Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook

MSRP $500.00

“The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook brings OLED goodness to a surprisingly cheap 2-in-1.”

Pros

  • Acceptable productiveness efficiency
  • Very lengthy battery life
  • Excellent show
  • Solid construct high quality
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Display is within the old-school 16:9 side ratio
  • Limited to Wi-Fi 5
  • Kickstand add-on is inconvenient

Chromebooks don’t usually beat Windows to market in relation to implementing new applied sciences, however Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook did simply that. It’s the primary removable pill with an OLED show, hitting the market simply earlier than the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate that marks the primary Windows 11 removable pill sporting OLED know-how. The IdeaPad Duet 5 is constructed round Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, an ARM chip, giving it one other first. It’s a bigger pill, nevertheless it’s however an alternative choice to different low-cost gadgets just like the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface Go 3.

I reviewed the midrange configuration of the IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook, operating $500 and together with the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 and a 13.3-inch 1080p OLED show. I discovered the pill to punch properly above its value, representing among the finest 2-in-1 tablets at this value.

Design

The Asus ZenBook 14X OLED in its case.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The very first thing you’ll discover concerning the IdeaPad Duet 5, in the event you look intently sufficient, is that its show is within the old-school 16:9 side ratio. The laptop computer world is transferring towards taller shows, 16:10 or 3:2, which is especially helpful in tablets that extra intently mimic an ordinary sheet of paper in portrait mode. A 16:9 pill, by comparability, is longer and skinnier, making it much less snug for viewing paperwork and taking notes with a pen.

The IdeaPad Duet 5’s bezels are small on the perimeters and barely thicker on the highest and backside. They’re not big by pill requirements, and the IdeaPad Duet 5 in all fairness sized given the show. Compared to its closest Windows 11 competitor, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 with its 13-inch 3:2 show, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is sort of an inch wider, however the Surface Pro 8 is almost an inch taller.

Microsoft’s pill is thicker at 0.37 inches in comparison with the IdeaPad Duet 5’s 0.28 inches, however the Surface Pro 8 has its kickstand in-built — extra on {that a} second. Of course, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is considerably bigger than the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface Go, that are constructed round 10.2-inch and 10.5-inch shows respectively. If you possibly can stand the scale, then the Lenovo is a viable competitor.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is one other aggressive pill with a 12.3-inch 3:2 show, and it’s roughly the identical measurement because the Surface Pro 8, due to the latter’s smaller bezels. In phrases of weight, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is 1.54 kilos for the pill alone, in comparison with the Surface Pro 8 at 1.96 kilos and the ThinkPad X12 Detachable at 1.67 kilos. The IdeaPad Duet 5 isn’t a small pill by any means, nevertheless it’s manageable. You’d save about half a pound going with Apple or Microsoft’s smallest tablets.

Closeup on the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED kickstand.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Now about that kickstand. Like the HP Chromebook x2 11, the IdeaPad Duet 5’s kickstand is an add-on that snaps onto the pill’s again and is held in place by highly effective magnets. That makes the pill thicker and is inconvenient — it’s one other factor to hold round. The Surface Pro 8 and ThinkPad X12 Detachable are rather more nice to make use of with their built-in kickstand, though the IdeaPad Duet 5’s model works simply as properly. It, too, holds the pill vertically with none wobble, and it extends simply as far, to the place the pill is sort of mendacity flat on a floor. If you don’t thoughts one other piece to fiddle with, then you definitely’ll be tremendous with the IdeaPad Duet 5’s model. And let’s not overlook that this can be a $500 pill whereas the Lenovo and Microsoft variations are greater than twice as costly totally configured.

The IdeaPad Duet 5 is crafted of plastic, with the highest portion of the again being a soft-coated model. It feels strong sufficient in hand, and your first trace that it’s not product of a metallic alloy like the opposite laptops I’ve talked about is that it’s not as chilly to the contact after it’s been asleep for some time. Unless you’ve a factor towards plastic gadgets, that’s not an actual knock towards the IdeaPad Duet 5 — particularly given its value.

Aesthetically, the pill is a darkish gray (Storm Grey) or blue (Abyss Blue) slab with simply the two-tone portion on the again giving it some panache. Minimalist designs are just about the usual for tablets, although, with the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable having probably the most unique look.

