as Google Docs in parallel. Since the function is almost the same as the smartphone application, it seems that it is easy to use by logging in on the smartphone for video conferencing and viewing the materials on the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook.
I have repeatedly challenged “Is it possible to work on a 10-inch tablet” many times, but although Android tablets and iPads have rich applications, there are problems in business use such as browser and character input, and Surface Go felt the problem that Go was sufficient for business use, but had few apps.
The IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is as easy to use or better than Surface Go if you use a browser, and you can also use the Android app for entertainment such as e-books and videos. The price is reasonable with less than 50,000 yen including the keyboard and stand cover, and it is also a convincing cost performance that it becomes popular.