Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook

MSRP $500.00

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

Professionals

  • Acceptable productiveness efficiency
  • Very lengthy battery life
  • Glorious show
  • Strong construct high quality
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

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

Chromebooks don’t usually beat Home windows to market relating 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 Home 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 units just like the Apple iPad and Microsoft Floor 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 effectively above its worth, representing top-of-the-line 2-in-1 tablets at this worth.

Design

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

The very first thing you’ll discover in regards to the IdeaPad Duet 5, should you look intently sufficient, is that its show is within the old-school 16:9 side ratio. The laptop computer world is shifting towards taller shows, 16:10 or 3:2, which is especially helpful in tablets that extra intently mimic a typical sheet of paper in portrait mode. A 16:9 pill, by comparability, is longer and skinnier, making it much less comfy 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 enormous by pill requirements, and the IdeaPad Duet 5 is fairly sized given the show. In comparison with its closest Home windows 11 competitor, the Microsoft Floor Professional 8 with its 13-inch 3:2 show, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is nearly an inch wider, however the Floor Professional 8 is sort of 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 Floor Professional 8 has its kickstand inbuilt — extra on {that a} second. After all, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is considerably bigger than the Apple iPad and Microsoft Floor Go, that are constructed round 10.2-inch and 10.5-inch shows respectively. If you happen to can stand the scale, then the Lenovo is a viable competitor.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Removable is one other aggressive pill with a 12.3-inch 3:2 show, and it’s roughly the identical measurement because the Floor Professional 8, because of the latter’s smaller bezels. By way of weight, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is 1.54 kilos for the pill alone, in comparison with the Floor Professional 8 at 1.96 kilos and the ThinkPad X12 Removable 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 Developments

Now about that kickstand. Just 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 Floor Professional 8 and ThinkPad X12 Removable are rather more nice to make use of with their built-in kickstand, though the IdeaPad Duet 5’s model works simply as effectively. It, too, holds the pill vertically with none wobble, and it extends simply as far, to the place the pill is nearly mendacity flat on a floor. If you happen to don’t thoughts one other piece to fiddle with, then you definitely’ll be fantastic with the IdeaPad Duet 5’s model. And let’s not neglect that this can be a $500 pill whereas the Lenovo and Microsoft variations are greater than twice as costly absolutely 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 steel 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. Until you’ve got a factor in opposition to plastic units, that’s not an actual knock in opposition to the IdeaPad Duet 5 — particularly given its worth.

Aesthetically, the pill is a darkish gray (Storm Gray) 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 Removable having essentially 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 aspect 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 e-book, 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. Talking of wi-fi connectivity, the Snapdragon chipset limits the pill to Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1. There’s no choice for always-connected web as there’s with the HP Chromebook x2 11.

Efficiency

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

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. So 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 rather a lot just like the Chromebook x2 11. That’s 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 certain 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 obtainable 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 effectively 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 internet benchmark was 47, simply forward of the Chromebook x2 11’s 45. By comparability, the Chromebook Flip CX5 hit 163.

General, you’ll be fantastic with the IdeaPad Duet 5’s efficiency so long as your productiveness workflow isn’t too demanding. As I stated, with an affordable variety of tabs and Android apps open, the pill carried out simply fantastic. 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 sport I exploit to check Chromebooks, was uneven and demonstrated appreciable lag once 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.

Show

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

From the second I turned on the IdeaPad Duet 5, I might inform there was one thing totally different. OLED shows are a lot extra dynamic and crowd pleasing 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 vivid sufficient for all my working environments.

My two complaints begin with its 16:9 side ratio, which, as I discussed earlier, isn’t almost 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 at present — nevertheless it’s lower than preferrred. Subsequent, the Full HD decision was simply okay on the 13.3-inch show measurement. A sharper display screen would have helped, notably concerning 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 exhausting to complain.

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

Regardless of this, most customers will love this show. Even inventive sorts 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 a lot of notes.

Sadly, 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 quantity at about half, however the bass is missing. General, you’ll wish to use Bluetooth headphones or audio system for something aside 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 fundamental design as most such keyboards — with one exception. It attaches to the pill through magnets and connects through 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 almost as comfy. There’s loads of key spacing because of the 13.3-inch show and the width it offers, and the keycaps are massive and cozy. The switches present loads of journey and have snappy bottoming motion. The keyboard feels nice — if solely Lenovo would have inbuilt an angle.

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

Battery life

OLED shows can typically be the kiss of demise relating to battery life. However 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 internet shopping take a look at that cycles by means of a sequence of fashionable 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 ten.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 units we’ve examined. It trounced the Chromebook x2 11’s 11 hours and the IdeaPad Duet’s 12.5 hours.

Merely put, the IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook will final you thru effectively over a day’s work, whereas leaving a while left over for binging Netflix. Chromebooks operating ARM CPUs ought to have glorious 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 superb worth. You get ok productiveness efficiency and excellent battery life. The OLED show seems nice too, even when it’s not good.

Anybody on the lookout for a Chrome pill on a budget that they will use for his or her internet shopping, e-mail triage, and media consumption will discover that the IdeaPad Duet 5 is a good selection.

Are there any alternate options?

The HP Chromebook x2 11 is a detailed various, sporting nearly the identical CPU and a really comparable efficiency. On the identical time, its show is nice however not as nice, and its battery life lags. You can even get it for $100 much less, albeit with half the storage.

An alternative choice is the Microsoft Floor Go 3. It’s a Home windows 11 laptop computer, and it’s smaller, however its construct high quality and efficiency are simply nearly as good and it has its personal glorious show. It’s costlier if you add in the price of the keyboard, nevertheless it’s value it as effectively.

Lastly, the Apple iPad is an efficient pill to think about, though it too is sort of a bit smaller. You’ll wish to stick to the $329 entry-level mannequin or threat spending much more. Nevertheless it’s quicker because of a speedier ARM CPU and a extremely optimized OS, and it has an amazing show. It’s additionally skinny, gentle, and well-built.

How lengthy will it final?

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is likely to 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 effectively. The one-year guarantee is ok for a $500 laptop computer.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 is quick sufficient for the value, making it a long-lasting secondary gadget with a gorgeous show for consuming media. It’s the very best pill you’ll discover for the cash.

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