Two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports are featured, one on either side of the tablet (either can be used for charging).

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook's pogo pin connector for the detachable keyboard.

Connectivity is proscribed to 2 USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one on both facet of the pill — both can be utilized for charging — and a pogo pin connector for the removable keyboard. That’s it. And sure, Lenovo left off a 3.5mm audio jack. That’s an enormous bummer in my guide, and it’s the primary pill I do know of that’s dropped the connection.

You’ll be restricted to Bluetooth headphones, which I contemplate a legal responsibility. Speaking of wi-fi connectivity, the Snapdragon chipset limits the pill to Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1. There’s no possibility for always-connected web as there’s with the HP Chromebook x2 11.

Performance

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED open on a table.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebooks makes use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 system-on-chip (SoC), a barely up to date model of the identical ARM processor used within the HP Chromebook x2 11. As far as I can inform, the one important distinction is a tiny velocity bump from 2.4GHz to 2.55GHz. Unsurprisingly, I discovered the IdeaPad Duet 5 to carry out lots just like the Chromebook x2 11. That is to say, the ARM CPU was capable of sustain with Chrome OS so long as I didn’t have too many tabs open in Chrome or too many Android apps operating within the background. I’m positive that the 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage had one thing to do with that.

We don’t have our full suite of benchmarks accessible with Chromebooks, however within the Android Geekbench 5 app, the IdeaPad Duet 5 scored 599 in single-core mode and 1,718 in multi-core mode. That’s simply the tiniest bit quicker than the Chromebook x2 11’s 590 and 1,689. It’s properly behind quicker Chromebooks just like the Asus Chromebook Flip C536 which runs a Core i5-1115G4 that scored 1,209 and a pair of,849 and the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 with a Core i5-1135G7 that achieved 1,190 and 4,151. The IdeaPad Duet 5’s rating on the Speedometer 2.0 net benchmark was 47, simply forward of the Chromebook x2 11’s 45. By comparability, the Chromebook Flip CX5 hit 163.

Overall, you’ll be tremendous with the IdeaPad Duet 5’s efficiency so long as your productiveness workflow isn’t too demanding. As I mentioned, with an affordable variety of tabs and Android apps open, the pill carried out simply tremendous. Exceed that quantity, although, and issues did begin to get noticeably slower. And restrict your self to informal Android video games — Asphalt 9, the Android recreation I exploit to check Chromebooks, was uneven and demonstrated appreciable lag after I tried to run it on the IdeaPad Duet 5. An Apple iPad will run iPad OS video games extra fluidly, making it a extra viable gaming pill.

Display

Closeup on the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

From the second I turned on the IdeaPad Duet 5, I may inform there was one thing totally different. OLED shows are a lot extra dynamic and attention-grabbing than IPS shows, and the 13.3-inch Full HD model on the IdeaPad Duet 5 isn’t any exception. The colours had been nice and pure, the distinction was deep with inky blacks, and the show was greater than shiny sufficient for all my working environments.

My two complaints begin with its 16:9 side ratio, which, as I discussed earlier, isn’t practically as purposeful in portrait mode than 16:10 and three:2 shows, and it additionally appeared squashed. It’s not a deal-breaker — there are many 16:9 laptops and tablets nonetheless being made right this moment — nevertheless it’s lower than supreme. Next, the Full HD decision was simply okay on the 13.3-inch show measurement. A sharper display screen would have helped, significantly relating to textual content, and whereas black textual content on a white background popped, they did so with some pixels. The next-resolution show would even have been welcome, however for $500, it’s onerous to complain.

Closeup on the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED display without keyboard attachment.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Despite this, most customers will love this show. Even inventive varieties who desire a Chromebook for viewing images and movies will love the colours and distinction. This show will please all however the pickiest pixel-peepers and people who use a pen to take plenty of notes.

Unfortunately, the audio doesn’t stay as much as the show, regardless of sporting 4 side-firing audio system. To start with, there’s not a ton of quantity, even when turned all the best way up, and worse but, there’s distortion that strips out what little bass is there and creates a really tinny sound. Mids and highs are clear with the amount at about half, however the bass is missing. Overall, you’ll wish to use Bluetooth headphones or audio system for something apart from system sounds and the occasional YouTube video.

