Lenovo's $279 2-in-1 IdeaPad Chromebook Duet starts shipping today

Jason Cipriani, CNN Underscored
Mon May 11, 2020

Lenovo's IdeaPad Chromebook Duet made its debut during CES 2020 in January. The 10.1-inch tablet includes a keyboard, turning it into a true Chromebook, and perhaps more importantly, undercutting Apple's entry-level iPad on price and functionality.

You can order the Chromebook Duet from Lenovo right now, starting at $279.

The Duet has a unique look, thanks to its dual-tone design on the back. Your eyes are drawn to the ice blue top, flowing into the rest of the ice gray housing. From the front, it looks a lot like the new Microsoft Surface Go 2.

The Duet features a MediaTek Helio P60T processor, 4GB of memory and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. We don't have experience with that processor, but we haven't had issues in the time we've had to test and use the Duet. We plan on more in-depth testing to include in our full review.

The 10.1-inch display has an FHD resolution of 1920x1200. There's a 2-megapixel camera on the front for video calls and an 8-megapixel camera on the back.

You'll only find one port on the Duet. The USB-C connector is used to connect peripherals and accessories, as well as charging the 2-in-1. It's disappointing there isn't a built-in microSD card reader, which would allow owners to expand storage.

Google's release of ChromeOS 81 in April added gestures for tablet mode navigation, a feature that directly benefits the Duet when detached from the keyboard.

For example, a long swipe up from the bottom of the screen will go back to the home screen. A short swipe up from the bottom of the screen will show all of your pinned apps, while a swipe up and hold will show your open apps.

In addition to touch-friendly controls, Chrome OS offers automatic updates, access to the Play Store and its Android app library, and, of course, Google's Chrome browser. Lenovo also promises Microsoft Office Suite compatibility.

For those who want to use Duet as a computer, you'll be happy to know that a keyboard is included. That's right, you don't have to pay extra for it.

The keyboard attaches to the bottom of the Duet via pogo pins for power and data throughput, and the included back cover, which uses magnets to hold itself in place, has a built-in kickstand. The stand feels very Microsoft Surface-like, only it's built into a case instead of the device.

The Duet weighs just over 2 pounds with the attached keyboard. In tablet mode, that drops to 0.99 pounds.

The Chromebook Duet will surely be an attractive option for those who are entrenched in Google Classroom during remote learning, as well as a capable alternative to Apple's entry-level iPad.

You can order the 64GB Chromebook Duet for $279 or the 128GB model for $299 starting today from Lenovo.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.