Keyboard and touchpad

Closeup on the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook keyboard.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook case with keyboard.

Lenovo features a removable keyboard with the IdeaPad Duet 5, and it’s the identical primary design as most such keyboards — with one exception. It attaches to the pill by way of magnets and connects by way of pogo pins, however in contrast to most keyboards, it doesn’t have the choice to prop it up at an angle. You’re caught utilizing it mendacity flat, which isn’t practically as snug. There’s loads of key spacing due to the 13.3-inch show and the width it supplies, and the keycaps are massive and comfy. The switches present loads of journey and have snappy bottoming motion. The keyboard feels nice — if solely Lenovo would have in-built an angle.

The touchpad can be good, of enough measurement to be snug utilizing the Chrome OS suite of multitouch gestures. The floor is snug for swiping, and the buttons have a pleasant click on with out being too loud. The show is touch-enabled, in fact, and it helps an elective Lenovo energetic pen. One wasn’t supplied with my evaluate unit, so I couldn’t take a look at inking with the IdeaPad Duet 5.

Battery life

OLED shows can generally be the kiss of loss of life in relation to battery life. But that’s primarily as a result of most OLED laptops use 4K decision. The IdeaPad Duet 5 makes use of a 1080p display screen and combines that with a low-power Snapdragon processor. It additionally packed in 42 watt-hours of battery, an affordable quantity for this measurement gadget — and greater than the HP Chromebook x2 11’s 32 watt-hours. I used to be very curious to see how lengthy the removable pill would final on a cost.

I used to be pleasantly shocked. In our net shopping take a look at that cycles by a collection of in style and demanding web sites, the IdeaPad Duet 5 lasted for 15.5 hours — a wonderful rating that beat the Chromebook x2 11’s 12.75 hours. The 10.1-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, with its 27 watt-hour battery and MediaTek Helio P60T ARM processor, lasted about 13 hours. In our video take a look at that loops an area 1080p film trailer, the IdeaPad Duet 5 made it to a whopping 21.75 hours — one of many longest-lasting gadgets we’ve examined. It trounced the Chromebook x2 11’s 11 hours and the IdeaPad Duet’s 12.5 hours.

Simply put, the IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook will final you thru properly over a day’s work, whereas leaving a while left over for binging Netflix. Chromebooks operating ARM CPUs ought to have wonderful battery life, and the IdeaPad Duet 5 lives as much as that promise.

Our take

At $500, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is a wonderful worth. You get ok productiveness efficiency and excellent battery life. The OLED show seems nice too, even when it’s not good.

Anyone searching for a Chrome pill on a budget that they’ll use for his or her net shopping, e mail triage, and media consumption will discover that the IdeaPad Duet 5 is a superb alternative.

Are there any options?

The HP Chromebook x2 11 is an in depth various, sporting virtually the identical CPU and a really related efficiency. At the identical time, its show is sweet however not as nice, and its battery life lags. You also can get it for $100 much less, albeit with half the storage.

Another possibility is the Microsoft Surface Go 3. It’s a Windows 11 laptop computer, and it’s smaller, however its construct high quality and efficiency are simply pretty much as good and it has its personal wonderful show. It’s costlier once you add in the price of the keyboard, nevertheless it’s value it as properly.

Finally, the Apple iPad is an efficient pill to contemplate, though it too is sort of a bit smaller. You’ll wish to persist with the $329 entry-level mannequin or threat spending much more. But it’s quicker due to a speedier ARM CPU and a extremely optimized OS, and it has an important show. It’s additionally skinny, mild, and well-built.

How lengthy will it final?

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook could be product of plastic, however that doesn’t imply it received’t present years of service. You’ll get loads of efficiency out of Chrome OS for a while as properly. The one-year guarantee is okay for a $500 laptop computer.

Should you purchase it?

Yes. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 is quick sufficient for the worth, making it a long-lasting secondary gadget with a phenomenal show for consuming media. It’s the perfect pill you’ll discover for the cash.

Editors’ Recommendations



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